Desert plains don’t usually spring to thoughts when occupied with Santa Barbara. Nevertheless, simply two hours northeast of the American Riviera within the “Hidden Valley of Enchantment” sits the historic California ranching city of New Cuyama and its highway trip-worthy vacation spot lodge, Cuyama Buckhorn.
Designed by George Vernon Russell – the architect behind Los Angeles’ iconic Hollywood Reporter constructing and the Flamingo in Las Vegas – and inbuilt 1952, the historic motel served as a group hub for many years. Throughout New Cuyama’s oil city heyday, executives often flew in to examine oil fields within the area and afterward would occasion late into the evening at what was then the Buckhorn Motel, Restaurant and Saloon.
A Timeless Roadside Resort
The property handed by means of a number of arms through the years earlier than falling into disrepair, however due to new homeowners Jeff Vance and Ferial Sadeghian of Los Angeles-based design and structure agency iDGroup, a now accomplished 18-month renovation mission has not solely breathed new life into The Buckhorn, underscoring its place within the coronary heart of the group as soon as once more however created a high-style getaway that’s placing Cuyama Valley on the journey map.
Ferial Sadeghian & Jeff Vance
Accentuating good midcentury bones Sadeghian and Vance added classic finds and cowboy-cool parts throughout the property, together with the cattle model symbols of native ranching households. Rooms are embellished with cowboy hats and leather-based butterfly chairs, every geared up with a considerate crate of Golden State Goodies as an alternative of a standard minibar. Outdoors, the heated swimming pool its plentiful array of loungers, adjoining sizzling tub and barrel-style sauna all take pleasure in views of the Caliente Mountains. Friends can get social on the bocce ball courtroom or round one of many cozy fireplace pits the place the complimentary s’mores package will turn out to be useful.
Past swoon-worthy design digs, Sadeghian and Vance intention to make The Buckhorn a vacation spot for meals lovers and gourmands. A collection of month-to-month dinners (some held in a stunning greenhouse), occasions and workshops are within the works spanning breadmaking lessons to a wellness weekend with visiting cooks and culinary creatives from Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Government chef Daniel Horn is doing nice issues within the kitchen, too, utilizing produce from native farms and ranches throughout his dishes, equivalent to regional specialty the Santa Maria-style tri-tip sandwich smoked on crimson oak. For a dose of Fifties nostalgia, step contained in the Cuyama Buckhorn bar to pattern one in every of bar supervisor Brandon Hernandez’s wonderful cocktails and artistic showcases for seasonal fruits and herbs.
The Hidden Valley of Enchantment
Stark however lovely, the land in Cuyama Valley lends itself to out of doors journey; its quiet open areas and spotty mobile phone service a chance to get off-grid. Close by Los Padres Nationwide Forest rewards with mountain climbing, mountain biking, and stargazing; it’s additionally the place extremely regarded third-generation rancher Emery Johnston leads multi-day pack journeys on horseback. An hour away at Carrizo Plains Nationwide Monument, the most important single native grassland remaining in California, there are cave work to find and a visible feast of hillside daisies, owl’s clover, and tidy ideas, amongst different basic California blooms if visiting throughout wildflower season.
For wine tasting, head to Condor’s Hope Winery, the place farmers Steve Gliessman and Roberta Jaffe have sustainably dry-farmed grapes and olives since 1995. The Buckhorn might help prepare excursions however can also be one of many few places that promote their varietals – an easy-drinking Rosé, floral Pedro Ximénez, full-bodied Shiraz, and strong Zinfandel – direct to shopper from the Buckhorn Market. The lodge additionally companions with nonprofit the Blue Sky Heart, which, amongst many initiatives, helps native companies rise up and operating, together with the Cuyama Beverage Firm, whose excessive desert meads are scrumptious and one other take-home should from the market.
Formally positioned in Santa Barbara County, Cuyama Valley additionally occupies sections of San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Kern counties and is reached by three state highways: west of Santa Maria on the 166, east of Bakersfield alongside the 119, and north from Ojai on the scenic 33. Though comparisons have been made about New Cuyama turning into the following excessive desert “it” city – very similar to close by Los Alamos and even West Texas’ arts-centric enclave of Marfa – watching the sundown beside the pool whereas visitors sip cocktails, socialize, and share tales like previous pals, illustrates that those that cease to scratch beneath the floor right here, know the second for Cuyama Buckhorn and The Hidden Valley of Enchantment is nearly to reach.
All picture credit courtesy of Cuyama Buckhorn until in any other case famous.