Are you searching for Paso Robles hotels? How about a “Bed and Breakfast” in Paso Robles that is away from the crowded downtown, but close enough to the wineries to enjoy tastings? This was exactly the kind of place we were looking for when we stumbled upon High Ridge Manor. It’s a B&B under new ownership that checked off all of our boxes. And while there were definitely some hiccups along the way, it’s a place worth exploring.
High Ridge Manor is near the top of High Ridge Road, and it has stunning views of the valley below it. When we arrived, we were the only guests, and it was like having our own private estate. We booked the VIP room (aka The Grand Manor Suite) for the first two nights and planned to move to one of the smaller rooms for the weekend. However, we were upgraded to stay in the VIP suite over the weekend in celebration of our honeymoon.
This was no small decadence for us. The bathroom had a massive jetted tub and gorgeous shower, the room was very large for a Bed and Breakfast, and we had a private jacuzzi on the balcony just outside of our room. There was also a fireplace in the room, but it wasn’t working (and after the first night, it was too hot to want to use it). We did finally manage to figure out how to fire up the jacuzzi (it’s on propane, so the heating up process was a bit slower, and it helped enormously to leave the top on as it heated). Relaxing in there was a huge bonus, particularly for the first few nights when we didn’t have to worry about other guests wandering along the balcony that connected our side of the B&B with the rest of the place.
There is always someone on staff to make breakfast for you, but the weekend saw the arrival of the owner and the B&B’s chef, Brianna. She was truly a gem. Every meal was amazing. While we expected breakfast, we were surprised to learn that they also offer Saturday night dinner on the wide balcony under the stars (price not included in stay, but very reasonable if you want to indulge). She also routinely made treats for the Happy Hour/Owner’s Reception every night (at no additional charge). I probably gained all the weight back I lost during the wedding week eating there, but it was so worth it.
A word about the Happy Hour/Owner’s Reception – we really enjoyed that particular perk of the place. When it was quiet, and we were the only guests, they actually brought the bottle wine and nibbles to our room to enjoy. When the big party of guests arrived for the weekend, it took on a more festive, Hollywood atmosphere (aided by the arrival of a Real Housewife), and it involved a lot more wine and food (including flatbread pizza made in their wood-fired oven).
The owner and everyone who worked there had suggestions for us about places to try, wine to sample and possible experiences in the area. In fact, two of the suggested wineries, Still Waters and Sarzotti were two of our favorite wineries in Paso Robles.
Was it all perfect? With all changes in ownership, there come quirks. One of the running jokes of the weekend was “Do I own this?” when the owner happened upon something on the property. It feels like things might have fallen into disuse before they took over, and they are just now getting everything up and running.
Also, I’m not sure I’m a “Bed and Breakfast” person. On the one hand, the rooms are gorgeous, and the food was amazing. On the other hand, when the big group of people (who all knew each other) arrived for the weekend, it suddenly felt like we were part of someone else’s party in someone else’s home. And little things like our area of the balcony not being blocked off for privacy added to that – I know it seems small, but it’s weird when someone takes a business cell phone call right in front of your sliding door, and I didn’t feel super comfortable jumping into the hot tub (even in a bathing suit) with a big group of people standing a couple of yards away.
While the people who own the place try to blend when it is quiet, it’s hard not to be aware that you are in someone else’s home. This doesn’t hit me when I’m in a larger hotel, but it definitely does when I’m in a B&B (this has been true of the other three I’ve stayed in), probably because of the more intimate surroundings. Also, the alcohol that flows in a town like Paso Robles can create a party-with-strangers atmosphere.
So, would I go to High Ridge Manor again? Yes, I probably would. It’s in a lovely spot, the room was very nice, and Brianna’s food was a delight. But I also think I’d go in with a better idea of what to expect should we once again be part of a larger party. And I might choose to go off-season.
How about you? Does High Ridge Manor sound like it is up your alley? Are you a “Bed and Breakfast” person?