Newly-Revamped Hotels to Visit in 2024
The new year inevitably invites thoughts of renewal and transformation. For inspiration toward that goal, why not stay at a newly revamped B&B or boutique hotel? After all, if properties with rich histories and reputations can reimagine themselves, why can’t we? In the spirit of “out with the old, in with the new,” here are six California inns that have experienced impressive glow-ups and can’t wait to show you their fresh new faces.
Gosby House Inn
Drawing inspiration from prohibition-era speakeasies and Pacific Grove’s storied past, the Gosby House Inn was thoughtfully reimagined and fully revamped in Spring 2023. Led by Indigo Coast Design, the sweeping renovation of the 1887 Victorian extended to all 22 guest rooms and common spaces, blending old-world charm with a modern aesthetic. The renovation stripped away the inn’s heavy floral patterns to allow the eye to focus on its beautiful architectural details. The handsome new interiors feature custom-made furnishings, curated vintage artwork, modern lighting, and rich textiles in leather, houndstooth, tweed, and plaid. The guest rooms retain many of the inn’s beautiful antiques, including the vintage armoires and headboards. But each of the rooms also now offers Tivoli Bluetooth audio players, 45” televisions, coffeemakers, and small refrigerators. In addition, the rooms feature integrated USB ports for charging devices. On the main floor, the front parlor was completely reimagined as a warm and inviting speakeasy. Renamed the Beaumont Room, it features soulful lighting, leather seating, vintage accents, a prominent black and brass herringbone-tiled fireplace, and high-top bar tables overlooking downtown Pacific Grove.
Green Gables Inn
Enjoy the oceanfront views of the Monterey Bay in style at the newly revamped Green Gables Inn in Pacific Grove. The iconic Victorian mansion completed an extensive transformation of its guestrooms and common spaces in 2023, redefining the Pacific Grove experience and adding a new level of sophistication to this oceanfront property. The redesign, led by Indigo Coast Design, sought to reflect the natural beauty of the sea while restoring the inn’s treasured architectural details. All 11 guestrooms were renovated with a serene, coastal-inspired color palette and paired with contemporary furnishings. The rooms feature new flooring, window treatments, bedding, and white-washed walls and furniture. Restoration of the historic architectural elements included the original stained-glass windows flanking the fireplace and the intricate crown molding trim, medallions, and unique cornices throughout the inn. In perhaps the most stunning aspect of the redesign, old carpeting in the oceanfront parlor room was torn up to reveal the Victorian’s original maple hardwood floors. New maple wood floors extend into the dining room, which was also updated with tonal textured wall coverings, a fully stocked beverage center, marble countertops, and aged brass accents. Reoriented tables ensure every guest can enjoy the stunning ocean views over breakfast.
Drift Santa Barbara
In Downtown Santa Barbara, a three-story Mediterranean-style building that had been closed to the public for decades has been transformed into a welcoming hotel with compact rooms and a hip, modern vibe. The building had previously operated as a hotel for 80 years before The Church of Scientology purchased it in the 1990s and closed it off to the public. With the help of Anacapa Architecture, the new owners have breathed new life into the building, opening the 45-room Drift Santa Barbara in 2023 as a modern incarnation of the hotel that once operated on-site. While the building’s white stucco exteriors, arched windows, and red-tiled roofs were mostly kept intact, the interiors were designed for a new generation of travelers. Inside, a striking, minimalist aesthetic pairs concrete and wood with handcrafted furnishings. The compact rooms offer built-in furniture to maximize space. On the third floor, a penthouse suite features a lounge and a private balcony with a fire pit overlooking State Street. On the ground floor, folding glass doors open from the street into the hotel’s airy coffee shop and vibrant cocktail bar, inviting both locals and visitors inside.
The Viking Inn
In Solvang, a 100-year-old motor lodge received a welcome refresh last year. Located at the west entrance to town, the Viking Motel was steeped in history, but the property was showing its age. The motel’s new owners quickly got to work on updating the rooms and giving the exteriors a facelift. They also updated the branding, changing the name to “The Viking Inn.” The goal was to provide Solvang visitors with an affordable lodging option with clean, simple rooms and a modern Danish vibe. They replaced the flooring, upgraded the bedding and furnishings, and installed new bathroom tile and fixtures in every room. Taking advantage of under-utilized outdoor space, they added outdoor seating and a fire pit with new landscaping. A month into their work, they received a phone call from a producer for Magnolia/Discovery+ and were asked to participate in the first season of the show “Motel Rescue.” The crew spent seven days renovating the inn’s largest room (now the “King Suite”) and adding touches to the outdoor spaces. Stays at the inn now include pastries from a local Danish bakery, complimentary bikes, and a 2-for-1 tasting passport for over 25 tasting rooms, breweries, and wine bars in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Fess Parker Wine Country Inn
Nestled in the bucolic town of Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn has long been a destination for luxurious wine-country getaways. The family-owned boutique hotel was first acquired by the beloved late actor Fess Parker and his wife Marcella in 1998. The third generation of the Fess Parker family now manages the hotel and just completed an extensive renovation in 2023. Designed by Oliva Villaluz, all 19 rooms and suites were thoughtfully updated to blend contemporary finishes with natural elements for a refined and rustic aesthetic. The renovations included new hardwood floors, shiplap in every bathroom, wrought iron four-poster beds, fireplaces in every room, and elegant soft goods. A mostly neutral color palette serves as the backdrop to a mix of luxe finishes like velvet and leather with brass accents and occasional pops of color. Each room and suite at the hotel offers its own unique charm, ranging from cozy rooms perfect for a romantic getaway to spacious suites. In addition to the renovations, the inn introduced new amenities including a sparkling wine welcome upon arrival and a complimentary daily breakfast in the revamped breakfast room.
Kenwood Inn & Spa
In June 2023, the Kenwood Inn & Spa completed a sweeping, multi-million-dollar renovation, elevating an already captivating property into one of the most indulgent retreats in Sonoma’s Valley of the Moon. Led by Indigo Coast Design, the redesign pairs soft, supple textiles in creamy hues with rich dark woods, pops of jewel tones, and botanical elements to create a refined, tranquil atmosphere. Thoughtfully curated in-room amenities include silent mini-fridges, Tivoli Bluetooth audio players, Illy espresso machines, and integrated USB ports. The pinnacle of luxury can be found in the Tuscany Suite, which offers sweeping views of the pool and vineyard beyond, a private balcony, a separate sitting room with a fireplace, and a spa-inspired bathroom with an oversized, freestanding tub. In addition to the rooms, the inn’s lush grounds and common spaces received a makeover as well. On the south side of the property, the waterfall wall of the adults-only warming pool was resurfaced with a natural white stone. New cabanas with couples’ loungers were added along the pool’s edge. Other enhancements include two new fire pits, a water fountain, and remodeled cabanas by the main pool. In addition, a newly revamped wine bar hosts a daily wine hour and tasting courtesy of local vintners, complete with a cheese and charcuterie pairing.