Fortunate Misfortune A review of Clocktower Inn Hotel
My wife and I planned the perfect get a way. We put the top down on the Mustang, left Arizona in the rear view mirror and headed toward California's golden coast. We left without a care in the world and with good cause, as the grandparents were left to baby sit and we were celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary.
Our plans were to drive straight to Santa Barbara, CA, then head north and "explore". We would end up exploring all right, but not as we had initially planned!
The engine light went on 30 minutes south of Santa Barbara. We took the California Street exit off of the U.S. 101 and pulled into a Firestone dealership. Bad news, the car would be in the shop for 2-3 days depending on parts, etc..
We were tired from the 6-hour drive, hungry and just wanted a place to "crash". We were directed to the visitor's center across the street to find out more about our new surroundings. As far as a place to stay, the women at the help desk recommended The Clocktower Inn, as it was only a couple of blocks away, 3-Diamond rated, a great value and "charming".
The moment we walked into The Clocktower's lobby we felt a rush of relief! There was subtle jazz playing in the air, guests enjoying conversation around a cozy fireplace and a manager's wine, cheese and cracker reception. We explained our predicament and chance arrival to the friendly and attentive person working at the front desk. We asked hopefully, "is there room at the Inn?" Not only did they have a room for us, but also we were kindly upgraded to one with a fireplace and view of Mission Park. After we entered our room, we both looked at each other and knew instantly that we didn't want to go anywhere for the next 12 hours - everything was perfect! We ordered room service from the hotel's restaurant, "Table 13". We treated ourselves to champagne and sampled a Brie cheese baked over focaccia bread appetizer. My wife ordered ravioli stuffed with lobster and jumbo prawns, while I chose the hazelnut-crusted salmon. The food was first class!
Before turning in for the night we did sneak down to the hot tub, and soaked among the stars. After all that we had been through, we had found our special place.
The next morning we started our day slow and easy. We took advantage of The Clocktower's hearty and complimentary continental breakfast buffet. We shared the local paper as we sat in their unique glass enclosed atrium (although a small hotel with only 50 guestrooms, the public areas and creative landscaping were well thought out).
This would now be home base, so we armed ourselves with a map of our new neighborhood and with a few good tips from the hotel staff, began our day of sightseeing. Judging from the "you are here", we were dead smack in the middle of Ventura's historic and cultural districts. We planned our morning around Main Street, and explored the many antique shops located there. We worked our way back up to California Street, checked on the car and then watched the surfers while enjoying lunch on the pier at Eric Ericsson's.
Good news, the car would be ready tomorrow and the repairs were not going to be as costly as first suggested. They say that everything happens for a reason, and for what ever reason it was our destiny to spend 2 nights at The Clocktower Inn in the city of Ventura, CA, it will always hold a very special place in our heart!