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“DISCOVER THE STARS AT THE OBSERVER'S INN!”
Review of Observer's Inn

Observer's Inn
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Observer's Inn
Ranked #6 of 11 Julian B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 7, 2012

My husband and I were visiting San Diego from Houston and always try to experience something new and different when returning for a visit. In my search, I discovered Julian, a quaint little town in the mountains and only a short drive from San Diego. I began to read various reviews on lodging, primarily B&B's, since there are no large hotels in Julian. Several sounded lovely and had good reviews, but nothing about any of them appealed to me in my quest for a new adventure until I came across The Observer's Inn. We booked two nights and looked forward to our "star gazing". Personally, we enjoy a B&B that offers some privacy. We were warmly welcomed by Mike, the owner, and were shown to our private bedroom and private bathroom. I am known to be an "inspector" and quite particular when it comes to our hotel and lodging arrangements. The place was immaculate! The bed was a quality mattress and the bedroom seemed like home. A yummy and healthy breakfast including yogurt, oatmeal, baked pears, fresh fruit, special muffins and breads, coffee and juice were prepared by Mike and Caroline. The star gazing tour began promptly at 8:30 p.m. Mike has created an unforgettable experience, especially for novices like my husband. Mike's love and knowledge of astronomy along with his sense of humor made for two unforgettable evenings. With his impressive collection of telescopes, we were able to view star clusters, galaxies, planets and a nebula. We left the Observer's Inn with a new appreciation of our awesome universe. We are looking forward to returning and possibly taking some friends or family next time. You won't be disappointed when you visit The Observer's Inn in Julian, CA.

Room Tip: There are two rooms in the B&B house and they are identical, except for color. Both have privat...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank CarolynL133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 - 25 of 28 reviews

Reviewed February 2, 2012

My wife and I recently celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary at the Observer's Inn, and we couldn't have asked for a better experience.

Checking in and out is a breeze, and the guest house is exceptionally clean and comfortable. Central heating and an extra deep bathtub provided a great way to stay warm in the chill of winter. Plenty of fresh water, tea, cocoa and coffee was readily available and made us feel at home.

The sky tour was certainly the highlight of our evening. If you're technical minded, you'll love hearing the way telescopes work or track objects. If you appreciate astronomy, your eyes will behold amazing wonders incredibly far away, and your mind will be treated to the facts and history behind these sights. Mike's gentle demeanor and passion for the stars is contagious. You'll leave wanting a giant telescope in your back yard!

In the morning, we went for a short walk on a trail just outside the inn and then had a delicious breakfast prepared for us. We felt welcome and safe the entire time. Mike and Carol are excellent hosts.

The dog was not a problem and was never anywhere remotely close to us. Then again, we elected not to ignore 3 sets of caution signs and two gates nor did we walk into their house. That seems to be a good strategy when it comes to other peoples' property.

We're waiting in anticipation for our next stay or sky tour!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cpayette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2011

Did not stay at the B n B but did spend the evening here for the sky tour. The owner of the Inn is an amateur astronomer and I use the word amat lightly. His knowledge and equipment were waaaay beyond amateur. It was really fun, interesting and educational.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Sunnys_Day
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2011

We went to this Inn for our anniversary, and to watch the meteor shower. We drove nearly three hours to get there, and were very excited to stay. Julian is always raved about, and Observer's Inn was highly recommended. When we arrived, there was no place to check in, so we went to the front door, and found a sign that said, "Do not knock". That was a little disconcerting, but we braved on.
A man came out and we told him we were there to check in. What then occurred amazed and shocked us. He told us we couldn't stay there, that he had no room, and no reservation for us (even before asking us our name). Long and short of it? After a short debate, he would not admit to taking our reservation and made us leave.
We went to the only place open in Julian at that hour, and had dinner, discussing what to do. Though exhausted, we decided to drive home, the night in shambles, the weekend ruined.
Later we found out that he had his wife call, and leave a message that they had double-booked and were sorry. He had his wife call!!! He didn't have the balls to call and tell us himself!
Our recommendation: Should you decide to stay here, make sure you confirm the reservation a few days before. Be sure to ask to speak to both the husband AND the wife, when you do. And just before you leave for that long drive out, I would call again, and speak to BOTH the husband, and then demand to speak to the wife. I cannot believe that someone would claim to be an innkeeper and have such shoddy, unprofessional manners, but buyer beware, you are now warned, and when this happens to you, he won't be a bit sorry!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Elaine V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2010

My husband, who is an astronomer, and I, have stayed twice. We have loved it both times. The B & B is very nice - with a sitting room with lots of books and DVD's. The rooms are very pretty and comfortable. There are two fans in the room but no AC. It does cool down at night but can be a little warm.

Because this was our second stay, it was like staying with old friends. Mike (the owner) remembered us and because we were the only two staying that night, gave us a fantastic star tour where we could request to see certain stars and clusters. It was really nice. Even though it only meant to last an hour, our tour lasted 90 minutes.

My husband set up his telescope on one of their concrete pads and observed late into the night.

The owners do have a German Shepard, which concerned me since I am afraid of big barking dogs. However, this dog is always on a tether - even inside the house - in his dog run. So. nothing to worry about.

If you enjoy looking at the stars this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ilovehawaiiredlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2010

For your own safety, avoid this place! They own a very aggressive German Sheppard who attacked my entire group. The dog came flying out of the front door barking. Terrified, I went running back down the porch stairs as it launched itself off the top stair onto my back, biting my neck. I was grateful enough to be able to outrun it and although it landed on my back, it bit my down vest, ripping it open. At this point the owners came out and corralled it into the dog run outside. I was shaking and crying from the trauma of the attack and truly thought the dog was going to take me down. I went to the hospital when I got home and I'm still receiving therapy for neck and back muscle spasms resulting from the attack. To make matters worse, the owners were very unapologetic and have yet to reimburse us for any damaged goods or hospital bills.

As far as the show goes, it was somewhat interesting but overall mediocre. The owner pointed out the stars we learned about in grade school. The dog was aggressively barking the entire time, which put us all on edge and in fear that it would get loose and attack again. Furthermore, it was pretty overcast so we did not get to expereince much of a show but still paid full price.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Nadamk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2009

My friend and I booked a stay at the Observer's Inn for December 12 & 13, 2009, but weather forecasts of snow prompted us to cancel as neither of us are experienced drivers in snow. The owner was extremely nasty to me when I tried to cancel. There is no refund of monies if you cancel less than 21 days before your reservation. In addition, the owner is unkind and gets extremely unpleasant and angry with you if you should dare to ask.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Vistagal59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Observer's Inn

Address: 3535 Highway 79, Julian, CA 92036-9449
Location: United States > California > Julian
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Julian
Price Range: $125 - $150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 2

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