Chateau du Sureau – A Relais & Chateaux property near Yosemite National Park

Chateau du Sureau (6 of 20)

I hope you are having a wonderful summer!  As I expected, while working on our book project, there hasn’t been much time for regular posts on this site.  Mr. B has been helping me with writing our travel articles so that we can get them published and share them with you.  I’m excited to announce that our article from our river cruise trip to Europe last year, “Luxury Cruises – Sailing with Grandeur” was just published in the May-June 2014 issue of World Spa & Travel, a beautiful online travel magazine. We’ll have another article on Amsterdam in the July-August 2014 issue.

Our trip to Chateau du Sureau, which is very close to Yosemite National Park, was one of the most pleasant surprises this year.  We were delighted to meet Miss Erna and her dog Sophie (photo below) as she is a lovely and gracious hostess and proprietor.  If your travels take you to California and to the Yosemite area, we hope you’ll book a stay at this beautiful and unexpected luxury property.

Chateau du Sureau

Chateau du Sureau

This past May, we traveled to California to be with Chef Anthony Lamas as part of the television show, Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking.  Since the filming was done in the Fresno area, we saw this as a wonderful opportunity to spend one extra day to visit Yosemite National Park, located close to Fresno.

Yosemite.  To those that have visited this National Park located in the central eastern portion of California, images of grandeur and natural beauty come to mind.  Since I was a young boy I have visited Yosemite several times. Each visit brings anticipation of the beautiful blue skies, the lush green valley, spectacular granite cliffs, and waterfalls that seem to drop from the clouds.  Nothing is more breathtaking than driving east into the park on Wawona Road.  Passing through the darkness of the Wawona Tunnel, as you approach the eastern end of the tunnel and daylight begins to shine, you are afforded the most magnificent view of Yosemite.  Our expectations were set high, particularly for Gwen, since this was her first visit to Yosemite.

Outside the tunnel on Wawona Road at Yosemite

Outside the tunnel on Wawona Road at Yosemite

Gwen looked at hotel accommodations in the park, only to find the on-premise hotels were booked.  As with many national parks, the hotels in the park tend to book up as much as a year in advance.  Researching properties outside the park, she identified a few “rustic” motels and hotels that were within an hour’s driving distance of the park, until she discovered a Relais & Châteaux property that is just minutes from the south entrance.  We never imagined that there would be such an elegant luxury property close to the park and were fortunate to be able to book a room for our brief visit.

Relais & Chateau property

A Relais & Chateau property

We flew to Los Angeles and drove through the farmland of central California on our way to Oakhurst; an unassuming small town with modest retail and restaurants that is typical of most towns near Yosemite.  When we arrived at the private entrance of this property, we were led in to the country inn through a large iron gate. What we saw as we drove up the winding drive, past the Italian Cypress and colorful flowerbeds, was so unexpected that we thought we had been transported to a Tuscan villa in Italy.

Flowers along the walkway

Flowers along the walkway

Chateau du Sureau is a magical destination and the stunning inn has received some of the highest ratings awarded to a hotel. Since its opening in 1991, this vacation, spa, and wedding destination has earned both the Forbes Five-Star and American Automobile Association’s Five-Diamond awards as well as membership in the prestigious Relais & Châteaux organization. Chateau du Sureau is the hidden gem of Yosemite built with the classic traditions of old Europe.

The entrance and check-in area

The foyer and check-in area

Living room and lobby

Living room and lobby

Personal items make you feel as if you were visiting someone's elegant country home

Personal details make you feel as if you were visiting someone’s elegant country home

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