A"Staycation" in East County
By Rachel Ford
April 2010 (Jamul) -- Jamul Haven is an 1890 Victorian mansion that has been lovingly transformed into a luxury bed and breakfast. Situated within 30 minutes of downtown San Diego, this European style bed and breakfast is nestled in a picturesque valley and is well worth a visit.
Pulling onto the gated six-acre property, you’ll find the grounds and house are overwhelming in their exquisite beauty. The house looks perfectly situated, exuding warmth as you approach as if it has been waiting for you all along. Mama, a retriever mix, welcomes your arrival. Immediately you are transported to another time and place.
William and Marianne Roetzheim have been married 28 years; innkeeping happened by surprise. Marianne is an occupational therapist and gourmet chef. William, an accomplished poet and playwright, has published seventeen books. He sold his second soft-ware company and “retired.” At that same time he started looking around for his next project, and found it next door. Friends with the former owners of Jamul Haven, they purchased the house and spent three and a half years renovating it.
Marianne appointed all the rooms at Jamul Haven, and according to Bill had been shopping for twenty years. She appears to have a shopping guardian angel that leads her on her way and never lets her pay full price. The rooms, Celtic, Peacock, Rose, and Asian, are decorated with meticulous care and love. The peacock room displays Marianne’s daughter’s wedding dress; she stayed in the room the night before her wedding. Victorian antiques fill the house- and fill is an understatement; people during the Victorian era liked a lot of stuff.
Chrysanthemums, calamaris, sage, rosemary, and roses surround the house like trusted friends, welcoming you as if you’ve been here a million times before. The 1,000 feet of ethereal English garden pathways beckon to be strolled--a secret garden reinvented in San Diego. William has worked hard on the landscaping, creating different zones for guests to enjoy and researching plants and flowers popular during the Victorian era.
Jamul Haven is not your typical bed and breakfast . It offers a world of amenities that you would not normally find. There is a pool, sauna, health spa, and gym on the premises. Within a short distance from the inn are countless hiking trails, horseback riding, and biking areas. The inn also offers more modern features including wifi and a business center.
Marianne wants people to feel like they are at home with extended family. One guest took away that feeling, noting in the guest book, “Came a stranger and left a friend.” When people leave many keep this new friendship intact, sending back Omaha steaks or home-made jams. Past guests have called Bill to say they are tired and need to come back home for a little bit.
People that come to bed and breakfasts are different; they don’t want to be private and isolated. Bill and Marianne take extreme care to make sure each guest has their needs met. Recent newlywed guests from London were planning to walk the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest trail. They needed a lift to the trail head so Marianne and Bill drove them themselves. They had fun getting to know them along the way and now the couple will be sending back photos of their adventure. Marianne says one of her favorite things is meeting all sorts of interesting people.
Mary Maris, a San Diego resident, was celebrating her birthday with friends. She loved the inn’s proximity to San Diego, exclaiming, “It’s so close but feels like you’re in another world entirely.” Her friends surprised her with the Celebration package; champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Later, Ms. Maris and her friends took advantage of the disco, dancing under the lights into the night. They all had a fabulous stay and are already planning a return trip.
A dog’s distant bark and crickets faithful chirp reminds us to slow down and take a deep breath. Drink in the slower pace like a refreshing glass of lemonade. Red, purple, and blue fight for dominance as the sun says goodnight over the mountain tops. Something about sitting on a porch, doing nothing, brings back memories of childhood and a slower pace, a slower time. Allow yourself to unplug from your hectic life and take in the fresh mountain air laced in hibiscus and lavender. Jamul Haven is patiently waiting for you, echoing a simpler time that will surely restore your soul.
Jamul Haven Bed and Breakfast
13518 Jamul Drive
Jamul, CA 91935
(619) 669-3100/(619) 917-4917
(619) 374-7311 fax
Play reading “The Pie Dialogues,” Saturday, May 1st, at 4:30 PM. It's free, and everyone is invited.
Saturday, June 19th, and enjoy a 10:00 AM Father's Day brunch and late checkout on Sunday;
Saturday July 3rd and enjoy a free play reading at 4:30, and fireworks that evening at 9:00 PM.