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“Grass Valley’s Holbrooke Hotel is a Golden State staple. Boasting a storied history of 1800s fortune seekers, gamblers, and gunfighters, the vintage-yet-defined property recently completed a multi-year renovation fine-tuning much of the building’s original 1862 charm. Just don’t call it a comeback—the iconic property has already survived a history of fires and Prohibition. Modern-aged tweaks to its rustic aesthetic—think original clawfoot bathtubs—have Holbrooke poised to welcome guests with its timeless allure for years to come.”


– Sunset Magazine, February 2021

Departures Magazine: September/October 2023


Where to Stay on the Left Bank and an Exquisite Ryokan in Japan


Plus, Italy, Boston, and a few stops out west. These are the hotels our editors loved this month.


Returning to the Holbrooke over 20 years later, I am awestruck by the serene rooms and modern touches. The original structure that now houses the Holbrooke Hotel, Golden Gate Saloon, and The Iron Door goes way beyond my time. The property was originally built in 1852, and while the hotel has transformed tremendously over the last 170-plus years, much of its historical charm remains intact today. My friend and I filled up on excellent Mexican-inspired dishes such as aguachile hamachi, braised short rib, and tuna tostada at Golden Gate Saloon. We explored the well-curated gift shop next door, took in a movie at the storied Del Oro Theatre, and may have gone slightly overboard at Lost and Found Vintage.



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Via Magazine: September 2023


8 Haunted Spots in California’s Gold Country


Head up the ‘Golden Chain,’ Highway 49, in search of haunted history.


The site of the Holbrooke Hotel has been the heart of Grass Valley since 1852. First founded as the Golden Gate Saloon, a watering hole for gold seekers, gamblers, cowboys, and madames, the saloon added a hotel in back by the next year. In 1879, it became the Holbrooke, named after its owner, D.P. Holbrooke.


The Holbrooke has hosted Mark Twain (room 2), infamous outlaw Black Bart (room 9), and four U.S. presidents—Grover Cleveland, James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, and Benjamin Harrison. Unusual occurrences have been documented in rooms 2, 5, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 per Lyon’s book, but room 15 appears in many accounts.


Anthony Jones, former general manager of the Holbooke as well as the National Exchange Hotel (they share the same owner), previously hosted the Haunted by History tours offered every Halloween at each hotel.



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Hotels Above Par: August 2023


This Gold Rush-era Boutique Hotel is California’s Oldest Stay


Nestled in Northern California’s Sierra Nevada foothills, Grass Valley is reminiscent of its boomtown past. Its Old West thoroughfare, Mill Street, is a time capsule to the Gold Rush, where forty-niners passed through Sacramento pioneering their way to sought-after gold mines. When the trailblazers needed a place to spend the evening, they’d stay at the Holbrooke Hotel — which stands today as the oldest continuously operated boutique hotel in California.



Established in 1862, the authentically renovated California State Landmark blends modern luxuries with rustic-yet-refined design. A classic wood exterior prefixes interiors that marry Wild West and Victorian-style motifs: stag head decor, cowhide rugs, copper trappings, and vintage black-and-white framed photographs adorn the lobby area. Historic touches, including an original iron cash register and an actual hotel guestbook circa 1898, showcase the stay’s storied life.



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7×7: March 3rd 2023


California hotels partner with Kind Traveler to support local nonprofits + provide extra perks


Sustainable tourism has been a watch term lately, but “regenerative” tourism takes the trend a step farther: Could we actually leave our beloved destinations better off by having visited?


Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley:


This iconic 1862 stay in the Sierra Foothills draws history buffs looking for old fashioned, small town vibes in comfortable rooms with vintage details such as clawfoot tubs and rotary phones.


Stays booked through Kind Traveler will benefit efforts to planting five native flora, maintain hiking trails, or supply kids with necessary nature gear through the Bear Yuba Land Trust. Kind Traveler perks include a guaranteed room upgrade and late checkout, as well as a glass of wine, a cocktail, or a smoothie on arrival.



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The Australian: January 21st 2023




Mine the history of California’s wild west


Travel is all the more enriching when the journey takes us to another time as well as place, and the 19th-century Californian wild west era is as colourful as it gets.


An 18-month renovation has refined and revitalised Holbrooke Hotel’s original frontier ruggedness. Its fieldstone and brick facade, which now pops with the graphic power of black and white, has dominated Grass Valley’s main street since 1862, earning its prized status as the longest continuously operated hotel in California.


Perhaps the most memorable element is the showstopping bar in the Golden Gate ­Saloon, touted as “one of the longest operating bar rooms west of the Mississippi River”. Its ornately beautiful mirrors and marble columns are the natural focal point of the lobby space, where lounge, dining area and bar now flow together.





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Travel Curator: December 15th 2022






After one drink at the Iron Door, located in the basement of the Holbrooke Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in California, you may start to see ghosts.That’s because the hotel, established during the Gold Rush, has stories to tell. But so does its stashed away bar, once an actual speakeasy and brothel, where plush banquettes and a custom bar glimmer beneath amber lighting and an original stone wall ensures gravitas. As you knock back a Violet French 75 (gin, lemon, violette, and a sparkling float), gaze upon historic metal doors, which once led to tunnels likely used for transporting gold or escaping the authorities after a bender.


by Becca Hensley



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Big Wild World: December 12th 2022


Falling for Nevada County


History and hauntings await visitors to this small California community.

…Just minutes up the road in Grass Valley, the historic Holbrooke Hotel and Golden Gate Saloon is rich with history about underground tunnels, a brothel and speakeasy. The bar came first in 1852, followed shortly thereafter by what was called the Exchange hotel. But both would be short lived when in 1855, the bar and hotel, along with the rest of the town, burned in a fire. When the establishment was rebuilt in 1862, it included a roof made of a foot of dirt and brick – “fireproof.”

Downstairs, the Iron Door presents a speakeasy style façade complete with live music and old-timey cocktails. Behind the bar is a large iron door, which once led to a tunnel that allowed bootleggers and other nefarious characters to move from place to place, unnoticed. Whether it’s the drinks or a real-life ghost story, some guests have reported seeing a disembodied torso of a cowboy wandering around the bar.


Words By: Aja Goare
Photos By: Dustin Klemann


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CBS News: November 22nd 2022


Miracle Bar at The Holbrooke


Molly Riehl is in Grass Valley at The Holbrooke where they are already in the Christmas Spirit! See how wonderfully this iconic hotel is decorated.



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The Union: November 23rd 2022


Christmas fun on steroids: Miracle at the Holbrooke


The Iron Door at the Holbrooke Hotel is now open for the holidays with over the-top Christmas decorations as well as professionally-developed drinks. Christmas themed music plays over the background and folks can sip on drinks like the Christmapolitan, Elfing Around, Snowball Old-Fashioned, Santa’s Little Helper, Jingle Balls Nog, Grandma Got Run Over By a T-Rex, mulled wine, and others.



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Sierra Rec Magazine: November 17th 2022


The Legendary Holbrooke Brushes off Father Time


Born in a time of California where young men of Cornish decent were rifled across the seas to work The Empire Mine. The Holbrooke Hotel would become a staple of Grass Valley and the region’s history. However, it would first be recognized as a muddy tent that welcomed miners after a shift to a strong beverage or three.


Serving the wild west alongside presidential visits, the Holbrooke certainly is a storyteller’s dream. But what was old and traditional is now new again and ready for visitors.

After a meticulous restoration, this California Landmark property celebrates its storied past with a mind for modern comforts and a gracious approach to hospitality.



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7×7 Magazine: November 11th 2022


Winter in Grass Valley and Nevada City: Gold Rush Lore, Modern Luxury + Old-Fashioned Holiday Fun


In a silver lining of the pandemic for this neck of the woods, Santa Barbara–based Acme Hospitality upped the game for accommodations with the refurbishment of two historic hotels, the National Exchange and, four miles away, the Holbrooke. While you can expect modern touches, rest easy knowing each property retains its individual identity and keeps true to history through meticulous restoration of the buildings, refurbished original antiques, and even some furnishings donated by locals as a way to preserve the character of these sites.


Over in Grass Valley, the landmark Holbrooke holds another historic title: It’s home to the oldest running saloon west of the Mississippi. Famous guests have included President Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain, and the infamous highwayman Black Bart, which might explain this hotel’s more masculine energy. The property has a restaurant, two bars, and luxurious rooms similar in fashion to its sister the National—think exposed brick, antique furniture, and fireplaces—both in the main building and in the detached Purcell Carriage House. There are no televisions here, so unplug and enjoy.


By Amber Turpin


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Los Angeles Times: November 10th 2022


11 magical California gold rush towns you should absolutely visit


Grass Valley’s Holbrooke Hotel started as an add-on to the 1852 Golden Gate Saloon and became a hangout for notorious outlaw Black Bart, exotic dancer Lola Montez and author Mark Twain. The hotel was renovated during the pandemic, its 28 spacious, high-ceilinged rooms outfitted with antiques and bathrooms that feature the original (but updated) bear-claw tubs. Today, with its lively bar and restaurant, the Holbrooke is Grass Valley’s social center.


By Sharon Boorstin


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Forbes: November 9th 2022


Two Design-Driven Hotel Restorations Paint Historic California Gold Country In Technicolor


Two Wild West towns. Two historic hotels, both possibly haunted. And a big vision by Acme Hospitality Group to bring the history of these important places and spaces into the 21st century, while retaining their period vibe, right down to the cocktails.


When Sherry Villanueva, owner and managing partner of Acme Hospitality Group, decided to jump into the massive undertaking of restoring these two hotels —Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley and The National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City, one of her wisest decisions was to engage designers who could successfully bring these spaces to life for contemporary travelers, while retaining each property’s unique language of the past, often encoded in design details such as wallpaper, lighting, and balcony construction. Interior designers Bri Ingram, Anne L’Esperance, and Doug Washington brought it all home over the course of three years, which sounds like a long time until you go to consider the outcome, which is nothing short of genius.


By Kim Westerman


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SoCal Design: November 3rd 2022


Gold Futures and Past


With a duo of newly revitalized landmark hotels in grass valley and Nevada city, Nevada county gold country is your next historic California destination


Grass Valley visitors Mark Twain and multiple United States presidents rubbed shoulders with far more rugged types at the Holbrooke Hotel (212 W. Main St.). Its 28 guest rooms and public spaces keep this Western spirit alive with decor touches and antique finds, featuring generous amounts of taxidermy, local stone, and leather-covered surfaces. The Purcell House at the back of the property originally was a livery station for the town and now contains 11 additional rooms with nods to its equestrian-focused past.


By Jessica Ritz – November 3, 2022


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Sunset Magazine: October 27th 2022


Get Spooked at the Most Haunted Hotels in the West


Holbrooke Hotel, Grass Valley
The Santa Barbara–based hoteliers who recently restored the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley may have meticulously updated the historic property, but that doesn’t mean they were able to clear out the ghouls. Paranormal investigators have visited and claimed that they have experienced a presence in the 165 year old building, and given the history of this Gold Rush town, we wouldn’t be shocked if it were true.
– Krista Simmons


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Visit California:  October 15th 2022


California’s Most Haunted Hotels


Holbrooke Hotel, Grass Valley
This 1862 boutique hotel in Nevada County has hosted Mark Twain, presidents (such as Ulysses S. Grant and Grover Cleveland), and Old West outlaw Black Bart. Some folks think that Bart’s spirit inhabits the Grass Valley hotel room named after him, while others have noted that Room 9 houses a ghostly woman who unpacks your bag. Either way, the California State Landmark offers an elegant stay with exposed brick walls and a speakeasy-style bar called The Iron Door.


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Sunset Magazine:  September 22nd 2022


For Eye-Popping Leaf Peeping, Visit These Sierra Towns


Not far from Nevada City is Grass Valley. If you’re into California history, a visit to Empire Mine State Historic Park is a must. Leaf peepers will revel in the sights at Maple Lane, a long street lined with the iconic trees which turn technicolored this time of year. Be sure to book in for an overnight at the Holbrooke Hotel or the National Exchange; both historic properties have been thoughtfully restored by one of our favorite hotel groups in the West.


– Krista Simmons


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Fodor’s Travel:  August 31st 2022


Quite Possibly the Most Haunted Hotels in America, and the Ghosts Who Haunt Them


Nestled into the Sierra Nevada Foothills in California’s Gold Country are two exceptionally historic hotel properties with some seriously spirited stories: The Holbrooke Hotel and the National Exchange Hotel. The 28-room Holbrooke Hotel dates back to 1862 and feels like stepping back in time. It’s home to the Golden Gate Saloon, the longest continually running watering hole west of the Mississippi. Just down the road in Nevada City is the National Exchange Hotel, which dates back to 1856 with 38 guestrooms with an eccentric aesthetic that combines Victorian-era design with a mysterious gothic aura.


For two special weekends in October 2022 (October 1st and 15th), those who book a two-night weekend stay at The National Exchange Hotel can gain exclusive access to a candlelight tour with the hotel’s resident history expert detailing the stories of past inhabitants rumored to haunt these fabled halls still.

– Molly O’Brien

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Fodors Travel
San Diego Magazine:  August 30th 2022


Gold Country Booms Again


The centerpiece of the hotel is the Golden Gate Saloon, with its original bar made of mahogany, marble, and stained glass. It was constructed in Italy before being shipped to San Francisco. Linger for an updated classic cocktail like a mezcal Negroni, or head to the dining room where chef Zachary Ahrenholtz features dishes inspired by California’s Mexican heritage—from a barbacoa of lion’s mane mushrooms, crispy potatoes, avocado, and pineapple relish to a birria that I still crave (braised short rib, onion, cilantro, yellow corn tortillas, and achiote rice).


In the evening, walk downstairs to the Iron Door, an underground bar that’s rumored to have been both a brothel and a speakeasy, named after the metal doors that once led to a series of underground tunnels.


– Jill Robinson


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San Diego Magazine
Hospitality Design:  August 17th 2022

A Pair of California Hotels Mine History for a New Chapter


Restoring two of California’s oldest, most storied hotels was not technically an adaptive reuse project, but the scope of the undertaking was no less daunting. “It was instantly both exciting and terrifying,” says Acme Hospitality managing partner and owner Sherry Villanueva, recalling her initial 2018 visit to the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, California and the National Exchange Hotel in nearby Nevada City. The landmarked properties were built during the Gold Rush in the mid-1800s, and are located four miles apart in the Sierra Nevada foothills—approximately an hour drive from Sacramento.


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Fox40:  July 7th 2022

Destination California: Holbrooke Hotel


GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (KTXL) — Grass Valley is a great place for a weekend hike, wine tasting, and even a little shopping in historic downtown.

And if you don’t want to leave, you don’t have to. You can just check into a 170-year-old hotel that’s also a historic landmark.

It’s checking into a museum with really great furniture inside. The Holbrooke Hotel has stood the tests of time, going from a run-down western inn to a luxurious hotel and wedding venue.


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Diablo Magazine:  June 17th 2022

One Fine Weekend in California Gold Country


But it’s when you step into the lobby of the Holbrooke Hotel that you truly begin to grasp the region’s history. Founded in 1879, the Holbrooke is one of the oldest continuously operating hotels in California. Past guests include Mark Twain, Jack London, and outlaw Black Bart. (According to legend, Black Bart preferred to stay in room nine; located next to an exit door, it allowed for a quick getaway.)


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Diablo Magazine
LaLaScoop June 11th 2022

Relive California’s past with 5 reimagined hotels


While the National leans towards the feminine, the nearby 1851 Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley has also been carefully revamped and redesigned by the same design team offering an equally impressive feel but with more masculine vibes with period-style rooms – some with balconies, fireplaces, or sitting areas and antique clawfoot tubs. Some say certain rooms may be haunted but feel the spooky former era of madman down below at the hotel’s Iron Door speakeasy bar or savor “killer” handcrafted cocktails at the 1852 Golden Gate Saloon. An elegant restaurant donned with animal heads sits right off the interesting lobby serving a menu influenced by California’s early days with smoked meats and Mexican-style additions.


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EATER San Francisco May 26th 2022

10 Destination Restaurants in Nevada City and Grass Valley


Where to find a great meal in these historic former mining towns

by Flora Tsapovsky


Located at the freshly renovated, incredibly chic Holbrooke Hotel, the Golden Gate Saloon is a welcome addition to Grass Valley’s dining scene. On the menu, chef Zachary Ahrenholtz pays homage to California’s Mexican heritage with dishes like vegetarian lion’s mane barbacoa and vibrant tuna tostadas for dinner, plus chilaquiles and huevos rancheros for breakfast. The generous and succulent short rib birria is best consumed while sitting at the vintage bar, mezcal negroni in hand. And if drinks are your main focus, seek out the Iron Door — a speakeasy in the hotel’s basement.


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Montecito Journal May 24th 2022

Hitting the Mother Lode: A Road Trip to Historic Gold Country


By Leslie Westbrook


Yes, Mark Twain Slept Here
First stop: the Holbrooke, a 28-room hotel on the main drag with rooms on the second floor of the two-story lodging and saloon. Yes, Madge, there is a two-person vintage elevator, as well as the original, old, wide wooden staircase. My king bedded room ( #2) is also where Mark Twain once stayed. But the hotel has had other famous visitors, and possibly some ghosts.The notorious Black Bart (poet and thief) had a favorite room where he could spy on the Wells Fargo stagecoach carriage house; and Lola Montez, a courtesan who lived in the area and was famous not only for her bewitching “spider dance,” but for horse whipping a reporter across the face who wrote things about her she didn’t like. Now that’s scary!


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Standout spots for your road trip off the beaten path.



At the Holbrooke, the GOLDEN GATE SALOON is a must stop before lunch or dinner for house-made horchata, and if you ask nicely, they’ll spike it with mezcal or tequila. In the GOLDEN GATE restaurant, chef Zachary Ahrenholtz is behind the Mexican-inspired menu in the bar and restaurant featuring albondigas soup with ample meatballs, crispy pig ears with avocado mousse, or sashimi-grade tuna tostadas. For a nightcap, head down to the IRON DOOR basement speakeasy for more cocktails and a possible ghost sighting, as there is rumored paranormal activity at both properties, and this one has a secret pas- sageway to an old gold mine.


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TRavel + Leisure Magazine

Travel + Leisure Hotels Issue May 2022

After the Gold Rush


With the revival of a historic hotel, a former mining town in California kicks off the dust-and discovers some hidden gems. By Eleni N. Gage


THE FIRST TIME I saw Nevada City, California, I turned to my sister, Marina, and said, “I can’t believe there’s a place that still looks like this.” What really stunned me was Broad Street, the main drag. 11 looked like a film set for a western, dominated by two prime examples of the Mother Lode style of architecture: the 1865 Nevada Theatre -one of the oldest in California, where Mark Twain once spoke-and the 1856 National Exchange Hotel, where Twain, and any other bigwigs who came to town, slept.


During the National’s renovation, the Holbrooke Hotel (holbrooke.com; doubles from $137), five minutes down the freeway in Grass Valley, came up for sale, and ACME jumped on it. (Mark Twain slept there, too.) Purchasing both hotels was a no-brainer, explained Sherry Villanueva, ACME’s CEO. “This area is the gateway to the Tahoe National Forest, near metropolitan areas like Sacramento and San Francisco, and perfectly positioned for hiking, biking, and exploring California history.”


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805 Living Magazine

805 Living – The Travel Issue May 2022



Sister hotels in historic Nevada County celebrate the spirit of long-ago visitors who came in search of the mother lode.


The anchor of Grass Valley is the recently restored Holbrooke Hotel, a California Historical Landmark that began as the Golden Gate Saloon in 1852.


Today’s bar area, which opens to the restaurant on one side and Main Street on the other, is full of mining town character with its wood flooring, mahogany coffered ceiling, and copper walls and backbar from the 1860s. It bills itself as the longest operating bar west of the Mississippi River, but Taco Tuesdays and cocktails like the Evergreen Daiquiri—a mix of St. George Terroir gin, sage-infused Dolin Blanc vermouth, Green Chartreuse liqueur, and lime—make it feel like the new hot spot.


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Sactown Magazine

Sactown: May/June 2022

US Presidents


It’s no surprise that two Northern California landmarks-the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley and The National Exchange located 4 miles away in Nevada City, sister lodgings built post-Gold Rush have hosted their fair share of American historical figures, given the region’s literal gilded past. U.S. President Herbert Hoover stayed at The National, while oral history suggests that commanders-in-chief like Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, James Garfield and Benjamin Harrison visited the Holbrooke. Other notable guests at The National have included U.S. Senator George Hearst along with his suffragette wife, National PTA founder Phoebe, and their media-magnate in-the-making son William Randolph — and Mark Twain, then a regular lecturer at the Nevada Theatre. Modern-day visitors can walk the same hallowed halls and snag some shut-eye in the same fabled rooms as these American legends-the hotels, gloriously restored by Santa Barbara’s Acme Hospitality, reopened during the pandemic.


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Thrillist: March 24th 2022

11 Reasons to Drive to Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District


Grass Valley and Nevada City are home to two historic hotels that recently underwent major renovations under new ownership, outfitting them with modern comforts while bringing back the architectural and design details of the Gold Rush era.

The masonry-style Holbrooke Hotel is also an icon of the area. Opened in 1852, it’s the oldest continuously operated hotel in California’s Mother Lode and recognized as a California Historical Landmark for a history that includes past guests like Mark Twain, Jack London, and five US presidents. The hotel has 28 rooms, each offering unique charm and cozy details like fur rugs and brick walls, to invite you to hang your hat for a night or two.


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Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine: March 2022

Waking Up the Wild West


“Acme’s three-year remodel has Produced an environment more Authentic to the ethos of the era Than perhaps the era itself.”

Sitting atop my private balcony at the two-story Holbrooke Hotel (the tallest building in sight), I imagine the road below filled with outlaws, cowboys, and rebellious youth that once pulled up stools at the saloon across the street. I’m in the Wild West, though the complimentary wine I’m sipping has put me in a rather serene state.


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NBC Los Angeles: February 25th 2022

Step Back in Time at The Holbrooke Hotel


Prospecting for a good time, California Live’s Ross Thomas is taking us to a Gold Rush landmark that was established in 1853 – the Holbrooke Hotel. Set in the foothills of the Sierra mountains in Grass Valley, the Holbrooke Hotel has been restored to its original Victorian style, including a secret underground speakeasy. Ross chats with Sonya Krimsky, Sales and Event Manager, about the rich history, art, and photos. If only the walls could talk.


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TravelAge West: February 17th 2022

The National Exchange Hotel Vs. Holbrooke Hotel in Northern California


Emerging from an extensive, multi-year restoration, a pair of California’s oldest hotels — The National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City and the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley — are giving guests a new way to strike travel gold.

Built during the Gold Rush, both hotels offer the romance and intrigue that guests crave, but with an upscale and modern experience that this stretch of Gold Country has never seen before, thanks to massive renovations undertaken by Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Acme Hospitality.


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Visit California: January 2022

What’s Old and Still Going Strong


In Gold Country, The Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley offers a modern experience while retaining the charm of Gold Rush Era heritage. This 28-room inn was first established in 1862, and celebrates the spirit of the rugged-yet-refined frontiersman. Nearby in Nevada City, the National Exchange Hotel dates back to 1856 and features 38 guest rooms, 400 pieces of art and an interior design that evokes the feminine elegance of the Victorian Era.


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Men’s Journal: Dec 2021

Best New Year’s Destinations of 2022


Grass Valley, California: Speakeasy Drinking and Wide Open Hiking Trails. The Holbrooke, a Gold Rush-era hotel in Northern California, recently underwent a handsome renovation. Here, you can sip whiskey in an amber-lit speakeasy that has a tunnel that once connected to historic gold mines. Grass Valley is about 60 miles northeast of Sacramento and is at the front porch of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The foothills are laced with trails that provide plenty of New Year’s Day excursion options.


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The Iron Door speakeasy at the Holbrooke Hotel

Travel + Leisure: Dec 2021

This Hotel in a Charming California Gold Rush Town Has an 1852 Saloon and a Moody Speakeasy


It’s not often that a hotel’s restaurant comes before the hotel — but then again, there isn’t much that is ordinary about the Golden Gate Saloon at the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, CA, a relic of California’s gold mining days that reopened last January, retaining the spirit of its frontier era, but now with refined touches every step of the way…


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Edible Reno-Tahoe: Nov 2021

Old Glory


The National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City and Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley feature refined elegance and historic charm, along with delectable food and drink.

Unwind from the grind and take a trip to the captivating Gold Rush towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley, just an hour and a half from Reno. Better yet, treat yourself to a stay at The National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City or Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley.


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Martha Stewart Living: Nov 2021

Out & About: Get Spooked! – Holbrooke Hotel


Resident ghouls at this 1862 hotel in Grass Valley, California, include kids playing in the hall, a lady in the former speakeasy’s bathroom, and a miner who died here but lives on in the 2018 docudrama Phantoms of the Holbrooke (available on DVD).


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Exposed brick wall in beautiful victorian style king bedroomSunset Magazine: 2021 Travel Awards: Cool Retro Redos

The Holbrooke Hotel: Declared a California Historical Landmark, this Victorian hotel now offers expansive modern suites at the gateway to the Sierra Nevada. Don’t forget to grab a drink at the Golden Gate Saloon.


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Emerald Bay at Lake TahoeLonely Planet: See mining towns and mountain tops on these Lake Tahoe road trips

Continue onto Grass Valley, where you can stop by another hospitality landmark, The Holbrooke Hotel, which dates back to 1862 and has hosted a wealth of famous guests from the U.S. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and James Garfield and even authors like Mark Twain. The hotel is also home to the Iron Door, a spectacular hidden speakeasy creating handcrafted cocktails to transport you back in time to the roaring 20s’ (1920’s, that is…).

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Sacramento Magazine: Grass Valley

Historic and New—The 28-room Holbrooke Hotel has recently reopened after an 18-month, multimillion-dollar renovation, bringing the property up to date with modern amenities while preserving its historic flavor. The restaurant, bar and lobby on the main floor, rich with dark wood and upscale Western style, invite visitors to relax on a lush leather curved-arm sofa, sink into one of the extremely high wingback chairs or pull up a stool at the bar.

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Sunset Magazine: Holbrooke Hotel

Grass Valley’s Holbrooke Hotel is a Golden State staple. Boasting a storied history of 1800s fortune seekers, gamblers, and gunfighters, the vintage-yet-refined property recently completed a multi-year renovation fine-tuning much of the building’s original 1862 charm. Just don’t call it a comeback–the iconic property has already survived a history of fires and prohibition. Modernized tweaks to its rustic aesthetic have Holbrooke poised to welcome guests with its timeless allure for years to come.

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Destinations: A Landmark in Local History

Celebrating Grass Valley at its most authentic…unearthed, restored and brought forward into today. Welcome to the Holbrooke Hotel: where modern luxuries blend seamlessly with a historically unique, rustic-yet-refined, one-of-a-kind property. Set in the heart of our bustling town with easy access to restaurants, tasting rooms, shops and historical sights, our meticulously renovated California Historical Landmark offers a true break from the ordinary and an unforgettable stay.

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Marin Magazine: Grass Valley, A Historic Destination Only 140 Miles from Marin

First known as Boston Ravine, and then officially named Centerville, Grass Valley was finally named as such — for unknown reasons — in 1852, the year after its post office was established. Empire Mine and North Star Mine, which are both located within the town, produced vast amounts of gold and made Grass Valley the wealthiest of all California mining settlements.
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Hotels to Love: The Holbrooke

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Holbrooke Hotel is about as historic as they come in California. It’s Golden Gate Saloon was born during the booming times of the Gold Rush Era in the 1850’s when Grass Valley was just one of many mining camp settlements in the area flush with gold-veined quartz and hopes to strike it rich. The Golden Gate Saloon has greeted its share of infamous bar patrons over the years, from outlaws and generals to treasured writers.
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The Union: Holbrooke showcases local talent

Since 1852, the iconic Holbrooke Hotel has embraced so much life. The stories echoing in its bones hold the strength of its character. For several recent months, with undying honor and respect, designers, contractors, craftsmen and artists have worked heartily to restore and revive the Holbrooke for a truly grand reopening. And it’s exciting how beautiful it is. They used a lot of local talent and the Holbrooke is shining brightly. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

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Visit California: 22 Pet-Friendly Hotels In California

After a two-year restoration, one of California’s oldest hotels is once again welcoming pets and their humans. Discover dog-friendly trails using Holbrooke’s mobile app, like Empire Mine State Historic Park, a Gold Rush landmark with mining ruins. Find fenced-in fun at Grass Valley’s Dogs Run Free park, where pets splash in puppy pools and play among ponderosa pines.
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HiTravelTales.com: Historic Holbrooke Hotel Grass Valley

Residents and visitors pressed their noses to the windows for months, trying to catch a glimpse of the renovation that was happening inside the historic Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, California. The pride of the small Gold Rush town, the Holbrooke Hotel was beloved for its noisy bar, tales of ghosts, and legendary charm, but had admittedly lost some its luster after nearly 170 years.

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Real Travel Adventures: Exploring California’s Landmarks: Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley

Diving deeper into our state’s checkered history is now becoming a favorite pastime for many Californians, bound to stay in place due to COVID-19 safety measures. While traveling is generally discouraged, local road trips in a car with a member of your immediate household (a.k.a. husband) are not really prohibited.
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Hot Mama Travel: We Stayed at a Haunted Hotel!

Family Travel to the Holbrooke Hotel: The Oldest Hotel in California! Hot Mama travel covers their family stay at the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, California. If you have watched us long, you know that we love us some haunted places! Well, we love places with a lot of history and places with history usually come with a few ghost stories. It’s a mix of old and new in the oldest hotel in California and has been recently remodeled.
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Sacramento News & Review: With the Holbrooke Hotel’s restoration, a piece of California history gets second life

For 169 years there’s been a hotel standing at 212 West Main Street in Grass Valley. An inferno claimed its first incarnation in 1855, but the structure that rose from those ashes went on to become the longest continuously operated hotel in California—and one of the oldest functional landmarks in America west of the Mississippi.

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Inspire Design: STORIED PAST

The Holbrooke Hotel, first built in 1862 in California’s historic Gold Rush Country, is a reminder of Grass Valley’s storied history as a gold mining boom town. The 28-room hotel has undergone a renovation to create an experience that honors the property’s past and that can appeal to the modern traveler. Gambling and gun fights, fortunes made and lost, and visits from Mark Twain, Ulysses S. Grant and Lola Montez—the Holbrooke has seen a lot in its time.

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The Union: Holbrooke Hotel on track for a September reopening

After over a year of renovation, Grass Valley’s historic Holbrooke Hotel is on track for a September reopening, with the National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City following later this year. A more specific timeline of reopening has not yet been announced for the National Exchange Hotel, which first opened its doors in 1856 and has been under renovation since 2018. Both hotels will be managed by Acme Hospitality, a Santa Barbara-based company. View full article

Hotel Management: Historic California hotels undergo renovations

Located in California’s historic Gold Rush country, the ​Holbrooke Hotel has stood as a landmark along Grass Valley’s Main Street since 1862, serving as a reminder of the city’s colorful origins as a gold mining boom town. In its heyday, the hotel hosted five U.S. presidents and notables like Mark Twain and Lola Montez. The 28-room hotel is being updated and will reopen in September following a renovation.

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Hotel Business: A Look at Hotel Renovations

Located in the heart of California’s historic Gold Rush Country, the Holbrooke Hotel has stood as a landmark along Grass Valley’s Main Street since 1862. To reopen in September following a renovation led by a team of local designers, craftsmen and builders, the Holbrooke is now being transformed. Upon reopening, the 28-room Holbrooke will bring an elevated and timeless guest experience to the Sierra Nevada region, according to the company.

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Located in the heart of California’s historic Gold Rush Country, the Holbrooke Hotel has stood as a landmark along Grass Valley’s Main Street since 1862. To reopen in September following a renovation led by a team of local designers, craftsmen and builders, the Holbrooke is now being transformed. Upon reopening, the 28-room Holbrooke will bring an elevated and timeless guest experience to the Sierra Nevada region, according to the company.
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KNCO Newstalk: Holbrooke Reopening Announced

A more than two-year painstaking transformation of the Holbrooke Hotel is nearing completion. Acme Hospitality, which has been spearheading the project, has announced the 28-room hotel is scheduled to reopen in September. In a news release, Acme Hospitality says the project team has uncovered and restored countless details that had been neglected during the hotel’s long history.
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The Union: Holbrooke Hotel to reopen in September following restoration

Located in the heart of California’s historic Gold Rush Country, the ​Holbrooke Hotel has stood as a landmark along Grass Valley’s Main Street since 1862, serving as a reminder of the city’s colorful origins as a gold mining boom town. Set to reopen in September following a painstaking renovation led by a team of local designers, craftsmen, and builders, the Holbrooke is being transformed into a true icon of California history.
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Sierre Foothlills Report: Holbrooke Hotel set to reopen in September

Throughout its history, the Holbrooke has seen it all: gambling and gun fights, fortunes made and lost, five U.S. presidents, and maybe even a haunting or two. In keeping with its status as one of California’s oldest hotels, every effort has been made to honor the original spirit of the hotel. Upon reopening, the 28-room Holbrooke will bring an elevated and timeless guest experience to the Sierra Nevada region
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Sierra Food Wine Art: Historic Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley set to reopen this fall

The historic ​Holbrooke Hotel has stood as a landmark along Grass Valley’s Main Street since 1862, serving as a reminder of the city’s colorful origins as a gold mining boom town. Set to reopen this fall following a painstaking renovation led by a team of local designers, craftsmen, and builders, the Holbrooke is being transformed into a true icon of California history and hospitality.
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