As wildfire ripped through Sonoma County, Sonoma businesses and residents alike were devastated by the flames. The Olea Hotel was one of many properties in Glen Ellen damaged by the fires, but also one of the luckiest. Near the beginning of the week, a photo surfaced claiming to be the Olea Hotel completely burnt to the ground- with only a spiral staircase left standing. After the roads re-opened, it was clear the photo had been misinterpreted as all the main buildings of the hotel are still standing. Despite extreme smoke damage to all the remaining structures, the loss of two cottages and some external garden structures paled in comparison to the rumors going around that the entire property was gone. Like many of the residents on Warm Springs Road, Olea owners Sia and Ashish Patel are counting their blessings.
Interestingly enough, the week before the fires broke out, we took a trip to the Olea Hotel to write a piece on their fall menu that was premiering that week. Our editor Emily, spent the day chatting with Ashish and the staff at Olea about farm fresh foods, wine country trends, and upcoming events.
Although Olea won't be moving forward into this fall season as we expected, the hotel plans to rebuild. The process will take about a year due to extensive smoke damage, but the owners are taking the opportunity to refresh and cannot wait to welcome guests back to their property.
Sia told us that she has never experienced such a huge outpouring of support and sense of community as she has in the face of the recent disaster. Neighbors of the hotel on Warm Springs Road, one of the areas hardest hit by the fires, also plan to rebuild and return to their homes as well. Sia and her husband have faith that their community will be up and running, ready to welcome tourists and locals back soon. Downtown Glen Ellen was mostly unharmed, and businesses are eager to get back on track. So from all of us here at ASL and in wine country- come stay, come eat, come sip- we cannot wait to have you!