Unique Romantic Lodging Options For You And Your Spouse

cottage rentals

Whether it’s for your honeymoon, your anniversary, or just because, a vacation with your partner can be great for your relationship. In fact, 42% of travelers feel more romantic on vacation, making vacations an excellent time for you and your partner to get closer to one another. Next time you and your partner are planning a vacation together, take a look at these unique options for a truly romantic getaway.

  • Coast hotels: If you and your partner are looking for a bit of classic romance, where better to look than hotels with an ocean view? Coast hotels not only give you a romantic backdrop for your vacation, but the location means that you and your partner will have a wide variety of activities available to fill the day. Just make sure you plan this vacation with the seasons in mind; you’ll want to make sure the weather is perfect for your days on the beach and spending time in the ocean.
  • Cottage rentals: Cottage rentals can be perfect for a couple that wants a more private romantic getaway. Certain places even offer pet friendly cottages, so if you and your partner have a furry friend you can’t bear to leave with a pet sitter, they’ll be perfectly welcome on the vacation as well. Additionally, many cottages have kitchens available for preparing home-cooked meals for that extra touch of personalized romance.
  • Luxury resorts: For the couple that has it all and still wants more, luxury hotels will likely be the best choice for your romantic vacation. The luxurious accommodations will make you and your partner feel pampered the entire length of your stay and truly make your time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life feel special. Make sure you plan out your days in advance; look for luxury hotels with spas, fine dining, and other elegant activities.

Wanting to plan a romantic vacation for you and your partner that has it all? The MacCallum House has all these lodging options and more to make sure you and your partner have the best getaway possible. Contact the MacCallum House today for more information or to book your stay.

4 Important Parts Of An Unforgettable Beach Vacation

If you’re looking to get away, there’s no destination quite like the coast. Beaches offer a wide variety of activities, beautiful weather, and gorgeous views that can make any vacation one to remember. However, if you want your vacation to be truly unforgettable, look for these elements of a great trip.

  • Engaging activities: Any good beach vacation isn’t complete without plenty of fun beach activities. Make sure your chosen beach destination makes the most of its unique location, with ocean activities like surfing, boating, or even just opportunities to relax outdoors.
  • Great weather: A beach is only good if you get to make use of it during your vacation. Try to plan your vacation around the weather for your chosen destination; that way, you can be more confident that you’ll get to enjoy everything your chosen beach has to offer. Additionally, have a backup plan in place in case the weather doesn’t cooperate with your plans.
  • All-ages entertainment: Beach vacations can be ideal for just about any age group or demographic, so long as you have the right entertainment and activity options available to you. 37% of families say that vacations make them happy, making a vacation together the activity that makes families most happy. Make sure that when you’re planning your beach vacation that you’re accounting for entertainment for children, if you’ll be traveling as a family.
  • Coast hotels: If you’re going to be going to the beach frequently as part of your vacation, you’ll want to be close enough to the beach where getting there isn’t a problem. Coast hotels and inns can make sure you’re always within close distance of the beach, so you never have to worry about getting to your favorite vacation activities. If you can, look for coast hotels with an ocean view, so you can enjoy the beach even from the comfort of your luxurious accommodations.

Looking for luxurious accommodations with a great view of the ocean for your next vacation? The MacCallum House is one of the top coast hotels in Mendocino and has a variety of accommodation options for you and your family. Contact the MacCallum House today for more information.

4 Tips To Book Your Travel Accommodations

Picking the right hotels to stay in for your vacations can be tricky. Once you do select the right accommodations for you, there’s the matter of booking; when to book your room, how long to reserve it for, how to know if you’re getting the best deal, and more. It can almost be enough to skip going on vacation altogether, but if you’re one of the 96% of American workers that say vacation time is important to them, don’t let your booking indecision cost you your vacation time. Use these 4 tips next time you’re booking your accommodations.

  1. Book far in advance: If you have your travel plans far enough in advance, book your room as soon as you can. Many hotels and lodging options will increase prices for last-minute bookings. Knowing where you’re staying far in advance can help you get that one special hotel room you’ve got your eye on, while maybe even cutting down on your travel costs.
  2. Schedule off-season: Not all vacations have to happen during standard vacation seasons. If your plans are a bit more flexible, see if you can schedule your vacation during the off-season for your chosen destination. Many locations will offer better deals to draw in visitors during these times.
  3. Get what you want from your room: Even when you’re looking for a deal on your vacation accommodations, don’t forget the things that are important to you in a hotel room or other lodging. If you need a room of a certain size or specific amenities, don’t give those up for the sake of a discount. These details may seem smaller, but they can completely change your vacation experience.
  4. Consider unusual accommodations: Why limit yourself to just the standard hotels and inns? Don’t be afraid to look at other options for lodging, like cottage rentals or similar accommodations. There are a wide variety of vacation lodgings out there, and you might even get a better price than you would have otherwise.

Looking for Mendocino accommodations for your next vacation? Contact the MacCallum House today for more information on booking your accommodations, whether you’re traveling with family, for a wedding, and more.

How To Pick The Right Hotel For Your Vacation

hotels and inns

Finding the right place to stay on your vacation can be a struggle. There are many factors to consider when booking your lodging: the number of guests, the type of trip you’d like to have, the lodging options available near your travel destinations, and more. If you’re having trouble finding the right accommodations, use these tips to find hotels and inns you’re sure to love.

What Kind Of Trip Are You Planning?

Accommodations for a family vacation are going to be very different from accommodations for a honeymoon. Make sure you keep in mind the purpose of your trip while you’re booking your lodging. For a more at-home sort of feeling to your stay, look for cottage rentals that can accommodate you and your entire family. If you’re looking for a relaxing break from a hectic work week, consider a luxury hotel. Where you stay can help set the tone for the rest of your vacation.

Who’s Coming With?

Is this trip just for you and your spouse, or is the whole family coming along? Keep in mind not only the number of guests you’ll be sharing the room with but also the types of people in the room. A vacation can be a great way to spend quality family time, assuming you pick the right place to stay. 37% of families say that vacations make them happy, making it the activity that makes families most happy.

What Do You Need Out Of Your Space?

For some busy travelers, a hotel room is just a place to rest your head at the end of a long day. However, for others, it’s important to select your hotels and inns carefully because of the specific requirements you have for the room. Do you need pet-friendly cottages to account for the family dog that will be traveling with you? Do you need a space to cook in your accommodations? Keep these in mind when selecting your lodgings.

Looking for high-quality accommodations in Mendocino? The MacCallum House has a wide variety of accommodation types for you to choose from for your vacation, including cottage rentals and luxury suites. Contact the MacCallum House today for more information and to check availability.

Why You Should Book Your Wedding At A Luxury Hotel

One of the hardest choices to make when planning your wedding is the venue, largely because of how many aspects of your wedding the venue affects. What style of wedding do you want to have? How many people will you invite? What sort of catering will you look for? All of this can depend on the venue you choose; perhaps that’s why more people are now looking to luxury hotels as their ideal wedding venue. Read on to learn more why luxury hotels can simplify your wedding planning by being the perfect venue for all your needs.

Destination wedding or not, lodging for all

Regardless of if you’re having your wedding across the country or if the luxury hotel you choose is right around the corner from home, you’ll want to secure lodging options for your wedding guests. This way, your guests won’t have to worry about finding a hotel near your chosen venue. Choosing to have your wedding at a luxury hotel guarantees that your family and friends will have a place to stay for your wedding, without having to scramble to find lodging.

What’s more, you won’t need to worry nearly as much about finding lodging for your honeymoon. The average newlywed couple’s honeymoon will last from seven to nine days. You can easily book a few extra days at your luxury hotel for you and your new spouse to easily transition from your big day into your honeymoon vacation.

Perfect for weddings big and small

When you’re putting together your guest list, it can get out of hand surprisingly quickly. It’s easy to start adding more and more friends to the list, and next thing you know, you’re inviting a larger crowd than you planned on. Many luxury hotels will be able to accommodate a larger number of guests, just in case your list gets hard to narrow down.

On the other hand, these excellent venue options can be great for a smaller wedding reception, too. If you’re looking for a more personal and intimate wedding, don’t rule out a luxury hotel. Some can provide unique accommodations like cottages for your guests to make your wedding truly unforgettable.

Need to pick a wedding venue that will guarantee your wedding is one to remember? The MacCallum House is one of the top Mendocino luxury hotels available and can be the perfect wedding venue for your special day. Contact the MacCallum House today to learn more about your wedding options and plan your dream wedding today.

Daisy MacCallum and the Roses of Mendocino County

Daisy MacCallum and the Roses of Mendocino County

'Paul Ricault' roses with MacCallum House in the background.

‘Paul Ricault’ roses with MacCallum House in the background.

When rose preservationists in Mendocino County began collecting and propagating “found” roses, they were bemused and intrigued by the broad range of varieties they discovered.  Among the expected “traditional” cultivars such as ‘Dorothy Perkins’ and some of her relations, ‘Harison’s Yellow,’ and ‘American Pillar,’ some sumptuous and more elegant roses were growing, and rosarians speculated on how some of them might have first come to this isolated, rough area where most human endeavor was given over to the hard labor of survival on a frontier and the extraction of a valuable resource — timber.


That resource, and its shrewd exploitation by some of the early arrivals around 1850, made many of those pioneering, adventurous men wealthy.  Some of them squandered their fortunes in poor investments; others a bit wiser, were able to create a stable, comfortable environment for themselves and their families and they settled into a role as the town of Mendocino’s founders and elders.  They bought and sold land, built homes (many of them beautiful and well-crafted and still in use today), organized a structure for law and order, and quickly created a town suitable for women and children.  William Kelly, who worked at building the first mill in 1852, was one of these founders and in 1855 he was able to bring his bride Eliza to this remote yet bustling community.

Pictured: Ms. Daisy Kelley


It was into this early, well-to-do family that little Emma Kelly was born in 1859.  The young girl’s sunny nature gained her the nickname of “Daisy” and she was known that way for all of her long life.  Mrs. Kelly was determined that her children (Daisy had a sister and two brothers) would grow up as ladies and gentlemen.  Though Mendocino was a safe (and lively) place to live, it still had few amenities.  The Kellys spent considerable time in San Francisco, enjoying a more cultured atmosphere.  Daisy’s sensibilities were apparently honed by her youthful experiences because, at a young age, she changed the spelling of her family name to Kelley to add a small note of elegance.  The change prevailed, as is reflected by the name of the Kelley House Museum in Mendocino.

Daisy’s penchant for name “enhancements” appeared again when, at age 20, she married Alexander McCallum, her uncle Capt. Blair’s bookkeeper, and soon altered his name to MacCallum, another change that persists to this day.  Daisy continued to divide her time between Mendocino (where her parents built her a beautiful home that currently houses a thriving bed and breakfast inn) and San Francisco.  But in 1885 Capt. Blair acquired a tract of excellent timber land about seven miles inland from Fort Bragg and commenced a large logging and milling operation there.  Rails were laid up Pudding Creek north of Ft. Bragg to the camp and the business was up and running in 1886.  Blair chose young Alex MacCallum to manage this important mill and Daisy and Alex moved out to the mill site at that time.  The manager’s house was large, with wide verandas, and as gracious as could be managed in that primitive setting.  It was quite a change for the young wife and, with her characteristic zeal, Daisy set about civilizing her surroundings.  She planted a rose garden.

Daisy MacCallum window box

Once again Daisy found a more fanciful name for her surroundings; she christened the camp Glen Blair and it is still known by that name though the mill and town surrounding it are now vanished.  Vanished also is most of Daisy’s original garden, though it was legend at the time.  Daisy pursued her horticultural interests with her typical enthusiasm and she used her wealth and education to find and purchase the “latest” plants for her garden.  Some of her plant catalogs are still found at the Kelley House Museum and are marked throughout with her penciled checkmarks, noting the varieties that she had ordered and/or found interesting.  The early rose nurseries are well represented in these artifacts from Dingee and Conard, Burpee, Stocking’s, and other purveyors of the era.  Daisy was one of the first members of the newly-founded American Rose Society and some of her library (including Dean Hole, Rose Kingsley, etc.) remains at the Kelley House, the pencilled notations offering intriguing clues to what might have been growing in her garden.  Only a few of Daisy’s Glen Blair garden roses still grow at the abandoned site.  The hardiest Wichurana ramblers, such as Gardenia, survive as they do all over the county but all else is gone.  A local preservationist, Joyce Demits, was able to access the site in the early 1960s and rescued one very interesting rose, a bush form of Mme. Alfred Carriere.   Joyce kept the cultivar alive, called it ‘Glen Blair,’ and just this fall a group of dedicated rosarians were able to take cuttings from that plant (as well as many of Joyce’s other foundlings) to assure its survival.

The MacCallums returned to San Francisco after leaving Glen Blair, educated their children, and took part in the social life of the city.  However, Alex’s death in 1908 brought Daisy and her son back to Mendocino.  During the first years of her widowhood, Daisy continued to pursue her love of travel and culture.  She roamed the world, always returning to her base in Mendocino.  She was a founder of the Mendocino Study Club, an institution that still promotes “culture” in the town; some of the Study Club’s current members, now octogenarians, have childhood recollections of “Mrs. MacCallum” that range from awe and respect to fear.  She was an indomitable presence for decades in Mendocino and her influence is still felt — and quite visible in the legacy she unwittingly left all over the county in the form of roses.

Daisy began gardening in Mendocino in earnest in the late 1920s, ordering freely all the roses, perennials, and annuals that caught her fancy.  She spent money on her garden, hiring locals to tend it and she was proud of it and happy to share “slips” with anyone who asked.  Thus, I am certain, many rare and unusual cultivars were spread far and wide by gardeners who had some acquaintance with Daisy MacCallum.  Daisy grew some of the classic Old Garden Roses as well as Hybrid Perpetuals and the early Hybrid Teas that had done well in her Glen Blair landscape.  Her great love (determined by her various lists and notations) was the “new” class of Pernetiana, with its brilliant hues of sunset and dawn.  While that beautiful class of roses did well in her hot inland garden, the foggy summers of the Mendocino Coast were less kind and the bushes suffered from various diseases, even while producing blooms with their exquisite color blends deepened by the cool air.

Photo of the MacCallum House by of Rita Crane.

When I began documenting the old bushes growing throughout Mendocino, I could only verify that eight remained in Daisy’s garden.  At one time there were hundreds, many on rootstocks (two of the eight were Odorata and Canina) but after Daisy’s death in 1953 the property was untended for years and the roses disappeared.  I continued to search the archives of the Kelley House for clues to the varieties Daisy might have grown, mostly hoping for clues to some of the elegant “foundlings” that continued to turn up around the area; ‘Mme. Gabriel Luizet,” “Marchesa Boccella,” “Paul Ricault,” “Souv. de Mme. Leonie Viennot” — these refined roses naturalized in many places and piqued my curiosity as to provenance, and sometimes as to identification.  And then a researcher at the Kelley House unearthed (and copied for me) a document that was the equivalent of the Rosetta Stone.

"MacCallum Yellow Tea" rose identified as 'Etoile de Lyon'

“MacCallum Yellow Tea” identified as ‘Etoile de Lyon’

I was the delighted recipient of a several-page list in Daisy’s distinctive handwriting, titled “Roses in Mendocino in 1935.”  There were 222 cultivars on the main list and more on some smaller notes that placed her roses on other properties, including her mother’s across the street.  Complete with misspellings, it was clear that the names had come straight from her memory.  As I had expected, there was a good array of Pernetianas, but the lists included many older roses, a truly eclectic collection.  In 1935 Daisy’s garden was in its glory and she settled into Mendocino to enjoy it.  During the Depression she battled the ubiquitous and destructive Pocket Gopher by offering people $1.00 a head for them.  That princely sum was enough to make it possible for a man to feed his family just by tending traps in Daisy’s garden.  Daisy’s determined spirit wouldn’t be thwarted by something like a gopher, and her precious roses thrived as long as she did.

Now, when a “Mystery Rose” comes to my attention I turn to Daisy MacCallum’s list to see if anything she grew might be a match.  It has been an invaluable tool in beginning a search for an identification for a Found Rose.  As the roses of Mendocino County continue to baffle and delight us, we continue to become more aware of the role this one woman played in preserving them for us.  Thank you, Daisy MacCallum.

This article was first published and copyrighted in the Rose Letter, quarterly journal of the Heritage Roses Group . Author, Alice Flores.  Photos of the ‘Paul Ricault’ and the ‘Etoile de Lyon’ roses courtesy of Alice Flores.

Barrel-Aged Cocktails at the MacCallum House

Barrel-Aged Cocktails at the MacCallum House,  May 2014

Preparing the ingredients for our barrel-aged Manhattans.

Preparing the ingredients for our barrel-aged Manhattans.


The trend of barrel-aging cocktails has been gaining steam over the past couple of years. Barrel-aging spirits can be a creative and an effective way to make a delicious and easy-to-pour cocktail which is especially handy when you have a crowded bar or a large group to serve, as we often do. It’s also just plain fun to barrel your own concoction and develop flavors and complexity by aging a pre-mixed cocktail in an oak barrel; it can be a real lesson in chemistry!


We started by purchasing a 5 liter barrel made of untreated American oak. You can find barrels online that are specifically made for this purpose in various sizes but we decided 5 liters would be an ideal size for our needs. Used port or brandy barrels or any other type of barrel would also work. As a home project, you can certainly select smaller barrels; just adjust your amounts accordingly. Upon receiving the new barrel, we washed it out with hot water to remove any wood chips, and we then filled it with hot water and left it overnight so that the dry wood would soak up the water and not our precious spirits. If there are any leaks, this tips you off to their locations. Prior to filling the barrel with water, we took a small blowtorch and lightly charred the interior of the barrel to add a smokier flavor. This is fun but be careful of the flame coming out of the other end of the barrel.


A classic cocktail to age in a barrel is a Manhattan. This can be done using with rye, whiskey or bourbon as a base. Bourbon was our first choice (we chose Knob Creek) as it has a nice spicy sweetness to it and once aged, it shows off the added oak flavor quite well. A classic Manhattan is pretty straightforward: 2 oz. rye or bourbon, 1-ounce sweet vermouth (we use Vya), and 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters served over ice. Stirred (not shaken) and then served up traditionally with a cherry. You can make them less sweet by dropping the vermouth by a ½ oz. or by adding an additional ½ oz. of whiskey.


We like ours a little sweet so for a barrel-aged Manhattan in a 5 liter barrel, a good recipe would be:


  • 3.0 liters bourbon or rye
  • 1.5 liters of sweet vermouth


Mixing the Manhattan ingredients to pour into the barrel.

Mixing the Manhattan ingredients to pour into the barrel.

This recipe leaves a little space in the 5 liter barrel in case you want to add more whiskey and drop the sweetness a little. Please note that we didn’t add the bitters; there is some evidence that bitters loses its punch in the barrel so we just add it when we make the drink to serve. We mixed the bourbon and vermouth in a pitcher before pouring it into the barrel.


Pouring the Manhattan ingredients into the barrel through a funnel.

Pouring the Manhattan ingredients into the barrel through a funnel.

After the barrel was filled, we put the plugs in it and stashed it in a nice cool, dark place. We rotated it a quarter turn once a week and it went 6 weeks before serving. We took a sample at 3 weeks and could tell it was going to be good. The serving of the drink is the easiest part. Just pour it over ice, add some bitters and stir until its really cold. We served ours with a flamed orange peel. The oils in the orange add a nice flavor to the drink.


Once you have drained the barrel, you can certainly use it again. It’s not recommended to use it more than 2 or 3 times; obviously you will lose some of the oak flavor with each use but will gain some flavors from the residues of the first batch. We decided to make a Negroni as the next cocktail in the Manhattan barrel. It is equal parts gin (we used Boodles due to its milder flavor and well-balanced botanicals), sweet vermouth, and Campari. Again, we mixed it outside the barrel in a pitcher.


A 5 liter recipe would be:


  • 1.75 liters each of Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and Campari.


This leaves a little left over which you can pour over ice and enjoy after putting the barrel to rest. After 6 weeks you have a really nicely flavored negroni with some of the bitterness of the Campari knocked down and some added flavor from the previous batch of Manhattans. You can add all sorts of things to a Negroni like figs, strawberries, or grapefruit juice, but we like ours pretty straight, especially if you want to taste the nice flavor profile of the barrel. A simple grapefruit twist would be the perfect garnish.


As our next experiment, we are thinking about doing something with tequila, perhaps a barrel aged margarita base. In the future perhaps we will age some blends that can be used as the bases for other mixed drinks. Although it’s tempting, you don’t want to add fruit juice or sugar to the barrels as they can spoil. Anyway, we hope you have fun barreling and enjoy the results responsibly.

Our first blog was written by Herman Seidell.

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