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Villa Valhalla - Riverside, CA

Valhalla comes from the Norse "Val" meaning warrior or hero, and "Halla" meaning hall, therefore, the 'Hall of Warriors'. While perhaps this isn't exactly the Hall of Slain Warriors on Asgard of Viking lore, Villa Valhalla is truly a hidden paradise located on 3.5 private acres of lush and eco-friendly canopy. Odin describes Valhalla as shining and golden, and that it "rises peacefully" when seen from afar. After checking into some legitimate Viking literature about Valhalla, this place could not be more aptly named. According to Odin: "the holy doors of the ancient gate Valgrind stand before Valhalla, Valhalla has five hundred and forty doors that eight hundred men can pass through at once."

Ok Odin, let's not get crazy ok? There is a very private and unassuming gate going into this place. Valhalla has one B&B Suite available in the main house, or your day pass includes camping overnight on the property.

Odin states that the goat Heiðrún and the hart Eikþyrnir stand on top of Valhalla and graze on the branches of the tree Læraðr. Heiðrún’s udder produces vats of mead, that liquor beyond compare, and Eikþyrnir's antlers drip liquid into the spring Hvergelmir from which flows forth all waters. These images and my personal experience there are probably right in line with this description. Ok, maybe there are no livestock, but these are ducks onsite! There is a huge pool and a very toasty hot tub that were clearly made for adults. Being a private men's clothing optional retreat, you may find some naked warrior types running around, well, naked.

Being a private men's clothing optional retreat, you may find some naked warrior types running around, well, naked. Valhalla has one B&B Suite available in the main house, or part of your day pass includes camping overnight on the property. That day pass also gives you access to swimming and all access to hangouts and party events that are held by the owners on a regular basis.

My husband Jim and I have stayed here twice in the past few months. A friend has us now travelling periodically to Los Angeles for visits and we found this place is way nicer than some of the hotels we've stayed in Orange County. Originally it came up as an alternative to Palm Springs as we were looking for some kind of gay naked getaway for the 4th of July - of course we were less than 2 weeks out from our visit so these wasn't anything in Palm Springs. I got a message from Terry and Chip who own Villa Valhalla ahead of our stay and I replied that we were looking for a quiet getaway on our way home from Newport Beach. He replied that they would be having a men's naked pool party pretty much every day that were were there. If you really know Jim and I this is exactly what we were looking for so we knew it would be ok. We went back for Labor Day weekend and of course now we don't leave without making a future reservation for the B&B Suite. We even discussed we might and up with certain things we do now since we'll be making this trip forevermore.

Only 2 visits so far and we have made friends who will be visiting us here in Phoenix in a couple of weeks. The group of guys who hangs out here is really friendly. That's the first thing you notice is that everyone is very friendly during the parties and the hangouts. You feel very comfortable immediately on arrival. Of course if I can hang out without a stitch of clothing with a bunch of guys, go swimming and just relax the whole time I am there I am absolutely caught up in my own bliss by this point. Villa Valhalla is cannabis friendly outdoors and sex friendly in designated areas without judgement. There is not any hint of pretentiousness in the air here and men are accepted as they are.

I asked Terry and Chip if there was a spot where I could do yoga; they smiled and laughed. Whereas I was thinking a nice patch of grass under a tree canopy somewhere, I was led to a 'guest house' down the hill from the main house. On the top floor of this house is a huge yoga studio, with a cork subfloor under the wood floor and high ceilings with windows surrounding the space. Unleash me and let me find my bliss! I hope that by the time Halloween Weekend comes, Chip has finished decorating the place with more medieval weapons and / or viking stuff. I'm overjoyed to go back again in a few weeks to conduct yoga workshops in this setting over October 29th-31st, 2021!

Of course, I do like the serenity this platform behind the fire altar while I take my own practice.

This was very helpful to me while researching Valhalla:

Larrington, Carolyne (Trans.) (1999). The Poetic Edda. Oxford World's Classics.

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