In tiny Geyserville, the B&Bs to visit are the Hope-Merrill and Hope-Bosworth Houses (21238 and 21253 Geyserville Ave., 800/825-4233, www.hope-inns.com, $165–310). This Victorian charmer, which does in fact include two separate historic houses across the street from one another, harkens to classic B&Bs on the East Coast. The owners come from Back East, and they’ve brought their traditions and aesthetics with them out to the Alexander Valley.
If loud floral wallpaper covering every surface of your bedroom causes nightmares and hallucinations, this might not be the inn for you. But true aficionados of the Victorian style will love the flowers, lace, frills, and geegaws. Amenities include a pool and two hot tubs, plenty of common space in both houses, Friday evening wine tastings out in the yard, and an enormous, homemade, multi-course breakfast each morning.
At breakfast, the owners preside over the tables, offering touring advice to guests. Each room has its own private bath—most in the same room, and one or two lying just across the hall from your room.
The most comfortable rooms with the good mattresses tend to be the spendier rooms—if you’re in a less-expensive room, you may find yourself with less-than-plush pillows. But overall, the Hope Houses make for a great base from which to explore the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valley wineries.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition