The charm of many bed & breakfast inns often includes the uniqueness of their past. Often built decades or even a century ago, many inns started as an hotel, a pub, or perhaps even a private home. Changing hands over the years, sometimes falling into states of disrepair or neglect, the very thing that threatened their existence becomes their salvation. Time. And a new owner’s vision.
Opened in 2019, The Barn B&B, located just west of Walla Walla, Washington, flies in the face of this tradition. Owners Naina and Anand Rao have carefully cultivated the vision of their breath-taking sanctuary from a lifetime of world travel and years of experience in the hospitality industry.
With their passports boasting lengthy stops in Nairobi, Kuwait City, Khartoum, Bangkok as well as the requisite London and Paris, one might wonder why they didn’t find pasture for their barn in New York, L.A., Miami, or Chicago. The answer might lie in the design of this elegant property.
Magnificent suites with clean lines and details that point to their bucolic sense of decorum, humble yet refined (with more than a hint of extraordinary!) comes to mind when searching for apt descriptors. Eschewing the bright lights and high-end trappings of more famous locales, a quiet location in southeast Washington just outside an unpretentious town is the perfect place for this unique property.
Luxuriously outfitted with original art, fine linens, and custom-honed wood furniture additions, each of the seven suites is top-quality from floor to ceiling. Relax in 450 square feet of space plus a 200 square foot private garden. The suites have a distinctive flair that belies their simplicity. For example, the Granary, the silo-shaped suite detached from the other six rooms, features curved walls, a spacious sitting area, and windows with a view of the extraordinary Blue Mountains.
Unique lighting, color schemes, and Naina’s hand-painted artwork highlight each suite. Glass sinks and stone back-splashes are but a few of the distinctive features the custom-designed rooms possess. High ceilings lend a bright, airy quality that adds to the rich sense of escape beckoning one to unwind.
The rooms also have a real-live barn door that glides smoothly from side to side, further enhancing the barn-like experience. And speaking of distinctive features, check out the carved mango wood door shipped from Bali that’s been converted to, you guessed it, a barn door that separates the dining area from Ruby’s kitchen.
Every room provides an enchanting Zen-like garden patio complete with river pebbles on the ground, plants and a private pebbled, hot-water outdoor soaking tub for guest’s use has recently been added and complements the inn’s heated pool, Knowing you can return after a hard day’s work of touring the wineries to immerse in your version of waterworks guarantees a relaxing end to the day.
Although the Rao’s vision began to take shape in 2007, the time wasn’t quite right to start construction. Wanting to learn more about the Asian hospitality market, they took a position in Bangkok, Thailand. Ten years later, they finally settled on southeast Washington for location but still had to navigate the path of acquiring the land and gaining permits for design and construction.
The result of a lifetime of dreams and planning is an exquisite sanctuary that delivers all the owners and their collective brilliance has to offer. And with two people who have traveled the globe serving in the hospitality industry, it speaks volumes that they decided on the humble barn as the embodiment of their vision. How well thought out. How well designed. How well appointed.
With a diverse background in food preparation, both Anand and Naina bring a wealth of cross-cultural experience to each meal. Anand attended the best hospitality management schools in the world in Lausanne, Switzerland, and leveraged that into executive positions with global names such as Hilton International and Ritz-Carlton while working in eight different countries. Naina is a master event planner, designer, artist, and Chef.
Speaking of culinary delights, don’t make any plans for dinner on Thursday evenings. Conspiring with their outstanding culinary staff, the two offer up sumptuous complimentary fare that is bound to leave you begging for the recipe. Combining their mastery of meal preparation and presentation, the edible creations you experience as guests of the inn are worth the price of admission alone.
Using only the best local produce and organically-sourced meats and fish, their cornucopia of spices and know-how acquired from around the globe may prove to be the most unique aspect of your entire visit! Select one of the outstanding local wines as the perfect partner for your repast.
And sleep late at your peril because breakfast is not to be missed either. Working with the finest ingredients available, your palette-pleasing gourmet start to the day guarantees to please. From freshly-baked scones and truffles to a Middle Eastern soufflé, Naina and her staff continually experiment with various combinations of spices, oils, herbs, and other zesty seasonings that expose your palette to a decadence never before experienced.
The combination of excellent wineries and beautiful scenery dominated by the Blue Mountains is rapidly making Walla Walla one of the most exciting wine touring regions in the country. With over 2800 acres of vineyards on display, the variety of terrain and soil types leave wine aficionados giddy with delight. Vintners continually produce a stunning array of grapes resulting in a range of high-quality wines from this provincial area.
For those who prefer hops to grapes, there are several breweries available for sampling the local ales. And don’t miss Food Truck Night that promises excellent fare backed by live entertainment.
Burwood Brewing Company is so serious about fun they even have a stage out back. Get your groove on as you sample sinister-sounding delights such as VooDoo fries and Ghost Chili chicken. Arugula, bacon chutney, and maple cream cheese-flavored hot dogs simply have to be experienced; the recipe alone defies resistance. Cool it down with some soft-serve ice cream, then kick up your heels and dance it all off.
Aided by their combined eight decades of experience in the hospitality industry and surrounded by appealing scenery in exceptional wine country, The Barn B&B of Walla Walla represents a home of permanence that most likely represents their last stop, and yours too if only for two nights.
The Barn B&B Walla Walla is a member of the bnbfinder Diamond Collection and accepts bnbfinder bed and breakfast Gift Cards. The bnbfinder Diamond Collection is an exclusive group of professionally inspected and/or highly rated luxury bed and breakfasts and inns. Each member of the bnbfinder Diamond Collection is required to have passed a professional inspection from a third-party industry-recognized inspection agency or achieved a high traveler review rating consecutively for each of the past three years.
Members of this program offer guests exceptional experiences and levels of service in line with today’s discerning travelers’ highest expectations. bnbfinder invites you to peruse each of our Diamond Collection members. Remember to be sure and tell the innkeeper you found them via the bnbfinder Diamond Collection!