Let me say right off the bat that we are not "theme" people. My husband and I eschew Disneyland and roll our eyes at all things kitsch. So I hesitated to book a room at the Victorian Mansion, in all its themed glory. Boy, am I glad I went for it! We had an incredible (kitsch-free) visit and made memories that will last long after we've drained our final bottle of Santa Ynez Valley wine.
Rod, the proprietor, and his team are exactly what you want in the folks running your B&B: thoughtful, charming, and extremely attentive to your needs. I'm lactose intolerant and I made a note of it in my online reservation. I also called the Vick after booking to add a wine tour to our room package. A staff member called back immediately to confirm my package and my lactose-free breakfast. Then Rod personally called to ask exactly what I can and cannot eat (my own mother isn’t so attentive) and to arrange the wine tour with me. Customer service & attention to quality food both go a long way with me, and Rod hit it out of the park. Throughout our stay, we were delighted to receive consistent polite attention to our wellbeing, including regular check-ins on the comfort of our room and candid restaurant reviews.
We had the Pirate Suite, but we got to take a tour of all the other suites too, because we were the first to arrive for the weekend. I have to say – I am blown away by the design of the place. They’re not kidding about the 200 artisans taking 10 years to create it. Our coffee table was made from AN ACTUAL CANNON. We were a little tripped out at first by how much we felt like we were on a boat. We may have run around saying things like “Pass the Charrrrrdonnay!” There may have been an invisible-sword fight. I couldn’t say.
THE HOT TUB
OMG the hot tub – your own PRIVATE in-room hot tub - is OFF THE HOOK.
The breakfast was delicious (especially the pastries), and Rod is extremely responsive to special food requests. Plus, the breakfast comes straight to your room via dumbwaiter (yes, I said dumbwaiter), so a person could, conceivably, sit in the hot tub drinking coffee and eating croissant. Theoretically.
Rod offers several special packages – we did the Wine Lover’s Package and he arranged a wine tour for us. We were picked up in a private car (Escalade!) with one other couple, and every aspect of the tour was an absolute delight. You should seriously buy this package. Right now. Don’t drink and drive, people! Get a driver & an Escalade!
OK, there is not much cookin’ in Los Alamos. But between the two fantastic little tasting rooms down the street and a couple restaurants, we were satisfied. Just know that you are going to be in a tiny town.
STUFF TO KNOW
The Vick is truly unique and very quirky. You are not checking into a Doubletree or a Hilton here. You are stepping into a fantasy theme room and while this offers a world of special features, there are some limitations and every room is different. The Pirate Room is a little dark; I needed to open the stained-glass window during the day to let in some daylight. The Paris Room has a set of spiral stairs to the bed. I’d find that a challenge at night, but for some it’s the height of romance (so to speak). I recommend calling ahead to ask about the individual rooms and being specific about your preferences. If you like a lot of light, or to watch a lot of movies on the TV, for example, they can probably tell you which room is best for you. If you want to play Pirate-and-Damsel-in-Distress, that’s your business, but they can hook you up with the ship.
You’ve never stayed anywhere like this and it’s a little cuckoo-bananas ~ in a cozy, quirky, peaceful, romantic, awesome kind of way. Rod’s incredibly nice, so just call him if you have any questions or hesitations and he’ll take care of you.