Built around 1900, Olea Hotel has and is an integral piece of Glen Ellen’s history.
Around 1900, the property (comprised of the two larger primary buildings) was owned and operated by the Larinie family (original owners pictured down below) at a time when Glen Ellen had a significant French colony. It was first known as Larinie’s French Resort. Later, around 1930’s, it was purchased and operated by the daughter of the original owners and her husband, John Cambou and Marie Larinie (Cambou), who later renamed it the Rocky Terrace Resort. Rocky Terrace was a vacation resort for people travelling from San Francisco. It was down the road from the Glen Ellen train station, which was located on what is currently Highway 12/Sonoma Highway and Arnold Drive. (The Mayo tasting room is currently at that location.)
Johnny Cambou was a wonderful host, cook, and entertainer. Celebrities often stayed at the resort, including the French Consul, John Black, the head of foreign trade for Standard Oil, Ina Claire, the silent movie star, Prince and Princess Romanoff and their daughter, Marina, and Al Elledge, an attorney from San Francisco and the president of the Red and White Fleet Lines. Johnny would also cook for the guests. One of his specialties was French frog legs.
In the 1940’s, the Cambou’s sold the resort and was believed to be a private residence for many years. In 1990, the property was purchased and renamed the Glenelly Inn. In 2002, the owner also built the two garden cottages.
In June 2011, Ashish and Sia Patel, two bay Area natives, purchased the property. It was completely refurbished, updated inside and out, and renamed the Olea Hotel.
The drawing above is a representation of how The Rocky Hill Terrace boarding house/property and the Cambou House originally looked. Drawing was created by local artist and Olea Hotel neighbor, Archie Horton.
Here is another historical picture of Ernest and Eugenie Cambou (son of John and Marie Cambou) at their wedding reception held at the resort: