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“Memorable experience...gorgeous location, relaxing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Hacienda

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The Hacienda
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Building 101 Infantry Rd, Jolon, CA 93928   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Jolon B&B and Inns
Riverside, ca
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Memorable experience...gorgeous location, relaxing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

One suggestion--make sure you are clear about the army base facilities available before you arrive. We misunderstood what was available to us and were ill-prepared. Otherwise, this is a unique property with historic ambiance, friendly staff, updated, beautifully furnished rooms with comfortable beds. It is also pet-friendly. The views of the Valley of the Oaks, and the proximity to a lovely California mission helped to make this a truly one-of-a-kind experience for us. If so desired, you can travel the Naciamento-Ferguson Road to the ocean, which is a narrow, 2-lane road filled with hairpin turns, rock slide areas and spectacular views. You drop down in the middle of the Big Sur Coast area. If you like scenic drives, this one is definitely a must-do to add to your bucket list! We stayed in Tower Room B and were very happy with the decor, and the space. In addition to the great bed...there was a sleeper couch and there were 2 closets.

Room Tip: Since the rooms are reasonable, I would suggest a tower room, or even a suite. Talk to the office in...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    1
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4
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

This place has history and atmosphere! The Julia Morgan design is well worth a visit if not for the drive to the location! We took the mountain road from the Pacific Coast Highway and the drive was spectacular. Valleys, mountains, streams and finally this historic accommodation greeted us (after entering the Army reservation, of course) Certainly not the place if you're looking for lots to do, it's more of a relaxing destination kind of place. I'd do it again when I could go hiking in the immediate area.

Room Tip: Get a tower room on the upper floor..the Cowboy rooms don't have a private shower, but that'...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Newbury Park, Ca
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

Others have covered the various quirks about this property....the lack of food in the evening, the noise from the bar, the older facilities that might not always work perfectly....but it's still worth a night's stay. I noticed that the hot water in my shower was getting noticeably cooler, so I had to hurry and finish, but later the hot water was plentiful...so just be patient. Just a fun experience that you'll remember long after you've forgotten all your stays at Marriotts, Holiday Inns etc.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco Peninsula
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

Tucked away, inside an army base (be prepared to show ID and vehicle registration), the Julia Morgan, Spanish style Hacienda was an unexpected treat. Our room, Tower D, was large and well appointed, with small frig/freezer and microwave. The heaters left us a little cold, but good blankets kept us warm. (Our friends in Tower C turned down their heaters). The rooms have been recently renovated, with new carpeting and furnishings. Our queen bed was comfortable. There is also a dining table/chairs, couch, TV, en suite bathroom with shower.
We arrived on Sunday evening. We saw no staff, but we didn't expect to. We also knew in advance that the restaurant had closed. The next morning a dining room was open with a modest buffet breakfast - more than we expected. The room is gorgeous with a period mural.
Other nights the bar is open (not Sunday) and that is also a period room (still with no food).
Nick's is also on base. It is a clean small cafe, there for military but also open to Hacienda guests. It's open until 7 pm, so we could have eaten there.
We met Stephanie the next morning. She works at the Hacienda, and is very nice and helpful. We will be returning in a month, and on that night they are having a (once a month) dinner and wine tasting - open to Hacienda guests and military. When you make your reservation check to see what special events might be there.
The next morning we visited the mission San Antonio de Padua, right next door (although you have to drive - not walk). It's beautiful - worth seeing for architecture and history, as well as for religion, if that's you.

Room Tip: If the bar is open, ask for a room where you won't be kept awake.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Maria, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2012

We have young children in our blended family. Knowing that the oldest child would probably love to eat dinner with a bunch of battle-dressed and armed army guys, we planned dinner-time for 5:45 PM as suggested by the mess officer. This was the main objective of our visit to The Hacienda, an old hunting lodge designed by Julia Morgan in the early 20th century and built by William Randolph Hearst in the late '20's. We secured the mini-suite and put the adult children with our Grandchildren in Garden rooms for our adventure at the lodge. Rain was predicted for Sunday so we took the group to the near-by Mission to see the very historical building. The active church (with only 35 members, most seniors) has to work hard to maintain their place of worship by selling things in the giftshop. I tour inside the giftshop to see the artifacts & workings of the mission is well worth your contribution.

Room Tip: Ask for the mini-suite #10 next door to the Base Commander's home -- A meeting with the CO is re...
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  • Stayed March 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Ontario
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the hacienda in June of 2010. We arrived to find no staff, no restaurant (we had been told there was a restaurant attached to the hotel), and a sink that would not drain. We ate some nibbles we found in the room only to later learn that this stuff was our continental breakfast. The pool is out of commission; The place is getting minimal care. Very sad. This could be a great place. The young women in the next room were booked in for three days but after finding out that there were essentially no services offered, they checked out after one night in disgust. If you go, be prepared to picnic. Bring food in a cooler and a camp stove if possible. If you go prepared, you will enjoy staying in a ranch home once enjoyed by Hearst himself.

Room Tip: The garden rooms or tower rooms are best. Make sure your room has a bathroom. I don't consider d...
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, Virginia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2012

An unexpected combo of Hearst-Hollywood luxe and Army hospitality in the middle of nowhere made a quick stay at the Hacienda Milpitas memorable and worth repeating. While it is on an Army post, and operated by the Army, it is open to the public - and if you enjoy historic architecture and the magnificence of California's Big Sur and the valleys just over the mountains from it, you really should take advantage of the opportunity to spend at least one night there.

I was at Fort Hunter Liggett on business, but brought a friend along to turn it into a Big Sur road trip. A rockslide on Highway 1 eliminated the through drive, but the unexpected pleasure of the Hacienda Milpitas and a drive over the coast mountains to make it a southern loop instead more than compensated. While there is little entertainment available on Hunter Liggett, a stay here could anchor a couple of great day trips. One takes you across the gorgeous Nacimiento Fergusson Road, the only route across the Santa Lucia Mountains into Big Sur, then north to Monterey and back down US 101 through Salinas. Another takes you just south, past Lake Nacimiento and its sister Lake San Antonio, and through the wine country around Paso Robles made famous in the movie "Sideways."

We stayed in one of the four "Tower Rooms." Tower may be a bit of a misnomer, but the rooms are well worth the $90 price. It was more like an efficiency suite - probably 400 square feet, with a big bedroom area and a very comfortable queen-size bed with plenty of pillows and nice linens. The sleeper sofa slept well, too, my friend said, and the kitchenette area included coffeemaker, refrigerator and microwave, as well as a two-top table. Those are just the convenience, though: the real highlight is the room itself. The Hacienda Milpitas was designed and built by Julia Morgan for William Randolph Hearst around the same time as the slightly grander and more famous castle on the other side of the Santa Lucia Mountains at San Simeon. It's much smaller and had a much more mundane purpose - but it still has a golden dome. The whole building has features large and small that are both fascinating and lovely.

Our room had three large, arched double windows, basically the size of French doors without the door function. They were surrounded by an intricately carved and pieced wooden frame, matching the entry, bathroom and closet doors. Morgan's original wall art around the bathroom ceiling and in some funny little alcoves in the bedroom area has been carefully restored - and the entire package is just breathtaking. They say Errol Flynn may have slept in this room (history is somewhat lacking, but there is an effort to find and preserve more of it) and I had no problem picturing him there. You may want to note that there was only a shower in our room - I believe the upstairs rooms have bathtubs, but ask before you make a reservation if it's important to you.

A very nice continental breakfast, again with friendly and helpful staff, is provided daily in the dining room that sadly is otherwise open only for occasional dinners and special events. Boiled eggs, toast, bagels, muffins, hot and cold cereal, juices, coffee and tea are all as expected - but even if you brought your own, be sure to go over during breakfast hours to see the dining room itself, with a huge mural of the area's history covering one end wall of the 25-foot or so high space. It's not original to Hearst days, but was painted over a number of years by a man who arrived as a soldier and stayed for a civilian career.

Outside, the Hacienda's grounds are smallish and nothing special, but the building itself deserves a long, slow walk around to get the total picture. Across the street is a very large "tin barn" that was part of the Hearst ranch and now houses the Fort Hunter Liggett Fire Department. Because Hunter Liggett is a major training facility for the Army Reserve, activities vary widely from one week to the next. The most important thing to know is that you must pay attention to what's going on, and obey any signs or other instructions you are given. Not much was happening in that area of the 165,000-acre installation, and we walked almost three miles up the road next to the fire department and never saw anyone else - but we did see a bobcat cross 100 yards in front of us.

Getting the reservation was a little difficult, as the inn is operated by the Army and the volume of business doesn't justify keeping the office open outside limited normal duty hours - basically 8-5 weekdays. This also means that guests arriving in the evening or on the weekend will find themselves rather on their own. That's the only reason I don't give five stars for service - the people there couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful, both to me directly and to several callers during my hour or so chatting in the office.

Our arrival was a little more complicated than I expected: I had directions to Fort Hunter Liggett from US 101, about 25 miles away when you're coming from the south. But finding the main gate wasn't as easy as it should have been because of some worn-out (no longer reflective and thus illegible at night) road signs, and perhaps not as many of them as would be helpful for the first-time visitor. Getting through the gate - which requires both a photo ID and for those not affiliated with the US government, a reservation at the Hacienda - was not a problem, but the guard gave me directions to the wrong lodging, a regular guest quarters for visiting Army folks. We figured out the right location, and getting into the room after that was simple. I mentioned to the manager that emailing better directions with reservation confirmations might be helpful ,and she was very receptive, so that may be happening already.

Everything was very quiet on the Sunday night we were there, but the cheaper "Cowboy" rooms down a breezeway from the Tower rooms, which share a common bath, weren't occupied. Hunting is allowed on Fort Hunter Liggett for a number of different game seasons, and these rooms get some use by hunters. If that's the case, it may be a little louder. Also, the only nightlife on the fort is the Hacienda Lounge, just across the courtyard from the Tower rooms. It's closed on Sundays, and again, if it's open I'd certainly expect more activity. With the garrison commander living nearby, I can't imagine that it gets out of hand often, or for long, and a call to the post police should stop it pretty quickly if it did.
Whether you come from north or south, be sure to buy anything you might need before you leave US 101. Very little is available after that - including snacks and beverages other than the coffeemaker in the room and breakfast in the morning. Bring whatever else you want to eat and drink before you hit the road again.
I'll qualify this review as I do most of mine: if you want a cookie-cutter chain experience, with the same old same old predictability and blandness, or if you want to be pampered and have your door opened and your bed turned down, keep looking. But if you want a unique experience, both comfortable and fascinating, in a truly exceptional building (with the added and also unique setting of an Army post) then you need to get on the web and make reservations soon.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Hacienda

Address: Building 101 Infantry Rd, Jolon, CA 93928
Location: United States > California > Jolon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Jolon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Also Known As:
The Hacienda Hotel Jolon

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