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Rainbow Tarns
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Reviews (21)
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Reviewed October 12, 2012

We are friends with the owners here from before they purchased the B&B. Our first visit was for our 40th anniversary, and we waited too long to go back. We spent 3 nights in early October for the fall colors. There are 3 rooms and we stayed in the Rainbow room, which is the largest and has lots of views outside. Also an outside table and chairs accessible from a sliding door, although it was too cold to use during our stay. All the rooms have nice updated bathrooms. Each morning the friendly hosts serve a large breakfast of fresh fruit, juice, sweet bread or roll, and warm items - different each day. Coffee is ready at 7 am. At around 5 pm, out comes wine with a fruit and cheese plate. The main lounge has cookies and other treats available all day. The place is decorated in a comfortable western theme, and the main lounge is a great place to relax after a day outdoors. The family dog, Gibbs, is very friendly, loves to be petted, but is well trained not to enter the guest rooms and kitchen.

The location is fairly remote, which might be a problem for some for evening dining. Other than the nearby Tom's Place, one must drive 20-30 minutes to Bishop, Mammoth Lakes or the excellent Restaurant at Convict Lake. Tom's Place is a hoot, sort of a high class greasy spoon, full of locals and the service is friendly. It's worth a visit for a quick burger if you arrive late in the day and don't feel like driving far for dinner.

The area is great for outdoor activities. For hikers like us, the hike around Convict Lake (3 miles) is easy with fantastic views of the lake and fall colors. Also nearby is access to the Inyo National Forest with many hikes to mountain lakes. The trailhead at Mosquito Flats is over 10000 feet, so best to wait a day or so to get acclimated to altitude.

If you plan a visit to the Eastern Sierra, Rainbow Tarns is a great place to stay.

Room Tip: The Rainbow room has a whirlpool tub.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Francis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012

Now, how do we start. It is hard to put into words how wonderful our stay with Rainbow Tarns was. It truly was an unexpected magical stay that we will remember forever.

All I can say is, we now know the true meaning of the American Dream - it is right there in Crowley Lake - from the wonderful warm welcome, through to the stylish decor and Diane's unforgettable Apple Pie!

Thank you Brock and Diane for the cherry on the cake for our honeymoon.

It is terrible that it's taken over a year for us to leave a review, we were reminiscing lately and made a conscious effort to log this review and give Rainbow Tarns the recognition it truly deserves. We are surprised at how little reviews have been left so far - but the high feedback that has been left does acknowledge the faultless stay that you would face staying here. We guess some previous guests have possibly avoided feedback, trying to keep tthis place 'secret' and to themselves! We couldnt put it off much more....

We stayed in many great locations across California for our honeymoon - from Palm Springs to Carmel to Los Angeles - with the majority being high range places. We only stayed at Rainbow Tarns for one night but it was our highlight overall - it surpassed experiences from many high range places we booked and captures a wonderful American Dream feeling in such a unique setting. This is all down to our hosts, their care and vision.

We visited in October 2010 for our Honeymoon, we stayed in the wonderful quaint Grandmas Room. We have wonderful memories throughout our stay - from rocking in the hammocks amongst the hills and golden trees, to the quaint cosy decor around the fire, through to experiencing the homemade breakfasts of all breakfasts - as Londoners we must say the breakfast and baked treats are the American version of Tea at the Ritz!

A highlight was also hearing Brock explain the story behind them buying Rainbow Tarns, the love and passion really comes through when staying there and makes this place so unique. We've received Christmas celebrations from the hosts since our stay, which serve as a lovely reminder, we hope to be able to return one day.

Truly recommend.

Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank LondonEyeSpy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2012

I stayed at Rainbow Tarns by myself last November, just as the Sierra winter was beginning to make itself felt on the high peaks. After having normally crowded places like Rock Creek Canyon and Rainbow Falls all to myself, I returned each evening to this special hidden jewel just outside Crowley Lake. Rarely have I felt as comfortable, relaxed and appreciated as a guest in any hotel or B&B as Brock and Diane Thoman made me feel. I was there in the off-season, so I was the only guest for the four nights. I stayed in the Gemini Room, with a wonderful bathroom that has a great, open feel due to the greenhouse type windows and view up the rocky, wooded hill immediately behind the inn. The bed was extremely comfortable, nights were peaceful, quiet slices of heaven, and the grounds... are the definition of serenity. I was very surprised that it was so quiet outside, considering Highway 395 is quite close. I heard the occasional truck or motorcycle - but nothing that even caused me to feel disturbed.

I spent a fair amount of time in the late afternoons chatting with Brock (a fellow architect), and tossing toys with the dog... it was the perfect antidote for my often stressful daily routine. Breakfasts were simple and delicious, folksy and friendly. I would like to experience it when there are other guests about... I am sure it will be just as delightful.

Rainbow Tarns is definitely different from any other lodging I have stayed at in the area, and for anyone looking for a peaceful hiatus from the "real world" - this is it. I'm looking forward to my next stay!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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Thank mtn6000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2011

My husband and I stopped here and stayed 2 nights as part of our anniversary trip along the 395 corridor. We had been able to book the Rainbow room for a 20% discount because it was mid-week and the room had a jacuzzi so we were already happy! Room was comfortable and spacious and has a little patio with table and chairs this room can use. After a day of hiking, the jacuzzi was wonderful. The first night Brock prepared a tray of cheese and crackers and a couple of pieces of white and dark chocolate as well as a small bottle of champaign for us. Quite a nice treat! The second night, he prepared a tray of goodies and brought out a bottle of good zin that he shared with us and one other couple staying there. Honestly, a great place to stay. Only one negative that we almost hate to mention. The Rainbow room is right under the owner's residence and when their T.V. was on, we could hear it below. I'm sure if we would have said something they would have turned it down or off, but we forgot about it both nights until we were already in bed! It was off by11:00 p.m. both nights. None of the other rooms have T.V.s so no way to cover the noise. We had hiked a lot both days so ended up crashing fairly early. Would have been nice to have total quiet. As said earlier, though, the owners are really nice and accommodating people and would most likely have addressed it if we would have told them. Don't know if this was an issue for either of the other two rooms. Would absolutely stay here again. Beautiful grounds and other than the T..V. issue, have absolutely no negatives.

Room Tip: The Rainbow Room has a jacuzzi. If you are an early to bed person, make sure that T.V. noise from upstairs doesn't cause a problem for you.
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank mukluk9972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2008

The Rainbow Tarns B&B is a delightful oasis at the base of Red Mountain near Mammoth Lakes, CA. "Oasis" is an apt description, as you would not know that this B&B is here until you literally drive onto the property. But as soon as you do, you encounter a wonderful expanded cabin on a plot with three private ponds and abutting a broad pasture.

As described elsewhere, the Rainbow Tarns ("rainbow" for the trout, and "tarns" for the ponds) B&B features three bedrooms, all part of the main cabin. The proprietors also live on the property in upper quarters. There is a large common living room with a generous smattering of books, magazines, and games. A common kitchen/dining area is where a full breakfast is prepared and served.

This is a true B&B, with a full gourmet breakfast is served, prepared by the hosts and included in the cost of the accommodations. This morning, for example, we started with a fruit cup with yogurt and danish, followed by a specialty omelet, sausage, and toast.

One of the things we like about really good B&Bs is the interaction between the guests, and we were blessed by our stay at Rainbow Tarns to have wonderful fellowship with the other guests and with the hosts.

Close by are plenty of hiking, fishing, and other activities. Mammoth Lakes is just north of Rainbow Tarns, and is, of course, a popular site during the winter for skiing. We only had one half day of planned activities, and relied on the hosts to provide other suggestions for what we might do. We ended up doing some relatively simple hiking to some small lakes up in the mountains, which turned out to provide wonderful opportunities to snap some pictures, which I've attached.


Our one planned activity was fishing along the Owens Creek, which turned out to be fairly crowded but successful.

Overall, our three day stay was delightful, with the Rainbow Tarns playing a significant role.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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Thank Stu W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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