Photograph curtesy of Halbrook Hotel
Restored Bar Area.


As you walk through the front door of the refurbished Holbrooke Hotel, enter another world, and become captivated by the mystique and ambiance of this recently restored Gold Rush-era Hotel, that began welcoming guests as long ago as the 1860s.

Photo Phyl Doppelt.

Infused with the history of this gold mining town, where the past now meets the present, the Holbrooke Hotel has become the focal point of Grass Valley, providing gourmet dining,  and luxury lodging to travelers who arrive from far and wide.

Photograph courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel

With its stunning interiors and historic background,  as well as its location close to the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Tahoe, the Holbrooke Hotel has become a desirable venue for Destination Weddings.

Whereas exotic overseas venues were in vogue pre-pandemic, brides and grooms now favor having their celebration take place Stateside, rather than travel abroad, where they could be exposed to the virus and face lockdowns on arrival.

Photo courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel.

By choosing to have a Destination Wedding, the bride and groom have a captive audience of a select group of relatives and friends with whom to spend a dedicated two or three days. All events take place at one location and there is no need to use a car, or be concerned about parking or getting there on time.

Overhead view of the downtown area., photo Phyl Doppelt.

Nestled at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains, with towering pine and cedar trees combing the sky, and bubbling streams gurgling in the undergrowth, Grass Valley, a two and half hour drive from San Francisco and en route to Tahoe, is light-years away from the urban sprawl and chaos of larger Californian cities.

With its vintage storefronts and absence of chain stores, its leafy sidewalks, and houses with white picket fences, one is embraced by this charming small town and its welcoming vibe.


In 2021, the Holbrooke Hotel, which had been closed for two and a half years, re-opened after a top to bottom refurbishment. The design team under the leadership of Anne L’Esperance paid great attention to preserving its historic character while at the same time, updating it to modern standards. With its unique Gold Rush history, re-invigorated interiors, and natural beauty, this makes an ideal setting for a destination wedding.

Photo courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel

During the pandemic, many couples had to put their wedding plans on hold and the backlog is only now beginning to clear.  2022 is expected to be one of the biggest years for weddings, with a record number of nuptials, and gaining popularity are destination weddings. Forbes estimates these will comprise 25 percent of all weddings this year, a sharp increase over previous years.

Photos Phyl Doppelt.

The Holbrooke Hotel is the focal point of Main Street, surrounded by stores selling one-of-a-kind vintage items, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, wineries, breweries, and an authentic art deco theatre, that is now being used as a cinema. It is like a time capsule that has survived for over one hundred and forty years in spite of the fires and earthquakes that have ravaged this small town.


The refurbishment that was carried out saved a deteriorating hotel that was slipping into obscurity, bringing new life to its doors. Part of the value of what was done at the Holbrooke was the skill of the design team in saving as many of the original architectural details and features as possible.

Photo Phyl Doppelt.

They opened up smaller spaces into larger ones by removing walls and highlighting the beauty of what was intrinsically there all along.  Period furniture was restored, incorporating it with accessories from the original hotel, and even the light fixtures that feature throughout the renovation,  are historically accurate and complement the overall authenticity.

Photo courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel.

The updating of the interiors is unquantifiable in terms of dollars and cents and is an essential ingredient in the overall refurbishment.

New life was given to an old building attracting different groups of people to its doors, saving one more fading historic building for a new and prosperous future. In architectural parlance, this is known as “adaptive re-use of space.”

Photo Courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel.

Once the refurbishment was complete, and the hotel was operating like a well-oiled machine, the Holbrooke Hotel was ready to ride the wave of destination weddings.


Creating a  wedding department, it is offering entire packages for any size group up to 150 guests in a variety of unique venues, all at the Holbrooke Hotel,

………including accommodation in the light and bright bedrooms upstairs, that can be reached by using the original, art deco themed elevator, that was also restored.


The venues being offered include:

The North Star Hall with its restored brick walls and high ceilings, a perfect space for a ceremony or a dinner reception. The Hall can seat up to 90 guests for a wedding banquet or up to 150 guests for theatre seating during a ceremony.

Photo courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel.

The Purcell House Lawn and Porch is a lovely space for an outdoor cocktail reception on the green or ceremony on the Purcell House Porch, taking in views of the verdant surroundings The lawn can host up to 90 guests for a cocktail reception or up to 100 guests with theatre seating for a ceremony.

Photos Phyl Doppelt.

The Iron Door Bar,  perfect for a cocktail party that can host up to 70 guests. The Iron Door was once an actual Speakeasy during Prohibition with a now walled-in underground tunnel running under the street


Photos courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel.

The Holbrooke back patio. The back patio can seat up to 80 guests for a seated dinner reception and can host up to 120 guests for a standing-room cocktail party or up to 150 guests for outdoor theatre seating during a ceremony.

Photo courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel.

And finally Suite Two, a perfect space for a rehearsal dinner! Suite 2 can seat up to 30 guests for a private dinner and 45 guests for a standing room cocktail reception or theatre seating for a micro-wedding.

Photos courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel.

To coordinate everything, including the menu,  custom beverages, and perfect accommodations, the Hotel has a Hotel Sales and Event manager, with a full wedding department who can take on the responsibility of arranging every facet of the wedding, once. a date is confirmed. This will leave the bride, groom, and their guests free to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They will be your wedding planner and take on every detail of every event.

Photo courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel.

To capture the essence of the wedding, there is no shortage of vignettes for photographs. The central lobby features two oversized lounging chairs, that are perfect for the bride and groom to pose with a cocktail in hand.

Photo courtesy of the Holbrooke Hote.

The handsome bar on the first floor,  with its original stained glass panels, also forms a unique backdrop. Surviving from the mid-1800s, it arrived at the Holbrooke Hotel after rounding the Cape of Good Hope by sea, then landing in San Francisco, and transferring to an animal-drawn wagon all the way to Grass Valley. After carefully being unloaded, and removed from its packing, it was built into the restaurant area of the hotel.

Photo courtesy of the Holbrooke Hotel.

The Purcell House porch with its pillars is embellished with flowers for the wedding.

While you are there ……….

The Hotel will supply a list of interesting places to visit close by that will highlight Grass Valley and its connection to the Gold Rush even more. Among them are several reminders that this was a Gold Rush town of the 1880s where gold was panned and mined, such as the Empire Mine State Historic Park site, several wineries and, tasting rooms, restaurants, bakeries,  coffee shops, and breweries. And just four miles north, is another Gold Rush town, Nevada City, also with a recently refurbished Gold rush era hotel, the National, that has been restored with all its pristine Victorian details and interiors.

For more information on Weddings at the Holbrooke Hotel, contact:

Sonya Krimsky
Hotel  Sales and Event Manager
212 W Main Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Office 530. 460. 4451


212 West Main Street,
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Tel. 530/60-4078

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the road less traveled