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“Stunning Location”

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Penon Blanco Lookout
Ranked #1 of 3 Coulterville B&B and Inns
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Stunning Location”
Reviewed September 19, 2010

We requested a one night stay, we were travelling from Monteray to Lake Tahoe, and Margi accommodated us in her Joaquin Murrieitta room named after a legendary ruthless mexican bandit infamous in the gold country. The website is generous in its description and is pictured cleverly. However the views are truly brethtaking from the common deck area, if you make it there before nightfall. Many of the recent comments are true, but you are staying in somebodies home NOT a hotel, this is always my experience of B & B Vs Hotel, however it is usualy compensated by the price with B&B delivering more "Bang for Buck" not really the case at their prices. However the room was cosy with lots of extra touches and tolietries not found in a hotel, Margi was very accomodating the next day when we were leaving with lots of local info and things to do on our travel to Lake Tahoe. She was also asking guests regarding communal breakfasting arrangements, clearly based upon the negative feedback on trip adviser, You must consider that a unique selling point of Penon Blanco is that it is not a faceless corporate hotel but a friendly experience sharing in the hospitality of your hosts. The Website does continue to mention Chamagne breakfast which it is not, but they are very accomodating if you have special requests or needs and ask in advance of your requirements, being a driver this did not matter to me, having enjoyed the complimentary wine the night before ..... a little strange in California that it was new Zealand wine but there was also soft drinks and water. The location is remote but that's its beauty, When we stayed the dog did not even open its eyes to look at us, maybe a consideration if you have allergies !, the location is almost one hour from the Westgate at Yosemite so considering the valley another 45 mins it is a little far out for multiple days there ... but perfect for us travelling through. To be honest it was not the most romantic of experiences but the balconies affordeded complete privacy. The hot tub was not on during our stay ..... but we never asked !
If you like B & B hospitality Vs Hotel then if location and views meet your needs its well worth considering We did not even have a room key ........ we did not consider it needed for the one night !

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Keith_S095
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
margitanner, Owner at Penon Blanco Lookout, responded to this review, September 28, 2010
Watching the stars and the moon from your private deck - no interference from city lights., no traffic noise - while listening to the music of a million crickets. A bottle of wine ... the rest is up to you to make it happen.
Several guests in the past booked Penon Blanco B&B to watch the meteor showers.
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83 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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English first
texas
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2010

We stayed at the Penon Blanco B and B and were very disappointed and very uncomfortable with owners Margie and Wolfgang. Upon arriving, after driving what seemed like forever from Yosemite, we were greeted by two barking and growling dogs and we stayed in the car until the owners came out and called off the dogs. We removed our shoes at the door and were told that we could not go barefooted in the house - that we had to wear slippers or sock - why no bare feet, I have no idea. I certainly understand about not shoes- but no bare feet. There were loads of rules posted in our room about everything from not being able to leave the blinds open to not being allowed to use certain kids of face products!
Keep in mind, we were on vacation...while coming down for breakfast the first morning, I was told that I was not allowed to wear my PJ's - I'm 40 yrs. old, on vacation, and this woman tells me I can't wear my PJ's. My PJ's were consisted of a long sleeved shirt and long pants - not unlike regular clothes. It was only myself and my husband at breakfast. That promptly ruined my appetite and made me uncomfortable the remainder of our stay. If we could have left with out loosing our money we certainly would have gladly packed up that morning. Instead we stayed gone as long as possible and left as early as possible. Be forwarded - it is a very uncomfortable stay and not worth the delicious breakfast- which was the only positive thing about the place.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank TexasGoldfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2010

We found the Penon Blanco Lookout and the surrounding area a welcome respite from the tourist-packed and deceptively distant Yosemite National Park. We came to the area for two nights’ getaway from a long stay in San Francisco and this quirky retreat was just what we were looking for. In fact, we opted to skip a second day in the park in favour of staying local and enjoying a sunset game of Trivial Pursuit on the deck overlooking the spectacular valley below. The B&B is quiet and remote and was the perfect location in August for watching shooting stars and bats at night and busy hummingbirds during the day. Margi’s welcome and insider hints added to the charm of the place, though some of the establishment’s eccentricities would not suit everyone. One man’s charm is another man’s clutter, and every room of the house is packed with heirlooms and knick-knacks. Although we expressed significant interest in the hot tub, it remained tightly covered during our stay. We appreciated the bottle of wine and dish of cookies in our bedroom upon arrival, but replacements did not appear on our second night as they seem to have done for other reviewers on this site, and there is certainly no option of popping out to a convenience store to satisfy any late-night munchies! Perhaps this is to build the appetite for the deservedly praised breakfasts, which were a true labour of love provided by our hosts. One day we were served Eggs Benedict (followed, oddly, by a dish of ice cream) and the next day we were served a succession of lacy crepes, each guest being urged to eat another. Communal dining can often be a welcome thing; however, during our visit, this custom failed to hit the mark, as we were seated elbow-to-elbow with four other guests while an empty table by the window was declared off limits by our hosts. Furthermore, we were told that “Breakfast is at 8:00” and the couple not seated at the table by that time was politely sent for. To be fair, I feel that Margi and Wolfgang’s aim is to make the guests feel like they are staying in someone’s cosy home as a part of the family. In that, they succeed.

Yosemite aside, there is plenty to see and do in the immediate area for the resourceful and easy to please tourists (which we are). The picturesque lake that could be seen from our bedroom window is easily reachable and, somewhat eerily, was almost entirely deserted when we went there for an afternoon swim. Nearby Coulterville is an interesting, if somewhat decaying gold rush town, and the Lumberyard provides the kind of delicious, gargantuan barbecued burgers and steaks that visitors to the Wild Wild West dream of finding (get there early, though, they often close at 7:00).

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GeorgeHCS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
orlando, florida
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2010

I found there to be contradictions in the information on the website and what you actually receive after you arrive. There is no champagne at breakfast, although the breakfasts were delicious and well prepared. The innkeeper needs to allow people to be guests. She moved my husband's glass 2" away from where he set it down after taking a sip to drink. She was also compulsive in rearranging personal items in the room and I consider this intrusive, not "being tidy." She advertises her location as romantic. When the hot tub stopped after 20 minutes (this was during dinnertime, not after the hours set forth for use) she reported "I guess it's done for the day.." rather than trying to be accommodating to her guests and check the circuit box. She had been on an upper deck and we felt as if we were being watched the entire time we were sitting and talking. On another occasion she repeatedly turned on outdoor lights as my husband and I were enjoying viewing the stars. She stated this was to avoid a fall, but there were several lanterns which provided light for this. This is not allowing privacy for guests. Also, the website mentions breakfast is served between 7:30 -10 A.M., but she allowed for one seating where everyone must eat together. I do not consider this romantic, even with the candlelight she provided. The website also reports complimentary beer and wine. I requested beer one evening instead of wine. She provided one, and the following day none at all. I feel that she shines at breakfast, but I got the feeling she would prefer to have her guests leave after mealtime. The location is comparable to the distance you may need to drive when staying outside of Yosemite Park, but I would recommend to make your accommodations early and stay in the park instead.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank gutterhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
margitanner, Owner at Penon Blanco Lookout, responded to this review, September 13, 2010
. No Champagne served during breakfast:

We discontinued serving alcohol with the breakfast because of potential liability issues. We made the corrections to the web site but overlooked certain pages that were not corretced. The issue is being addressed.

. Breakfast served between 7:30 and 10:

If only one party is present there is no need for coordination and we serve at the the time requested.
95% of our guests prefer breakfast between 8:00 and 8:30 and consequently it is not difficult to agree on a time that meets everybody requirements.
The breakfast consists of several courses and we need about 60 minutes between breakfasts.
If one party asks for 7:30 and another party asks for 9:00 we accommodate.
ex. This labor day Saturday (2010) breakfast was served at 8:00, 9:30 and 11.00.
Some guests arrived very, very late and we are certainly flexible to accommodate special circumstances.

Request for alcoholic beverages:

We stock the fridge with the favorite beverage (alcoholic or non alcoholic) requested by the guests.
In this case the guests requested pink wine.
As an additional service to our guests we stock and restock daily the fridge with bottled water and soft drinks.
We do do not advertise this additional service neither do we charge for it.

Hot Tub:

There are two breakers:
One is easily accessible and one is located in the basement.
Unfortunately the breaker in the basement is only accessible via the John Muir Suite and at this time it was no longer accessible.
The hot tub was fully operational the next day.

Out door lights: at the patio, hot tub common area:

The light fixture in question is located at the door to the patio which is common area and lights are required for the safety of all guests and a requirement for our insurance. This door also provides access to the John Muir suite.
Just like the other rooms the Joaquin Murrietta Room has its own private deck and its up the guest's discretion to turn lights on or off while visiting their own private deck.


Making up the room:

Based on our experience it is customary in 4 and 5 star hotels that the room is made up.
If objectives are in the way of making up the room it might be necessary to move the objects.

I hope we addressed all the issues brought up in this review
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Ridgeway, VA
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2010

We stayed at this B&B while visiting Yosemite. The rooms were very nice and the kids enjoyed the hot tub one evening. Here are some thoughts:

Positive:
• The breakfast was wonderful – very good and different each morning
• Margi catered very well to our children’s tastes
• Rooms were comfortable and spacious and very clean
• View of lake was amazing
• Each room had a refrigerator that was stocked with drinks we liked – very nice!

Neutrals:
• The TV’s on the upper two rooms only have VCR capabilities – didn’t matter that much to us b/c we spent very little time there but could matter to others
• Distance from Yosemite – see below
• Someone mentioned previously that there were too many rules – we noticed the rules about no shoes and needing to wear slippers/socks in the house. I originally thought this was a bit much but once we trecked thru the park and saw how nasty our feet got – I get this rule.

Notes: It is approximately 45 minutes from the 120 entrance into Yosemite. Something to keep in mind is that once in the park you need to travel about 24 miles to the village. So it takes about 1 ½ hours to get from the B&B to the village. Also, if you plan to spend several days in Yosemite, I’d recommend getting lodging within the park – if possible. There are also very few restaurants close to the B&B – you need to eat before you head back to the B&B. This would be a great place for a romantic getaway.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank cwheelh1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christiansburg, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviewed October 17, 2009

This was my first visit to the beautiful Penon Blanco Lookout inn owned and managed by Margi and Wolfgang, and I can hardly wait to return.

The inn and location--not to mention the gracious hospitality of the owners--exceeded my expectations. The home is immaculate and filled with gorgeous antiques and heirlooms that the owners acquired locally as well as abroad in Germany.

I stayed in the John Muir Suite--larger than what I needed for myself, but I loved the fireplace, the ground floor access to the patio, the stunning views and the memory foam Queen size mattress that had me drifting off to dreamland in a matter of minutes.

The breakfasts were very satisfying, delicious and artfully prepared, often using homegrown produce. Wolfgang makes multi-grain bread that is to die for. I want that recipe!

An easy drive to Yosemite, and it’s definitely worth exploring the museum, antique shops and ghost-inhabited buildings of the historic town of Coulterville.

Rest assured, you will not be disappointed with Penon Blanco Lookout Inn.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank STARBUCKSFREAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaufort, SC
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2009

I stayed two nights in October. Margi and Wolfgang are great hosts. Extremely helpful and knowledgeable about Yosemite and the area. Located on the old John Muir trail to Yosemite, with easy access to Park.

Pros: Fine breakfasts, upscale Victorian decor with spacious rooms, baths and comfy beds. Drop dead views from the decks, Great stargazing. Only 20 miles or so from Park entrance. Best for adults. Surrounded by nature and secluded.

Cons: Be prepared to trek for fine dining! If you want nightlife/shopping, go to Vegas!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank DatawTrilogy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Penon Blanco Lookout

Property: Penon Blanco Lookout
Address: 4705 Penon Blanco Rd, Coulterville, CA 95311-9702
Location: United States > California > Coulterville
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Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Coulterville
Number of rooms: 3
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Penon Blanco Lookout Hotel Coulterville

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