Skyview Hotel in Los Alamos - I like you (a lot)
You ever have one of those “if i don’t step out of my life for 24 hours I may lose my mind and smack a stranger” moments? No? Well I do. And I had one of them this past week. Maybe it was when my neighbor’s dog showed me the fresh rat he had found (caught?) while I was dog sitting. Maybe it was when I had to call and follow up on 3 different checks I had yet to receive (ah the life of a freelancer). Perhaps it was when slipped and whacked my shin on the coffee table while stalking the 10 millionth house fly dive bombing my house. Which ever it was, I cracked. I needed to get away. Just for a night.
So I hopped in the car and headed north. Mind you, I am not a big road-tripper. I went to college in San Francisco and spent a lot of time on the 5 between LA and SF. I think it made me hate being in the car for longer than a few hours. Luckily, The Skyview Hotel is a mere 2 1/2 hours from LA in Los Alamos, CA. I actually stopped in Solvang along the way (yay Danish Pancakes!) and it broke up the drive nicely.
Ok so the Skyview is friggin’ adorable. You see it’s vintage Motel sign up on a hill as you get off the highway.
When you pull up to the lobby at the top of the hill, you get your first glimpse of the view. It’s surrounded by the rolling hills of the San Ynez Valley. It was so breezy and peaceful, perfect for me as cranky was just setting in from the drive. Checking in I was greeted by Chris, who was super nice and let me check in a little early (yay!). The place has the layout of an old school motel where all the rooms face inward in a little oval. The courtyard itself has a path running up the middle that is dotted with succulents, small tress and wildflowers. On either side, there are big umbrellas, deck chairs and fire pits. I love fire pits!
My room was very nicely appointed with minimally rustic decor. Super cute finishing touches like a funky little stuffed animal on the bed and a mini bar tray with designer chocolate, chips and tequila. The best part was my private deck overlooking the vineyards and hills. It has it’s own fire pit! And an outdoor shower! I did not partake but I’m sure it’s glorious. I mean, look at the view!
After a quick field trip up to Presqu’ile Winery (totally worth it. Gorgeous with breathtaking views of the valley and really good wine) I headed back to sit by the pool. It has a Palm Springs vibe, with a full bar, comfy double chaise lounges and great chill music. The pool is heated and, lucky for me, I had it all to myself (one of the benefits of staying mid-week off season).
I tore myself away long enough to have a quick dinner in town. I could have had dinner at Norman, the Skyview’s restaurant which serves fresh California fare and an impressive selection of wines, but I felt like I needed to branch out down the road. Los Alamos feels like old west meets wine country. There is a handful of top notch restaurants ( Pico, Bell’s, Bob’s Well Bread) along with some funky antique stores. I see this town getting “discovered” by the big city crowds as it definitely has a cool-kids vibe in the making.
After dinner at Pico (delicious and boozy…2 glasses of wine and I’m done), I took my buzz, my fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and myself back to The Skyview to enjoy a few minutes of fire pit time under the stars (so many st before turning in.
The next morning I grabbed a cup of coffee from the lobby (free breakfast treats too) and sat on my deck to take in the view one more time before departure. I felt restored and renewed, the not-so-pleasant memories of my daily life erased. My little “getawaycation” (it’s a word I made up) gave me exactly what I needed with pleasant treats and surprises along the way. I’ll definitely be back. Perhaps a girlie wine weekend? The Skyview will be great for that too.