Small Inn, Large Memories
There’s a cozy little house tucked away on the upper reaches of Broad Street in Nevada City that – if you want to get away from it all pretty much right in the middle of it all – just might be the spot for you.
The Two Room Inn is completely correctly named in that it is just that – an upstairs “Balcony Suite” and a downstairs “Fireside Suite” and that’s all. But what the Two Room Inn lacks in accommodation choices, it most certainly makes up for in comfort, almost curbside access to the charms of downtown Nevada City, and that special sense of the ‘disappearing act’ that we all want to perform when we leave the familiarity of home for the weekend with not too much more than a tank of gas, a couple changes of clothes, a yearning for some minor mystery and adventure, and the irresistible desire to hide out and not be found.
On the outside, this is an unassuming place that almost disolves into the hills and trees and Victorian-style homes that comprise the Nevada City landscape, and it is really easy to walk or drive or ride in one of the town’s horse-pulled handsome cabs right past it without remarking to a companion, “Hey, there’s the Two Room Inn.”
Once you’re inside, though, ensconced on the velvet couch of the Fireside Suite, or stretched luxuriantly across the downy bedspread of the Balcony Suite, you are thankful for this because, and at the very risk of sounding hackneyed, you are almost literally transported to another world – a long way from home and, seemingly, a long way from the goings on right outside the front door – and this feels great.
In both suites the walls are cedar, the ceilings are pine, the windows are mostly stained and leaded glass, the decor is rich brocades and old world tapestries, and the chairs, couches and beds are overstuffed in a way that makes you not want to get up. Well, except maybe to tip a little more award-winning wine from the blocks-away Nevada City Winery into your glass; or to wander out to the upstairs balcony or downstairs deck to watch the Nevada City tableau spool out before you like an Edith Wharton novel; or, to ease into the hot tub or one of the deck chairs in the totally secluded back yard and bear witness to the stately drama of the Sierra night sky that seems to be always awash in stars.
Richard and June McKenzie are the proprieters of the Two Room Inn, and it is the one bed and breakfast in town where the innkeeper, BettyKay Basso, does not live on-site. If you are a fan of B&B’s and a fan of privacy, this can be a good thing, as Ms. Basso is only a phone call away and can be at the inn in a scant five minutes if need be. And if you (or you and your family/friends rent out the entire place for your stay, which is a popular thing to do here), have the place to yourself with the full kitchen that services both rooms, and without anyone hovering over you to remind you that breakfast is served at 9 a.m. and you had better be there for it.
When you do decide to get out of bed (and here – with the morning light streaming through the stained glass windows and the goose feather pillows cradling your oh-so-contented ‘noggin and, if you are in the Fireside Suite, maybe a couple of pine logs crackling in the gate – what really is the rush?) you can drift across the street for the second part of the B&B acronym. Instead of cooking for you on site, where you are more than welcome to do so for yourself, The Two Room Inn treats you to breakfast at Broad Street Books, thus affording you the splendid opportunity to browse the shelves while they prepare coffee and accompaniments for you to enjoy on their airy patio or in their snug cafe.
The suites at the Two Room Inn go for $125 to $160 a night, depending on which room you want and what time of the week you want it. Downstairs, you have a big sitting room, the fireplace, and the deck that opens right onto Broad Street. Upstairs is a little more intimate, with vaulted ceilings and a balcony that boasts a secluded command of Broad Street and anything that might be going on there – like Victorian Christmas or Hot Summer Nights – that could be tough to beat anywhere in town.
Your hostess, Ms. Basso, is a longtime resident of Nevada City with a passion for what helps to make the Sierra Foothills such a popular destination, and she likes very few things better than to help her guests “facilitate their weekend” with cogent advice about what to do and where to do it.
Even though the Two Room Inn is small, what it has to offer is large and memorable … but don’t tell anyone. Call (530) 265-3618 or look at their Web site at http://www.tworoominn.com.
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