You know that feeling when you walk into a room where you’ll be staying for the night, and you have an irrepressible urge to hop and down, silently squeal, clap your hands, high-five each other, and use everything in the room as soon as humanly possible because you simply can’t believe your luck?
Well, that’s what I did as soon as I saw the Inn Paradiso bed & breakfast in Paso Robles, California.
And when I had to leave? I contemplated hiding in a closet so no one would find me and make me go home.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that when I’m traveling as part of a couple, I especially love to stay at bed & breakfasts or small inns. I like inhabiting a space that’s been decorated with personal touches like travel souvenirs, or has a theme that has important meaning to the proprietors. I like having afternoon snacks and beverages at my disposal, meeting other couples at breakfast, sipping coffee that’s been brewed in small batches, and the general peace and quiet of a place that only has a few other rooms.
So, when Inn Paradiso invited me and my (then-)boyfriend to stay a night with them during our long weekend in Paso Robles, it seemed a great fit. As it turned out, it also was a great fit.
Owned by an artsy married couple who long ago left Los Angeles for the antique-hunting paradise of Paso, this is a relaxing ramble of a place, a kooky 1970s version of an art nouveau farmhouse (y’know, if art nouveau farmhouses had actually been a thing). Only a few minutes away from downtown and tucked off the road in a suburban, residential neighborhood, it sprawls across a graceful lawn of low-water gardens, quiet enough to hear the trickling of a stone fountain and breeze through the pepper trees.
True, there are Paso Robles lodgings with more convenient locations. The Paso Robles Inn and Hotel Cheval are right around the main square downtown, and the SummerWood Inn is right on Highway 46, near several wineries. But here you get the sense of being a world away, tucked up in a shaded hammock with some complimentary reposado tequila or quite possibly having the great big pool all to yourselves.
But the number one reason that Inn Paradiso would be my choice for a romantic weekend in Paso Robles? The guest rooms. Drenched in soft light, our enormous Carlo Molino Suite had a big comfy four-poster bed, squooshy pillows, furry rug by the gas fireplace, brushed-stone shower the size of my long-ago New York City apartment, and in the center of the action, a whirlpool tub for two. The his-and-her cotton robes are gorgeous and the herbed bath salts house-made, so once we came in through our private back entrance after an afternoon of wine tasting, I’d say it took us, oh, about 15 minutes to make a bubbly bath happen.
The outdoor balconies allow achingly clear views of the stars at night, and the indoor balcony, which looks over the living and dining rooms, might just inspire you to pretend to be Evita and Juan Perón, greeting your Argentine subjects from on high. (Or…maybe that was just us.) It’s 10 minutes to the restaurants of downtown Paso, five minutes to the Woodland Plaza shopping center, and two minutes away, there are walking trails through a public park.
Healthy breakfasts use herbs and produce from local farmers and the on-site gardens, and you might want to take a to-go cup of their rich coffee with you as you head off to explore Paso Robles. But you also might want to just stay put for awhile, relaxing your way from one little snuggling nook to another, basking in sun, shade and back again.
I’m excited to have discovered this special place, and I hope to stay here again.
If you do, I ask only one thing:
Please take a swing on the hammock for me?
The Inn Paradiso has four guest suites, which range from $290-400
and include breakfast, tequila and room snacks
My stay at Inn Paradiso was provided free of charge by
website BedandBreakfast.com and the inn’s proprietors.
However, all opinions, observations and silent squealing,
are unsolicited — and my very own.