A Stay at The Darling Hotel Visalia
Now that restrictions have eased all I want to do is travel, travel, travel and every time a long weekend rolls around I immediately start planning a getaway. When the 4th of July holiday started looming on the horizon I put my thinking cap on to find the best place to celebrate and decided to head to Sequoia National Park, one of my very favorite places. Since I’m not the camping type I needed to find a place to stay which turned out to be easy when I came across the newly opened Darling Hotel in Visalia.
In truth, I was no stranger to The Darling Hotel or, to clarify, the building it’s housed in. When I was last in Visalia in 2019 I was wandering around the downtown admiring all the historic buildings when I came across an Art Deco gem in the midst of a restoration and I was so struck by its beauty I stopped to take a picture.
It still had a long way to go but I knew it was going to be a knockout when it was done. Flash forward to 2021 and me searching online for a hotel. I came across The Darling and immediately recognized it as the building I had fallen in love with 2 years earlier! Eager to finally get inside I decided to immediately book it for my weekend stay.
What a difference two years make! After years of neglect the structure was purchased by a group of local families. Restored to its Art Deco glory the former courthouse annex is now a unique, boutique hotel offering a range of luxe amenities in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley.
As soon as I stepped into the lobby I knew the restoration was a true success. Retaining much of its original Art Deco features the structure has been lovingly adapted for use as a hotel. The decor is Gatsby chic with a nod to the San Joaquin Valley. Everywhere are photos and artifacts devoted to the history of the area and every floor has small nooks where guests can sit and read books by local authors.
As for the rooms…they’re luxurious with a capital L. Plush beds topped with decorative pillows, large restrooms with rainfall showers and a range of amenities from electric tea kettles to smart TV’s to complimentary wifi all come standard.
Our room happened to share the same floor as the hotel restaurant, Elderwood, and I made sure to check it out. I stopped by in the evening for a cocktail and was able to take it back to my room to enjoy.
Elderwood is open for breakfast and dinner and offers a complete menu for each service. There’s also an extensive drink list with a range of craft cocktails. I opted for The Dorian Grey featuring courvousier, earl gray syrup and elderflower liqueur which made for one delicious nightcap.
In the morning I returned for breakfast and enjoyed delicious french toast on the rooftop patio. While enjoying my morning meal I was able to experience a 360° view of the surrounding area. Speaking of views, my room had a beautiful one and the night before I watched a nearby fireworks display from the window.
From the beautiful room to the delicious food to the exemplary customer service my stay at The Darling Hotel was a wonderful experience. My only concern was minor…the room had the original windows which meant I could hear numerous sounds from the street below but a set of earplugs is sure to remedy that. I’ll be sure to pack them for my next visit because I know I’ll be back. The Darling Hotel is a gem of the San Joaquin Valley and I’m sure it will soon be THE place to stay in the area.