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“It was ok. Nothing special”
Review of Bodega Harbor Inn

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Bodega Harbor Inn
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Bodega Bay
Reviewed August 12, 2008

Initial booking was through Inn owner, Karen who was very pleasant and helpful. We were attending a wedding in a nearby town and it was suggested we stay at Bodega Bay. There were not a lot of options as it's a very small place. We chose the Bodega Harbour Inn for three nights and ended up getting a small two bedroom bungalow (the Harbour House) with an ocean view and a hot tub outside. The grounds and building are well-maintained. This is an older building and some updating has been done. Housecleaning was ok, but there was a smell of possibly cat or dog urine when we arrived. We aired the house out upon arrival and kept the windows open during the night.

We had family staying in town as well at other locations so it was important for us to keep in contact with them. There was no phone number listed on the phone for the Harbour House and we don't have a cell phone as where we live, there is no service. We could call out, but no one could call us. I stopped by the Inn office the next morning to obtain the phone number and was advised that the phones are being removed next week and she no longer had the phone number for that house. She said that if someone needed to reach us, they could call the Inn and she would walk a message down to us, a block away. (They have limited office hours and when we arrived at 7:30PM, the office was closed so I knew this could be a problem). We also asked for an additional key as they would be times where hubby and I would be going in different directions. She fumbled around and eventually found a key, which turned out later was a completely different kind of key so would not work anyways.

We also had problems with the kitchen stove as we are not familiar with gas ranges and we could only manage to get one element working on the cooktop. Fortunately, this was not a huge problem as we weren't doing a lot of cooking anyways.

I wished for a hair dryer and apparently none be bought in Bodega Bay, the place is so small...so pack your own!

This is an older house and there were lots of soft spots in the floors, and the edges and corners needed a good vacuum, dusting. Could see spider eggs and cocoons in places.

The place needed a good thorough cleaning, but as I said, it's an old house and sometimes that is difficult.

Now for the positives!

There were lots of good things to say about the place. The location is very nice. There is an ocean view. The hot tub was very nice. There was a good supply of towels for us. The kitchen was well-equipped. Lots of utensils and pots and pans. There are dishes for about four to five people. Nothing fancy. The bathroom has had some updating but the toilet and the sink/vanity are in an awkward position. Tall people will have to sit kind of sideways on the toilet or they will bang their knees. The beds were quite comfortable.

We paid $200/night for this place during high season. I don't feel that it was good value. In my opinion, the rate shouldn't be more than $175/night, tops!

The Harbour House is a block from the Pelican Plaza where there is a small grocery store, a laundromat, a surf shop and more. We had an excellent meal at Claudio's Trattoria (the service was non-existent at first and we almost walked out, but it improved)

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled on business
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4  Thank shutterkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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257 - 263 of 282 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2008

We found this Inn online by searching for motels in the Bodega Bay area. We went to the Inn's website and looked at the posted photos of the grounds and rooms shown and all looked great. Be warned, that the photos do not show what you might actually get! This Inn is located on a lot right next to Hwy 1, so it was noisy due to high traffic volume. We stayed in Hummingbird 1(Room 16), which was part of a very old house. This was by far the worst room we have ever stayed in, in over 20 years of traveling and we are actually people who look for small quaint places versus large chain hotels! It was dirty (there was so much dust on the furniture and blinds that you had to wash your hands after touching them), the couch was broken down, the window sills were covered in mold, the carpet had stains and smelled bad, the tiny bathroom was so small it was difficult to use, aside from being in need of repair (it didn't even have a real door)! Only 2 very small bars of soap were provided, no coffee cups, shampoo, or alarm clocks were provided in the room. The linens were old and stained. The spare pillow had no case on it and a large hole in it. The extra blankets had dog hair on them. The heater didn't work well...I could go on, but I think I've made my point. If you want to stay in a very old, dirty house that has the original fixtures and furniture from 30-40 years ago, then this is the place for you!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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6  Thank Travelingfamily51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2008

Bodega Harbor Inn, Bodega Bay, CA: An Inn for the families comfort and service.
Occation: To celebrate our daughters birthday (#50)
Number of guests: 25
June 6, 7 & 8 2008

The event was planned by my daughters husband and included a very ethnicaly mixed and age spread group. The placement of guests was ideal, even including a unit with a full kitchen that we used to meet and enjoy the company. The owner also provided a place to barbique using my son-inlaws' private barbique equipment. In case of bad weather, we were offered a place to have our meal inside, out of the wind and weather. Great thought was given to our privacy and otheres that registered there. We are considering a yearly gathering at Bodega Harbor Inn to include our families and the families of our friends. It is a comfortable base for enjoying the California Coast. Call Karen (owner) and get the same friendly and satisfying results. We highly recommend Bodega Harbor Inn

Ferol & Pat Hester
cactus70@sbcglobal.net

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank Cackshack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2008

My husband and I love the Sonoma Cost and travel this way often, especially when heat waves come to the East Bay. We tried so many hotels/motels/inns along the cost and inland, but never found anything like this place. The combination of price, location, cleanliness and hospitality made the Memorial Day weekend wonderful for us.

Before booking a room, I talked to the owner on the phone as I wanted to clarify the meaning of “remodeled room” in the hotel description (once, we found ourselves sleeping in a remodeled garage for $300 and I did not want to be there again). I left a voice message, and Karen (the owner) called be back within an hour, answered all my questions about rooms, furniture, etc. Her call showed how much she cares about her business and customers though the last available room would be swept in no time for the long holiday weekend, right? It was about two weeks before the Memorial Day.

When we arrived on Saturday about 4 pm, all 14 rooms we already occupied, only our room #9 had the door opened, and we parked right by the entrance. A kitty welcomed us into the tiny office with an inspirational little fountain on the counter, coffee and tons of information for the area. Karen is very passionate about the coast and everything Sonoma. She is eagerly giving directions and tips on where, what and how, just ask her! She lives on the premises, so she works literally 24/7 for the visitors. The rest of her crew is all guys – I saw the landscaper and couple of room cleaners.

Our room was small but had everything we need for a couple of cool nights by the bay. The heater was working fine; an additional blanket was in an antique wardrobe. The bed linens were clean and smooth, the bed was comfortable. The floor boasted a freshly laid tiles going from the front door directly to the bathroom and climbing the walls around the brand new bath tub. Even the shower curtain was crispy new. I was really impressed and did not care much about extra toiletries (i always travel with my own), especially after I found a little plug-in night light in the bathroom – how thoughtful! The shower worked fine, may be a little noisy for the neighbors as all the older piping systems do. But a good drainage flow was a big plus!

The room was decorated with two fresh sea view posters which looked new. I enjoyed the all bluish environment of the room. The tile floor vs. carpet makes a huge difference – no stains, no smells from previous guests. Congratulations to the owner on this wise remodeling choice!

I actually liked the fact that there was no clock in the room – who watches time in such a pleasant retreat? I would eliminate the TV set too but Karen laughed at my suggestion and said it would not be realistic. I trust her judgment, she definitely knows her business. I enjoyed her coffee/tea service and the view of the bay while my husband was glued to the Indy 500. By the way, her breakfast includes bagels, cream cheese and hard boiled eggs in addition to some healthy baked choices from Costco. Quite enough to start my day. Thank you, Karen!

I hope to be back to this harbor retreat very soon!

Tips on local dining:
Next door, the new Claudio’s Italian Restaurant offers you a free bottle of wine, if you bring a pink flier from the Harbor Inn. We had a dinner there, the food was really homemade, but the service was very slow as they need more waiters. I had an antipasti plate, it was large and tasty; my salmon+mashroom was hardly noticeable among the bow pasta, but my husband’s baked salmon was a real hit!

One day, we had tickets for the late concert @ Sonoma Jazz festival, 40 mls away, and we found the drive very easy and pleasant even in the middle of the night. Petaluma is very close, where the best place to eat for us is Central Market.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Nina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2008

Kudos to the folks who run the Bodega Harbor Inn. We have stayed in rooms #12, #14 and #16 (Hummingbird House) several times over the last two years, and have always enjoyed our time there. Accommodations are always clean and comfortable with plenty of toiletries, kindling for a wood-burning stove, and extras. Many of the rooms at the motel have been remodeled recently (new bathrooms, tile floors, paint, etc.).

This is a Motor Inn, so set your expectations accordingly; it isn't a five-star, mega-chain hotel. It is, however, a hidden gem in Bodega Bay. If you want the Hilton, drive an hour into San Francisco. It's almost impossible to find a comfortable motel/hotel on the coast for under $200 per night, but the Bodega Harbor Inn is an exception. We return to this quaint little place year after year because we appreciate the value. Advice to those wanting a view of the water: Make your reservations early if you want a room with a partial view of the bay. For additional space, reserve #16 on the bluff - Hummingbird House. It has two Queen bedrooms, a living room with pull-out couch, a wood-burning stove, microwave, coffee/tea, television, and great view of the garden/bay.

Toast, bagels, pastries, coffee and tea are served in the office during morning hours. Adirondack chairs line the large yard, which also has a few picnic tables and a fire pit. A great little grocery store is less than 100 yards around the corner if you need last minute items or stuff for a picnic. Try the Sandpiper Restaurant (on the way to Bodega Head ) for a great breakfast, lunch or dinner.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank LJar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2007

I would agree with other reviewers, this is a Motel (not an Inn). But it is a very good motel.

GOOD THINGS:

1. Excellent location, good access to wineries, Point Reyes park and coastal driving. Small grocery/convenience store, good laundromat, and a couple of restaurants nearby. Nice place to spend a couple of days relaxing.

2. Room excellently maintained, nice rustic furniture, very comfy bed, bathroom in excellent shape, paint was perfect, very clean. Shower had plenty of hot water.

3. Heat is excellent, important because it is cool at night at all times of year.

4. Nice view, lawn area with chairs where you can sit and watch the sunset, and a fire pit (with wood provided).


BAD THINGS:

1. Price is a little high, considering this is a motel. But, lack of competition (collusion among along the hotels in the area?) will do that. Being close to wealthy San Fran gives them pricing power. If you have time on your hands, you might want to consider driving further north, the accomodation prices are lower further north (but you'll lose your convenient access to Point Reyes and the wineries).

2. Minor items: No telephone or alarm clock in room - told this was because it is "rustic inn." No telephone not a big deal in the age of cell phones (though some will find they have no coverage for their phones). My cell phone also has an alarm clock, so lack of alarm clock not a crisis. But c'mon, spend $15 and put an alarm clock in the room. Also, only soap provided in bathroom (no shampoo or moisturizer). Room does have a good TV with a decent amount of cable stations.

3. There is a fog horn nearby (a mile or more away) that goes off every 15 seconds all night. The sound was soft, and I found it soothing. My travelling companion found it annoying.


OTHER:

1. All rooms are a bit different. Stayed in Room 12, had deck facing water, excellent. Room 14 was next door to us and also had excellent view w/deck. If cost is a factor, I would go with Room 10 or Room 11 - you step outside your front door, and you have a view. Water tower is inexpensive, but cramped, however if your very budget conscious, it is okay.

2. Breakfast not provided during week during off-season (our October visit was considered off-season). Only on Saturday and Sunday.

3. If going to Point Reyes, take a wind breaker, a solid sweatshirt, comfortable shoes and a wooly hat. It's windy and cold out there 300+ days a year. Start in the morning, it takes several hours to drive and see everything at Point Reyes. Bear in mind the lighthouse is closed out there Tuesday and Wednesday. When going inland, it will be warmer than in Bodega Bay.

4. Fill your car with gas frequently, gas stations are sparse along the coast. You'll burn gas more quickly than normal, with the roads being curvy and having constantly changing speed limits.

5. It's quiet at night. You'll be in your room sleeping, reading or watching TV by 10pm in this town.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank UrbanManUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Sacramento, CA
111
Reviewed July 8, 2006

We stayed in one of the duplexes. The place was very dirty and unsafe. The unit had a wood burning stove with no smoke detector. Don't confuse rustic with just a dump. The table and chairs would fall apart if you sat in them. We actually left the Inn within an hour of arrival and stayed at another hotel. The Inn keeper would not refund our money and we paid for two hotel rooms for one night just to get out of this hell hole!! Don't risk staying at this dump.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bodega Harbor Inn

Address: Bodega Bay, CA 94923
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Bodega Bay
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Bodega Bay
Price Range: $94 - $146 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Bodega Harbor Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 14
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Also Known As:
Bodega Harbor Hotel Bodega Bay
Bodega Harbor Motel

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