La Villa del Valle

By Kate Riley August 15, 2010

Two years ago, my husband and I did something we’ve never done before.  We left our children with trusted family and traveled to Mexico to spend a birthday weekend with five other couples in a villa in the middle of the wine region in Guadalupe Valley. 

We spent the weekend wine tasting, lounging by the pool, and lingering over long dinners with friends.  The inn was La Villa del Valle, and it left an impression on me forever. 

villa de valle front

The journey to the inn in the middle of the valley is long, but the destination is worth the arduous task of finding it. 

villa entrance

I simply swooned at the decorative railing in this foyer, and the medallion tile detail on the stair risers.  Everywhere inside the villa, the walls are painted concrete ~ love that. 

villa foyer


On the opposite wall of the foyer, this stunning bench and mirror combo greets you. 

mirror and bench

There’s a great room on one end of the villa filled with eclectic furnishings.  A giant stone fireplace sits in the middle and three walls of windows and doors allow for plenty of light.   (Pics from my phone, sorry for the blur)

  villa great room

great room sofa

Just outside the great room is an enchanting loggia with a view of the sweeping Guadalupe Valley.


villa corridor  

terrace seating

The tranquil gardens that surround the property are filled with olive trees, roses, lavender and the owner’s vegetable garden. 

villa backside

villa fields

kitty on bench

villa gardens  

I’m not sure if my enchantment with this villa has something to do with the location, the ambiance, the decor, the free flowing wine, the lingering meals with friends, or simply the fact that the kids weren’t with us that weekend. :-)    But this villa made me dream of owning a small inn someday right here in our own part of the world. 

villa breakfast

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever spent time in a place so enchanting that it forever changed your vision of a ‘dream’ home ?  




  1. Most definitely! A guest house in Austria with miniature horses outside, a beautiful old home in France that dated back to Napoleon’s reign, a cottage in Luxembourg with a shaded terrace and a pond. I must be attracted to that Old World style on some level.

    Lovely photos…love the one with the cat. :)

  2. Wow, that is stunning.

    And to answer your question, YES. I always think that my style is on the casual side of traditional, but then we’ll stay at a cabin in New Hampshire, and suddenly I want to outfit my home with furniture from LL Bean, etc.

  3. That’s a gorgeous place! Thanks for sharing the eye-candy. My husband and I are always wondering what-if about things like that. We have lots of ideas but aren’t sure how to make them come true.

  4. I’m just now contemplating surprising my husband with a trip to the land of his birth, New Zealand. I don’t know if I can leave my kids! This post was a push in that direction, though. Dreamy trip!

  5. In answer to your question…only all the time. If my poor hubby had to build a home for each place I was enchanted with, all we’d be doing would be going from place to place and no time for work.

  6. Your blog is absolutely addictive! I remember a very small apartment in Paris that I stayed in in 1987 and thought it was the most wonderful place on Earth. All white and chrome, and yet very charming…not at all cold. Then in 2008 I stayed in that same apartment for nearly 2 weeks. It had not changed one bit and was just as timeless and gorgeous as I had remembered. If only my 1940 cape cod house could be like that! Although my house has been well maintained, no structural changes have been made becaue I only want to make changes that are “timeless.” I’m thinking of updating the kitchen and bath and want them to be unified in style and color. I know I want an apron sink, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I’ve thought about carerra marble and white subway tiles, but wonder if there’s a better (more creative and easier to maintain) option? I have paralysis by analysis….and just can’t seem to decide anything. HELP!!

  7. Short answer…yes. I have always known that I wanted to live in Florida someday. I love the ocean and the tropical follage, the warm winters and the food. I never wanted to even visit any place north of my own Illinois location. A few years ago, we discovered the lake towns in Michigan and we fell in love with the area. Our retirement dreams now are winters in Florida and summers in a tiny beach cottage in Michigan. It never hurts to dream!

    Your pictures are lovely, I can see why you have your dream.

  8. Absolutely! Love the Mendocino Coast. It makes my heart take a deep, peaceful breath just thinking about it. Thanks for sharing your Mexico pictures. It’s not a place I’ve dreamed about going, but I see the beauty in it now.

  9. You bet…one week during our honeymoon was spent quietly at a B&B in Collingwood, Ontario called the Bield House Inn. Antiques from the owner’s grandparents, gourmet breakfasts served on silver and china, every room decorated uniquely from her travels through Europe and hors oeuvres every evening at 5. It was very homey yet anonymous enough to feel relaxed. Wanted to open one some day for tired missionaries needing a peaceful place to restore…we all need rest built into our lives.

  10. We share ownership of a place in Mexico that has my heart. It is in the armpit of the Baja and is called Puerto Penasco or Rocky Point. Our place is not in town but about 20 minutes away on an estuary where we see lots of beautiful birds. The landscape is not for everyone and it took me awhile to get used to a desert instead of lush green palm treed landscape, but now I love it. We are landlocked Canadians so I love that we can see the ocean from our deck and it is a 3 minute walk away. It is good for the soul…

  11. I’ve been there!! My husband took me there when he proposed 4 years ago. It was called Las Brisas del Valle then. It was so beautiful and one of the best weekends of my life!

  12. Beautiful photos! I have to admit a fondness for the interior staircase. I <3 the tiled risers!

  13. Your photos are wonderful (as usual!) What camera & lenses do you use? Are you a nikon or canon girl?

  14. YES!! I stayed in a place called “The Lion & the Rose” in Portland Oregon. GORGEOUS queen ann victorian place. Totally got me thinking about being an innkeeper someday.

    But of course now your pictures have got me wanting to take a jaunt to mexico. We have always said, when our kids are grown, we will go every February.

    God bless! Beautiful blog!

  15. oh, if ANYone can own and manage an inn in your part of the world it would be you, Kate. I can SO imagine you doing it. do start planning. when your youngest is maybe 18….that’s not as far away as we may think! seriously.

  16. Yep! This place is a dream home of mine! I’ve been here – three years ago for a friend’s wedding. Absolutely gorgeous – the location, the people, the food, the wine, the *everything*. I’m determined to go back one day!

  17. People always talk about how dangerous Mexico is…so I have always been worried to go there.
    This place looks AMAZING though, very reminiscent to Sedona which we visited this year… :))))))

  18. All the time! I live in Wisconsin. NE of us is a glorious little place called Door County. Several little towns each one as charming as the next. Lots of wineries and shops and b&b’s. Every time we are there I dream of buying some fabulous old house and making it into a fabulous little Inn. One day!


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