We first stayed at the Tallman Hotel in the summer of 2008 and fell in love with it. We vowed to return and finally got a chance to do so this September for our 10th wedding anniversary. This stay was just as good as the first. Please see my review from August 2008 for additional details.
We especially enjoyed the live music during Sunday brunch at the Blue Wing Saloon, which was kind of like a bluegrass style - very easy to listen to in the morning. On Monday night, we had a blast during the live music that evening which was more rock and roll. It was so fun to see all of the locals (you could tell people came from miles to be there) dancing and having a great time. The mood was infectious and pretty soon we were dancing too! Best part was, everything died down by 10pm at the latest and it was back to being quiet and peaceful.
Another highlight of our stay this time was the lovely woman in charge of the breakfast in the morning. She was so friendly and the breakfast was divine. Her quiche was some of the best we've ever had. And the scones - so buttery, with just a hint of sweetness on the outer crust. Yum! She regularly stuck her head out the kitchen door to see if we needed anything and chatted with us a bit about her cooking. She was great.
In regards to things to do in the area, we really enjoyed wine tasting at Brassfield Estate Winery, which was definitely worth the detour drive off of the main road around Clear Lake, in order to see the estate and beautiful grounds. We also really enjoyed Ceago Winery, which also has lovely grounds, a dock out onto the lake, and a huge lavender field. I would have loved to have been there when it was in bloom! We are new to wine tasting, and both of these vineyards were welcoming and much less expensive than those that we had visited in Sonoma just prior to driving up to the Tallman.
My only comment is more about the general area than the hotel itself. Since our first visit, a casino has been constructed not too far from the small town of Upper Lake. I am not particularly anti-gambling, but sometimes casinos can have a negative affect on the immediate area. There were a lot of random men seemingly milling about town and a lot of the storefronts in Upperlake are shuttered. It is a good thing that the Blue Wing Saloon is so good because there are no other restaurant options in the area (except perhaps the casino). I was looking forward to browsing the architectural salvage shop located in the big red barn near the hotel, but it never opened during the four days we were there. The few antique stores left seemed to have irregular hours. I hope that the town can have a resurgence some day because it has some great architectural aspects and a "wild west" feel to it. And the Tallman Hotel and Blue Wing Saloon would serve as a great anchor for a renovated, historical downtown area.
Nevertheless, we are looking forward to our next stay at the Tallman Hotel and hopefully it won't take another four years to get back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This handsome country hotel, built in the 1890s, was completely restored and expanded to a 17-room luxury facility in 2006. The historic hotel received one of seven statewide historic preservation awards and is listed on the California Register of Historic Resources. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tallman Hotel Upper Lake
- Tallman Hotel Lake County, CA - Upper Lake