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“Nine Pillows!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nicholson House Inn

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Nicholson House Inn
2.5 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   951 Ukiah St., Mendocino, CA 94560   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 23 Mendocino B&B and Inns
San Francisco, CA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Nine Pillows!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

When you have nine pillows on the bed you know you are in the right place. The room was completely comfortable, everything worked and the cleanliness was superior. Breakfast couldn't have been more varied and homemade scones win the blue ribbon. WiFi was excellent. Heating worked very well. Bed was like being at home. Hot water in the shower almost instant. Quiet surroundings. Helpful and friendly welcome when we arrived. Will return asap.

Room Tip: We got room #6. It fit the bill for me.
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

The bed in our room was so comfortable!!! The rooms are small but had everything we needed. The staff was friendly. The breakfasts had a good selection and lots of food. We really enjoyed our stay and would stay here again!
Its a quick walk to everything in town.

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We stayed two nights in Grandma's Hideout, which was nice in that it is hidden away from all the other bedrooms, but it is right next to the common area, and shares a large wall with the kitchen, so it doesn't feel very private in the morning. (Or when a guest brings his crying daughter there so as to get her away from the rest of the family.) The light in the room was very dim; we removed the lampshade from the one light in order to be able to see a little better.

The room was fine; it was cozy but not too small, and while I personally prefer a firmer mattress, the soft bedding was fine. The bathroom was perfectly adequate. The artwork on the walls in our room was bizarre, almost disturbing, and significantly detracted from the room's overall appearance.

Breakfast, as others have said, is really just a continental breakfast, nothing outstanding. There isn't room for anything else considering the only space is the tiny little living room area with only enough seating for 4 people. There was a large TV tuned to the morning news, so it definitely had a very cramped, Holiday Inn sort of feel.

Considering the cost of Mendocino accommodations, Grandma's Hideaway is a great deal. Nicholson House Inn has the perfect location. But it's not quite up to the standards that I would expect of a cozy B&B. I think it would be greatly improved if, instead of cramming as many bedrooms as possible into the house, there were still a proper dining room/common area away from the rooms so that guests could socialize/eat/calm their crying children without fear of disturbing other guests who would like to relax quietly in their rooms.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

We reserved a room in late October. Upon arrival, we were given keys and told how to get to the room. My husband got into the shower and I got ready for bed. Imagine our shock when another couple used THEIR key to come barging into what they had been told was THEIR room! The manager then proceeded to get angry at us because they now had to clean the room for the second couple and move us to our proper room - he clearly believed we had inconvenienced him! We were not given different keys, because the keys that worked on the first door locks also worked on the second door locks (these were old fashioned metal keys and locks). Obviously we did not feel secure. The second room was dirty, cold and drafty, and had obvious signs of heat damage from the room heater and we were told we "probably" shouldn't use the heater because it "might" cause more damage to the room. We left and went elsewhere for the night. I have written twice to the owners to see about a refund, but they have never even responded. So much for customer service, especially considering the prices.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rocketdude27, Owner at Nicholson House Inn, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Thank you for your comments. First of all the keys do not fit all the rooms. We leave all the unoccupied rooms unlocked until they are occupied. When you went to your room you probably put the key in the wrong door and it opened because it was unlocked. I discussed this with our manger and this is what I am told. You made a reservation and did not specify a specific room so he put you in a random room and sent you a conformation. Shortly afterwards we had another reservation who specifically requested that room so we moved you to an adjacent room next door and sent you a revised confirmation. You contacted us and we confirmed the change. When you arrived you were given the keys to the revised room and directed to that room. Instead, you went into the other room. A little while later the guests who reserved that room arrived and found you in their room. We helped you move over to the correct room and had the housekeepers fix up the room again while the other guests waited. A little while later your male partner came down and said you were having a bad day, was upset with the change and were going to a different hotel, gave us the keys and said don't worry about the bill. Yes it was an inconvenience to us as well as the other guests. You were not given different keys because you already had the correct keys for the room you were assigned. As for the heater, the previous innkeepers accounted for the burn stain a few years ago. I replaced the heater myself when I took over the building a couple of years ago so there should have been no problem using it. Our housekeepers are pretty good about cleaning. You'll see lots of reviews of how clean the rooms are. This is a 100 year old historic building. It has historic wood double hung windows that will rattle in the wind and the exterior walls are original frame so they are not insulated. As such they often may seem drafty and cold at first but once the heater kicks in they heat up nicely. Cancellation policy is a few days prior to the reservation, you left on your own accord and we were told not to worry about the bill. I did get an inquire with the credit card company about the charge. I explained the situation to them and they agreed with me. Our prices are some of the most reasonable in town. Most the other places are $200+/night. I'm sorry for the problems and I hope next time you come to Mendocino you will have a better experience.
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San Francisco Bay Area
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

Nicholson House is an easy walk into town, maybe 1 block to the center of town. That part is super awesome. The house itself looks charming, but there is a lot that can be improved.

We were in the Presbyterian Views suite. We booked it because we wanted the kitchen, and needed to accommodate all four of us. I had hoped we could get The Admiral's Deck, but it was just too pricey. As it was, we dropped a fair amount for a long weekend.

I'll start our day with morning. Breakfast starts at 8:30AM, which is a little late for all of us, so it was a good thing there was a coffeemaker in the room. Sadly, although it is a modern insulated-carafe machine and easy to use, it is only a 4-cup machine, which barely kept up with the 3 coffee drinkers. We couldn't easily reheat anything for breakfast, as there is no microwave, just an oven and stove.

The breakfast is a sort of oddly expanded continental breakfast. There are hard- and soft-boiled eggs... but all of the soft-boiled eggs my son and I had were essentially warm, hard-boiled eggs (I expect firm whites and runny yolks). There was some fresh fruit daily, in contrast with a dish of clearly canned pineapple and some old-looking (and feeling) apples and a rare banana. Orange juice and milk were unbegrudgingly given, and I enjoyed the English muffins or bagels with cream cheese and tasty jam. As others have said, the breakfast is offered in a sort of living room, where there are a handful of chairs, a sofa, and a coffee table to try to eat from. It was easier to take a tray back to our room. At least we had a small breakfast-bar area with two high stools to eat from.

An unpleasant accompaniment to breakfast was the nearly constantly barking dog, belonging to a man who came every morning. The owner? A manager? I have no idea. He did bring us toilet paper when we were dangerously low.

Which brings us to the bathroom. The bathroom has signs everywhere that there is a water shortage in Mendocino. In a confusing twist, the sink has pretty massive water pressure, as does the shower (no flow limiters?) and the toilet seems to be one of those old, 5-gal flushers. Also, the absolutely minimal maid service seemed to only gather our towels and replace those daily. We were all used to the kind of service that remakes a bed, vacuums and tidies a room, perhaps does the dishes, and only picks up towels left on the floor to save water. Confusing.

The bed in the bedroom is indeed high, but only one small stepladder is supplied. The person by the window seems to be expected to climb up and crawl across, or clamber up without help. I didn't sleep there, but my sister said it was overly soft and warm.

The dresser in the bedroom is adequately large, and we were able to unpack our suitcases (and store them in the car so we had more room in the cramped space) into it completely.

The kitchen is a galley kitchen, so it's difficult for two people to use it at once. The water pressure is again significant, and no dishpan nor dishwasher is supplied, either of which would save on water. There is a bamboo dishrack and one towel provided.

The stovetop worked perfectly for us to warm soup or water, and there were two skillets and two saucepans provided--all nonstick, although no plastic or metal cooking utensils are provided. The toaster worked fine. There is a small under-counter fridge with one of those tiny, inside freezers, and it worked fine, too. There are enough plates, bowls, and silverware for 4.

There is a closet, but it was not big enough for all of our suitcases plus coats (Mendocino can be chilly!) plus shoes, hence the need to store our suitcases in the car after emptying.

The front room is somewhat livable (I'd have loved one more easy chair, but there isn't room for one), and the coffee table must be moved to open the fold-out couch. The couch bed is a nightmare--not only does it sink toward the middle, it sinks toward the head! My back ached and the two tiny blankets were not enough to deal with the drafty windows. Thank goodness the hall supply room was usually unlocked and we were able to retrieve an extra blanket as well as toilet paper and the plunger when needed.

The breakfast room/lounge is also usually unlocked, which meant that we could at least traipse across the hall to reheat food in that microwave and bring it back to the room.

As I said, this place is an easy walk into town, and we really enjoyed strolling around the shops. We especially enjoyed the two toy stores, the new and the used book stores, and ate at the Mendocino Cafe (imaginative, affordable, and delicious food). At night, the Inn is very dark and the draftiness can set in. It is largely quiet, despite paper-thin walls (we shushed my son all weekend, sigh).

It's not an awful choice, but you can perhaps do better.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

Booked on-line while driving to Mendocino. Good price on a comfortable room with a private bath. Breakfast was great. No real dining room to sit at a table, but trays are provided and you can sit on the couch at eat. Our keys were left for us in an envelope to let ourselves in, and the morning staff were very friendly. It was a great stay. Had dinner that night right next door to an extremely excellent restaurant. Perfect stay.

Room Tip: Good price when booked on-line
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  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

We stayed in Grandma's hideout. The room is small, filled with an excellent bed. The bathroom is Ok. Cleanliness could be improved, especially behind the blinds on the window sills. The breakfast is very good and plentiful but has to be eaten in an uncomfortable setting because there are only 4 seats and a coffee table for at least 10 guests when the inn is full. The inn is next door to Cafe Beaujolais and hence there is no drink and drive problem.

Room Tip: Grandma's hideout is Ok if you want to save some dollars. We have not seen the other rooms but w...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nicholson House Inn

Address: 951 Ukiah St., Mendocino, CA 94560
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Mendocino County > Mendocino
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Mendocino
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Nicholson House Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nicholson House Inn is the new name for the former Abigail's B&B and is under new management. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nicholson House Hotel Mendocino

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