POSTED ON February 17, 2014 | IN Amador County, El Dorado County, Wine Information, Wine Tourism | BY Joe Becerra
image hanford house

Main entrance

Hanford House Inn

Once a year we make a trip to the wine country of Amador and El Dorado Counties. We have been doing this since 1999 without a miss. The first couple of years it was just the two of us. We realized quickly that our friends would also love Sutter Creek and the surrounding wine country. Now eleven of us make this annual trek.

We have stayed in different B&B’s in Sutter Creek during that time, but by far our favorite has been the Hanford House Inn. Six years ago Robert and Athena Gordon purchased the Inn and each year they have made improvements. This past year they took the inn to a new level, even in the midst of welcoming their first baby! This recent Valentine’s Day we enjoyed a two-night stay at the newly-remodeled and improved Hanford House Inn.

Our room at the Hanford House Inn

Our room at the Hanford House Inn

The Hanford House Inn has been completed revamped over the past 11 months. Additions have been made to the main building, and all existing rooms have had a complete makeover. The renovation of the building is sleek and clean with great attention to “green” use of materials. The art and furnishings are eclectic, comfortable, and pleasing. The high ceilings and light in rooms create a spacious atmosphere. A new kitchen has been added, providing guests with a wonderful and different gourmet breakfast each morning. The kitchen will also be the center of Elements, a restaurant set to open in about four weeks.

There had been a large conference room at the inn that was seldom used for seminars, and the Gordons saw it as an ideal area to establish a restaurant. The restaurant will open initially for breakfast and then later for lunch and dinner. The town of Sutter Creek is in dire need of an upscale restaurant, and we hope that Elements can fill that need.

There are many good things to like about the Hanford House Inn but the best and most important for us are Robert and Athena Gordon. They are the perfect hosts. They treat their guests like they are family members staying as guests at their home. They are caring, thoughtful and gracious.

Cutouts from the walls in former breakfast area

Cutouts from the walls in former breakfast area

One cool thing the Gordons did was preserve bits and pieces of the old Hanford House Inn. In the old breakfast room guests had been invited to write their thoughts on the wall with sharpies. The walls and ceiling were filled with memorable quotes. Rather than dump the walls in the remodel of the area, they saved random squares of the writings and have mounted them at various locations in the inn. A very nice touch! They also took the breakfast tables and refinished the wood to make a new set of dining tables.

Both mornings we had scones and coffee just outside our room. Breakfast was a delight with French Toast and sausage the first day followed by delicious Eggs Benedict with a lemon sauce on the second day.

image of eggs benedict

Eggs Benedict

We are wine country and wine tasting enthusiasts and the location of Sutter Creek and the Hanford House Inn provide a gateway for exploring wineries in nearby Shenandoah Valley and beyond in the Fair Play area of El Dorado County. The town of Sutter Creek is becoming a wine tasting room mecca. With names like Yorba, Scott Harvey, and Bella Grace at the forefront, we will more than likely see additional tasting rooms on Main Street. Currently there are nine tasting rooms open.

The Hanford House Inn has 12 rooms in the main building and a separate cottage that has four rooms available. Book early because the Hanford House Inn is becoming a very popular spot.

Our friend Mary summed up our experience best: “The new design is very forward thinking in my opinion, but still retains the warmth of the inn. But this warmth is mostly due to the hosts, Robert and Athena, and now their new family addition, Ravi. The colors on the walls are gorgeous and each room blends gracefully into the other. Our second floor room was simply furnished and very comfortable and inviting. Breakfast was outstanding. Not being an Eggs Benedict fan, I was totally surprised with the mellowness of the Meyer Lemon sauce. Delicious. We’ll be back!”


  1. Kris says

    New architecture, design, colors and rooms.
    But they kept the best of all: the ambiance, food, and superb hosts Athena and Robert.

  2. mike beltran says

    They do such a good job of opening their arms and welcoming people. The Gordon’s are a vital part of the new wave of business people in Sutter Creek the the growing Amador vineyard area. More establishments of this quality will allow people to spend days exploring the richness of Amador. The breakfasts were superb.