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“Great Place for a Romantic Getaway” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin

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Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin
Ranked #1 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Julian
Sherman Oaks, CA
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great Place for a Romantic Getaway”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2008

We stayed at Strawberry Hill Cabin 05MAY08 for 2 days.
The cabin had lots of charm and History. As soon as we entered the cabin we knew we had made the right decision. The music selection was great, the fireplace was romantic, and the
patio was a nice bonus. The night storms really put you to sleep.. and the morning fog was magical. I guess the only
sad part was to see the aftermath of the fires. The fires really devestated the area. We saw all sorts of wild life.. Including deer having their afternoon snacks in the garden near BigCat.

We had dinner at Jeremy's On The Hill. Their food was out
of this world!!! A new restaurant, and a must if you plan on visiting Julian!

Heads up to the Staff of this charming place @ Pine Hills.
Good Job!!

Terrance and Apple

  • Liked — Staff, Privacy, Outoor Scene, Cosy Cabin
  • Disliked — everything was great.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Redman67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Anaheim
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2008

I get bored really easily, I must admit. So I was skeptical of staying in what seemed like the middle of nowhere in a rustic cabin in Julian, California.But I knew my wife would probably like it, so we booked a weekend stay. That was three stays ago, and I can honestly say that given the chance to stay anywhere in Southern California, Big Cat would be my choice, hands down!

If you need to unwind and relax, this is Mecca. Whether it is curled up with a good book in front of the beautiful rock fireplace, or napping in the afternoons on a lounge in front of the cabin with your I-pod playing your favorite music, or sipping a cup of coffee on the back porch watching and watching scores of birds positioning themselves to eat their breakfast from the bird feeder and sipping from the bowl of water at your feet while you wait for the invariable flock of wild turkeys and /or family of dear to come by to pay their respects as they go about their morning routine; there is nothing that melts your anxiousness or pent up stress quite like Big Cat.

No TV...no problem! I am slave to that thief too much as it is! Julian, the town is only a mile away as the crow flies, so we can take quick trips to town to enjoy the tasty cuisine that multiple restaurants have to offer. Look up "Apple pie" in the dictionary and it says "See Julian".

Enough of the flowery descriptions. If you want to relax and unwind, enjoy the beauty of God's handiwork, eat good food, enjoy a beautifully rustic, but well appointed cabin in the mountains, then you have to give Big Cat a shot! Just give Chuck and Nan a call...they are the ultimate hosts: friendly, thoughtful, very knowledgeable, and virtually invisible most of the time. Just don't reserve the days we want!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — I wish it was closer to my house.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CommanderTom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
so cal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2007

Oh My, we loved our stay at the Cabin on Strawberry Hill. I had researched the area around Julian searching for something other than the usual motels for our visit. The Cabin on Strawbery Hill is stand alone and self contained but you are also nicely looked after by Chuck and Nan if you so desire.

As we entered the cabin soft music was playing on the CD, the green leather couch set in front of the red fire place called our names but the view drew us outside. We could sit on the screened porch or outside, on wooden rocking chairs or a willow settee. We tried them all and even moved the rockers outside so we could enjoy the sunset with a glass of wine. We read, dozed, slept cozily in the big bed, talked and didn't talk in front of the fire.

The kitchen was well stocked with juice, water, eggs, fabulous apple bread and the basic spices including a bulb of fresh garlic. Coffee beans were ready to be ground for our morning coffee and there is nothing quite like fresh ground French roast on a foggy morning by the fire. We had planned on eating most of our meals out but so hated to leave that we ended up eating out only twice.

We enjoyed the deer, the dense fog that isolated us so cozily our second night, the Hungarian restaurant Chuck recommended and most memorably the sixteen wild turkeys that gobbled us awake one morning.

Will we go back? We certainly hope to. Will we recommend to others? Most definitely if you can appreciate the experience of a beautiful artisan cabin, absolute quite outside your door, cozy flannel sheets and the lack of hustle, bustle and car traffic.

Is this the place for everybody? Thank Goodness, No.

Thank you Chuck and Nan. We enjoyed our visit, chatting with you and seeing all you have created. Sincerely, Cathy and Gary

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ladicate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2007

Let me start off by saying this, there is no A/C, no television, no drapes in the bedroom and no barriers to hearing the nature outside in the morning. But, that is exactly why we chose Big Cat Cabin. In celebrating our anniversary we decided to take some time away from the hectic grind of life. We had a beautiful and peaceful short stay and we can't wait to come back. We enjoyed the architecture of the cabin and the unique touches that only Nan and Chuck could think of. We never left the cabin and the property because we were so in love with it. We spent hours bird watching, walking, relaxing and enjoying nature and each other. We played Scrabble for hours.........something that our busy lifestyles and big screen tv have deterred us from doing in the past. We enjoyed watching the wild turkeys, the spotting of deer and the beautiful forest. Chuck and Nan are the best. They took the time to explain things to us and share some of their stories and history of the wonderful property. I can't say enough good things about these people and their lovingly cared for properties. We live on a budget and the price for this cabin was worth every penny. We don't usually have the opportunity to indulge like this and it was so worth it. THANK YOU and I hope that we are back soon to experience the snow.

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank alikac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2007

My girlfriend and I wanted to get out of town for my birthday. Someplace cozy, someplace quiet. We looked, online and in books, at many places all over Southern California, but there was something about the description of these cabins that caught our eye.

The creators of the cabins, are loving, creative, thoughtful people and that comes through in not only the craftsmanship of the cabins but in every aspect of the experience.

If you are looking for HBO and climate control, you might want to look somewhere else, the Ritz Carlton it is not. This is a place where the level of caring is based on the understated details and elegant simplicity.

Strawberry Hill was perfect for the two of us. We wanted to spend some time together away from it all. It was what we were looking for, beyond what we could have asked.

We look forward to bringing our friends with us to the larger Artists' Loft next time.

Thank you Chuck and Nan.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank FrogsterLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2007

So we were going to stay here and were looking forward to it, the cabin looks really nice. We just had questions about the place, the heating system, the bathroom, if there was blinds on the windows (as you can't tell from the picture as it's not close up enough). My husband had called and spoken with the owners of this property a couple times, and althoughmy husband stated that the man was nice, the woman was not. she got upset that he would have so many questions about the place. As people that would be paying several hundred dollars a night to stay, I certainly believe we have the right to ask questions without the owners getting offended. But, apparently they did not. The NIGHT before we were supposed to be there, the woman called my husband on his cell phone and told him that her husband and her were talking and they didn't want us to stay, basically because she said that they didn't think we would be comfortable there. Now, understandably, my husband got very upset as I had taken time off of work for our little vacation, and here is it on a Saturday night the day before we were supposed to leave without any lodging. He got quite upset with the owner, and the only real reason they gave is that they didn't think we would be comfortable. If we didn't think we would have been comfortable staying there, we never would have booked it in the first place. Be careful when you call here, and don't ask too many questions to make sure that it will "fit" you and your family as the owners certainly cannot seem to handle simple questions about the place without getting upset. We indeed found a much better and wonderful stay at Orchard Hill Country Inn.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
10 Thank CAKitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
julianart, owner at Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin, responded to this review, January 29, 2007
First, let's clear up a couple of things: the woman making this review did not actually speak to either owner during the several days of questions so her comments are second-hand. Second, we did try answer each and every of her husband's many and detailed questions to the best of our ability, even though some were subjective and impossible to answer definitively. It was our suggestion on several occasions that Orchard Hill would be best able to satisfy their needs. By the way, they did not receive a confirmed reservation with us. It is also interesting to note that her husband called a few days after the final call to apologize to my wife for his aggressive and threatening comments to her.

Our desire and goal has always been to provide the best solution to the needs of our guests, even if that means sending them to other lodging. In this case, the question/answer phone calls that totaled more that two hours started with the tub: "do you have a Jacuzzi, my wife really needs one", answer: no, the tub is a small antique, claw foot. Our larger cabin does have a jetted tub although it is not a Jacuzzi. Question: "what is a jetted tub? My wife really wants a Jacuzzi"

Another question had to do with beds: "is the bed medium soft? I have had some surgery and need to know if I will be comfortable" I told the gentleman that I had no way of judging such a request, that our beds were top-of-the-line Seley Posturepedics and were generally considered rather firm, but extremely comfortable. He seemed to want a guarantee that the bed would be comfortable to his standard. At this point I suggested that another lodging might be better, and suggested Orchard Hill or some other more modern Cabin. He was still intent on staying in our historic 1929 cabin, but followed with questions about the heating system. No, we do not have forced air, and sometimes in the winter the cabin is drafty. It is a restored but not remodeled Craftsman style cabin with minimum insulation. He said that he didn't know about that, that he was used to staying in rooms with "forced heat". At this point, I was certain that he and his wife would not enjoy our Big Cat Cabin as temperatures outdoors were forecast to be in the 20's with strong winds .... the cabin could be considered chilly. Again I suggested he find other lodging. The conversation continued in this vein for more than an hour. I was not able to respond positively to any of his requirements.

Two days before their desired arrival, the gentleman again called to ask if we had black-out drapes on the bedroom windows because they wished to sleep late. My wife told him that there were no drapes on the bedroom windows and that there were ten windows in the bedroom, most having south and west forest exposure with only two facing east and the early morning sun. She reiterated that since we could provide so few of the items that seemed very important to him, it might be better if he looked for another more modern cabin. He seemed greatly concerned with this answer and again rang off.

We (my wife and I) discussed this latest request and the previous questions, and decided that in the better interest of all of us, they should seek another accommodation. We were genuinely concerned that they would find the cabin far from satisfactory based on their requests (we had satisfied none of their dozen or so "needed" or "very important" features or amenities) and did not wish to provide an unsatisfactory experience. These mountains are a sanctuary for us and our many guests. We are proud to share it with those who understand our unique accommodations. ... we did not want to provide less for this couple and decided to call and insist that they seek other accommodations, and would recommend Orchard Hill. We had checked availability at Orchard Hill before recommending them so as to not leave them without a recourse. It appears that our choice was correct, I only wish I had been more forceful in the beginning conversations. Please read our other reviews for a clear understanding of our accommodations.... We are proud of our record and will remain so.

Chuck Kimball and Nanessence, The Artists' Loft and Cabins at Strawberry Hill, Julian, CA

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
76 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2007

The Artist's Loft is a new cabin that replaced the one that burned down in the fires a couple of years ago. Now better than ever, it features a under-the-floor heating system as well as many other thoughtful amenities. I have never had such comfort in such a beautiful rustic setting. The wood-burning stove, the views from the screened porch and the modern gourmet kitchen are just some of the benefits. The little details are so nice, including a collection of games, books and CD's to enjoy. Julian is just a short drive away with lots of places to eat and shop, but it was nice to be away from the crowds in this private paradise in the mountains.

  • Liked — Peace and quiet
  • Disliked — No internet access, no TV (but that was also a good thing!)
  • Tips/Secrets — Your hosts, Chuck and Nan, will fill you in.
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank madmadeleine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin

Property: Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin
Address: Box 2408, Julian, CA 92036-2408
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Julian
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Julian
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Artists` Loft Bed And Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin Hotel
Artists` Loft b&b - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin

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