New owner for Applewood Inn

  • Carlos Pippa is the new owner of the historic Applewood Inn & Restaurant, near Guerneville.

Guerneville?s historic Applewood Inn has been sold to a retired Texas industrialist who wants to create a Tuscan-style retreat.

?The whole theme is going to be Tuscany,? said Carlos Pippa, the new owner.

He purchased the six-acre property for $4 million from Jim Caron and Darryl Notter, who had owned it for nearly 25 years. The deal closed last week.

Applewood has 19 guest rooms and includes a restaurant that earned top honors in Zagat?s 2010 Bay Area restaurant survey. Rooms range in price from $195 to $345 per night.

The retreat?s centerpiece is Belden House, a 1922 Mission Revival home built for a Santa Rosa banker. The home, which was converted to a bed and breakfast in the early 1980s, is a Sonoma County historic landmark.

It?s surrounded by redwoods, 80-year-old apple trees and a kitchen garden. The inn is on Highway 116 about a half-mile east of Guerneville.

Caron and Notter acquired the inn in 1985, adding the restaurant, wine cellar and two new guest villas. They put it on the market for $7.75 million in 2003, but later dropped the price to $6.5 million.

Pippa, who lives in Plano, Texas, said he discovered Applewood while he was looking to buy a bed and breakfast property in Northern California.

?I looked at 11 properties and this was the last one,? he said Monday. ?As soon as I saw it, I knew this is the one I wanted. I love the natural richness that you have with the coast and redwoods.?

Pippa founded a Texas company that made spray painting booths for auto, aerospace and other industrial manufacturers. He sold that business in 2004 and started a gourmet food import company in Texas. He has since sold the food business.

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