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“Artists' Loft- Julian's Best!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin

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Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin
San Diego
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Artists' Loft- Julian's Best!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2009

Almost a year ago we had the privilege of staying at the charming Artists' Loft. Right now I'm in a cabin at Big Bear and was telling my friends all about the fond memories we had during our stay. It reminded me that I needed to right a review!

Anyone who wants absolute perfection should come to the Artists' Loft. It met our needs far beyond our expectations. Myself, my brother and teenage daughter stayed there for two days in hopes of taking time out to relax, rest, and enjoy family time. We LOVED LOVED LOVED everything about it!

The decor was excellent, very chic, yet comfortable and cozy at the same time. We felt like we were home. The kitchen is fully stocked and we were able to do all of our cooking at home. The bedrooms were gorgeous with French doors leading to the patio and the bathroom with the jet bathtub was beyond dreamy! The BED was so comfortable I could hardly crawl out the next morning.

There are many windows in the Artists' Loft, so you'll always have a fantastic view. The patio has a rocking chair and all the comforts of home. There was NOTHING that I would suggest to improve this home away from home. If you're looking for the PERFECT relaxation, comfort, time to spend with loved ones the Artists' Loft is it!

A final praise goes to the couple that built this place. They are extremely hospitable and kind. Please take the time to ask them to tell you about the fine details that went into the building of the Artists' Loft. From the Japanese joists, to the wood burning stove, you will be impressed by all the absolute thought that went into this amazing getaway.

  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chrysanthemum1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Glendale, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2009

My wife and I made our 2nd or 3rd visit to Big Cat Cabin this year, after an absence of nearly 8 years. With two young children keeping us busy, we have had very little time for ourselves, and a weekend away was just what we needed.

Before kids, we were often fans of Bed & Breakfasts for their personal touch. Big Cat Cabin has all the amenities of home, but more privacy and seclusion than you can ever get in a B&B. Upon arrival, Chuck showed us around the cabin and made sure we knew how to operate the antique appliances, and showed us where the bird seed was for the feeders outside. Local breads, juices, and some free range eggs were in the fridge for us to cook breakfast in the morning. Chuck even gave us the run down of all of the local restaurants, giving us his personal recommendations of which were great local hang-outs, and which ones to avoid.

If you're looking for noisy neighbors in the next room, being woken up by the maid, pay per view movies or bad food delivered to your door - this is not the place for you. If you want a quiet and romantic escape in a beautiful vintage cabin without any of the distractions of modern life - this is the one.

After our stay where we saw hawks, deer, and wild turkeys, Chuck & Nan invited us into their home as we were checking out to chat for a few minutes. They are some of the most wonderful and inspiring people you will ever meet. As if the cabin isn't enough, it's worth a trip just to meet Chuck & Nan.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CoopBMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Littleton, Colorado
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2009

My fiance and I had been running into some rough patches, and decided we needed to get away and disconnect from all of the everyday stressors around us. The Cabin on Strawberry Hill turned out to be everything that we could need. Walking into the cabin, we where pleased to find it warmed up for us and to hear music playing lightly in the background. Nan was a wonderful hostess, and showed us how everything around the cabin worked. You can really tell how much each cabin means to them, and that makes all the difference. Every piece in the cabin feels like it was cared for...from the ancient claw footed tub to the giant, super comfy bed. Even though we'd never been to this part of julian before, coming here felt like home.
We where only there for two nights, but that was all we needed to disconnect from everything else and focus on each other. We left the cabin this morning closer than we have ever been, and plan to come back as soon as we can afford to.
If you're looking for a place where you will be tended, served, pampered and have luxuries available to you, this is not it.
But if you're looking to appreciate the beauty of nature, to simply be with the person you love, and to feel secure and watched over by caring hosts, there is no better place to go than Strawberry Hill.

Chuck and Nan, you have truly built something magical here. Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of it.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Theaterbelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southern California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2008

My husband and I had to attend a wedding in Julian. I read some reviews posted and decided to book the New Artists' Loft to share with another couple. The pictures on the website do not do the property justice. I found Chuck and Nan delightfully helpful and personable. The cabin had an ambiance that exceeded our high expectations.

We were greeted with relaxing music and wildflowers when we entered the cabin. Chuck proved to be interesting conversationalist with compassion and intelligence. Nan, with her gracious and welcoming manner, added to the magical feeling of the cabin. The kitchen has all of the amenities one could possibly need to whip up a great meal. Both bedrooms were comfortable and charming. There was a wealth of good books, board games, and firewood. The cabin delighted all of our senses. It could be described as peaceful, romantic, and even healing.

Chuck and Nan allowed us to look at the other cabins before we left the property. Each cabin has a different feel but they were all beautiful with a unique charm.

We enjoyed our stay and we plan to return again! We will also continue to recommend this getaway to our friends.

  • Liked — The owners arrange for every detail to be as nuturing and naturally beautiful as possible.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pandemiel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Florida, Florida
Level Contributor
154 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2008

Recently during a business trip to Santa Monica, I reading an article in Los Angeles Magazine entitled “WEEKEND GETAWAYS 2008,” which focused on a list of ideas for weekend escapes…..one in particular caught my eye, it featured a place in Julian, CA, named the New Artist Loft. The article mentioned Julian as the Apple Pie Capital of California.

Not being a big fan of apple pie, nor any pie for that matter; still the idea of spending a night atop a mountain in a town named Julian might be a little different (I also wondered what happened to the “old” Artist Loft).

I called the phone number and inquired as to whether there was space for two for one evening….the voice at the other end wanted to know if either of us smoked….we said “No,”…and the voice replied there was availability for the night in question. “Are you interested in a reservation?” I said we would think about it and call back.

The following day, we called back and spoke with Nan (whose voice had inquired about smoking). She accepted our credit card and gave us explicit driving directions (I wanted to use my GPS, but Nan suggested I simply follow here directions….they always work).

One of the prior postings in tripadvisor indicated the owners (Nan & Chuck) asked too many questions before accepting a reservation. Personally, I don’t think they probably ask enough questions!

If I owned the three cabins (using the term “cabins” tends to denigrate these accommodations), I would probably require a full background check by the Home Land Security before allowing just anyone to enter this tiny slice of paradise!

btw…their brochure proclaims this to be a Bed and…..”do it yourself Breakfast”……great concept…..they stock the place with more than adequate supplies for a great breakfast and you can fix it the way you want it or not fix it at all! We made the customary stop of Trader Joes on the way out of town and brought along a few extras supplies…..Oh yeah, we included a fine Rodney Strong Cabernet and an equally fine Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay….to fuel our dreams pleasures for the evening.

The refrigerator was well stocked with juices, bottle water, organic brown eggs, a fabulous loaf of locally baked apple bread as well as basic spices and even some fresh basil from the prior guests. Coffee beans (both decaf and high octane) and a grinder are set in place by the coffee maker.

The cabinets are fully stocked with a wide array of cooking utensils, plates, bowls and assorted dishes, as well as knives and flatware. So if you want to stop along the way or make a run into town and shop or just bring your own supplies along….there is no real reason to drive to a restaurant for dinner, if you care to cook.

Although there are some excellent restaurants within short driving distance, we decided to stay in for the evening. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fire up the 1952 O'Keefe and Merritt gas range with griddle and "grillovator"(similar to a stove my grandmother owned), and whip up some snacks for grazing.

We telephoned Chuck and Nan and invited them up for a wine tasting and some freshly prepared finger food…..Nan said she was tired and needed a shower after working outside all day……….but she would think about cleaning up and possibly making up a bowl of her award winning guacamole! Sounded like a plan was coming together….

There is no television at the New Artists’ Loft….perfect. We were totally honored and entertained by Chuck and Nan agreeing to visit with us and providing some history on the place….after a glass or two of wine, they even discussed some details of the terrible wild fire which devastated the community in July 2002 (including the original Artists’ Loft).

The evening passed all too quickly, the food and wine vanished as the conversation was most entertaining. Shortly after midnight, Chuck and Nan were headed out the front door and back down to their place.....after all, they had put in a full day of back breaking labor before we arrived and there was still more working to do in the morning.

It was a beautiful cool, clear and star filled night on the mountain……Chuck pointed to some lights in the distance and told us it was Tecate, Mexico (wonder if the cerveza night crew was busy).

Then we pointed skyward and identified the Big Dipper….Chuck, a self professed astronomer, immediately clarified we were in fact looking at Ursa Major and if we looked just a bit above the “dipper cup” we could see Ursa Minor (looked like the Little Dipper to us). Chuck suggested we come back again on another clear night and he would take us to a friend’s home who was a serious astronomer with an impressive telescope and would arrange a “night with the stars” for us.

As a rule, we don’t usually do repeat visits to most destinations, we tend to move on in search of something new and different……Chuck, Nan the town of Julian and the New Artist’ Loft will likely cause us to make an exception to this rule.

If your travels take you in the general area and you need some time to “disconnect” from the stress of everyday life….see if you can spend a night or two or maybe even a week at the New Artist Loft!

  • Liked — Peace & Quiet
  • Disliked — Having To Leave
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank omegaet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sherman Oaks, CA
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2008

We stayed at Strawberry Hill Cabin 05MAY08 for 2 days.
The cabin had lots of charm and History. As soon as we entered the cabin we knew we had made the right decision. The music selection was great, the fireplace was romantic, and the
patio was a nice bonus. The night storms really put you to sleep.. and the morning fog was magical. I guess the only
sad part was to see the aftermath of the fires. The fires really devestated the area. We saw all sorts of wild life.. Including deer having their afternoon snacks in the garden near BigCat.

We had dinner at Jeremy's On The Hill. Their food was out
of this world!!! A new restaurant, and a must if you plan on visiting Julian!

Heads up to the Staff of this charming place @ Pine Hills.
Good Job!!

Terrance and Apple

  • Liked — Staff, Privacy, Outoor Scene, Cosy Cabin
  • Disliked — everything was great.
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Redman67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anaheim
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2008

I get bored really easily, I must admit. So I was skeptical of staying in what seemed like the middle of nowhere in a rustic cabin in Julian, California.But I knew my wife would probably like it, so we booked a weekend stay. That was three stays ago, and I can honestly say that given the chance to stay anywhere in Southern California, Big Cat would be my choice, hands down!

If you need to unwind and relax, this is Mecca. Whether it is curled up with a good book in front of the beautiful rock fireplace, or napping in the afternoons on a lounge in front of the cabin with your I-pod playing your favorite music, or sipping a cup of coffee on the back porch watching and watching scores of birds positioning themselves to eat their breakfast from the bird feeder and sipping from the bowl of water at your feet while you wait for the invariable flock of wild turkeys and /or family of dear to come by to pay their respects as they go about their morning routine; there is nothing that melts your anxiousness or pent up stress quite like Big Cat.

No TV...no problem! I am slave to that thief too much as it is! Julian, the town is only a mile away as the crow flies, so we can take quick trips to town to enjoy the tasty cuisine that multiple restaurants have to offer. Look up "Apple pie" in the dictionary and it says "See Julian".

Enough of the flowery descriptions. If you want to relax and unwind, enjoy the beauty of God's handiwork, eat good food, enjoy a beautifully rustic, but well appointed cabin in the mountains, then you have to give Big Cat a shot! Just give Chuck and Nan a call...they are the ultimate hosts: friendly, thoughtful, very knowledgeable, and virtually invisible most of the time. Just don't reserve the days we want!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — I wish it was closer to my house.
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CommanderTom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin

Property: Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin
Address: Box 2408, Julian, CA 92036-2408
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Julian
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Julian
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Artists` Loft Bed And Breakfast - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin Hotel
Artists` Loft b&b - Big Cat Cabin, Strawberry Hill Cabin

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