Our Story

The Painted Hills Vacation – Cottages & Retreat is a family-owned and operated accommodation business that was founded in 2008 by my mother and myself, Barbara and Aruna Jacobi. Our family, originally from Germany, has lived in the United States for almost 30 years now.

After running a successful restaurant in Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market for ten years together with my two sisters, we all felt that it was time for a change in 2000, and, after much traveling, fell in love with Eastern Oregon. I decided to stay in Seattle for a few years longer, go back to school and get a Bachelors of Science degree in Herbal Medicine from Baster University of Washington. After many world travelings, I joined my parents in Eastern Oregon. My parents, both artists, had settled down in Mitchell and spent much time and energy to remodel the two houses that would become the Painted Hills Vacation Rentals in 2008.

In 2015, we bought a third property to expand the growing business. Barbara, with the help of some local handymen, remodeled it lovingly, adding a beautiful dormitory space on the lower level with two bathrooms and 10 more individual beds.

With this additional new house, called the Sunset Cottage for its spectacular sunset views, we decided to come up with a new concept of offering the three houses together as retreat and workshop spaces for small groups. While this concept takes root, we’re continuing with the successful vacation rental part of the business, renting out these 3 unique cottages to visitors from around the world. Barbara, a writer and master gardener, created the beautiful gardens connecting the properties with many magic nooks and corners. She can often be found in the gardens tending her plants and is always happy to share a special moment with our guests. My late father painted many of the pictures adorning the walls of the rooms in all of the cottages.

We ourselves live on a 33-acre ranch out on Burnt Ranch Road, about 15 miles from the town of Mitchell, past the Painted Hills, close to Sutton Mountain and along the John Day River. After all these many years living out here in this vast rugged place, we’re still amazed and touched by its wild poetic beauty. We have come to know and love the area well and are happy to share the secret places off the beaten tracks with our guests who often keep coming back year after year. We will point you in the right direction of the most beautiful hiking trails, the best spots to fish and swim along the river, and the magnificent scenic byways in our region.

We are sure you will enjoy your vacation or your special retreat here with us at the Painted Hills Vacation – Cottages & Retreat and hope to see you soon! Come as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Barbara and Aruna



Book your stay with us this season.
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New COVID -19 Info for our Business

May and June 2020

Painted Hills Vacation – Cottages & Retreat

Open and Ready to Welcome Guests!

We can highly recommend our private cottages as well as our remote area as the perfect Getaway and place of Self Isolation.

The gardens are in full spring bloom creating a peaceful secluded sanctuary! Perfect for kids to play and be outdoors!

Each of our 3 cottages has a private entry, spacious fenced garden, and parking directly in front of the property. Social distancing is easy to maintain if you bring your own food and cook your meals in the fully equipped kitchens.

Our Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocol for COVID -19

We’re following the new cleaning and sanitizing protocol of the Oregon Health Authority, OHA.

We’re cleaning all surfaces with germ killing cleaning supplies, and sanitize them afterwards with a bleach solution.

We’re very aware of how important these protocols are in the current situation, and understand our responsibility to help minimize the spread of COViD -19!

Hiking, Biking, Wildlife, Nature!!

The three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, including the Painted Hills, are open again!! Including this highlight of our area, there are ample awe-inspiring hiking and biking opportunities in the close vicinity of Mitchell.  Fantastic views around every bend of the road!

Be in Nature to relievethe stress of the last months, relax and rejuvenate!

Travel Information for Oregon

Oregon has a voluntary restricted travel policy in place, and lodging businesses are allowed to be open.

If you travel directly to the cottage, you should be able to minimize your contacts and can easily keep the social distancing rules.

Call us at 541 462 3921 for special rates for longer stays of more than 5 days! The longer you stay, the better the Rate!

Aruna and Barbara