The Slice of Denmark in Central California
If you think that the Danish village of Solvang, California, is just a tiny town lined with bakeries and souvenir shops, you likely have not visited in a while. This little “slice of Denmark in Central California,” as the town is affectionately called, is located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley and has evolved into a desirable food and wine destination. With 120 wineries nearby, restaurants serving California’s freshest farm-to-table cuisine and new avant-garde hotels popping up, Solvang is the chic new trend in weekend getaways.
One such hotel is the Vinland Hotel and Lounge, which has been recently and entirely renovated to reflect a contemporary design while retaining some of the town’s signature Danish charm. Comfort is the ruling theme here and the minimalist décor augments the relaxation experience. There is no sight of clutter or non-essential furnishings to invade a guest’s sense of repose. With 82 rooms, the Vinland’s top suites have partnered with nearby wineries to offer guests exclusive vineyard experiences.
The Vinland Hotel and Lounge has a heated pool and hot tub on site, a cold brew coffee bar, and the V Lounge, which features traditional California favorites mixed with customary Danish fare. Local wines, craft beer and delicious cocktails are also served at the full-service bar which is opened until 2:00 a.m. daily. The hotel offers attentive concierge services, a mixology hour, and they maintain a dog-friendly policy. Parking and WIFI are complimentary. And because we are living through a pandemic, the Vinland Hotel and Lounge adheres to strict State regulations, taking the appropriate measures, including curbside check-ins, for the safety and protec¬tion of all guests.
A short walk from the Vinland is the brand-new Winston, an innovative hotel concept that opened July 2020. With only 14 rooms, this posh boutique hotel is an artistic wonderland. There are no two rooms alike and most range from 400 to 700 square feet. Each room retains a sense of old-world charm, yet the entire space is fashionably bold and vivid.
The Winston is located in the historic Old Mill Clock Tower, the most photographed building in Solvang. It’s con¬veniently positioned in the center of town and within walk¬ing distance to shops, restaurants and tasting rooms. The Hans Christian Andersen Park, the central hub of the area in which special events and festivities take place, sits directly across the street.
The historic building retains its original brick and glass, but the interior has been transformed into a luxury lodging experience. There is no front desk or staff on site and check-in is completely contact-less. There is a text messag¬ing platform, enabling an immediate connection to staff. Guests are issued a unique code that permits them to enter the property and their hotel room.
In addition to dining, Solvang offers an array of recre¬ation options for visitors of all ages. With COVID restric-tions, indoor activities may be limited, but Segway and surrey bike rentals are a great way to get around and tour the town. Ostrichland is a fun place for families to enjoy feeding the Ostriches and there is a miniature horse ranch that children love. ATV and jeep tours of the local hillsides, hiking and horseback riding are also an enjoyable way to spend the day.
Once booked online, the management submits questions to clients to ensure their needs are taken care of and the items they enjoy are stocked in the room’s minibar. In the unlikely event of a dilemma, guests can contact the staff at the Vinland Hotel and Lounge, which supports both properties.
The rooms and common spaces are furnished with pieces personally collected from around the world and main¬tain a sense of whimsy and fun. The exquisite Clock Tower Suite is ideal for a romantic escape or a family getaway. The entire hotel is available for buyouts, which is ideal for wed¬ding parties or special occasions. And of course, the property is pet-friendly!
The hotel’s objective is that visitors feel like guests of someone’s home as opposed to vacationing at a sterile com¬mercial hotel. The deluxe amenities, which include a bath¬room mini bar filled with upscale skincare, beauty and bath products; a private, guest-only honor bar and a complimen¬tary breakfast delivered to the door, help reinforce that intention.
When hunger strikes, guests can walk a few steps to nearby peasants FEAST, one of the best new eateries in Solvang. Owned by husband and wife team, Chef Michael Cherney and Sarah Cherney, the meals here are as delectable as they are creative.
A casual, family-friendly and relaxed spot, peasants FEAST fea¬tures seasonal, scratch-made food with ingredients from local farms, designed to promote the surrounding agricultural community.
Conveniently located, peasants FEAST offers signature items like seasonally evolving grilled cheese sandwiches and the Copenhagen Caesar, which features grana Padano and meyer lemon Caesar dressing. The Pork Schnitzel Salad contains breaded and fried pork tenderloin, field greens, cherry tomatoes, pickled fennel, pickled peppers, red onion, Stepladder Creamery “Paso Vino” Spanish style cheese and lemon brown butter vinaigrette.
Other menu items include the Pastrami Smoked Salmon, Fresh Fish Tacos, and the Solvang Hot Chicken Sandwich. The house-made ice cream, crafted by the Cherneys’ daughter, Reina, may be the best you’ve ever had. It can be served by the scoop, in the freshly-baked cookies, or in a family-favorite frozen lime pie.
Dining options are abundant in Solvang, but for a truly authentic Italian experience, S.Y. Kitchen in Santa Ynez is the place to go. The menu is a blend of traditional Italian cuisine with local, Santa Barbara County wine country variations. Located in a renovated home, the restau¬rant reflects the region’s vintage charm within its cozy ambiance. The outdoor patio is lined with plants and brick steps and is set beneath birch trees and plenty of umbrellas.
Menu items include traditional Italian favorites as well as entrees such as the T-bone Truffle Sliders, Wagyu Meatballs and the Pollo Alla Griglia, an Oak-grilled half jidori chicken with grilled vegetables, potatoes, and spicy Calabrian chili. Desserts include a Ginger Crème Brulée and a Not-so Traditional Tiramisu.
The Vinland Hotel and Lounge
1455 Mission Drive Solvang, CA 93463 (805)-688-2018
486 1st Street Solvang, CA 93463 (805) 688 2965
487 Atterdag Road,
Solvang, CA 93463
1110 Faraday Street
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
3625 East Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 230
Westlake Village, CA, 91362
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