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Blackberry Inn Bed and Breakfast is found in Groveland, California, a town located near the western side of Yosemite National Park. The business has a total of ten suites that are typically available from the middle of March to the middle of November, though that time range varies depending on the weather. Breakfast is included with each reservation. There are a total of 36 acres that are owned by the establishment, with a variety of walking trails that can take patrons to other places on the property, such as the horse pasture. Children under the age of 13 and pets are not allowed to stay at the property. The owners enjoy talking to guests about activities that can be done in the area and helping them plan their day at the parks. The current owners, Steve and Alex, have owned the business since 2008.
Blackberry Inn Bed and Breakfast has two buildings with guest rooms; one is called Blackberry Building and the other is the Ahwahnee Suites. There are a total of ten units, five in each building, that can be reserved typically from the third week of May to the second week in November. In the Blackberry Building, guests can book Honeymoon Sweet, Bramble Rose, Briar Rose, Brameberry Room, and Berry Patch. The Ahwahnee Suites contain the units Clouds Rest, El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridaveil Falls, and Yosemite Falls. Nine of the rooms have a king-sized bed, while the other one has a queen-sized bed. There is a two-person jacuzzi tub in The Honeymoon Sweet, and the others have a combination of tubs and showers. Each room comes with an electric fireplace, a sitting area with recliners, and access to breakfast in the mornings.
Breakfast begins at 8:00 AM and is brought to each person in their suites. All of the breakfast items are baked, and the main dish changes on a daily basis. In one of the owner's words, "I want to make it special for them because I think many people come for the food." Some of the dishes that they have served in the past include baked apple French toast, omelets, roasted red pepper and goat cheese frittata, quiche, and others. The owners are able to accommodate food allergies and specific diets. Arrangements for such alterations are typically asked for and made in advance when guests are making their reservations. As an example, many of the entrees can be made vegetarian, and they can do gluten-free and lactose-free dishes.
Outside of the buildings, the owners have a total of 36 acres of land. There is a common area on the outside of the Ahwahnee Suites that is comprised of a large terrace with seating. According to the owner, there is little light pollution, so guests in the past have set up cameras on the patio to take pictures of the moon, stars, and the Milky Way. Also found on the property is a horse pasture that houses seven Arabian horses, which is a short distance from the bed and breakfast. Trails lead around the property, allowing visitors to take walks and hike around the grounds. The location is close to Stanislaus National Forest, so there are many trees and wooded areas. The Yosemite National Park Gate Entrance is found about 12 miles from Blackberry Inn Bed and Breakfast.
One of the main reasons that people stay at the bed and breakfast is to spend time at Yosemite National Park, which is found east of the business. Yosemite National Park provides a variety of outdoor recreational activities like hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, and a variety of water-based activities like river rafting, canoeing, and more. People can also travel northwest and find Columbia State Historic Park, a town "set in the 1850s" that does tours, panning for gold, stagecoach rides, and other activities that were done during that time. There are also a few stores like a blacksmith, candle-making shop, candy-making shop, and others. A little further from the Blackberry Inn Bed and Breakfast is a ghost town named Bodie. Bodie has many different buildings, as a typical town would, but according to the owner, "it looks like the people just got up and left one day." There is a unique story about how electricity came to the town in the earlier days before it was abandoned.
The owners of the bed and breakfast, Steve and Alex, also like to recommend restaurants to people staying at their establishment. One of these restaurants is called Lucky Buck Café and is within walking distance of the inn. Another restaurant that can be found in the heart of Groveland is called Cocina Michoacana. Cocina Michoacana has a menu that specializes in Mexican-style dishes and drinks. Steve and Alex also like to recommend Pine Mountain Lake Country Club, which serves American food at their bar and grill.
Steve and Alex, the current owners of Blackberry Inn Bed and Breakfast, would like their patrons to feel "loved and cherished" when they arrive for their stay. To help accomplish their goal, she explains that she and her husband, Steve, like to talk with people about how to best enjoy the area, especially Yosemite National Park, in a safe manner. Alex explains that "concierge is a big thing for us and Yosemite National Park is the size of the state of Rhode Island." Alex mentions that she and Steve interact with their guests frequently.
The establishment has received a number of reviews from people who have stayed at the bed and breakfast. A couple of things that are mentioned in these reviews include the location of the business in regard to other places in the area and the quality of care that is put into the decorations and the buildings. One person who stayed at the inn wrote, "The location is great; it is only about 15 minutes to the Yosemite entrance gate and about 45-50 to Yosemite Valley. We stayed in the Clouds Rest, and it was clean and nicely decorated. The staff were genuinely friendly and accommodating, and Steve had some good advice for exploring the area."
The business has several policies in order that guests are required to follow. Blackberry Inn Bed and Breakfast is unable to make accommodations for children 12 years old or younger. They are also unable to accommodate pets. Smoking is not allowed inside any of the buildings or within the property limits. Quiet hours begin at 9:00 PM, and there are no televisions or radios in the rooms for this reason.
The inn is closed from the second week of November to the middle of March, though it can fluctuate each year. One of the biggest reasons for this is based on the weather, but it is also the time for the owners to update and fix anything that may be run down or broken.
The Blackberry Inn Bed and Breakfast's main building was constructed in 1992 and was always meant to be used as a hospitality business. It wasn't until later that the second building was erected. There have been four owners of the inn so far. The first owner sold it to someone who ended up reselling it back to them shortly after acquiring the property. The inn then passed to the third owner, an author who wrote hiking books. They ended up owning it for about five years before it was sold to Steve and Alex, the current owners of the bed and breakfast, in 2008.
Steve and Alex had no history of working in the hospitality industry prior to buying Blackberry Inn Bed and Breakfast. Alex was a certified public accountant, and Steve was in the electronics industry. They moved from Carmel Valley to run the inn and have been doing it ever since. One unique story about the establishment is that Steve removed about 48 tons of scrap material and six damaged cars off the lot across the street when they expanded in 2012.
When Steve and Alex took ownership, there were only three bedrooms in total and the Ahwahnee Suites building hadn't been built yet. They added two more guestrooms to the building in 2009. Soon after that, they had to rezone the property, which led to them adding the second building in 2012. Alex mentions that they are constantly working on the land and, in the future, would like to add a water wheel to one of the ponds on their land.
7567 Hamilton Station Loop
California, United States 95321
Bed and Breakfast
Steve and Alex