A new luxury bed and breakfast, set to open on Upper Pine Crest in Idyllwild in early October, hosted an open house on Aug. 17.
“Our open house was phenomenal. We had twice as many people as we expected,” Grand Idyllwild Lodge owner Brad Rechtfertig said.
Now Brad and his wife Jacki are planning for their “soft” opening.
“We’re trying to open, our soft opening, by the start of October. So yes, we’re kind of scrambling, but we’re really close,” Brad said.
The Rechtfertigs both hail from small towns, which made Idyllwild especially appealing. “The reason we picked Idyllwild was that we really liked the mountains. You hear the same story over and over; lots of people come up here to visit and they stay.
“You have everything you need up here. You have deer that show up every day. We just love the pace,” Brad said, smiling. “The community kind of depends on each other. We are a tourist community and those tourist dollars are what help everybody.
“The inn was Jacki’s idea. I came up with the basic design and concept, and I gave it to my engineer who is also a draftsman and then they did the engineering and the actual plans that were submitted to the county,” said Brad, who is a contractor and built the lodge himself with his crew.
“We were very deliberately understated,” Brad said. “We didn’t want to have a huge sign at the road. The columns and bronze plaques make it look very historic.”
The lodge is fully American Disabilities Act compliant and in addition to the elevator and ramps, will offer an ADA-compliant room that includes a wheel-in shower and rails. “A lot of older people are leery of coming to the mountains, especially in the winter because they are afraid of slipping and falling and walking upstairs. If you have an elevator you can literally get anywhere without having to walk upstairs,” Brad said.
“The other thing that makes us extremely unique is that we are probably the greenest inn in Southern California. I say that for a couple of reasons. It is new construction, so pretty much any new construction in California has strict codes you have to follow, so we are very energy efficient. All of our common-area lighting is LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation], which is the newest and it is all controlled by a computer,” he explained.
“We wanted to keep it very natural,” Brad said. “We already had two major deer trails that came through here. We left all the trails natural. It’s kind of like a little nature park that surrounds the inn so that when guests are here they feel like they have escaped.
“It’s a destination resort. It’s the kind of place where you just come here and you could stay all week without ever leaving. You’ll have everything you need,” Brad said.
Jay Pentrack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: On The Town