By Noah Austin | Photograph by Mark Lipczynski
In much of the U.S., January involves wearing layers and stocking up on antifreeze. Not so in Yuma, recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association as the country’s sunniest city. It’s also one of Arizona’s warmest: The average high temperature in January is right around 70 degrees.
Kim Wright, who runs the Adobe House B&B, knows a little about winter weather. She’s an Idaho native who came to Yuma from Denver so her husband, who worked in the mining industry, could help close down the American Girl gold mine in California. Like many of those in the bed-and-breakfast business, Wright got into it unexpectedly — and like many, she says, “I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”
The Olberg family, major players in Yuma’s produce industry, built the 5,000-square-foot Adobe House in 1938. The Wrights bought it in 2004, then spent four years renovating it. They intended to use it as their family home, “but then people said, ‘Kim, you love to entertain and you love to cook; you should do a bed and breakfast,’ ” Wright says.
Now, in addition to living at the house, Wright rents four rooms, each of which includes a private bathroom, a queen-size bed and a flat-screen TV. Each room has unique charms, but the Nautilus Room’s transformation may have been the most dramatic. It originally was a washroom with a cast-iron tub for doing laundry, but it hadn’t been used in 40 years. Wright gutted it and turned it into a brightly decorated guest room with a kitchenette.
For those in need of a little more space, there’s the Serengeti Room. Its glass doors face the 10-foot-deep pool, which dates to the 1940s and is lined with palm trees and other greenery. The Oriental Room is located in the main house but features its own courtyard. And the smaller Bird Room includes original wood floors and easy pool access.
Wright serves appetizers and wine after 3 p.m. check-in, giving her a chance to get acquainted with the guests. “People like to tell stories about their own lives,” she says. “I want them to feel like they’re at home, but also on vacation.” She also uses the time to learn their preferences for breakfast, which she prepares each morning, and offer dinner suggestions. “I’ve had so many wonderful people pass through that door,” she says. “Everyone’s been a delight.”
In between meals and conversations, guests enjoy hiking and mountain biking in the Yuma area, along with annual festivals and attractions. The Adobe House also features an exercise room and a Jacuzzi. But at a time of year when people up north are putting on snow chains, you can’t blame vacationers who simply want to lounge by the pool and soak up the record-setting sun.
The Adobe House B&B is located at 1681 W. 10th Street in Yuma. For more information, call 928-210-4777 or visit www.theadobehouse.com.