Bakersfield has undergone a bit of a resurrection in the last few years, not long ago it was known as a city you passed through on your way north, it's glory days long behind it, fading in in the central valley sun. This Gold Rush-era city, still the 9th largest in the state, had developed a reputation of being rundown and largely abandoned. But in the early 2000's the city had the vision to revitalize the historic downtown core, the anchor for the new downtown is the Padre Hotel

The historic lodge has been completely transformed into a high-class boutique hotel that rivals any in California. With stylish design cues that are sophisticated yet still highlight to the western heritage of Bakersfield. It's those small country details that give the hotel its personality.

The rooms are clean and modern with a retro feel, a unique blend of old and new with subtle nods to the old west. The room while not massive by today's standards (the hotel was built in 1928) is well laid out, comfortable, and luxurious.

The Belvedere Room
In the  Padre Hotel lobby, you will find The Belvedere Room which offers a fine selection of steaks and seafood at surprisingly reasonable prices. If you want something a little more casual the bar 'Brimstone' is just across the lobby with a menu that includes Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf and the Padre Burger. 

If you want to get out of the hotel there are several restaurants within walking distance including JIN Sushi, Chef's Choice Noodle Bar, Muertos Kitchen & Lounge, The Mark, and more. In the evenings the Arts District, just a block away, boasts several bars and lounges all within walking distance of the Padre Hotel. 

Just a few blocks away is the historic Fox Theater, that today is still hosting performances by Boz ScaggsJohn Michael Montgomery, and even a 30th Anniversary screening of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. There is always something going on at the Fox to see what's currently playing check their schedule here

 Bakersfield is full of pleasant surprises, a great mix of small town charm and big city sophistication. It was not what I was expecting from a city, that I must admit, I had only seen from the interstate. If you are making your way down the I5, be sure to take an extra day and explore this up and coming urban art center, you won't be disappointed.


The Padre Hotel
1702 18th St
Bakersfield, CA 93301
(661) 427-4900


Official Bakersfield Food Guide