Meadowlark Inn, a wine country retreat in Solvang CA
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Meadowlark Inn Solvang Winery Tours

MEADOWLARK INN SOLVANG TURNS 20!

Twenty years ago, a dream of mine came to fruition when I was able to buy the Meadowlark Inn.

I had been trained in the hotel and restaurant business in Germany before I came to the Unites States. Foe many years I owned and operated several restaurants in Santa Barbara with my partner, a Master Chef and we were quite successful.  However, part of my heart was still in the hotel business so when the opportunity arose, I jumped on it.

The first time I drove up to see the Meadowlark, it was a rainy day and although I could see how neglected it had been, I had a strong feeling that I could manage this project, even though it took all my savings. My heart said, "go for it".  Most of my friends thought I had gone crazy, and there were many obstacles, but none of that deterred me.

At the time I also had two little ones to take care of and a restaurant, "Brigitte's" in Santa Barbara, which I sold the following year.

So, on February 2nd, 1999 here I was as the new owner thinking to myself "now what?" First, I had to give notice to the unruly tenants who had lived here full time, no one else wanted to rent any of these rundown rooms.  I got busy remodeling 3 rooms at a time and slowly, business started to grow. Once we were through remodeling all the rooms, we started all over again, because I didn't have enough resources to do it perfectly the first time around.

Now the rooms were clean and comfortable, we had a new sign, a new logo, stationary and even a basic website. The courtyard was cleaned and landscaped as there were only the big oak and redwood trees and some grass. Being a bit outside the city center, we would call the other hotels in town if we had open rooms, this soon became a regular thing for a lot of hotels. I figured if one does well, we all do and can share the pie.

Of course, there were quite a few staff changes in the beginning as I was desperate for help and didn't always make the right decisions.

Fast forward 20 years…… I am ever so grateful for the thousands of guests we had the privilege to serve, many who return regularly. I am also blessed with wonderful staff who work hard to keep the Meadowlark operating smoothly.

We are still and probably always will remodel to upgrade the rooms and the property. We have a beautiful courtyard and garden and our rooms are pretty and comfortable. I admit I am a little bit proud of what we have accomplished at the Meadowlark Inn. I am looking forward to the future and hope to welcome you all back soon!

brigitte guehr

Brigitte Guehr, Meadowlark Inn owner, 20 Years Strong!

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