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“Middle of Nowhere, Close to Home” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fern River Resort Motel

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Fern River Resort Motel
5250 Highway 9, Felton, CA 95018   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Felton
Half Moon Bay, California
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Middle of Nowhere, Close to Home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Took us an hour to get here from the Bay Area and yet it felt like we were in the Sierras. The cabin is immaculately clean and very comfortable - everything worked. Too many signs everywhere for my taste - could be consolidated onto one sheet of 'advisories'. We had a large deck in the sun with the sound of the river... really lovely. My kind of camping out!

Room Tip: look at their map and choose one away from the main road
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    30
    26
    5
    9
    12
See reviews for
22
29
5
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
grover beach
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

We have been going to fern river resort for 11 yrs. and LOVE it. A cozy knotty pine cabin by the river. VERY clean.Our # 1 favorite place to go.Can't wait till next March.
Jack&Susan Smits Grover Beach

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretty Prairie, Kansas, United States
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We enjoyed our retreat at The Fern River Resort.The location is near Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.The cottage was comfortable and charming.The resort staff are all very pleasant and kind.The whole resort is surrounded by redwood trees and many species of plants.The river is on the property and it was a terrific experience to lounge in the evening near the river with a picnic and witness the sunset and the full moon rise completely immersed in nature.The Fern River Resort now has a special place in our hearts due to the overall experience and we intend to visit many times through the years. Best Wishes.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

Coming from San Diego, we stayed here for a week in a cute rustic cottage (11B) in a great location that was convenient to all of the things we wanted to see. The front desk guy was very accommodating when we called and asked if we could check in at 10pm due to traffic. The next day, the lady at the front desk wasn’t happy when we asked for extra pillows and pots/pans after hours (6 pm), but she did let us come in and get them. The cabin was clean enough, cozy, and the pillows were new and fluffy. It wasn’t exactly a peaceful paradise because they were building a gazebo or picnic area (?) next door during our entire visit, but we were out exploring the forest and local attractions every day, so it wasn’t too annoying. The appliances and wi-fi worked great. The low-flow shower head takes some patience to get wet and rinse, but this is the eco-aware “green” Santa Cruz area and that’s how they roll. Anyway, we settled in and enjoyed the BBQ, river, fire pit, and volleyball, as well as all of the fun local things to see. All in all, we had a great time and I didn’t see anything in the area that would compare to it. I would stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

Poor rating due to RUDE staff. My family has been staying here for years. There’s a lot to love- the location on the river is great. You are super close to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park with lots of hiking and old growth redwoods. Also close to Roaring Camp Railroads. It’s only a 15-minute drive to the beaches in Santa Cruz. The cabins are in generally good shape and clean- there were some flying bugs and some ants, but then again you are in the woods. Some of the rooms have really hard beds, but we are heavy sleepers so are able to get in a good night’s rest. There was no hot water at the kitchen sink, but we were afraid to bring it to anyone’s attention after the experience you’ll see below. Most cabins have a kitchen so you can cook, and nice decks to sit and enjoy the outdoors. They have Ping-Pong tables, but good luck trying to use them. That’s where our last stay went sour. The lady at the office was clearly PUT OUT by our asking for the paddles and balls. I don’t mind paying for the balls, nor putting down a $10 deposit for the (crappy) paddles. But this lady was so RUDE about the request! You could tell having someone bother her with petty wants annoyed her. She was on duty in the office! This lady should not be in customer service. Sounds like the same lady who Wyatt S mentioned unfavorably in another review here on Tripadvisor. Even though we have been coming here for over 20 years, we’ll be looking for a new place to stay.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

Pros (not many):
- Inexpensive for as much room as you get for your $ (That is if you're in 11a or 11b)

- Room had fridge, range, sink, etc

- Very quaint location in Felton, CA

Cons:
- It took LITERALLY 20+ Minutes to get the clerk to spell my name correctly (Trust me, its a common one)

- I was charged twice for the room and when I brought this up with the lady at the front desk, she stated that I was told on the phone that unless I paid with cash they charge twice, once for the actual charge and once for a "deposit" that they "keep for up to 30 days if they want". When I explained that I was told none of that or I would have paid cash, she began shouting and yelling in VERY broken English "WHATEVER! Don't tell me what I tell you! You don't like it, get out! We keep your money anyway!" When I asked why she was screaming at me she stated that I was "Stupid for not listening on phone!" The only thing in the aforementioned phone conversation was her taking my name, credit card number, and room I wanted. That's it. She acted as if she was trying to get me off the phone.
I was greeted later by her husband who was polite and nice and stated that it was "his right as an innkeeper to keep the money for a month" (which is [--]) but he would call the bank and have the money released. He returned a few minutes later and said he got the bank to release the money and they said it was back in my account. Neither was true. He never called the bank and I'm still trying to get my money back.
- Stickers EVERYWHERE in the room warning of fees for just about everything
- Depending on what bandwidth WiFi you want, you have to pay
- Hot tub by "Reservation only". You have to rent it by the hour. Ugh.
- I've slept on softer cots while in the Marine Corps compared to the mattress (and 2 wafer thin pillows) provided
- Coffee Maker...No coffee provided.
- "Towel and Sheet exchange" instead of housekeeping
- When I came in to check out I was told by the same lady to "Drop key in box and leave..." before I could say a word. Wow...
- The interior and decor/feel was like a "classy" mobile home

All in all, I might return if and when this place is under new management. This place is not worth the headache that followed.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redondo Beach, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

We have stayed at Fern River over the New Years weekend 4 times in the past 7 years. It is a great escape from the craziness of San Francisco. The cabins are no frills but you have everything you need for a relaxing stay in the quiet majestic redwoods including a full kitchen (although you do need to provide a $20 deposit to receive a bin of pots and pans). The cabins have always been very clean upon our arrival. The towels are a little thin and the bedding is outdated.

There is great hiking all around the area and Santa Cruz is a short drive should you want to visit. We usually pick up food at the local market and grill all weekend. We have also been during the summer and the riverout back provide a good respite from the heat.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Fern River Resort Motel

Address: 5250 Highway 9, Felton, CA 95018
Location: United States > California > Felton
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Felton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Midst the Majestic Forest - A rare & precious garden, nestled on the river and in the towering redwood trees. Individual & duplex cottages, many with kitchens, BBQ's, picnic areas & gas fireplaces. Private access adult Jacuzzi. River swimming for the kids. Ping Pong, tetherball, basketball & a community campfire ring. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Fern River Hotel Felton
Fern River Motel

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