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“Bohemian Rhapsody” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Howard Creek Ranch

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Howard Creek Ranch
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40501 North Highway One, PO. Box 121, Westport, CA 95488   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Westport B&B and Inns
Sacramento, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

Please, don't scoff; the words, 'Bohemian' and 'Rhapsody' were the most apropos I could think of when trying to rate this lovely place. My husband and I came out to Howard Creek Ranch a year ago in May for the last leg of our Honeymoon. We'd been to a couple other B and Bs in the Northern California area during our road trip, both inns very pretty and accommodating; Howard Creek, however, seems to be the place that stays perfectly mythologized in my recollections of last summer, and I just wish everyone would discover it! A uniquely-fashioned combination of rustic homeyness with artistic sensibilities. Such distinctive craftsmanship that went into these spaces! Not to mention the eco-minded and poetic gypsy-touch that can be admired in the decoration throughout. Eagerly, we came out again for a retreat in August, stayed in the Blue Room (a choice decision, I must say; the pictures on the web hardly do justice to the overall coziness and singularly romantic design of the room) which allows for privacy, but also the option of exploring the incredible Common Room adjacent. I liked that fact that even though our kitchenette area was within the Common Room of the Carriage House, we never felt intruded upon; oddly, in both times that we visited the rooms at Howard Creek's Carriage House, we scarcely saw anyone. Seemed like the entire place was a secret hide-a-way from the drab and uninspired of contemporary settings. Heaven! Better still, during our August trip, the bushes leading to the beach were completely bursting with ripe black-berries. We picked bowls-full, decided to skip dinner in Fort Bragg, made sandwiches with fixings we brought from home (thank you, mini-fridge), uncorked some white wine (thank you, kitchenette, complete with wine glasses and lovely dishes) then from the Carriage House deck, savored a gorgeous, lemon-y view of the setting sun over the Pacific ocean. -Most B and Bs that I have researched charge at least a hundred dollars more for the sights and sounds that we were able to enjoy freely on that communal balcony, before venturing out on foot when the mood arose, to the beach itself; again, wonderfully free of crowds or crowd debris. I have read other reviews that make derisive note of the highway bridge between the property and the beach; personally, I have never been distracted by it, the area is just that beautiful and serene. I particularly loved the mist that hovers over the place in the mornings, ah! Just the memory of misty mountains and the sound of the ocean after a delicious breakfast of quiche, baked apples and cream. Loved it! In closing, if you're looking for a romantic, bohemianesque get-a-way with your Sweetheart -or for yourself, book a couple days at this idyllic spot. Make a beautiful memory.

Room Tip: Though the Blue Room does not have direct view of the ocean, a view from the dining deck in the Carr...
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  • Stayed August 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.
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151 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kelsey, Ca
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights the second week of January. It was the off season. We had requested a different cabin, but it was being repaired so Sally gave us a more expensive cabin for the same, reduced rate as the original. We stayed in the Boathouse and it was cute and nice and a retreat. Now, if you are expecting to stay in a CABIN in the WOODS with the minimum; you will get all you expect. The cabin is wood slates, modified around a boat. There is no insulation so in the summer you will be fine. We had 40 degree days and 20 degree nights and we were either cold or very hot as the wood stove is old and lacks a damper system to control burning levels. You have a bed with sheets, blankets, and pillows, a microwave, dishes, a mini fridge, a sofa, a table, a woodstove with wood provided, a small sink, a toilet, and a shower. There was ample hot water. The lights are dim and antique, so it was hard to see in the cabin after dark. There is no TV, radio or internet access...you are literally at the end of the world.
The hosts are great. They are characters and very friendly. Breakfast is at 9am sharp. It was good. FIrst morning we had french toast, turkey sausage, fruit, and bananas in a maple syrup/apple cider sauce. Day two we had Eggs with salsa, biscuits (from a can, I might add, which I thought was odd), jam, turkey sausage, baked pears, and fresh fruit. The only animals I saw were sheep. The selling point is the beach access and we walked at low tide for 2 hours alone on the beach and saw lots of starfish, crabs, and mussels. That was really nice and private. Bring food, as Fort Bragg is a curve 30 minutes away. There is a small grill you can use. It was nice to hear the creek babbling and the ocean breaking when we went to bed.

Room Tip: In the winter, don't get the room up on the cliff. NO HEAT. THe couple who stayed there were abs...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Chico, CA
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

My husband and I just returned from 2 nights in the Walden room for our first anniversary. It was wonderful- everything I hoped for and more.

The grounds: We thought they were gorgeous. We love old things, and had a blast exploring all the nooks and crannies of the place (cute old out house, etc) . We especially adored the animals. Sally was nice enough to offer carrot sticks to feed the goats. The goats were a TRIP! We ran into them on a hike up the hill and could barely get rid of them. It was just a little extra adventure. The beach was awesome but unfortunately we never made it down for low tide. I don't understand the reviews saying the grounds were not what they expected, we thought they well represented in the pictures. A little construction debris is no big deal, if you can appreciate all the hard work that has already been put in!

The common areas: We LOVED the hot tub in the upstairs! It was a great way to unwind after a long day of hiking. We glanced over the books but were so distracted by all the beautiful lamps that we did not have the chance to sit down with any. I especially loved the area of decorative bunnies. Some may call the carriage house common area clutter-y, but I think disorganized museum would be a better description. Outside there was a lovely sitting area with beautiful stained glass. My husband remarked this would be a great place for a small family reunion because of all the great sitting areas. We were the only people in the common areas, so it was nice and private.

The room: Our room was incredibly comfortable and quaint. The bathroom tile was mesmerizing (I know this is an odd thing to say, but seriously, check out the pictures). The kitchenette was functional and had a nice little table to sit at. There was an area outside to sit as well. We liked the touches like the lamps and the great wooden coffee table. Little journals were included where other travelers wrote tales of their stay. Lots of engagements, anniversaries, etc! My ONLY complaint was when we arrived our sheets were filthy. Honestly, filthy. Long black hair everywhere and "stains". Luckily there were plenty of towels for us to sleep on, and our sheets were changed the next day when we asked. Unfortunately it was too late in the evening to ask to have them changed by the time we arrived. I was initially very upset, but figured it was probably an oversight since the rest of the room was very clean.

Breakfast: Wonderful! My husband and I almost died when we tasted the strawberry banana pancakes. The egg scramble bake was delicious as well, but then again so was every single thing we tasted. We were made to feel very at home, and even with our ravenous appetites for coffee, we were never without a full cup! 9am breakfast might not be early enough for some, but it is perfect timing for vacation. It was fun sitting at the table with a view into the kitchen. The breakfast staff was AWESOME! Seriously, exemplary service. Raises for everyone!

Location: Far from the towns but great if you're looking for something secluded. Right by the beach, right near great hiking. When we headed into town, I wished we were back at the ranch!

Anyway, we will definitely be back. Hopefully we will be back with friends/family in the future, but this will be the first place we think of for a romantic getaway. The sheets situation was more than redeemed with the rest of the awesomeness.

Room Tip: Walden room is very romantic and downstairs. Perfect for two, and only two. The solar room also look...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Pt. Loma
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

Wouldn't have wanted to stay anywhere else in Fort Bragg/Mendocino. HCR has character. Willow is dark, but it was right for us. Breakfasts were delish and filling. Plenty of places to sit/read/walk. It was freezing and foggy, but heaters in room kept us warm. If you want sterile, stay away! If you want to get away and enjoy the coast, a stay here will fulfill. So glad for the experience. Theresa was a bonus.

Room Tip: Boathouse for single person who wants to be in treehouse environment!
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Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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San Rafael, California, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

Howard Creek Ranch is a great place to relax and enjoy the nature. Their garden was full of blossoms and beautiful, breakfast was wonderful. The owners Sally and Sunny were pleasant and accommodating.
We would love to go back again, but this time I will leave my little dog at home, so we can stay at the beach house.
We had internet access in the main building and in their library and common area in the historic building.
I suggest to take a great book with you and enjoy the feeling of home away from home for a few days.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Half Moon Bay, California
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

HCRI is like a romantic, ruined estate being restored to become a magically creative, artistic place. The natural surroundings, and the property itself, are so vast that you don't mind, or even notice, other people, the occasional piano playing in the common room above you, the parts of the carriage house that are undergoing construction, etc. My husband and I like the Walden Room (have been there five times now). It is enormous, with its own kitchen, relaxing area, open shower in a wonderfully tiled bathroom. Also, a kitchen table, a coffee table and a huge table for using computer, etc. The centerpiece of the room is a queen-sized bed around whose four posts Sunny has exquisitely hand- tiled his unique design on the floor. Everywhere you can see the beautiful wood paneling and interesting design that Sunny has brought to the place. He is a talented artist with a huge vision! We can sit on our tiled patio and relax, right next to as yet unfinished rooms whose outside walls are covered with Tyvek, and still admire the beauty of the place. Really, the "on-going" or "in progress" aspect of the place does not at all get in the way of the beauty and -- believe it or not -- the privacy -- of it all. You go to breakfast by crossing a wonderful swinging bridge that traverses the creek. And breakfast is a varied and generous meal indeed: an egg dish, some type of sausage, biscuits, poached pears, and fresh fruit, pancakes, etc. And the most wonderful and interesting company! Great stories, and somehow one always feels a personal connection with the guests, and with Sally, Sunny, and their staff. Up the hill is Sunny's "spa", a combination of bathing pools and cabins, again a vision becoming a serious reality. Within five minutes' walking distance is the beach, and there are trails going up into the hills to walk as well. A part we enjoy is toward evening, when the sheep clatter over the wooden wagon-bridge and come down into our yard, right up to our patio to munch the green grass. (We keep our dog inside for this part!) You enjoy the feeling of being in the raw country, while being comfortably taken care of, and connecting with the natural world and with unpretentious, interesting people.

Room Tip: We always return to the Walden Room. Like it so much we have never tried anything else. Large, quiet...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
San Mateo, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

I have been here many times and keep coming back. Peaceful, tranquil, romantic..everything anyone could want if you truly want to get away from the hustle of life and immerse yourself in nature...and each other. It has it all....the ocean, the wooded hills, beautiful gardens, fabulous breakfasts, spectacular sunsets, hiking trails throughout the 60 beautiful acres of the ranch itself. My sweetie and I always leave here with lifted spirits and a feeling of having recharged our relationship. Looking forward to our next visit.

Room Tip: The Beach House, The Redwood Suite. These have private outdoor tubs and wonderful views and sounds...
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  • Stayed August 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howard Creek Ranch

Address: 40501 North Highway One, PO. Box 121, Westport, CA 95488
Location: United States > California > Mendocino County > Westport
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Westport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Registered Historic ocean front farm on 60 acres settled in 1867, bordered by miles of beach and mountains in a wilderness area. Award winning flower gardens, antiques, a 75 foot swinging foot bridge over Howard Creek, cabins, comfortable beds, hot tub, nearby horseback riding, full ranch breakfast. A work in progress. "One of the most romantic places to stay on the planet" S.F. Chronicle. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Howard Creek Ranch Hotel Westport

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