The INNside Scoop

Dedicated to the Discovery of Bed & Breakfast Getaways


July 2007


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Inn at Occidental—

 A Merger of Whimsy and Elegance


  As far as the eye can see, vineyards stretch across the pastoral landscape on each side of the road we are traveling upon—a road lazily meandering through picturesque wine valleys of California’s magnificent Sonoma County. Row after row of grape vines, dressed in verdant foliage, evoke a sense of awe against the backdrop of a sky bathed in rich nuances of lavender and cantaloupe-colored hues. Eventually, the road becomes narrow and even more circuitous as we cruise through a tunnel of shadowy, towering redwoods.
       Rounding the last curve, Malyssa—my daughter and associate editor—and I find ourselves in the artsy, quaint, and intriguing hamlet of Occidental.


}Luxurious surroundings and creative whimsy blend in making Inn at Occidental a B&B experience guests yearn to repeat in California’s famed, quintessential wine country.~



The sun is setting as we spot our destination, prominently perched  afar upon a hill in the distance. Even from afar, one glance convinces us that this inn will provide us with an extraordinary B&B experience. Yet, even our lofty expectations are surpassed over and over again during our stay.         

           Strolling through the inn’s walled courtyard, laid with flagstones and adorned with over-sized roses, we hear the soothing sound of water trickling from a triple-tiered fountain. We sense this floral Shangri-la is only a hint of the delights awaiting us once we enter the inn, one which has been a long-time recipient of AAA’s coveted Four Diamond Award.

          After being shown to our luxuriant suite, one overlooking the Edenic courtyard below, we return to the sitting room for samplings of local wines and cheeses. 


The only problem we encounter is deciding where we want to sit as we indulge–the alluring sitting room or the veranda bedecked with comfortable rocking chairs and colorful plants. The weather is cool, and so we opt to sit in  the living room next to the fireplace.

           Decorated with bold colors and enhanced with whimsical folk art, the living room is a treasure trove evoking exclamations of delight at every turn. Capturing the essence of the inn, this is a room which reflects high-style, impeccable taste, and sophistication. Yet, it creatively weaves in touches of whimsy capable of arousing a sense of fun-loving playfulness adults too often suppress.

          At The Inn at Occidental, breakfast is more of an event than just another meal. Served in the inn’s attractive Wine Cellar dining room at individual tables, breakfast is truly a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. The culinary experience begins with custom-blended coffee (tea and hot chocolate are also available), homemade granola, fresh fruit, and a tasty pastry. A mouth-watering hot entrée completes the meal, leaving little room for the homemade cookies available for guests a short while later.

        The amicable owners / innkeepers, Jerry and Tina Wolsborn, are the driving force behind this ultimate bed and breakfast inn. The Wolsborns, along with their well-trained staff, are knowledgeable about the area and provide excellent suggestions for scheduling varied activities. Detailed itineraries are also recommended online.

         Malyssa and I both fall in love with California’s Sonoma County and all of its many offerings–from the resplendent vineyards and orchards to the spectacular cliffs and beaches of the Pacific coast. One day we hope to return to this compelling area where things to do and places to see abound. When we do, The Inn at Occidental is where we want to stay. But next time, we hope our stay will be a longer one. 

Strong Points

         Hospitality plus, location & setting, magnificent garden, creative attention-to-detail, designer décor and furnishings, original folk art & antiques, gourmet breakfast / evening hors d'oeuvres served w/local wines / homemade cookies and beverages, impressive amenities (including fine linens and down-filled comforters), well-lit onsite parking, individual climate control, fireplaces and spa tubs available, hosts weddings / special events / retreats, in-room telephones, handicap-accessible guest room, guest office w/laptop & printer, private porches or balconies available, concierge services, WiFi, special discounts & creative packages, fresh flowers, background music, hot tub, robes, TV on request.



INN:  Inn at Occidental
3657 Church St.
Occidental CA 95465
TEL: 1-800-522-6324
18 rooms w/pb, 3 suites, & a 2 bedroom cottage w/kitchen
BREAKFAST: Full gourmet
RATES: $199-$349
INNside Scoop’s Rating of Inn:  ***
Recommended Area Restaurants: 
*** Bistro des Copains