Homes Away From Home

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The red-wood-framed Mongolian yurt transports you to the other side of the Pacific Ocean. (Photos by Anna Wick)

Mongolian Yurt

This stunning Mongolian yurt, with its intricately painted red wood frame, is luxe enough to be worthy of Kubla Khan. But when hosts Richard and Stephanie Yue take you on the tour of their private, rentable Xanadu located north of Auburn, the roomy brocade-lined round sleeping quarters are actually the last thing you see. First, they will show you the retro trailer that houses the compact kitchen for the property—in which you might find complimentary sparkling wine, sparkling water and a welcoming treat of chocolate-dipped fruit or baked cream puffs made by Stephanie. The trailer also sports a bed, available as extra sleeping space for larger parties (this Airbnb boasts a total of six beds for up to six guests). Then there’s the giant chessboard, pool with a tiny swim-up bar, hot tub with outdoor shower and palapa repurposed from a gigantic ’70s-era satellite dish.

The spacious, brocade-lined room is fit for royalty, including Sacramento kings and queens. The whole compound is beautifully landscaped and decked with fairy lights, paper lanterns and vintage garden ornaments, perfect for wandering and lounging. This isn’t a party pad; the vibe is more meditation retreat or quiet romantic getaway, with space to sprawl in a cushioned hammock and an unhurried pace that invites naps and lazy swims. And get ready to eat: The Yues take the second “b” in Airbnb seriously. Stephanie—who picked up cheffing and baking skills working at wilderness lodges in Alaska and the now-closed Maui Prince Hotel—does the cooking, and the lavish breakfast served poolside comes with fruit arranged to look like a palm tree and a choice of frittata or eggs Benedict. The couple has lived on the property since 2000—Richard’s family has lived in the area since 1868—and in the 18 years since, built a quirky DIY compound loaded with personality. (Understandably, they’re particular about guests following their guidelines for how to treat their showplace.)

At the center is the enormous tent, which used to serve as a show model for Richard, a former Mongolian yurt importer. According to him, there are only a few genuine Mongolian yurts in the Airbnb system (the majority are American made), so don’t sleep on this opportunity. But feel free to sleep in—with its comfy double beds and lush, serene setting, this yurt offers a staycation fit for royalty. $149-$155 per night (two-night minimum on weekends) plus fees. —Kate Washington