A theme hotel in a refurbished 1864 mansion surprises with topnotch hospitality.
Whether you're into role-playing or just driven by curiosity, if you're willing to embrace the kitsch at this overblown theme hotel, you are in for a treat. Hidden bathrooms and spiral staircases are tame compared to a sarcophagus --- yes, a stone coffin: you’ll find one alongside the chariot in the Egyptian Suite. If that’s too ancient for your taste, the ‘50s Suite has neon lights and an “ultra-modern” convertible. Appropriately, the ’56 Caddy is parked at a drive-in movie (complete with giant screen and movie-style projector). More than 200 craftspeople, artisans and artists created the property’s six theme suites, which also include the Gypsy Suite, the Roman Suite, the Pirate Suite and the French Suite. Each features hand-painted murals and tiles, a hot tub for two, a fireplace and a DVD player with classic films of the era. Built in 1864, the mansion was moved to its present location just off Highway 101 in Los Alamos, midway between Santa Maria and Buellton, in 1980. While quirkiness is clearly part of the draw, the hotel also succeeds in the all-important elements of comfort, service and hospitality.
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