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Temecula Creek Inn, California - Hotel Review

Temecula Wine Country

By Alain Gayot

Temecula Creek Inn in Temecula, California
Temecula Creek Inn in Temecula, California

When it comes to visiting Southern California, sometimes it pays to venture beyond the tried and true — L.A.'s glitzy celeb scene, San Diego's sunny beaches and Palm Spring's desert resorts. In this region there are pockets that prove there is still such a thing in our Global Village as a best-kept secret. Among them: Temecula Valley, with its intimate wine trail and the Temecula Creek Inn.

Even though it's only 90 miles from L.A. and 60 miles from San Diego, the valley feels a world away from Brian Wilson's archetypical SoCal. Named by the Luiseno tribe, Temecula means, "sun shining through the sea mist," but this romantic description does not do justice to the unique drama of the San Jacinto mountains drifting down into green hillsides dappled with massive stones. The mood here is rugged and bucolic at the same time, and it's easy to imagine the cattle that once grazed the land. Fortunately, Temecula Creek Inn has done an admirable job of maintaining the integrity of the landscape, with its subtle wood and stone architecture; golf courses that incorporate natural flora and land formations; and stands of sycamore, stone pine, eucalyptus, ash and California live oak.

Long before the arrival of the fairways, this 350-plus-acre property was inhabited by Pechanga Indians. The inn's interiors display a soothing nature-inspired palette and rustic wine country furnishings, and you will discover a taste of it upon arrival in the lobby and carried into the guest rooms and junior suites. Housed in two- and three-story guest lodges, the 130 accommodations are spacious, and most have private balconies or patios with golf course and mountain views. As well, they include work stations with high-speed Internet access and voice mail.

A guest room at Temecula Creek Inn in Temecula, California The challenging 4th hole of the Stonehouse course at Temecula Creek Inn in California
A soothing nature-inspired palette
Championship golf

Although Temecula Creek calls itself an inn, it offers numerous advantages associated with a resort: most notably its golf courses. Its 27 holes of championship golf are comprised of the Creek, Oaks and Stone House Nine. Beginners will want to start with the Creek course, while those who like a challenge will appreciate the elevation changes, rock outcroppings and blind fairways of the Ted Robinson-designed Stone House course. With fairways lined with century-old oaks, the courses have hosted U.S. Open Qualifiers and Golden State Tours. As well, golfers can takes classes and clinics from PGA pros at the on-site golf school.

With its central location in one of California's up-and-coming boutique wine regions, the inn has established itself as a destination for fine regional dining. Its Cork | Fire Kitchen is overseen by executive chef Sal Giuliano, who infuses wine country cuisine with Mediterranean influences and who frequents local farms for organic produce. You're likely to find heirloom tomatoes, torpedo onions or persimmons from the area on the table, as well as herbs (pineapple sage or Genovese basil, for example) from his garden. Also of note is the setting in which the food is served. Cork | Fire Kitchen is a lovely space with a contemporary Pacific Northwest flair to it. Simple and elegant wooden chandeliers hang from the vaulted, wood beam ceiling, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows lends the room an al fresco feel.

The inn's comprehensive meeting and event spaces — which can accommodate up to 400 — include the rustic Stone House, which was once a former mess hall for quarrymen. This historic building, constructed in 1825, is a lovely setting for intimate wedding parties and small corporate retreats. There is also a full team for planning all kinds and styles of gatherings, which are enhanced by additional activities such as tennis, swimming and massage. As well, miles of marked trails wind around the resort. As you're taking a morning jog or an afternoon hike, keep an eye open for coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, red tail hawks and blue jays. With its 21st-century amenities and timeless natural beauty, Temecula Creek Inn offers the best of both worlds.


Temecula Creek Inn
44501 Rainbow Canyon Rd.
Temecula, CA 92592
877-517-1823 | Reserve a room with Expedia for the best rate!


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