Prize vintage

An opulent hotel opens in San Luis Obispo wine country
Peter Fish

With more than 34,000 acres planted with grapes and its Pinots and Syrahs earning accolades nationwide, San Luis Obispo County is a rising star among California wine regions.

But lodging options haven't entirely kept pace. Now a new/old hotel in downtown Atascadero brings a splash of opulence to the area. David Weyrich ― a winemaker who also owns Paso Robles' posh, 8-room Villa Toscana inn ― has taken the 1929 Carlton Hotel and turned it into a first-class retreat: one of the nicest hotels between the Bay Area and Santa Barbara.

 

 

The 52 rooms are large and tasteful, the public spaces ― the ground-floor lobby, a second-floor terrace ― glamorous. Dining options range from homey Carlton Bakery and Café ($) to the Carlton Restaurant & Grill ($$$), with an exhibition kitchen and sushi bar, to the more formal DiVine ($$$). And the lounge and wine bar offers a good selection of the San Luis Obispo vintages that lured you here in the first place.

Grape escape

Carlton Hotel (52 rooms from $180; 6005 El Camino Real, Atascadero; www.the-carlton.com or 877/204-9830)