WOW! How had I not heard the scoop on this place before?  From the initial phone conversation with Nikki from Surprise Valley Hot Springs to set up an interview, I knew I was in for a real treat.  Surprise Valley Hot Springs is located on Hwy. 299, 5 miles east of the town of Cedarville in California.  The resort offers massage treatments as well as beautiful accommodations featuring private outdoor hot spring tubs.

Stay in a villa, get a massage, and soak in your own private hot springs.  What’s not to love?  The villas are gorgeous and feature a private outdoor hot springs tub, and a kitchenette or a full kitchen already stocked with coffee, tea and hot chocolate.  The Deluxe Villas are larger and include a living room.  Now, here’s a real treat!  All of the villas offer feather beds and dreamy down pillows.  I will definitely be back for another go at this.  The accommodations are fantastic and rates are affordable.

THE PRICES The most expensive suite we found was only $225 on a weekend night and that was for the Metropolitan Apartment.  That is a two bedroom suite with two bathrooms and in this one, there’s an indoor hot tub.  The suites are the most spacious and in them you find satellite TV/Music and robes.  You can actually et a pretty good look at the rooms on their website at

With Villa Suites, Deluxe Villas and Standard Villas to choose from we found they had sixteen different themes in designing their uniquely decorated rooms.  A sampling of some of the themes used include: the ‘English Garden’, ‘Buckaroo’, ‘Bistro’ and ‘Desert Sen’.  We absolutely fell for the ‘French 1920’s’ theme.  You can go ‘Greek’ or maybe ‘Out of Africa’ would suit you better.  Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed.  If you are on a budget and can take advantage of the weekday rates, you can pick up a Standard Villa for just $115.  The Deluxe Villas are $135 weekdays and $165 on weekends.

THE FOOD We traveled into Cedarville which is only about five miles away to check out the scene.  We sere delighted with ‘Surprise’, the coffee shop recommended to us by locals.  (See ‘Cedarville Scene article in this issue.)  We were also delighted to find some really good food which was delivered to our room by a local catering company for dinner.  The place is called Mazoli’s and the food is fabulous!  Dinner comes delivered in a cast iron skillet with scrumptious homemade bread and butter included.  From the grilled veggies on the side to the deep dish apple pie that ended it all, the meals were fantastic.  We especially enjoyed the fact that we got to relax and enjoy it leisurely in our awesome villa, with a private, natural hot springs tub just steps outside the door!  Again, I’m not sure how this ever got  by me all these years.

ROMANTIC VIEW If you like beautiful views, you’re going to love Surprise Valley.  The secluded, pristine setting seems as if it came off the pages of an old west novel.  This remote high desert valley is bordered by the majestic Warner Mountains and Nevada’s Hays Range.  talk about the perfect intimate getaway, this little trip offers room to roam, quiet spaces, unbelievable views and vast opportunities for outdoor activities  and exploration (or just laying round your comfortable Villa).

FLY IN, STAY, AND SOAK Pilots, you’ll enjoy this.  You can land at the Cedarville Airport which is about 5 miles away and enjoy a private vehicle for your exclusive use during your stay.  The Fly-N-Soak Packages featured include lodging and a vehicle and start at $180 per night on weekends, based on double occupancy.

HISTORY The views of rugged terrain and majestic mountains can take ones thoughts back to a time when settlers crossed this very valley on the trail to California.  This route was used more than 100 years ago, when pioneers were fulfilling their quest for free land, gold and adventure.  (See “Hitting the Trail for California” article in this issue.)  In Surprise Valley, I often fund myself daydreaming of what our ancestors might have been doing on such a day, in such a place.  (Maybe that’s all part of the fascination with that French 1920’s theme room.)  There is much history surrounding this jewel of nature which has been operated by the Rose family for four generations.  They welcome you to come and enjoy a glimpse into the past with them!

SURPRISE YOURSELF! We thoroughly enjoyed the peaceful, serene views, quiet time, comfortable and beautiful accommodations, the great food and the excellent service we found at Surprise Valley Hot springs.  It is located about 120 miles from Susanville, heading towards Alturas on Hwy. 395, then east on Hwy. 299 just past Cedarville.  For reservations and information, you can call them locally at (530) 279-2040 or tool free at (877) 927-6426.  We highly recommend that you “SURPRISE” yourself!