Together with her husband, actor Dean McDermott, Spelling spent some time in 2007 and 2008 running what was known as Chateau La Rue in Fallbrook, California, about 55 miles north of San Diego. Known as Oak Creek Manor both before and after Spelling's tenure as an innkeeper, the inn is a 4-diamond AAA-rated property.
As Spelling and McDermott took over the inn, television cameras were on hand to record the experience for a reality show on the Oxygen cable network, Tori and Dean: Inn Love. According to a network press release, the couple tried to turn the inn into "a bed and breakfast for their generation... the hippest B&B in the universe."
While Spelling was the innkeeper, Chateau La Rue, situated on eight acres of rolling hills, featured four guest bedrooms, a dining room and a high-ceilinged entryway with two large exotic fish tanks.
Now that the property is again known as Oak Creek Manor, room rates range from $129 to $250 per night.
Spelling's name for the inn, Chateau La Rue, was chosen by a viewer. It was named after Spelling's pet pug, Mimi La Rue.
The series debuted on March 20, 2007, and ran for six episodes in its first season. A number of reviews were less than kind.
According to the Oxygen press release, the couple used Spelling's $800,000 inheritance from her father to buy and renovate the bed and breakfast. However, later information revealed that Spelling and McDermott never actually bought the property.
An April 26, 2007, article in the Fallbrook Bonsall Village News reported that Spelling and McDermott had not purchased the inn.
"A trip down to the San Diego County Assessors office on April 19 proved to be quite interesting," according to writer Christina Macone-Greene. "An assessment clerk, Ms. Lerma, easily pulled up the Chateau La Rue property address and reported that there had been no activity since 2004. There was no new document number and/or transaction for this residence."
The newspaper also reported that the inn, which was for sale at the time, had an asking price well above $800,000. Try $2.6 million.
Oak Creek Manor is owned by Patricia King, who also owned it before the temporary transformation to Chateau La Rue.
As of fall 2008, Spelling and McDermott had given up the innkeeping profession. The third season of their show was named Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood (rather than Tori and Dean: Inn Love), and the Oxygen cable network described it this way: "Proud new parents and aspiring entrepreneurs Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott are checking out of their bed and breakfast and moving back to Hollywood."
Information for Aspiring Innkeepers
- Aspiring Innkeepers Weekly - This free series of email newsletters gives you an inside view of what it really takes to run a bed and breakfast.
- Aspiring Innkeeper Worksheets - Writen by a pofessional innkeeper, these worksheets will help you prepare for a career as a B&B innkeeper.
- Advice from Professional Innkeepers - Simple tips designed to help aspiring innkeepers.
- Inns for Sale - Browse these listings to get a sense of what's available, and what it would cost to buy a B&B.