We Spent 3 Days In California’s Coolest Up-And-Coming Getaway Destination (Here’s What We Thought About Our Historic Hotels)

Seize some espresso and settle in on your Saturday morning lengthy learn, buddy! As we speak’s publish is a few GOOD OL’ FASHIONED BLOGGING: 50% tremendous dramatic before-and-after photographs, 30% design and historical past training (however like, in an thrilling manner), 20% anecdotal firsthand expertise (once more, hopefully in an thrilling manner), and 10% PURE EXCITEMENT. Now we have a bit little bit of all the things: huge boutique resort renovations! Repurposed classic finds! Prohibition-era secret passageways! A settee from the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds! One of the best french fries I’ve ever had in my life (not pictured, however I’ll completely describe them sooner or later)! Drag Queen Bingo evening! Quiet, layered, impartial areas, AND maximalism galore!

Right here’s what went down: we lucked out, principally. Earlier this yr, Em headed out to Nevada Metropolis – an 1800s gold-mining city about an hour away from Sacramento and Tahoe – for a calming weekend journey with Brian. Like all bosses (sarcasm – I actually assume Em would be the solely boss who has ever performed this), she LOVED the aesthetics of the 2 accommodations she’d visited and was like, “you realize what would make this romantic weekend journey with my husband higher? If I, like, invited my design-obsessed group to spend a couple of days with me, so we will all stand in a huddle beneath a chandelier and scream about this 170-year-old authentic gentle fixture for an hour and a half. That would actually take this journey to the following stage.”

In order that’s how your favourite weblog employees (I hope) discovered themselves within the Burbank Airport on a Tuesday morning in late April. It was a fast hour-long flight as much as Sacramento and a simple Uber journey to Grass Valley and Nevada Metropolis, an space through which we spent the following three days taking notes from the design group who simply pulled off a HUGE restoration of two historic properties. We discovered, ate, drank, and laughed quite a bit and I can’t wait to share all of it with you – ARE YOU READY TO SEE???



Scorching Tip

If it really works along with your schedule, a mid-week go to is totally the way in which to go – there’s a ton to do and discover each weeknight. To that finish, we wrangled our readers an unique 20% low cost on stays booked Sunday by Thursday, PLUS complimentary cocktails for 2 on the Nationwide Bar. Yow will discover the reserving hyperlink on the backside of the publish! We wish you to have as a lot enjoyable as we did.

The Holbrooke Resort in Grass Valley, CA

Enter: The Holbrooke Resort in Grass Valley, CA. Let me provide you with some neighborhood context, first (yup, right here comes the historical past!) – about $400 million {dollars} value of gold was extracted from the mines on this space beginning in about 1850. That signifies that Grass Valley/Nevada Metropolis was the spot again within the day – like, the richest mining city in California, which principally made it the center of the gold rush – and to that finish, THIS BUILDING HAS SEEN SOME STUFF. Cowboys! Gunfights! Well-known robbers! It really even burned down twice – the present construction is from the 1860s – and it’s since performed host to a ton of historic figures, like a number of presidents, iconic boxers, and even writers, like Mark Twain! (Spoiler: Considered one of us even received to remain in Mark Twain’s room!) (Double spoiler: IT WAS ME AND I LOVED IT!!!)

Earlier than we go inside, I needed you to take a peek at this tasteful outside restoration, although. My favourite a part of this weekend was seeing how the design and structure groups actually embraced the constructions they have been renovating – they labored to focus on and embrace the present options. It feels much more welcoming now, doesn’t it?

WELCOME IN, GANG. Stylistically, it’s like traditional gold rush-era Americana meets timeless, collected, eclectic design. You see the double doorways to the left of the steps? That’s the entrance entrance from the road. The check-in desk is positioned in a dreamy little area of interest beneath the steps, and that’s the saloon by the arch on the left. There’s a TON to absorb, so let me level out my three favourite particulars:

  1. The lighting on this place is IMMACULATE. That chandelier is definitely authentic to the resort, and also you’ll see related fixtures scattered across the property. (I had one in my room, too.) Maintain a watch out in the remainder of the photographs as I used to be SO impressed by the lighting – choosing fixtures for open idea areas could be a doozy, however the lighting right here was so thoughtfully chosen and all the things works SO properly collectively.
  2. You see that wrought iron and glass cage on the left? That’s the OG ELEVATOR. It’s AWESOME. The quieter, extra impartial up to date design actually offers it room to sing and shine.
  3. The Holbrooke is a MASTERCLASS in designing with texture. Unique stone partitions on the fitting! Copper-clad saloon partitions on the left! To not point out all of the leathers, velvets, hides, glass, stone…each area is so luxe and thought of.

These are a few of our iPhone photographs – how candy is the vignette on the left with that off-center sconce over a mini gallery wall? The size of these navy chairs is so thrilling and surprising, too. My favourite piece within the foyer was this round seating – it was customized to be genuine to the interval! – and the styling up prime was SO good (vessel heaven, y’all).

The aforementioned check-in area of interest beneath the steps with a to-die-for floral association wasn’t too dangerous, both :). I believe you may get a good suggestion of the vibe of the resort from these fast snaps – it simply felt so snug and relaxed in right here. Subsequent up, please enable me to escort you into the saloon…

HELLO, lovely restoration earlier than and after!!! It’s uncommon to see a spot that feels extra period-appropriate after a renovation, however this room, particularly, BLEW ME AWAY. My favourite change was really up on the ceiling – take a look at these now-exposed coffers! It’s such a tiny change that makes a world of distinction, don’t you assume? I’m additionally nonetheless swooning over the brand new bar seating – look how a lot visible muddle was eliminated by nixing the spindle-backed chairs! – and I’m enamored by the pendants above the bar (plus, gotta adore the brand new ceiling followers – they actually let all the opposite options take middle stage).

Talking of middle stage – WE GOTTA TALK ABOUT THAT BAR IN THE BACK. It’s authentic! (The onyx pillars virtually made me cross out!) As a long-term, long-time lover of classic, I used to be simply stunned by all of the historical past hooked up to this piece – like, I get so weirdly moved after I see previous options. I simply begin enthusiastic about all of the individuals who’d been right here, and their lives, and all of the conversations that transpired whereas taking a look at these little lotus lights reflecting within the mirror, and like…it simply DOES SOMETHING TO MY HEART. Being in right here felt nice.

All the group ended up sneaking down right here early within the morning to seize some extra photographs of those copper partitions. They’re breathtaking, guys. Additionally breathtaking: the DELICIOUS DRINKS IN THIS PLACE. After flying up on Tuesday, having fun with a fast group lunch, and hammering out some work on the weblog (there are non-public assembly rooms obtainable!), we met within the Saloon to seize a drink earlier than embarking on the BEST tour of the Holbrooke with Anne L’Esperance, the lead designer, and Amanda Miller, a docent who is aware of ALL the historical past of the resort and the world. However now, I need to present you the opposite facet of the saloon. We’re going to the eating room, gang!

I do know there’s quite a bit to absorb from an architectural perspective, however I actually couldn’t cease gushing about these seashell sconces getting used as image lights! The Holbrooke is a reasonably historically ~masculine~ area, so there’s one thing so comfortable and candy about balancing that aesthetic with a whimsical lighting selection.

I additionally cherished the mantle swap in right here – this smaller piece (nonetheless classic, and from the proper period!) opened up the area a TON, proper? The home windows really feel a lot larger now, too, since they aren’t being dwarfed by an enormous wall fixture.

Again to a group iPhone shot! On Tuesday evening, after our enjoyable tour of the property, our tiny squad tucked into the world simply between the hearth and window for probably the most DELICIOUS dinner. (Full disclosure: we really ended up consuming FOUR meals in right here in lower than 24 hours as a result of the meals was too good.) Should you’re within the space, it is a MUST-VISIT. Should you’re not within the space, properly…that is additionally nonetheless a MUST-VISIT. I can drop all of our meal suggestions within the feedback if anybody is ! (I believe we ate our manner by like, a superb majority of the menu. I’ll be returning sooner or later to complete the job.)

After dinner (and after I had sprinted upstairs to make some 9 PM adjustments to the following day’s weblog publish, ha), our group headed into the basement for Soul Supreme on the Iron Door, which might be the closest we’ll ever get to spending a night in a Prohibition-era speakeasy. It’s arduous to inform in these photographs, however there’s a SUPER thick iron door *simply* to the left of the bar. Within the 1800s, it led straight into the native financial institution, and it was additionally the place women of the evening would enter and depart the resort!!! The transformation on this area is unbelievable – I simply saved telling Anne, the designer, that she’d taken a design agony (these black poles) and reworked them in SUCH a genius manner.

We had such an incredible evening catching up, consuming wine, and befriending some locals down right here – everybody was so beneficiant and pleasant. (Should you’re as social as we’re and also you come down right here for a drink, you’ll completely hug a stranger whereas saying your goodbyes on the finish of the evening.)

Listed here are two extra iPhone photographs of the unique iron doorways down within the decrease stage. Considered one of my favourite issues about The Holbrooke is that it’s so self-contained – I completely might have spent, like, 3 straight days on the property with out going exterior. There was lovely indoor area, nice outside area (Em’s room, Ryann’s room, and my room all had balconies!), unbelievable meals, and enjoyable leisure. The entire place was simply such a deal with, you realize? (Possibly that’s regular for boutique accommodations, but it surely’s new to me.) Now, I need to present you a room that maaaaay look a bit acquainted to you. READY?

Right here’s a peek at Em’s room. Are you able to imagine this transformation? The earlier carpeting, wallpaper, and paint left the area feeling dated (and, like, not in a cute/vintage-y manner). This up to date, extra impartial design feels WAY extra “trendy wild west city” and manner much less “Victorian leftovers.” Considered one of my favourite issues to notice: do you see that candy sofa? It’s authentic to the property. The design group labored to breathe new life into TONS of the already-existing items on web site, which I loooved from a sustainability perspective. One other working example…

…is that this STUNNING classic armoire. (If that is actually ringing a bell, it’s as a result of that is the place Em shot her selfies for our annual swimsuit evaluate publish!) I additionally fell in love with all the classic rugs in each properties, which the design group sourced from the wonderful of us at Revival. (You recognize, in case you’re making an attempt to get this take a look at dwelling, too.) All of the rooms felt SO gentle and shiny and picked up – I cherished it.

WELCOME TO MY ROOM, also called Mark Twain’s former hang-out (it’s room quantity 2, in case you additionally need to keep right here!). Y’all, I had among the best sleeps of my LIFE on this mattress – I sprawled out within the center and awoke round 3 AM with my legs and arms absolutely stretched in each instructions. (I additionally cried after I walked in for the primary time as a result of it was SO lovely and I used to be SO excited.) There was a lot character and historical past in right here and my balcony out entrance had a full eating desk arrange – it might have been the BEST spot for a late-night group grasp if we hadn’t befriended half the city down within the Iron Door. I can’t wait to come back again once more.

It’d be such a enjoyable area to share with a associate, but it surely was additionally a GREAT room to buckle down and get some work performed. I used to be very productive in right here (thanks, spirit of Mark Twain). And stylistically…man, what a distinction some new carpet, contemporary paint, and repurposed classic items could make. A lot lighter, brighter, and layered, proper?

The loos in The Holbrooke have been additionally an absolute DELIGHT – that’s Em’s lavatory on the left and one other on the fitting. These are the unique tubs, too, which the designers refinished and re-installed. The penny tile flooring, brass accents, hits of black, and restrained colour palette made these loos really feel SO stress-free and rejuvenating. A bunch of us awoke early on Wednesday morning to take baths they usually have been great 🙂

Round midday on Wednesday, we bid adieu to the Holbrooke, hopped in a minivan, and drove about 10 minutes down the street to Nevada Metropolis and our subsequent vacation spot: The Nationwide Change Resort.

The Nationwide Change Resort – Nevada Metropolis, CA

And BOY, we have been in for a visible FEAST. If The Holbrooke is a cool, impartial, masculine little brother, The Nationwide Change (or “The Nash,” in case you’re ~within the know~) is the daring, refined, self-possessed massive sister. It opened in 1856 and on the time, it was primarily the center of the city – a serious stagecoach cease was proper exterior; it was dwelling to Nevada Metropolis’s first telegraph workplace; the USPS arrange store inside for almost 100 years.

Through the years, proprietors reworked The Nationwide to suit their wants – balconies have been added and eliminated and a FULL, HIDDEN ROOM was even found behind a brick wall in the course of a renovation. It’s AWESOME. Able to go inside???

YEAH. I KNOW. It’s actually awe-inspiring, y’all. Welcome to the foyer – these are the primary stairs on the left and the entrance desk straight forward. Get a load of the unique radiator on the fitting! Have a look at the patina on that nearly-200-year-old clock! Ogle these pill-shaped home windows and the candy double doorways! The tile flooring and wallpaper combo are simply to die for, too. Can I present you my favourite half actual fast?

These are the sconces on the wall if you transfer a bit additional into the foyer, nearer to the primary desk. They’re authentic to the property – virtually 170 years previous!!! – and I’m nonetheless principally crying on the brand on the shade. I can’t imagine one thing so delicate has lasted this lengthy, you realize?

It will have been really easy to put in writing these off and to as an alternative swap in some new lighting, however the care and a spotlight to honoring the historical past of the constructing simply speaks VOLUMES. One other instance of going the additional mile is inbound (buckle up, as a result of it’s gorgeous)…

THIS BAR. Do you see that golden texture within the entrance? These are the previous radiators from the resort, which the designers repurposed in right here. The wallpaper and tin ceiling and basic power on this area was UNMATCHED. We rolled in on a Wednesday afternoon for a bit lunch, spent a while snuggling up in a sales space collectively for a bit brainstorming (unplanned, however we have been too snug to depart!) after which returned to the Nationwide Bar later that evening for Drag Queen Bingo, which was for positive my favourite a part of the journey. (We’ll get into it extra under.)

However first: right here’s some photographic proof of us working!!! I nonetheless can’t imagine we received to be collectively in individual in such a cushty, lovely area (Sadly, Mal couldn’t be there and he or she was DEFINITELY missed!). Extra importantly, although, how nice is that fringed pendant within the window? The wallpaper is an absolute dream, too. (And people cubicles are such an incredible pop of colour – it’s a jewel field in right here.)

Now, I can’t wait to indicate you some DRAMATIC earlier than and afters – I need to present you the place we slept at evening, however first, you NEED to see what the group was working with after they kicked off the restoration in 2018…

AND, WELL, WOW. These are some BONES. (Complicated bones. Disorienting bones. However bones nonetheless!) There are some keeper items right here – like, please notice the unique mattress frames – however even I, an ardent lover of colour and wallpaper and energy clashing, can see that this resort was in determined want of a cohesive, loving hand. Buckle up and put together your self for one of the satisfying afters of all time 🙂

PHEW. It’s so significantly better, y’all. There are 38 rooms in The Nationwide Change, and every has its personal particular design. Each room is full of repurposed classic items they usually all now really feel expansive and contemporary and clear. Our rooms have been all a bit totally different – able to see?

This was Em’s room (and that’s a couple of of us, posing for a selfie in a HUGE vintage mirror). The marquetry on the classic commode subsequent to the mattress was STUNNING, and the entire room was so serene and quiet and fairly. Additionally, how nice does that mattress look towards that William Morris wallpaper? Round 4 PM on Wednesday, all of us took an hour of alone time in our rooms to relaxation and recharge our batteries – are you able to think about decompressing in right here?

That’s my room on the left and Jess’ on the fitting, and I loooooved seeing how the design group styled out wallpapers in several methods. (I additionally cherished seeing Cole & Son’s Thistle print within the wild – my kitchen and eating room wallpaper are additionally from Cole & Son, so I’m an enormous sucker for all of their patterns!)

See how they leaned right into a deeper colour palette with the inexperienced velvet and wooden in my room after which went a bit brighter with orange velvet and white nightstands in Jess’ area? It’s SUCH a far cry from the place these rooms began out and such a formidable and considerate restoration.

I additionally needed to present you this room – similar wallpaper, however in a unique colour with a completely contemporary vibe. The resort had gorgeous public areas, however leaving our little particular person oases was TOUGH. We skilled a bit little bit of climate on our journey and let me inform you: the sound of raindrops hitting the unique wavy glass home windows was SO stress-free and comforting. After all of us took a while for ourselves, we gathered as a gaggle for one more Pleased Hour design tour with Anne and Amanda, who walked us across the property and defined the historical past and the renovation course of.

And, properly, it’s simply phenomenal. This was the again staircase close to Jess’ room, and it could be my favourite transformation of your entire publish. William Morris’ Meadow Candy is among the wallpapers I eyed for my very own bed room, so I cherished seeing it protecting the hallways throughout the property. I simply can’t even think about how a lot work went into bringing The Nationwide again to life through the three-year renovation course of – like, are you able to think about stripping that white paint off every baluster? (Additionally, please notice the little sitting space on the backside of the steps – these items are all authentic to the resort, which is SO COOL.)

On the second flooring, you’ll discover this MASSIVE goldenrod sectional, a candy little bar with unbelievable stone and a beautiful ceiling (that is additionally the place breakfast is served!), and a very lovely non-public occasion room. Amanda informed us that it is a tremendous widespread spot for weddings – they will host as much as 80 – however we simply cherished lounging in right here.

This huuuuge couch was break up into zones – you may see that they peppered a couple of espresso tables and bistro tables in several areas – and it felt like such a daring and artistic various to a extra conventional, segmented seating scenario. ADORED IT. (If any one among you ever will get married at The Nash, can I come?)

After our tour, we headed downstairs for an INCREDIBLE group dinner at Lola, the in-house restaurant. We have been all blown away by this tradition lighting – it was designed by Doug Washington and it’s a SHOWSTOPPER. That two-sided banquette is much more vibrant in individual in case you can imagine it. Additionally, be certain to notice the mirror-backed sconces that line the partitions. And people Italian Chiavari vintage-style chairs, too!!! SO GOOD.

Needed to get away the iPhone photographs to actually spotlight the affect of that arched lighting, clearly – it’s lovely from the entrance and the facet. For our dinner, we sat proper in entrance of that massive window on the left and Pascal, our waiter, was SO MUCH FUN. I threw again my first-ever oyster, we laughed over steak tartare and caesar salads, and we wolfed down two orders of the perfect gnudi on the planet. I believe we ended up sitting right here for almost three hours (apologies to our fellow patrons) as a result of it was simply so pretty in right here – like Paris meets Westworld (however within the great way, like, earlier than the robots stand up). Should you’re headed to Lola for the primary time, you’re in for a GREAT time and an actual deal with.

After dinner, we headed again to the Nationwide Bar for DRAG QUEEN BINGO – it’s a joint drag present AND bingo evening, which is THE BEST IDEA IN THE WORLD. This occurs the third Wednesday of each month and I actually do not need phrases to explain how a lot enjoyable it was. I actually couldn’t (nonetheless can’t, TBH) imagine that such a good looking resort might even have SUCH an incredible restaurant and SUCH enjoyable in-house programming – like, HOW IS THIS NOT THE BIGGEST TOURIST DESTINATION? Being right here actually felt like we have been visiting the following ~scorching spot~. Get in early whilst you can! (PS. After bingo had ended, your entire bar began singing Cher’s “Imagine,” so it’s a enjoyable place it doesn’t matter what’s taking place.) Afterward, all of us dragged ourselves as much as mattress – group EHD packed quite a bit into two days! – and we ready to fly again to Portland and LA the following morning.

I gotta be sincere: leaving on Thursday was TOUGH. I needed extra time at The Nash!!! (I additionally love spending time with our group in individual, however I simply actually cherished soaking within the aesthetics of this resort. I observed one thing new each time I seemed!) I additionally needed to spend extra time gazing this couch, which was pulled straight from the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds – Em and I have been each on the third flooring, so we received to stroll previous it each time we made our solution to our rooms. Doesn’t it work so properly with that authentic gentle fixture? (And I believe all of us might have written a second publish concerning the artwork on this resort – the owl portray is a stunner, proper?)

Earlier than we depart, I simply needed to indicate you one among my favourite restoration photographs simply to focus on the dedication and energy laid forth by this group. That is the Good Morning Provide Co., positioned JUST off the foyer, and it actually speaks for itself, doesn’t it? The room on the left might have been an workplace anyplace, however the renovated area on the fitting is fairly breathtaking.

They found that vast black archway through the reworking course of (superior) and it took a group of 6 males to haul that black vault on the left from the unique foyer into this area. It’s a renovation that honors the historical past, embraces the spirit, and ensures that generations to come back will have the ability to have enjoyable behind these partitions, too.

Closing out right this moment’s novel with an image of my CUTE AND SWEET group. That’s Ryann, our new rent Sarah (everybody say “hello,” please – she’s Portland-based, a mother of two, and a lot enjoyable!), massive boss Em, and Jess. (I took this image as a result of their outfits all ~went collectively~ and I costume like a 90s-era Restricted Too retailer exploded.)

Thanks to Em for bringing us as much as Nevada Metropolis, to the Holbrooke and The Nationwide Change Lodges for being such gracious and beneficiant hosts, and to YOU for embarking on this little journey with us. I hope we made good companions along with your morning cup of espresso 🙂 Did you additionally love taking a look at this considerate, cautious, and intentional restoration? (I positive hope so!!!)

Once more – in case you’re fascinated about visiting the world, I can’t suggest these two properties sufficient. As promised, this hyperlink will seize you 20% off stays booked Sunday – Thursday PLUS a complimentary cocktail for 2 at The Nationwide Bar. The supply is legitimate by September 1, so you’ve a while to guide your journey. (The promotion is named “Emily Despatched Me,” in case you run into any bother.) Possibly we will all go collectively someday??? LET’S PLAN OUR MEETUP IN THE COMMENTS, yeah? xx

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