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The Tandem Tasters love places like the 205-acre Pala Mesa Resort and Golf Course located in the foothills of the North San Diego/Temecula wine country in Fallbrook, CA. Although we are writing a book about special inns in the world, we cannot put a label on Pala Mesa.

As we drove into the welcoming entrance, we already knew we would enjoy our stay. The green grass and flowering trees reminded us of a country manor in the lake region of England. The challenging golf course is a par 72, 18 hole, championship course designed by William H. Johnson. Golf Digest rates it one of the best 200 golf courses in the country.

Whether you call this property an inn, golf resort or country lodge, Pala Mesa has it all. The concierge was most helpful to two newcomers to the area.

Conveniently located from major highways and within 10 minutes to Fallbrook, The resort has many hidden treasures. We took walks along the flowering garden paths to the gazebo, surrounded by fragrant summer roses. Other paths lead to the refreshing outdoor pool and a hilltop view of the California countryside. It was treat to work up an appetite by strolling along the picturesque golf course to our alfresco breakfast of delicious eggs Benedict.

In the early evening we wondered down the hill to celebrate after a long day of driving and food judging. We discovered an unusual “happy hour.” This happy hour is not for drinks, but for two for one handcrafted sushi. The ahi and other fresh fish arrive daily from near-by San Diego waters.

We devoured a traditional creamy New England style clam chowder with a new twist, smokey bacon. I would drive back for this chowder alone. Unfortunately, we don’t have the recipe.

Maralyn’s Mojito was muddled with freshly grown mint and my lime gimlet was a perfect choice to sip with sushi.

At the end of our long workday, it was heaven to enter our quiet and spacious haven. The fine weather encouraged us to watch the twinkling stars from our own private balcony. Then, the aha moment was of climbing into spacious and super comfortable beds with the finest of linens and quilts to soothe our weary bones. We slept all through the night—a true test of a fine hotel is a great bed with wonderful pillows. Pala Mesa passed the test.

Pala Mesa Resort

2001 Old Highway 395

Fallbrook, CA 92028

E-mail: Reservations@PalaMesa.com

Maralyn D. Hill and Brenda C. Hill
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success Log Global Log

Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book”