Orchard Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast
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Travel Blogs from Paso Robles
... rest were in dried up areas of the lake.
After a few hours hanging out here, two more of Thomas's house mates turned up in a boat they had launched further up the lake, John and Alex. So Ben got a birthday fishing trip. The fishing trip was pretty cool, and they had a tank for putting live fish in, so we could take three of the bigger bass that were caught, and take them back to the house for dinner.
Once we got back we decided to ...
Woke quite early, it's a beautiful view from the balcony with the sun on the ocean - still no whales! Rang Neal and it's raining in San Diego which upset the owner when I told him as he said it must have bypassed them & gone straight South, there's already been forest fires which are unheard of in January. Breakfast was good (apparently we should say over medium to get no 'snotty'eggs). Bit chilly when we left but ...
California is well known for its wines, and I discovered they have a wide range of varieties other than the Zinfadels and Merlots they are know for back home.
Alan and Denise took us to Paso Robles region to try some of the local wines. It was a stunning day and great to see ...
... very comfortable so we should be able to travel a greater period of the day.
Today our destination was the Hearst Castle located on the coast about half way between San Luis Obispo and Monterey. The morning drive was very brisk and at times damp. We stopped to view the ocean before entering the Hearst complex. Jean's pumped...she really wanted to see this. Many years ago we were ...
Today we said good bye to San Fransisco, but it was difficult to see. A Pea Soup fog had rolled in overnight. It made taking photo's and seeing the sights very difficult. We drove south down Highway 1. It started at the base of the GoldenGate bridge, and goes along the coast. We had to pass the golf course where the US Open is being played which really slowed us down. The traffic was ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Orchard Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast Paso Robles
Our 4th visit to Paradise
This is our 4th return to a Shangri-La retreat. The pastoral views from bedroom windows and Normandy farmhouse style make this a charming oasis from city life.
The owners are friendly but protect your privacy, and having two suites away from their main house means you own the property!
The location amongst the wineries is superb, and the gourmet breakfasts are the best. There is no TV, and no internet, which is a definite plus for romance.
The only negative is that with only two rooms, this place fills up fast on winery weekends.
Great B & B
Charming B& B in the heart of Paso Robles wine country. Separate building with two rooms w/bath share a common kitchenet and living room. Wonderful decoration, many thoughtful details. The owners have wonderful tips on where to go and what to see. Breakfast in the main house is always different with fresh fruit and juice and delightful egg and vegetable dishes. The farm is on the top of a hill with great views, fresh breezes and delightful trees and landscaping. Oh, did I mention private balcony and fireplace!
Home Away From Home
As wine lovers, we travel often to Paso Robles, and I can't imagine a more welcoming place to come "home" to after a day of wine-tasting than Orchard Hill Farm. The two cozy bedrooms, which share a common living/kitchen area, are located in a hilltop carriage house with gorgeous view. Owners Debbie and Doug Thomsen live in the nearby estate, where Debbie serves a gourmet breakfast in her dining room or in the backyard, depending upon the season. Not only is Debbie a fabulous cook, but also has insider's knowledge of the best wineries, restaurants, etc., which she happily shares with her guests. She has even gotten us tickets to concerts at nearby Castoro Vineyards at the last minute. Debbie is the consummate inkeeper: fun, personable and connected to everything you could want to do or see in the area. Her thoughtfulness shows in many ways: a refrigerator stocked with water and bottles of white and red wine; freshly baked slices of cranberry, banana or other breads to nibble on; a bathroom basket containing every possible item you might have forgotten to pack, from toothpaste to hairspray. No detail of guests' comfort is overlooked. While there are lots of lodging choices in Paso Robles, we will always return to Orchard Hill Farm for the hospitality, incredible views from the private deck, comfy beds and wonderful, welcoming hosts.
Best B&B in Paso
There are some places that make you feel so good you never want to leave. Orchard Hill farms is just such a place.
Located just 2 miles off Hwy 46 west on Vineyard Drive, you are in the heart of wine country. The B&B itself, located in a rustic building next to the main house, comes with all the amenities. The beds are extremely comfortable and both rooms have big patios facing majestic hills, vineyards and ranch. The common area has a full kitchen and living room with balcony that brings nature's beauty to view from the whole area.
Debbie Thomsen (the proprietor, along with her husband Doug) is available to offer both hospitality and advice on where to find the best of everything in the area. She will even make special arrangements for tours, tastings and dinner reservations. The breakfast itself is delicious and combines fresh locally grown seasonal products with personalized recipes. Debbie can even accommodate individual dietary requirements given advance notice. While we were there Debbie would not only prepare the meal, but would be available to answer questions on the area and offer support for our planned daily activities.
We only wished we could have stayed longer, but plan on returning often to enjoy the quiet relaxed atmosphere with a taste of the areas notable selection of wines.
Highs and Lows
My wife and I were guests at Orchard Hill 2 days mid-week late June. We had originally booked at Le Domaine, but the inn keeper there had to cancel our visit on short notice due to a family commitment. Orchard Hill was recommended as an alternative. We made contact with innkeeper Deborah Thomsen, who was most accommodating in booking our visit.
Much to our surprise, upon arriving, we learned that the Thomsens were out of town. We do not recall being told this would happen. The inn was in the care of an 'inn sitter". So much for experiencing the great hospitality others have praised here. The "stand-in" did a reasonable job, nothing to rave about. At least one commitment discussed with Ms. Thomsen during booking (i.e. arrangements for a mid-week tasting at Willow Creek Olive Farm, on a day they are not normally open), had apparently not been passed along to the inn sitter. However, the sitter was able to arrange it for us upon request on the strength of our being guests of Orchard Hill. Breakfast (served on the veranda of the Thomsen's residence, with fabulous views) on day one was good, the following day a totally inedible disaster. We are sure Ms. Thomsen does much better based on other reviews. We are vegetarians, but have never found that to present any problems for an accomplished kitchen.
The grounds and location of this B&B are gorgeous. The inn sits on the top of a hill in prime westside Paso Robles wine country. Stunning, impeccable, tranquil landscaping, awesome views out balconies (main sitting room or the Country Side Room) that go on forever over vineyards, fields, wide open spaces. And quiet, very quiet, well away from highway, road noise, farm noise, etc. Photos posted by others here do an excellent job showing views from the Fireside Room and the balcony off the main sitting room.
We had the good luck to have the place to ourselves for our 2 day mid-week stay. Had we had to share the facility with strangers in the other room, it would have been a totally different, and most likely very unpleasant experience. Both bedrooms are immediately adjacent to the main sitting room (kitchenette, fireplace, CD stereo, etc.). The door to our Fireside Room bedroom was right at the top of the main stairwell that serves the entire guest house. The common wall between this bedroom and the kitchenette of the main sitting room is behind the bed headboard. Had another couple been there, the noise from guests coming and going, using the main sitting room, using the kitchenette, etc. would have been impossible to avoid. The unique privacy we enjoyed would simply not happen with others guests in the other room. Even the most considerate guests would not be able to avoid some disturbing of others given the overall arrangement of the rooms and the sitting area.
Our room was well decorated, very nice large bathroom, lots of decorator touches, albeit the room itself felt cramped. Perhaps too much decorating in too little space. Other reviewers have loved the beds here. Bedding was very high quality, but we found the bed to be lumpy, uncomfortable, and not very enjoyable at all. We've slept much better elsewhere. Unlike the high quality bedding, the bath towels seemed institutional grade, downright sandpapery.
So, overall, not the experience we'd hoped for. On the negative side, the surprise absence of the real hosts, the very bad sleep in the bed we couldn't adjust to, and the truly inedible day 2 breakfast, soured the overall experience. But, on the major plus side, having the place to ourselves, with late night sitting on the balcony off the main sitting area, sipping wine and watching the sunset and then star gazing, was magical and ultra romantic. Weather was perfect, stars were dazzling, the quiet went on forever. Well recommended IF (1) the Thomsens are in residence and have not brought in a "stand-in", and (2) you have the place to yourself.
Fabulous Orchard Hill Farm
We just returned from a long weekend in Paso Robles, staying at Orchard Hill Farm. Orchard Hill is the best kept secret of Paso Robles. The Thomsens' hospitality was fabulous - warm, welcoming and unobtrusive. Both Debbi and Doug pride themselves on knowing the area and going the extra step to help find just what you are looking for. The accomodations are elegant but comfortable and if you like antiques you will enjoy looking at all of Debbi's finds which are throughout the carriage house and on the grounds of Orchard Hill. Breakfasts were delicious and not the run of the mill B & B fare. Plan a get-away and stay with the Thomsens at Orchard Hill Farm.
Tranquil Getaway in California's Secret Wine Country
Orchard Hill Farm in the heart of Tuscany-like Paso Robles wine country is a delightfully decorated two-bedroom bed-and-breakfast, perfect for those who want to get away from it all and relax. Situated at the top of rolling hills with views of vineyard-covered hills, woods, farms, and the owner's gardens, it's quiet and beautiful, yet only minutes from wineries and fine restaurants. The owner, Debbie, is an interior designer by profession, so expect nicely tasteful and artfully arranged light country decor that's both elegant and simple. Each bedroom has its own full bath, and decks with wonderful views. There's a common room with gas fireplace, sitting area, dining area, and a kitchenette that includes a full-sized refrigerator and stove-top burners.
Debbie is generous to a fault. Expect small touches that make a huge difference to your enjoyment. Fresh flowers in the rooms and common areas, truffles in each room, wonderfully comfortable beds, delightful soaps, and complimentary bottles of wine from local wineries. Debbie is also a delightful, talkative hostess, ready to share the wonders and secrets of Paso with you in order to make your visit a true pleasure. She told us about a lovely country walk off the beaten path that was just a joy to discover, and she'll happily point you to some of her favorite local establishments and restaurants.
Debbie prepares a full breakfast each morning, serving fresh juices, excellent, powerfully strong coffee, fruit and berries (often served in tall, stemmed glasses), breads, and a main dish. Breakfast can be served in the carriage house where the bedrooms are, outdoors on the decks, in one of the gardens, or even on the verandah or in the main dining room of the main house where Debbie lives with her husband Doug. Breakfast is a feast for the eyes and the mouth, beautifully presented each day, a wonderful way to start the day! Debbie clearly loves to entertain and her attention to her guests is superb, friendly, and inviting. Go to Orchard Hill Farm. You'll be glad you did!
Loved Orchard Hill Farms
What a great place! This place has it all. Wonderful views of the surrounding vineyards from your private balconies, privacy (the accomodations are separate from the main house with only two units and a large shared area), a great hostess who loves to share her knowledge of the surrounding area (she steered us to some wonderful restaurants, wineries, etc. and we spent a very pleasant two hours with her each morning over a delicious breakfast), and very comfortable beds. You really feel like you are out in the country at the farm yet you are only a few miles away from wineries, restaurants, and a 20 minute drive to the coast. We passed by many other Inns and B&Bs in our travels through the area, and while they all looked appealing, I can't think of one that I would have preferred to stay at than the Orchard Hill Farm. I hope to return there some day.
Having been to Napa, I much prefer the quiet winding roads and more understated (but excellent) wineries of the Paso Robles area.
Great weekend getaway from Los Angeles area -- or anywhere!
We just spent a few delightful days at Orchard Hill Farm bed and breakfast in the Paso Robles wine region. The lovely guest house was perfect for our party of four. Our hosts, Deborah and Doug Thomsen could not have been nicer, or more accomodating. They treated us like friends, not just customers. Attached is a copy of an email I sent to Doug and Deborah. Hopefully, it will encourage others to try this lovely establishment.
(Copy of my email to Orchard Hill Farm:)
I bought a nice card to send you -- lovely photographs of the wine country -- but here it sits on my desk. I'm afraid the art of actually writing may be leaving me. Please forgive.
We had such a great time at your charming bed and breakfast. The location was perfect, the weather cooperated, the guest house was lovely -- and our hosts could not have been nicer. We will remember our short stay with you for many years, and hope to have the opportunity to visit you again.
Thanks again for all your kindnesses: reservations at Zin Alley (our very favorite!), the complementary wines, dessert at McPhee's, your great suggestions for lunch and dinner -- and for the fabulous breakfasts. You certainly started our trip on a high note. Thanks also to Doug for the recommendation to Belvedere -- it was delightful.
Best Kept Secret in California.
Orchard Hill Farm and its proprietors, Debbie and Doug is absolutely fantastic, and is a shining example what a greatest bed & breakfasts have to offer.
Orchard Hill Farm is a 2 room bed & breakfast in the heart of the wine country just outside of Paso Robles in central / southern California. Each room has it's own balcony and spacious full bath. There is a very large common area with full kitchen, fridge, fireplace, and large dining table. The rooms are comfortably and tastefully furnished in an eclectic style that incorporates elements of southwest, californian, and midwestern design. Each room can be rented individually, or rent out the entire place for more privacy. This b&b sits on top of a coach house separate from the main manor house, so you'll have plenty of privacy, and no worries about disturbing the owner if you like to stay up late. There's an outside seating area and a fire pit, and plenty of room for parking.
The estate is on a large fenced & gated lot a few miles from Paso Robles, and about 30 minutes from Cambria & the California coast. It is situated on the top of a hill overlooking vineyards, pastureland and an orchard, well away from the highway & cities. There's plenty of peace and quiet, and a great view of the stars at night. It is common to see quail and other game birds wandering the property, as well as finches, woodpeckers, and other brightly colored birds. The local attractions include Hearst Castle, shopping, and wine tasting.
You won't find any better hosts than the proprietors, Debbie and Doug. Debbie prepares a wonderful breakfast for you in the manor house to get your day started off on the right track. Usually breakfast features creative contemporary cuisine like ham & cheese croissants, or a quiche, with juice, coffee, fruit & fruit pastry for dessert (though she will happily prepare an alternate breakfast for those with special needs). Debbie is more than happy to share advice on where the best local restaraunts & wineries can be found, and is always in the know on what is going on in Paso Robles. Complimentary bottles of local wine, beverages, pastries and fresh flowers are also included with your stay.
I first read about Orchard Hill farm in a book on the best places to stay in California. I took my wife there for our anniversary and we've gone back there yearly for the last 3 or 4 years, and plan to keep going back every year. Orchard Hill Farm is indeed one of the best places to stay in CA. Unfortunately for us, someday the secret will really start to get out.
Paso Robles itself is great as well. There are many excellent wineries (Paso is famous for great reds... dry red zinfandels) in Paso, most with inexpensive or no tasting fees. I've visited all of the major wine growing areas in California, and Paso is by far the best for the following reasons; 1. unpretentious, 2. excellent & experienced wineries, 3. beautiful countryside veiws, 4. great & reasonably priced restaraunts 5. no huge crowds. 6. good shopping for the missus. Paso Robles is today what Napa and Sonoma might have been 20 years ago... an absolute gem, and one of the most relaxing places to visit in California. Couple that with Orchard Hill Farm and it makes for one excellent getaway.
A few parting notes about staying in Paso;
1. Go taste at the following places; Eberle, Le Cuvier, Castoro, Carmody-McKnight. Many of the other 120 Paso wineries are excellent as well, but those 4 definitely stand out.
2. Visit Pasolivo (Willow Creek Olive Ranch) if you are staying over the weekend. Joeli is a great hostess, and their olive oil is excellent.
3. If you feel like driving to Cambria, eat at the Brambles dinner house. Amazing service every time, excellent food and wine selections. Call for reservations.