A Santa Barbara wine country hotel
It might be surprising that the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns Hotel Corque, which resides in the Danish hamlet of Solvang, California. The Danes initially bought and developed the land, but the tribe has walked this area for thousands of years before Europeans settled here. Solvang started in 1911 as a Danish retreat from the native homeland and is still ripe with its Scandinavian heritage, but there’s also a new modern sensibility, as evidenced by the interior design of the hotel. And Solvang is no longer a vacation destination solely for Danes — 2 million people visit the town each year.
Set off the main road, this quiet property sits near the Alisal golf course, wine-tasting spots and horseback riding. It’s located in the slow-paced Santa Ynez Valley, but tony Santa Barbara is a 35-minute drive away for beach activities and cultural events. The historic Santa Ynez Mission is a stone’s throw away and, though rarely mentioned, there is a private motorcycle museum (the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum) across the street, open for public viewing. Just nine miles down the road is Cachuma Recreation area, another former Native American settlement and now a place for boating, fishing and camping. The valley is appealing because it is still largely agriculturally driven, and therefore, aside from the small towns, there is little to no development marring the landscape.