Let me be very clear – a stay at Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn is not roughing it, even though you will be sleeping in 22-foot teepees on a working farm in the Yakima Valley.
The teepees have most every amenity that you could find in an upscale hotel: attractive lodge style furniture and decor, magazines to read, games to play, Ralph Lauren robe, slippers, lighting sufficient for reading as well as ambiance, refrigerator, fluffy towels, and privacy. You even get an electric blanket in case you get a little chilled on those cooler Yakima Valley nights. In short, you have everything you’d have at a hotel, except for an in-teepee bathroom (it’s out the door and around the corner) and shower (which is outdoors and secluded).
But a stay at Cherry Wood shouldn’t be thought of in the same way as staying at a hotel. A stay at Cherry Wood should be part of an overall experience, including some wine touring and tasting, understanding what’s happening on the farm, and enjoying the amenities on offer. Plan to arrive early for your stay, or stay late on the day of your departure to participate in some of the activities.
My top recommendation is to spring for the Hay Wagon Winery Ride: Offered on Thursday and Sunday, we boarded the “cowboy limo” for an afternoon of winery tours and tasting. With a cooler of cold beverages and snacks (meat, cheese, fruit, crackers), we bumped our way through vineyards, orchards, and learned a little bit more about the agriculture of the area from our hay wagon wrangler. We liked the afternoon in the sun, and I’d recommend wearing sunscreen and perhaps a hat.
Our winery stops were at Silver Lake Winery, Cultura Wine, Dineen Vineyards, and Agate Field Vineyards. We snacked a little on board the hay wagon, tasted at each of the wineries, and enjoyed a pre-arranged lunch at Cultura. It was a great way to spend an afternoon in the Yakima Valley. Hay wagon rides are $150 per person and include snacks and lunch. Worth every penny. (NOTE: You do not have to stay at Cherry Wood to participate in the ride. If you’re in the area for other reasons, carve out an afternoon for a ride. Reservations required.)
Horseback winery rides are offered on Friday and Saturday and include stops at two to three wineries and lunch. $225/person, with proceeds supporting Cherry Wood’s horse rescue program.
The rain poured down after our hay wagon ride, but we were still dry and cozy in our teepee and we could peek out at the lightning dancing across the sky. We had intended to head out to a local restaurant for dinner, but we were quite full from our late afternoon lunch so opted to stay in and watch Mother Nature’s spectacular evening entertainment. We read, watched the storm, and enjoyed the barely touched fruit and cheese snacks from the afternoon hay wagon ride. While it was accidentally perfect for us, evolving out of circumstantial events, I recommend “staying in” for dinner. Take a dip in the swimming pool, take advantage of the barbecue grills, refrigerators, and outdoor seating to have a relaxing dinner, and end the evening with a great bottle of wine and a relaxing soak in the outdoor tubs ($35/person per hour).
The following morning coffee was waiting for us on the patio (time arranged the evening before) and we eased into the morning with news and email. Breakfast followed shortly thereafter and started with nectarines in creme fraiche with mint, followed by baked eggs, sausage, sliced tomatoes, muffin, and orange juice. Breakfast was as delicious as it was relaxing.
Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn is horse and dog-friendly. The teepees have a special bed so your dog can sleep right along with you. No children permitted.
Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn is located at 3271 Roza Drive, Zillah, Washington (Yakima Valley). Spending a night in the tent is a fun way to enjoying an unusual stay as well as do some wine tasting. You can read reviews and make your booking here.
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