Victorian Rose Bed & Breakfast

896 E. Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001
(805) 641-1888

Victorian Rose Bed & Breakfast
The last thing most people expect to see cruising thru a Southern California beach town is a monument to Victorian gothic glory. Yet, the Victorian Rose Bed & Breakfast sits among its California bungalow neighbors - a testament to the gothic cathedrals from a bygone era complete with a 96-foot spire, which proudly reaches out to touch the sky amid the blue pacific backdrop.

For innkeeper, Richard Bogatch, it was love at first sight.
 As a lover of antiquity, the church’s gothic-arches, ornate stained-glass windows and clover-leaf wood patterns were all it took to want to add it to his collection. Originally built inNona and Richard 1889 by Selywn Locke Shaw to house the parishioners of Saint John’s Methodist Episcopal Church, it operates today as Ventura’s only full service Bed & Breakfast.

Becoming Ventura’s only B&B is a story in itself. “Driving down Main Street one day, I saw what used to be the Victorian Rose Wedding Chapel. I talked Nona into coming to take a look at it.” Although the 111-year old church was already in escrow with another buyer, the Bogatch’s added their names to a waiting list of potential back-up buyers. What followed was a stressful nail-biting sale process. Without ever having set foot inside, the Bogatch’s outlasted the competition and took ownership in 1997. The two year renovation project began.

Much of the renovation was done by Richard and Nona themselves with decorating kudos going to Nona. Renovating old structures pose unique challenges and the Victorian Rose proved to be no exception. The Bogatch’s burned thru a lot of cash fast and weren’t sure how they were going to make it. Nona jokes that, like the movie, this was their “Money Pit.” Add that to the fact that neither of them knew the first thing about running an inn or being innkeepers. But for Richard and Nona, it was also like that other movie, Field of Dreams - "Build it and they will come”. At least that’s what they hoped for when they finally opened the doors to the Victorian Rose Bed & Breakfast in 1999.

Turns out Richard and Nona are fantastic Innkeepers. This is a true B&B in every sense of the phrase. The Victorian Rose B & B is one of our favorite “staycation” destinations. 

Victorian Rose Fleur De Lis room

Each room is elaborately decorated to showcase the romantic Victorian Gothic, Eastlake, Norwegian and Mission architecture throughout the Inn. Each room has a private bath, gas-burning fireplace, heating and air-conditioning (being a few blocks from the ocean, you’ll probably prefer the natural ocean breeze). Rates vary from $99 to $169 per night. Among my favorite is the appropriately named “Emperor’s Room” because you can only enter it from the 12-foot high ornate spiral staircase just off the cozy sanctuary.

Victorian Rose hospitality includes Nona’s delicious breakfasts, such as cornbread bacon scramble eggs and baked caramel French toast, and her afternoon treats. On our last visit she served up a chocolate cake with café au lait and whip cream filling during the evening social hour. The B&B was once visited by the food critic, Elmer Dills, who felt that "the Victorian Rose is the most unique bed and breakfast I have ever been in after all the years I have been going to them".

Another feature that sets the inn apart is access to Richard’s library collection of historical photos, journals, letters and books. With over a century of history atVictorian Rose Architecture your fingertips, history lovers staying at the inn will be in B&B heaven. Elegantly decorated throughout, the inn is also a haven for romantics. Having served both as a church and a wedding chapel, there have been countless weddings here. In fact, many of Bogatch’s guests were once bride and groom at the locale. They particularly remember one couple in their 90’s who came to the inn to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.

Being the last remaining structure of its kind in Ventura, the Victorian Rose rivals the San Buenaventura Mission for most photographed and painted. Not only is it admirable as a Ventua icon, it’s well worth the stay.

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