Wicky-Up Ranch bed and breakfast is the real bed and breakfast experience, and in the five days since my husband and I stayed there we have stayed at other bed and breakfasts that by contrast underline what an exceptional place Wicky-Up is--from the beautifully maintained California fourth-generation owned ranch house to the warm hospitality that the owners Monica and Jack extend to their guests.
The gardens are maintained with an eye to the pleasure of the guests, with the fragrance of orange trees and other plantings, the trickle of fountains, and the cooing of their resident doves all contributing to a sense of place that could make Wicky-Up a destination of its own. The fact that it is a beautiful and easy drive to Sequoia National Park only adds to this.
With the help that resident owners of a bed and breakfast can offer, we also experienced the exceptional Botanical Gardens in the town of Woodlake two miles down the road, where you can not only stroll through carefully curated plantings designed, installed and maintained by a local man with a PhD in horticulture whose experience of being a migrant worker in his youth has led him to want to involve the young people in his community in what is clearly a communal work of love.
The bed and breakfast owners, Monica and Jack also suggested the three mile walking trail around the lake next to the gardens, which we took and were able to see the amazing views of the Sierra Nevada at sunset the whole walk around.
We also ate twice at the restaurant called New China--I think--where the steamed fish with julienned fresh ginger and scallions rivaled the best of Chinese in any big city.
I would give Wicky-Up five stars--they even had vases of fresh flowers around the house and sent us off on our way with fresh oranges. I had both quiet mugs of tea on their ample front screened porch, and engaging conversations with the hosts, and would go back in a second.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jack and Monica Pizura welcome you to join them on a working orange ranch and to step back in time as you enter their gracious turn-of-the-century iconic home now celebrating its 17th year anniversary. Designed in 1901 by an architect for Monica's ancestor, Illinois State Senator Fred E. Harding, the incomparable two-story Craftsman/Victorian-style home shows exterior elements of a British Colonial style found in India and Africa. A must-stay for lovers of history, antiques, architecture, original art, oriental rugs and a perfect idealic retreat to explore the majestic Sequoia park and other local attractions.Choose the peaceful country-feel of the Juliana Suite with private shower/bath and stunning views of trees, mountains and sunsets; the more formal Lucy Harding Room with its unique cedar panels, vintage queen-size bed, private shower/bath with sounds of the Pond Fountain or the brightly-decorated Garden Cottage with stacked beds (the top a twin, the bottom a full-size feather bed), intimate enclosed garden shower and private patio entrance. Whatever room you choose, you will be immersed by the charm and delightful environment of this historical inn.Wicky-Up is a member of the Slow Food movement, growing its own fresh herbs and tomatoes and buying fresh, organic and locally whenever possible. A candlelight breakfast of culinary delights, served on Villeroy and Boch china, features fresh-squeezed Heirloom Washington navel orange juice from the ranch and blended organic rain forest coffee in a dining room appointed with 19th century antiques. Classical music quietly plays in the background. On the menu, some favorites are baked French Toast Naranjo, Fiesta Soufflé, Omelets with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes (Sundays only), Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Lavender/Honey Glazed Grapefruit and Poached Pears in a Cranberry-Lemon reduction.Our in includes Wi-Fi, Port wine and a variety of beverages to be enjoyed on the verandah, in the garden, or by the fireplace; fresh cut flowers; fluffy bathrobes; bedside chocolates; gardens with cooing doves; a detailed tour of the historic home and unforgettable, old-fashioned hospitality.We welcome and endeavor to make your visit and experience here a truly memorable one.*Wireless Internet access (WiFi) available. ... more less