GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (KTXL) — Grass Valley is a great place for a weekend hike, wine tasting, and even a little shopping in historic downtown.
And if you don’t want to leave, you don’t have to. You can just check into a 170-year-old hotel that’s also a historic landmark.
It’s checking into a museum with really great furniture inside. The Holbrooke Hotel has stood the tests of time, going from a run-down western inn to a luxurious hotel and wedding venue.
Let’s take a trip back in time to the roaring gold rush era of the 1850’s in beautiful grass valley, where gold miners, tycoons and travelers would pass through and stay at the so-called town jewel that is the Holbrooke hotel.
Rustic leather chairs, beautifully exposed brick and iconic western elements make this modern-day version of the Holbrooke a quintessential boutique hotel.
“If these walls could talk, it was host to that era that we mythologize in American history today, that wild, wild west,” said Events Manager Sonya Krimsky
Evidence of days gone by can be found just about everywhere here, including the lobby.
“It is said, that many U.S. presidents stayed here including Herbert Hoover and Ulysses S. Grant, but we’re not sure,” said Krimsky. “Their names are in the registry but it could’ve been a highwayman using a pseudonym or a joke from a prizefighter to get his name in the registry.”
There’s also history to be found in the swanky speakeasy hidden underneath the hotel.
“So the upstairs saloon was for the miners and the downstairs was kind of known as a high rollers club,” Krimsky said. “…I mean the bar itself was shipped around the Straits of Magellan.”
Yet preserving and elevating these pieces of history wasn’t easy. It took many hands and the creative minds of Krimsky and her team to save the hotel from years of neglect and return it to its former glory.
“These raw brick and flagstone walls that you see now were covered and in lathe and wallpaper,” said Krimsky “…We began to redesign but with the original intention of the history in mind… To be able to do what I had set out to do when I was young and a teenager studying restoration art in Italy, it was just a dream come true.”
“The town really loves the building, loves the place, you can tell they care a lot about what happens here,” said Zachary Ahrenholtz, executive chef for the Holbrooke Hotel.
Ahrenholtz did a bit of a restoration of his own with Holbrooke’s menu by incorporating the cultural cuisine of the original Hispanic settlers of Grass Valley.
The chef’s signature dish is lion’s mane mushroom barbacoa with crispy potatoes and fresh avocado.
The Holbrooke has also caught the eyes of many bride-and-groom-to-be’s, becoming a hot destination wedding venue.
“Couples coming in, their parents were married here, I have older couples wanting to host their anniversary here because this has been a wedding spot for over a century,” said Krimsky.
And every bride could use a cocktail on the big day, so why not get one at one of the longest-running saloons in American history.
“It has its own mystique, it really is like a person, it has personality, it’s like nothing else,” Krimsky said of the historic hotel.