Romance and a touch of Tuscany in…Placerville! By SHARON PENNY
If you are looking for a romantic getaway or a mid-week respite but just don’t have the time to travel to the beach or the mountains, look no further than the fabulous Eden Vale Inn in the foothills near Placerville. Tucked away off the main roads but easily accessible, this B & B will surprise you from the minute you drive in. Originally a hay barn built in 1919, the structure then became a home and continued it’s evolution in 2006 when Mark & Gayle Hamlin purchased it, thus beginning its quest to become the unique inn it is today. Mark and Gayle are the ultimate experts on the history of the Inn and the surrounding area. They are quick to suggest places to hike, bike, swim, dine, shop and wine taste. But the property itself offers so much that you might find it difficult to venture out! The mix of rustic and ultra modern is everywhere – from the original building with it’s gorgeous stone fireplace and rough sawn beams of the main house (you have to see it, I can’t do it justice in print!) – to the chic and romantic guest rooms. Each of the seven rooms is unique. All are modern, supremely comfortable and luxuries abound. Each room has a computerized lighting system – some with a button marked “romance”. Push that and lights dim to be replaced by the flickering fire. Nice touch. We stayed in one of the ‘Penthouse’ rooms called the Madrone Room. With a view of the beautiful swimming pond, surrounding foothills, and the gorgeous firepit where you can chat with other guests, this room is the largest at the Inn. We had a table and chairs outside our door and a bottle of local red wine waiting for us complements of Mark & Gayle. There’s a kitchenette between the two penthouse rooms for use by both. Afterall, we did need a refrigerator to keep our bubbly cold! What’s a romantic getaway without champagne? Enjoy your Champagne while relaxing in your outdoor (and oh so private) soaking tub. Don’t forget to pour in the lemon verbena bath salts made locally. Ahhh.
The beautiful gardens surrounding the Inn are extensive and have been meticulously nurtured over the years by Gayle. There are benches and fountains tucked away throughout the property. A great time to take a stroll through the gardens is after enjoying the sumptuous breakfast personally planned by Gayle. You can dine indoors or out on one of the many decks. Much of the food came from Gayle’s garden or locally sourced. There is even a warm and inviting on-site spa studio where you can be pampered with single or couples massages and facials. Just book ahead for spa services. After experiencing this jewel in Placerville, I guarantee two things: first, you will have had one of the most pleasurable experiences a B & B can offer, and second, you’ll be back!