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The Landsby, Solvang
Boutique Luxury At
The Landsby in Solvang

Story and photos by Greg Aragon

just returned from a memorable stay at The Landsby Hotel in Solvang and I don’t know what I miss the most: the hotel's luxurious and beautiful Tower Suite that looks over the idyllic Danish-inspired village, or the delicious and eclectic food and drink at Mad & Vin, the property's signature restaurant.

My getaway to Solvang and The Landsby began last week, when a friend and I took the 101 Freeway north along the coast to Santa Barbara, where we transferred to State Route 154, and drove through the Santa Ynez Mountains, past Lake Cachuma, to our destination. Here we checked into The Landsby hotel and its gorgeous Tower Suite, located on the second floor.

The Landsby Hotel in Solvang
The Landsby offers boutique luxury with Danish Charm

Highlighted by a sitting room with a fireplace and wet bar, and huge Jacuzzi tub for two, the two-story suite is fit for a Danish king or queen. The room, located in the Tower of the building, includes two bathrooms, a comfy king bed, 47-inch flat screen TV, a Keurig coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, free Wifi, fluffy bathrobes, a walk-in shower, and a delicious complimentary continental breakfast for all hotel guests.

inside the Tower Suite, The landsby, Solvang
The two-story Tower Suite at The Landsby is stylish and luxurious

Something else that makes the Tower Suite and the rest 41-room boutique hotel stand out is its stylish design, influenced by traditional Scandinavian aesthetic. This is shown in its modern, clean lines, bright and open layout, and the use of blonde woods, brushed brass accents, and elegant but comfortable hand-crafted furnishings in all guestrooms.

two-person Jacuzzi tub at the Tower Suite
A highlight in the Tower Suite is the huge, two-person Jacuzzi tub

When not relaxing in the suite or soaking in the tub, we were exploring the Solvang village. Named by Sunset magazine as one of the "10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the Western United States," Solvang's rich history dates back to 1911 when adventurous Danish-Americans traveled across the plains from Iowa to establish a colony and escape harsh Midwestern winters. Since then the city has retained its heritage with numerous Danish-styled structures with windmills and pitched roofs.

The village, located about 125 miles from LA, is also home to a host of Danish bakeries, restaurants, and stores offering comfort food and trinkets to remind one of Denmark. Around town there is a copy of the famous Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen, as well as a large bust of Danish fable writer Hans Christian Andersen. There is also the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art, one of the few museums outside of Denmark devoted to the Danish culture and the Danish-American experience. Elverhøj preserves and exhibits the history and Danish culture of Solvang and promotes the arts.

There is nothing like a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Solvang Village

One of the highlights of our Solvang getaway was a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, led by two huge Belgium draft horses that clip-clop through town. Along the way, the driver/guide, who was dressed in traditional Danish garb, gave everyone on board a fun history lesson on Solvang. He also made an exciting U-turn on a small side stree – quite a feat for a long carriage being pulled by massive horses.

After the ride, we headed back to The Landsby for happy hour and a couple hand-crafted cocktails at the hotel bar. On the advice of the bartender we tried the Admiral Ruyter, a potent and tasty drink with vodka, strawberry, cracked pepper, balsamic shrub, orange bitters and lemon zest. For dinner we walked through the bar to Mad & Vin for fantastic culinary journey that is by itself worth a return visit to The Landsby. We began the meal with a perfectly cooked jumbo crab cake with tomato preserve and a marinated lettuce wedges, followed by a savory squash soup, and a farmer's salad with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, arugula, mozzarella and gem lettuce wedges.

seafood hot pot with Pacific white shrimp, clams, scallops, and sausage in a saffron broth
The food at Mad & Vin is worth a drive from Los Angeles

For the main course I devoured a super fresh and hearty seafood hot pot with Pacific white shrimp, clams, scallops, and sausage in a saffron broth. My friend enjoyed a tender, moist, 8oz flat iron steak, with cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers, pomegranate shrub greens and duck fat fries. Back in our Tower Suite, we concluded the evening with local, Santa Barbara wine and a soak in the Jacuzzi tub.

For more information on staying at The Landsby, visit: For more information on visiting Solvang, check out:

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Feedback for Harry Potter at Universal Studios

Going to Universal Studios Hollywood to see the Harry Potter "land" is on my bucket list!!

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I leave here April 21 for Maui and can hardly wait. It'll be my 15th trip, more or less and I love it, and your pictures.

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Hi Greg,

It's not a forest of banyan trees in Lahaina by the harbor. It's one huge tree, about 140 years old. It's an important landmark of Lahaina, and one of our favorite views.We always stay at the Pioneer Inn, overlooking the harbor and the banyan tree. Every evening thousands of mynah birds fly into the tree, chattering and fluttering until they settle down for the night. Otherwise, great article.

-- Virginia – Northridge, CA

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Very nice story, Greg.

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