Tallman Hotel 9550 Main St., in Upper Lake, north lake, (866) 708-5253, (707) 275-2244. 17 rooms; $$-$$$. Heated pool, hot tub. Continental breakfast, restaurant. Built in 1895, this beautifully restored hotel combines rustic and chic in a delightful manner. The original hotel has 4 high-ceilinged guest rooms that are decorator-adorned in a soothing mix of subdued colors in a fashionable mix of patterns and styles. Should a guest fall in love with any fabric or color, a resource book is kept at the desk to advise of brands and numbers. One of the most interesting features is the highly functional antique bathroom plumbing, which is so old it’s new again. Room #1 has both an oversize clawfoot tub with center drain and a tall shower enclosure with a wrap-around chrome fixture sporting all kinds of porcelain knobs and levers that control a giant sunflower head and side sprayers. Lodging is available in several other buildings, and some new-construction garden rooms have a Japanese ofuro soaking tub on a private patio with outdoor shower.
The complex’s Blue Wing Saloon & Cafe (9520 Main St., (707) 275-2233. L-D daily; $-$$.) serves a well-priced eclectic menu. Specialties include barbecued tri tip, agave citrus salmon, and portobello mushroom ravioli. Local wines are featured, and beers and sarsaparilla are on tap. Diners can sit in the cozy interior or, in good weather, outside in a delightful garden patio sheltered by umbrellas and plane trees. It is hard to believe the saloon is all new construction; do take time to admire the long, seamless, straight-grained black walnut bar made from one piece of wood.
Upper Lake is a tad larger than a one-horse town. Once the end of the stage line from Cloverdale, it now holds a wine tasting bar and several antique stores—including one right across the street from the hotel where the owner leads an eccentric tour of his homage to the old west (it includes western art, a stage coach, and guns galore).
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image c2008 Carole Terwilliger Meyers