Here in Bakersfield, we’re just a stone’s throw from the expansive and beautiful Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest. The wilderness buff in you might be thinking we’re about to suggest you explore the woods, try rugged outdoor activities, and camp in a tent on the ground. Think again! There are two very high-end options for traveling into the woods.
A Star-Studded Chateau
Picture this: an actual castle hidden right outside Fresno in Oakhurst (just on the outskirts of Yosemite and Sierra National Forest). As you can imagine, a place like that would be often frequented by a long list of celebrities. But A-listers aren’t the only ones who’ve been clammoring for a room; people from across the country are raving about their stay at the five-star Hotel Château du Sureau.
The founder and former chef of Hotel Château du Sureau, Erna Kubin-Clanin, created the design of the rooms and gardens on the entire nine acre establishment. She hand-picked antiques to accompany her art collection/collectables shipped from Europe for the interior design of her castle in the hills.
Each of the 10 luxurious rooms has its own fireplace and is named after herbs including the Rosemary Room which is decorated in green or the Lavender Room with purple decor. The furniture is from Provence, art is from the 1800s, and a canopy bed, armoire, desk, and sofa chairs add that extra charm to each room.
The small touches are what Kubin-Clanin prides herself in; the fresh flowers and fruit throughout the premises, Austrian sweet bread in each room, hand-painted murals in the grand salon, and various items brought in from Europe to make it feel like a chateau from a faraway destination.
The Villa Sureau (the VIP executive suite) is secluded in the back with gates for privacy as well as security. Equipped with two bedrooms, a kitchenette, and a grand salon, there is also a Jacuzzi in a private garden exclusively for Villa guests, which have included Robert De Niro, Brooke Shields, Tyra Banks, Barbara Streisand, Brad Pitt, and the Osbournes.
The world renowned Erna’s Elderberry House has three dining areas, designed with the same European elegance. Dine with classical music in the background, crystal glasses, surrounded by deep rose-colored walls decorated with a European flair. The artfully inspired dishes are prepared by Jonathon Perkins who prepares six courses with wine pairing and dietary options.
Last year Erna’s received the Lifetime Achievement award at The Best of the Valley Awards for the California Restaurant Association Fresno Chapter and the Most Romantic Restaurant and Best of Fine Dining. The Restaurant and Château receives the AAA Five Diamond awarding along with the Forbes Five Star at the Château and Forbes Four Star rating at Erna’s Elderberry House. To make your reservation today, call (559) 683-6860.
A Lodge Like No Other
We can’t imagine that wouldn’t suit your fancy, but if Château de Sureau isn’t exactly your taste, there are plenty of lovely wilderness lodging options that don’t require a sleeping bag and a lean-to.
Approximately 20 minutes down the road from the Château, heading north towards Yosemite, visitors will stumble across Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, an all-season resort with a wide range of recreational activities. The lodge just so happens to be adjacent to Yosemite National Park’s south gate at an elevation of 5,288 feet. Offering 302 rooms, suites, and mountain cottage accommodations with easy access to Yosemite’s attractions, it has something for every traveler.
Since it is only two miles from the park, guests can rent bikes on the property to enjoy the lush scenery while riding to Yosemite or on challenging mountain trails by the Lodge.
There is something to do every season, from summer biking, hiking, fishing, and swimming to winter sledding, sleigh rides, and snowshoeing. Designed for kids in particular, snowmobiling, snowshoe hikes, ice skating, rock climbing, and an all-ages archery class has been added to the list of fun.
An outdoor pool with a separate adult and kid area including a splash/squirt zone was built in recent years for extra thrills. Also during the summer months, Tenaya hosts its Summer BBQ, Tuesday through Saturday, equipped with country bands and s’mores.
The Lodge just celebrated its 25th anniversary so out with the old and in with the new. The $5.2 million renovation project has the projected goal of bringing a more contemporary look while keeping the rustic lodge feel. Wood panels added throughout the halls and 42 cabins were put in, as well, and each room was modernized and updated throughout.
In the summer of 2017, they plan on offering a zip line course on the property. For more outdoor excitement, one of our National monuments is in close proximity; it is a 40-minute drive to the Yosemite Valley Floor.
There are multiple dining options from casual to candlelight. Embers is the finest dining establishment. It is only open for special occasions and events and holidays. The double-sided fireplace is a focal point in the intimate dining experience. It’s for adults only. There is also Sierra Restaurant which offers great food and a relaxing, family-friendly Yosemite dining experience. Jackalope’s Bar & Grill is next door which serves made-to-order grilled burgers, sandwiches, specialty salads, and heart-healthy, gluten-free, and vegan options as well. Plus a full bar for guests to enjoy. For more information, visit TenayaLodge.com or call (559) 683-6555.
When you want to get out of town, do it in style near Yosemite.