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“Funky cat / dog smells” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Stanford Inn by the Sea

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Stanford Inn by the Sea
4.0 of 5 Inn   |   Highway 1 & Comptche Ukiah Road, PO Box 487, Mendocino, CA 95460   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 23 Mendocino B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
“Funky cat / dog smells”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2005

For almost $400 per night I want spotlessly clean accomodations. Ever walk into a place and feel like you suddenly need a shower? This is the place. My first impression upon walking into the lobby -- cobwebs everywhere along the exterior of building including the welcome sign. Once inside the lobby --- an immediate funky smell of cat -- you know that urine / ammonia smell --big turnoff. My $400 per night room was worth maybe $250-$300 and hated paying the bill at the end. Had to stay here because we had a dog in our party.

The room also had a smell. That was cured thankfully by the woodburning fireplace which they give you all the firewood you can use. Now the room itself was fine. Very homey, had refrigerator, microwave, 2 tv's and balcony. The bathroom is not that of a $400 per night hotel. White tile with the black grout -- yuk. Dark green towels that are completely faded. Cabinets faded. They ask you to conserve water and you need to flush the toilet 4 times to get anything down. The sink - clogged the whole time. When you pay high prices the bathrooms should be luxurious. The cost per room should be reconsidered because of this. If this hotel does a remodel -- get rid of the stinky carpets and redo the bathrooms -- than go ahead and charge what you want.

THANK GOD FOR THE RESTAURANT! Excellent food. The breakfasts are included and boy what a treat. Delicious baked good, omlettes, pancakes, crepes, etc. The menu cost is under $20 per entree but I'll even double that and include it toward my hotel bill. This is a vegetarian restaurant. The food is delicious and served hot.

ALSO THANKS FOR THE GARDENS! Beautiful gardens around property. Impressive vegetable garden.

Another minus -- you need to get in your car to drive into town and not the greatest views -- partial ocean at best.

MESSAGE TO THE OWNER: Get rid of the stinky lobby carpets and replace with floor. Pay more attention to cleanliness detail. Time to redo the bathrooms and room carpets as well. CURRENTLY OVERPRICED.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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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337 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2005

The Stanford Inn is magical. My sister and I have stayed there each October for five years and look forward each year to this annual retreat. Breakfast at the Ravens is bountiful and a culinary treat. The indoor pool is a unique feature on the coast and so very welcome after a long day of walking the beaches or visiting the towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg. Afternoon tea in the spendid lobby is a chance for travelers to mingle while tasting cheese or enjoying homemade cake. A wonderful gift to yourself to stay here.

Stayed October 2004
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, CO
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2005

We stayed here last minute for one night, with two kids. They had a nice suite with a king in one room and a pull-out queen sofa in the other. DVD and VCR in the room, wood stove, nice porch, fridge, microwave. The place has an indoor heated pool (sort of old, but so what) and hot tub, which is rare on the coast and was great with the kids. They have Llamas, horses, etc. for the kids to check out (but not ride), as well as canoe and kayak rentals, etc. Dinner in the all veggie restaurant was pretty good; breakfast (same place) was excellent. The hotel has an up-scale laid-back feel to it; it's a good place with kids, mostly because of the pool.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2005

We actually celebrated our anniversary here in 2003 and LOVED it. However, I did go off-season and got a decent, mid-week rate which included both breakfast and dinner. It should be noted (at least back then) that the restaurant is strictly vegetarian...better check before booking a room if you're a carnivore!

I was relieved to note that other posters all agreed service was "iffy". The front desk staff were aloof and I got yelled at for letting my dog prance too far into the lobby area by the dining room. The restaurant staff was so-so as well. The grounds are beautiful, the pool and jacuzzi were housed in a lovely, big greenhouse. Our room had a nice (but limited) view of the ocean. However, I'd only stay there again if I could get another internet special. Paying full price for such indifferent service isn't worth it.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Mendocino, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2005

The Stanford Inn by the Sea is a self-contained haven for those visiting the beautiful Mendocino Coast. Finding the inn is no difficulty at all, as it is located just off of the scenic Highway 1.

The first thing you notice when you drive in are the acres upon acres of landscaping. It is beautiful year-round, but during the early spring and summer it is especially spectacular. Flowering plants of all colors shock your vision as you approach, and sitting out on the deck looking over the gardens is one of the greatest joys imaginable. The gardens are open for guests to walk through, and I have spent many hours exploring them. The gardening staff is friendly and knowledgeable, ready to tell you what a particular plant is – they even have their own nursery, so you can visit the greenhouses and pick up some plants on the way home.

The rooms are elegant and well-equipped. The fireplace was laid out when I arrived, and a crackling fire at night helped cap off a perfect day of wandering through Mendocino. Small touches are what sets this inn apart from so many others – complimentary chocolates and a bottle of wine, friendly greetings from the desk staff and owners, and a bountiful gift shop thoughtfully stocked with any amenities one may have forgotten at home.

The pool area is fabulous. It is an indoor pool, hot-tub, and sauna, with tropical plants growing throughout. Stepping through the door at night feels like being whisked away to some distant island paradise, with the warmth and humidity kept perfect twenty-four hours a day.

The restaurant on the premises, the Raven’s, boasts organic vegetarian and vegan fare. Those who are used to meat as a staple in fine dining have nothing to fear however – the food is excellent, served in a distinguished manner deserving of any of the finest restaurants of the city. The wait staff is knowledgeable about their extensive wine list, as well as the menu items, and talking to them is in and of itself a treat.

The property is on the edge of the Big River, and in addition to offering fabulous views of the Pacific ocean, this also allows them to provide canoes and kayak rentals for day trips up the river. The current is easily manageable, and as the river runs through a park area, the views are unspoiled and truly majestic. At the canoe shop you can also rent bicycles to take short or long rides along the many paths and roads (including an old logging road which borders the river). The beach is also within easy walking distance, or a one or two minute drive away.

Everything about this place makes it feel like home – but a home offering more amenities and luxurious comfort than you could possibly imagine. The staff is attentive and friendly, and the owners are often available should anything come up. Of everywhere I have stayed in Mendocino, this is far and away my favorite, and I highly recommend it to anyone planning a visit.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
sourh pasadena
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
202 helpful votes 202 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2005

My husband and I stayed at the beautiful Stanford Inn by the Sea in mid-April. The grounds were absolutely stunning as well as the rooms. As noted in other reviews, sadly, we found the front desk staff, and staff in restaurants to be stand-offish, complacent, and rather bored in their positions. We are accustomed to that at hotels-however, isn't one of the highlights of staying at an Inn interacting with the warm and helpful staff?

For example, while we were having tea one afternoon in the lounge/bar area, the young man that was working behind the bar had twoof his friends visiting him at work. I have no problem with that-however, wouldbe asking too much to clean the numerous tables that were dirty-They were also talking rather loudly about their car problems-sort of ruined the atmosphere/moment of a peaceful afternoon tea. I would have brought this to the attention of the staff at the front desk, howver, whenever we asked them a questions, we were met with a blank stare-or a very short, curt reply.

I would give this property an excellent rating, for the rooms, cuisine, and grounds, sadly the staff doesn't measure up. If we are ever in the Mendocino area again, we will venture to the McCallum House, or Albion Inn. We stopped by those properties and were met very warmly.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stanford Inn by the Sea

Address: Highway 1 & Comptche Ukiah Road, PO Box 487, Mendocino, CA 95460
Location: United States > California > Mendocino County > Mendocino
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Mendocino
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Stanford Inn by the Sea 4*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on a hillside, the exquisite Stanford Inn sits atop a meadow overlooking Mendocino Bay. Embodying the best of the rugged Mendocino Coast, the Inn is a haven. The rambling lobby, guest rooms, and suites are paneled in pine and redwood. Every detail is attended to, from wood-burning fireplaces set and ready to light to the sumptuous organic breakfasts. Inspired by the Stanford's Certified Organic gardens, The Ravens' restaurant is outstanding and nationally acclaimed for its vegetarian cuisine. Guests are indulged at the Inn's Massage in the Forest and private yoga sessions. Canoeing and kayaking on Big River, California's new State Park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Stanford Inn By The Sea Hotel Mendocino

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