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“Beautiful property, awful hosts."”

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Harmony Ridge Lodge
Ranked #6 of 6 Nevada City B&B and Inns
Auburn, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, awful hosts."”
Reviewed May 16, 2009

The ONLY reason I am giving an "average" overall rating is because WE found a way to make our wedding perfect WITHOUT the help of the lodge staff. My husband and I recently got married at the Harmony Ridge Lodge. We booked our wedding a year ago when the lodge was managed by different staff members who were WONDERFUL. They were super awesome, super helpful, and super nice and mellow. Three weeks before our wedding, two new staff members were hired to replace the old. What a huge mistake that was. It turned out that it rained all three days of the weekend we rented out the lodge for our wedding. A truly difficult situation could not have been made more difficult by Deanna and Billy, the new hosts. They were completely unhelpful and completely rude to my friends and family who were trying to make the best of the situation by making some last minute decisions. We were nothing but respectful and friendly the entire weekend and we were made to feel as though we were intruding in the hosts house (which it is not, they live there to manange the property). Deanna constantly made up new rules and tried to tell me it was in my contract (which I had to show her and none of the rules she specified were in my contract). My mom was doing EVERYTHING to make sure the place was picked up and clean. She was told by Deanna that she had to MOP and VACCUUM the floor (after she cleaned the entire kitchen)! At what business that you rent out for parties anywhere would they make someone do that!? I could go on, but the important fact to know is that the owners of this gorgeous lodge that had perfect staff are going to run themselves out of business with these new caretakers. It is a shame. Our wedding turned out perfect and beautiful despite the rain and Deanna's pessimistic attitude, but I will NEVER recommend them to anyone. If you are thinking about getting married here DON'T...unless you want to work your butt off while the caretakers sit around and complain because they don't have a backup plan or extra staff in case the weather is not as hoped for.

  • Stayed May 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lisandy502
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2009

This place is located in such a beautiful place too bad the new staff is so rude. I felt as if I was bothering them by being there. Such a waste of a great location.

I will not return.

  • Stayed May 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank dremul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2009

What was going to be a relaxing wedding weekend for my very good friend turned into a stressful work filled three days. The lodge and surrounding rooms were booked for the entire weekend for her wedding celebration. Apparently there are new caretakers (not the previous Brenda raved about) They had been there for only 3 weeks and had no clue how to make guests feel welcome. We actually felt like a burden. Unfortunately, it rained the entire three days. Instead of making a hard situation better.. they made it worse. They were very unhelpful and not equipped to handle an indoor event. Not only did we (the guests) have to move all the furniture out of the place, Deanna complained about having the furniture in the garage. We decided to made the best of it and try to create a intimate, romatic scene with candles. Of course, NO candles! They finally did compromise after the mother of the very frustrated bride put her foot down. We were made to clear out by 10 pm every night . We (my husband and I) were unfortunate to have the room located inside the lodge. My husband was visiting friends in another room only to come back at midnight and find himself locked out! He had to climb through a window to get to our room. So, our room was nice, breakfast was good, the surroundings are beautiful ... the caretakers need some lessons in actually taking care of their guest.

  • Stayed May 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank CaliforniaPhotogirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern CA
Level Contributor
79 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2009

What could be better than being greeted by one of the caretakers at the front door as you pull up? It felt like coming home!

First of all, qualify yourself for this B&B. If you don't like dogs or you freak out when you can hear your neighbors talk nextdoor, then maybe this isn't the property for you. Honestly, who spends that much time in their rooms when the natural beauty of the Tahoe National Forest is right outside your back door? BUT, if you are pretty laid back, you LOVE nature's beauty, and you want to be pampered by some of the nicest people in the business, spend a few days at Harmony Ridge Lodge and you will know what a gem this place really is. The Lodge itself is really beautiful and tastefully decorated and the caretakers are just the icing on the cake!

We spent a very short time here this past weekend and, yes, the walls are thin. But so are 50% of the very expensive 5-star hotels I have stayed at as well! So, we had our kids whisper whenever we were indoors at night or early in the morning. Not a hardship at all. Perhaps adding a little note to the rooms or at check-in to advise everyone to consider their neighbors might be a welcome addition. Bring earplugs if you are THAT worried about it (I wouldn't waste the money), but just go already! There are no TVs or telephones, so you won't be bothered by extra sound from either of those and most people tend to drift off to sleep rather early up here because they have worn themselves out exploring the beauty of the surrounding areas all day! Don't let the possibility of noise drive you away because you really will love this B&B! In fact, the most we ever heard during our stay were the footsteps of the people above us. Trust me, the place is well worth that very small inconvenience, if it even occurs at all! I am very noise susceptible but the benefits of this location far outweigh the minor issue of noise from fellow travelers that will be as relaxed as you are from staying in the midst of such an amazing place! People will automatically tend to be quieter here.

You will be full and ready for your day once you visit the dining room in the morning! The breakfasts were very nicely presented and tasty as well. Lots to choose from, including cereals, muffins, bagels, preserves, egg dishes, yogurts, juice, coffee, etc. Not over the top, but just like home - except better because you don't have to do the dishes! The current caretakers, Brenda and Cameron, are the nicest people and they take great pride in what they do. We had the pleasure of meeting the incoming caretakers, Deanna and Billy, and they were just as nice and accommodating! In fact, Billy made some Cranberry Avalanche cookies that were simply awesome! Don't leave without asking for some of those!!! I cannot wait to go back and spend some time with them again because the genuine friendhsip that they exude is evident in everything they do! We even got to meet one of the owner's this weekend and I have to say that all of Harmony Ridge Lodge's "people" are just amazingly friendly and family-like, including Ben and Monarch, the two dogs that were there. The people here simply want to share this gorgeous place with everyone. We felt so very much at home and will bring our dogs next time so they can enjoy the 5 acres of fenced-in fun!

I vistied quite a few of the rooms, just to take a peek, and I must say that each room has its own character and style. If you imagine a very nicely decorated home in the woods, this is what you will find at Harmony Ridge Lodge. So much detail and love has been put into these rooms. The bathrooms are even lovely, some with huge soaking tubs. We stayed in room 6 with two king beds and LOTS of extra space. We had a table and chairs as well as a refrigerator and microwave that they brought in for us. It was so tempting to grab a good book from one of the shleves and sit down to enjoy it all on the back porch, absorbing the aroma of pine while sitting among the trees, but we just didn't have the time this trip! Next time I will definitely do this! We literally walked out the back sliding glass door and into the woods. Everything was so accessible!

The Lodge is not far from the next town, right off CA-20 and close to CA-49, where there are many stores, restaurants, etc. You will feel like you are a million miles away because of the scenery, but you are very close to everything you could possibly need. I know this because I ended up at the hospital a few miles down the road on the way home!

This would be the PERFECT location for a family reunion, a conference or even a wedding. They were even working on a yoga room while we there! I would love to get about 20 family members and just hang out for a week in this place! In fact, I will be touting this property to clients and family because if you need to get away without traveling a great distance, this B&B is the place for you! I am thinking that a gift certificate for this location will make a perfect thank-you or birthday gift for someone that just needs a break from reality!

PLEASE do not let the possibility of noise deter you from spending a few nights in this very well-run and extremely gorgeous home in the woods. I think when I read some of the negative reviews below, it scared me a bit, but after staying here, it simply made me mad. Harmony Ridge Lodge is NOT to be missed, especially over some minor noise and anyone that says so needs to lighten up and enjoy life a bit more. Noise from nextdoor means you are alive and can hear! That's a plus in my book! And I don't think the caretakers would be upset if you asked them to remind the other guests to be considerate. Pack your earplugs, if you really must, and come spend some time with real people that remind everyone of how peaceful and relaxing life in this world should be!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelAllMyDays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pleasanton
1 review
Reviewed November 12, 2008

On the third of November my husband, I and our old boxer Mac came back home after spending a very relaxing 3 day weekend at Harmony Ridge Lodge (not to be confused with Harmony Ridge Resort which is a camping and RV park).I am disabled with severe rheumatoid arthritis and was very impressed with their disabled room. The room itself was extremely clean and fresh smelling with a very large bathroom with a big walk in or roll in shower for wheelchairs. We could let our dog straight out the door to a beautiful large fenced area for his walks etc and the proprietors were extremely helpful with anything we needed.The lodge and surroundings are very picturesque and it all made for a stress free vacation and lovely memories.

  • Liked — it was extremely well looked after.(the grounds, rooms etc)
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank boxergirlPleasanton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
61 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2008

The Harmony Ridge Lodge offers beautifully appointed rooms with beautiful landscaping and common areas. The beds are comfortable. Room 6 was spacious for our family of 4, well lit, newly remodeled and clean. In addition, there was a small refrigerator, microwave, table and chairs, back patio with private sitting area looking out into the forest. The room looks like it is prepped for a small sink/kitchen, which would definitely make the room more valuable for guests wanting to bring some food. It would also be nice to have a hair dryer and a way to make coffee or tea in the room.
Although close to Highway 20, you couldn't hear any traffic when in the room. You could hear other guests talking in their rooms, but thankfully everyone quieted down after 10 pm AND there are no TV's to listen to!
A big plus is their dog friendly policy! There was a nice area in back of the lodge for walks and although there were a few dogs there during our stay, they were all well behaved (no barking).
Breakfast included cold cereals, fruit, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, scones one morning and pancakes, bacon, homemade applesauce the second morning. Ample and delicious.
A pleasant surprise was being able to take a yoga class in the studio on Saturday (for an extra fee). The studio is beautiful and overlooks the garden. The lodge would make a nice venue for a yoga or meditation retreat.
The owners Jamie and Bob were very personable.
A nice play to stay. Finishing the kitchenette and putting a few more personal amenities in the room such as a hair dryer, some lotion, bubble bath, a way to make coffee or tea in the room, would make this place great!

  • Liked — Location, beauty, comfort
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank UNR91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangor, ME
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2008

We stayed during a $100-per-room promotion which was an incredible value: extraordinary food and the room itself was plush and comfortable, and the grounds so peaceful.

That said, I would not go back here during a time when there was not a promotion. The regularly advertised prices are too much, for a room where the walls are so thin that we could hear everything next door, and could actually smell the butter flavor when someone in another room microwaved popcorn.

I believe the Inn is a re-purposed barn, which might account for an architectural design that still feels something like you're in a big barn with a lot of other guests, no matter how nice the room itself is appointed.

The breakfasts are feasts, and the managers, Cameron and Brenda, make this place a deeply enjoyable respite, in spite of its structural flaws. They know the meaning of hospitality. If they ever decide to leave for another inn, though, I think this place's deficits will soon outweigh its charms.

  • Liked — Cameron and Brenda
  • Disliked — Poor sound (and scent) insulation between rooms. Too many books about golden retrievers.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wudak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Harmony Ridge Lodge

Property: Harmony Ridge Lodge
Address: 18883 State Highway 20, Nevada City, CA 95959-9191
Location: United States > California > Nevada City
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Nevada City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Harmony Ridge Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Harmony Ridge Lodge is a new ten-room Bed and Breakfast located in the Tahoe National Forest just outside Nevada City, CA. The lodge has an orchard and perennial gardens as well as hiking and biking trails. ... more   less 
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