Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
by Alan J.
Essex County, Massachusetts
July 11, 2010
July 8, 2010
by Natalie Silva
by Mike & Cathy Lynch
July 6, 2010
San Francisco, California
June 16, 2010
Mary Esther, Florida
September 8, 2004
Right away, we realize this is really different than checking into a local Holiday Inn. There appears to be no one home. There is a big dog sleeping placidly on the front steps. There appears to be a note taped to the door. Dilemma. Is the guard dog trained to attack? We cautiously approach the house. The dog is definitely not a guard dog. He welcomes us like old friends. The note of the door also welcomes us and tells us to make ourselves at home on the top floor of the three-story tower. Apparently, our hosts, the owners, Bill and Diane Bylund are at work.
The ground floor of the separate three-story tower houses a large living room and kitchen that opens to a courtyard with a hot tub, lap pool and sauna. The second floor is a guest bed and bath suite, and the top floor is another guest suite. Climbing the stairs to our "room at the top" we are greeted with a breathtaking view in three directions of hills, valleys, and lush natural landscaping of the estate. There is not another house in sight.
Our bedroom is light, airy and serene. There’s a poster feather bed piled high with a down comfort and pillows facing two large windows looking across the valley. Amenities are abundant. There are spa robes, slippers, fresh flowers, aromatherapy candles, a bottle of port wine and chocolates for a nightcap.
In the parlor, we discover a cozy wood-burning fireplace flanked by a chaise lounge and rocking chairs. The kitchen is well equipped. The refrigerator is stocked with fresh fruit, juices, wine and bottled water. A stereo plays soft music and the coffee table is loaded with local guides and intriguing guidebooks.
Late afternoon, our hosts arrive home and invite us to join them by the pool for wine and cheese. What a delightful couple. Bill Bylund is an architect and, of course, designed Bylund House. Diane is an attorney. They prove to be a wealth of information about the area with recommendations for restaurants and some off-the-beaten-path wineries.
After a heavenly night, nestled in that feather bed with millions of stars glittering in the black velvet sky outside our windows, we awake to the smell of coffee and breakfast. Downstairs in the parlor, we are greeted by a crackling fire in the fireplace and a bountiful continental breakfast with fresh squeezed juice waiting at the table. We could get used to living like this!
Each night of our stay, we spend an hour or so around the open-air fire pit with Bill and Diane or lounging in the hot tub under a starlit sky with coyotes providing an outdoor serenade.
From journal Raising a Toast to California Wine Country