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“A Top Historic Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Holbrooke Hotel

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Holbrooke Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   212 West Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in Grass Valley
Novato, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“A Top Historic Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

It had been many years (about 20) since I visited the Gold Rush town of Grass Valley, but I recently made an all-too-brief overnight stop there. In past years when touring this part of California's "Gold Country" I had stayed at the National Hotel in Nevada City, but after reading some of the recent reviews on Tripadvisor I decided that things had changed with the National since I stayed there 20 years ago and opted for Grass Valley's Holbrooke Hotel. I am pleased to report that I made a wise choice. What a wonderful old, historic hotel this is! Beautifully appointed with a great staff and owner, I found the Holbrooke to be just what a historic hotel and California Historical Landmark should be. A great saloon with an original (well "almost" original after the various fires that marred the city during its heyday) back bar. They say that it is the oldest continuously operating saloon west of the Mississippi. With its nicely restored rooms, this hotel (built originally in 1851) is a wonderful addition to the many historic hotels that dot California's "Gold Country" just off of Highway 49. It has played host to many notables over the years including Lola Montez and several U.S. Presidents.

Seems to have a good restaurant too, although my stomach operation precludes me from having large meals I tried their Tempura Vegetable Platter. It was excellent but HUGE for my shrunken stomach. They kindly kept it on ice for me in the kitchen and the next day put it in a “Doggie Box” so I could take it home with me. I had several more meals out of it! The dining room is nice and it also has an outdoor patio in the back which is a very pleasant place to sip a glass of wine or have a meal on the many warm days that characterize the Sierra foothills during the summer months.

I learned from chatting with Ian, the owner of the hotel that my room (#9) is the hotel’s most “haunted” room, but I had no problems and if there is a ghost, it’s one of the “good” ones. I thought the room was excellent. Purists may object to the television, but it’s neatly hidden in an old commode so you can just close the doors of the commode and not see the TV at all. The bathroom has a claw foot tub equipped with a shower and wraparound curtain. Since there is no place to put the soap and no bars to hang on to I opted for the tub.

Although a bit pricier than some of the other hotels I’ve stayed at, I certainly highly recommend your trying out this one!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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97 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    37
    33
    10
    8
    9
See reviews for
17
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3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Antioch, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

If you enjoy history, but don't want to live it too realistically, then the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley is for you. In the Gold Country of the Sierra Nevada Foothills, Grass Valley and nearby Nevada City offer glimpses into the California Gold Rush of the 1850s and the Holbrooke offers an authentic air of that time, but with enough modern amenities (such as air conditioning) that you can be comfortable. An excellent restaurant and live music at the bar add to the experience.

But don't expect such modern conveniences as gyms and pools -- it's pretty authentic!

Easy walking to antique shops and more restaurants make it a perfect location for exploring the town and easy access to highways 20 and 49 let you easily explore the entire area.

The staff are exceeding friendly and helpful without hovering or anything: they're there when you want them and gone when you don't.

Also, rooms were available Labor Day Weekend, which is unusual.

Awesome place. This was our second trip and definitely not our last.

Room Tip: The front rooms are quieter and nicer, but we had no trouble sleeping in the back right over the air...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Susanville, Ca.
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

From the moment I called, I knew I was going to enjoy my stay. The young man who answered my call was very pleasant and helpful. When we arrived the evening staff was just as helpful and pleasant.

We ate at the hotel and enjoyed the food. My chicken was a little dry but everthing else was very good.

We stated in Room #9 and did a little ghost hunting. We found it interesting that every time we mentioned Black Bart, the room suddenly got cold. We also have what we believe is bonafide audio recording. We audio taped our questions for about 25 minutes and I asked the ghosts if they can see us and we believe we have a "no" on the audio.

We were very happy with our stay, and with our little ghost hunting time.

With regards to the staff . . . As I was leaving the young man at the front desk was helping an elderly man with tracking down getting a new transmission. To me, that's above and beyond customer service.

Room Tip: Room #9 is haunted but right next to the outside dining.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sacramento
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

To start this off... we must mention Theresa and Chris at the front desk. Both were amazing and they were the definition of GUEST service. Hard to find good employees these days that truly care about your experience, and we believe they do. With that said, do not expect the 4 Seasons. This is an old historic hotel with creaks and that wonderful musty smell. The staff do everything they can to provide a clean room. Being management of a hotel ourselves, we are probably a bit more picky than the normal traveller. We were very impressed with the level or service. There was live music nightly in the bar. We had read a few reviews of it being very noisy, but surprisingly we could not hear any of it from our room. One of the nights the owner of the hotel himself played with another member of The Regulators and we were blown away. (Even bought a CD) If you ever travel to Grass Valley make sure to check out the Holbrooke Hotel and Ian & Steve from The Regulators. They had a nice breakfast in the morning but watch out for the waffle maker.... Or just ask Chris for help. :)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
costa rica
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

This is an interesting hotel to visit at it is historic but I wouldn't recommend staying the night. We arrived in the evening and they only had one young girl at reception who was very nice but we were a big group with lots of luggage so there wasn't much help she could offer us. One of our rooms looked out to the garbage dump in the parking lot and we were all woken up at 6am by the garbage trucks going by the windows. The breakfast they offer is also very poor.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carbondale, Colorado
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

The front desk actually sealed the deal a few hours before we even made a final decision on the accomodations for the evening. This is a hotel the way a hotel should be--a sitting area and a great bar just inside the front door! The hotel has a great feel as do many hotels of this vintage. This place is used to catering to people's desires and it shows. Rooms in front can be a bit noisy.

Room Tip: Rooms to the rear are quieter
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grass Valley, California
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

We usually stay at the Courtyard Inn and Suites when in Grass Valley, but it has a 2 night minimum. On this trip we were only planning an overnight stay, so we opted for the Holbrooke. We'd hosted a dinner party there many years ago, and we enjoyed the funky ambiance. The front desk staff is friendly and accomodating. The rooms are obviously older but nicely furnished. Some challenges with the older plumbing and sparsely furnished bathrooms; all of this is to be expected in a historic hotel. The hotel is dog friendly, and like most dog friendly hotels, they ask that you not leave your pet unattended in the room. There was not much shady parking available when we wanted to go out to dinner or breakfast, but the Holbrooke and also nearby Tofanelli's allow well-behaved dogs in the patio dining area, so we didn't have to leave the dog in the car. Regarding the parking, the bar is very popular with the after-work crowd on Friday night, and they don't reserve parking spaces for hotel guests, so we had to park on the street Friday night when we got to our room at 6 p.m. By 7 p.m., the parking lot had cleared out, and we were able to move the car into the parking lot.

Room Tip: We stayed in the main building. We were told that the rooms in the adjacent Purcell Building are eq...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holbrooke Hotel

Address: 212 West Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Grass Valley
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in Grass Valley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Holbrooke Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 28
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Also Known As:
Holbrooke Hotel Grass Valley

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