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Cadillac nap? The unique small hotel in the Santa Ynez Valley where you can sleep in a classic car

 A Cadillac has been converted to a bed
Caroline Feraday
/
KCLU
A Cadillac has been converted to a bed

Have you ever fancied spending the night pretending to be a Roman Centurion or want the chance to take a shower in the Moulin Rouge?

An Egyptian sarcophagus creaks open to reveal a hidden bathroom in the Egyptian suite at the Victorian Mansion in Los Alamos.

This is one of the six uniquely themed rooms hidden inside the unsuspecting-looking Victorian house – which is actually a B&B, in the Santa Ynez Valley.

"It feels very old school Victorian building. There's two suites on every floor. There's a lot of details, a lot of treasures," explained owner Rod Rigole.

 The Victorian Mansion is in the Santa Ynez Valley
Caroline Feraday
/
KCLU
The Victorian Mansion is in the Santa Ynez Valley

Owner Rod Rigole shows me the quirky hidden bathrooms, spiral staircases, a 750 pound cannon as a coffee table, that Egyptian sarcophagus and a 1956 Cadillac convertible…which is used as a bed!

There’s a 1950’s suite, a gypsy suite complete with a caravan wagon as a bed, or if you’d rather sleep in a chariot, there’s the Roman Suite. Or you can harness your inner Jack Sparrow in the Pirate Suite, or your inner-artist in the French suite.

"If you stepped into the shower, you see dimensional dancing girls coming at you," said Rigole. He explained that each suite also has it's own unique fragrance.

The anachronistic mansion was built in 1864 in Nipomo, California, and moved to its present Los Alamos location in 1980. It took over 200 expert craftsmen, artisans and artists almost 10 years to create the 6 theme suites inside. The muralist alone spent over two years, working 40 hours per week, to complete the murals in the property.

"My goal is to constantly improve the experience, it's pretty much a labor of love," said Rigole.

Rigole had visited the Victorian Mansion as a child with his parents. As an adult, he dreamed of owning a unique bed and breakfast, which would be like a Disneyland for adults.

"All of our rooms are more geared towards adults," he told KCLU.

Through a twist of fate, 16-years-ago, he found out the original owner had passed away and the B&B had fallen into disrepair. Rigole bought it, and restored it to its original grandeur.

"I think people want a different experience. I think that people are tired of going to chain hotels and reliving the same experience they've had for years and years and years," said Rigole.

"We offer an immersive experience. So the guests can experience the room and then experience the area" said Rigole.

He says that Los Alamos has changed in the time he's owned 'The Vick" as he affectionately calls it.

"Now it's a foodie town. So now Los Alamos in itself is a destination," he said.

 A chariot provides a bed in the Roman room
Caroline Feraday
/
KCLU
A chariot provides a bed in the Roman room
 The bathroom in the Egyptian suite is hidden
Caroline Feraday
/
KCLU
The bathroom in the Egyptian suite is hidden

Rigole – meanwhile – is busy planning more rooms – outside this time – converting a 1914 yawl, that was built for the King of Denmark, creating a treehouse suite, and even a little hideaway that would fit into a Tolkien novel.

This quirky place to stay shows that you really can’t judge a book by its cover.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.