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“Whale of spot on the North Mendo Coast!”

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Whale Watch Inn by the Sea
Ranked #2 of 7 Gualala B&B and Inns
Canyon Lake, Texas
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Whale of spot on the North Mendo Coast!”
Reviewed May 22, 2014

My sweetie and I just got back from an amazing trip, which started in San Francisco and wound up the PCH and inland to Rio Dell where we were headed for my son's graduation from HSU. We'd actually booked our room at the Whale Watch Inn several months ago. We'd been to Gualala a few years before, but wanted something a bit more restful and secluded on this trip up the coast. The Whale Watch Inn didn't disappoint! The new owner, Elgio (sp?) is absolutely wonderful! We had a nice conversation as he served us a glass of wine on our arrival. The flora is just fabulous, especially this time of year. I felt like I was in an endless conservatory. And fauna? A couple of black-tailed deer grazed on wildflowers while we soaked in our private hot tub on the deck of our suite! Couldn't have asked for a more sublime respite on our trip. We stayed one night on our way to Rio Dell, and another night on the trip back down the coast. The warm spring weather followed us all along the way; what a wonderful break from the everyday! Since this is a B&B, I have to tell you, Gretchen serves up breakfast with a capital "B"! This is not some store-bought pastries and yogurt, but REAL breakfast with eggs, homemade muffins, fresh squeezed juice. Yum! Just a couple notes though as I've read other reviews about the place - yes, the stairs leading down to the private beach are worn, but there's a sign that indicates "at your own risk" - frankly, I didn't have a problem, and I have a bit of arthritis in my right foot. The walk on the beach with views of the NoMendo Coast is just breathtaking and well worth a cautious walk down the stairs! Just another quick note....there are fireplaces in the rooms and although wood is supplied; it's new wood, so doesn't burn. Better to buy some good burning wood and let the current supply sit for a year; should be ready to burn by next year. Regardless, in no way did this distract from our peaceful stay at the Inn. Seriously, I can't believe some of the reviews. Apparently, some people don't get out much or have a hard time "rollin' with it!" I'd recommend they stay at home and let the rest of us enjoy the serenity of the Whale Watch :) We'll be back!

Room Tip: The Heartsong suite is pretty "sweet!"
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank G M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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163 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2014

My wife's 20th reunion for graduate school was the first weekend in early May, so we decided to take a few extra days before, just for us, as part of an extended 20th wedding anniversary celebration. If you're looking to spend some special time with someone special, this is a terrific choice.

Coming from Boston, especially this year, we were looking forward to some sun and relaxation. Our experience at Whale Watch was exactly what we were hoping for. Relaxing, peaceful, unhurried, comfortable, and rejuvenating. We stayed in one of the rooms with the hot tub (highly recommended!) Soaking and stars are a great combination. Breakfast was delicious both mornings and having it delivered and eating on the deck in the morning sun was terrific. The staff were accommodating, knowledgable and gracious. We arrived fairly late and hadn't actually confirmed our room. We were offered glasses of wine and there was no problem settling in. Salmon season started the second night and, again arriving back late from dinner, the night staff took us out to the whale watch room for a better view of the fishing boats, lights, and fog - an amazing sight!

There is new ownership and there is clearly an effort underway to do some upgrades and take care of some deferred maintenance, but that didn't affect our experience at all. If there were a 4 1/2, that would be my choice. I can easily imagine five stars after some of this work is completed. The beach access is typical California cliffside, stairs descending with some zigs and zags, but for us that was part of the adventure and allure. The beach itself is fantastic. Low tide and tide pooling was amazing. We saw dolphins and seals, but missed the whales, though when we were in town, people said there were sitings that day. Plenty of relaxing things to do around the area, kayak on the river, interesting restaurants (St. Orres), shops, etc. and plenty of other beaches within a few miles. No TV and limited cell phone coverage. Wifi is available in the main building, but may be spotty or a little slow. That was also exactly what we needed! If we're back in the area again, we'll be back.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Karen E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McKinleyville, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I went here for our 10th anniversary this weekend. We had a fantastic time! My husband had a dozen rose arrangement and a bottle of champagne prearranged and waiting for us when we arrived. The roses were beyond gorgeous! We stayed in the bath suit and it was so perfect. The fireplace, jacuzzi for two, the view....wow! We made it down the trail to the beach which is like all northern ca cliff side beach access...a little scary. But nothing was wobbly or rotting. The beach was a 1/2 mile long one way of beautiful clean beach. Breakfast both mornings was superb! We both were full from it. My favorite quiet morning spot was the couch by the picture window and fireplace in the lobby...I will miss it! I loved how quiet it was even though they were quite busy. The staff was attentive and quick to help. My only complaint and why it's not 5 stars is the mattress we had was not 100%comfortable and it would be nice if they updated the mattress from a spring mattress to something more modern. Other that that, it was perfect! Soft linen, towels, robes, even the cloth napkins for breakfast were soft! We can't wait to come back! Oh and yes there is no cell service or tv and the wifi is quite slow....which was perfect! It MADE us unplug and connect with each other!

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Becky B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boonville, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

We've stayed at this hotel in past and it was fantastic. Paid for a 2 night stay. Arrived at 4:30 pm and after walking around the property knew we had to leave. However, when we went to the office at 5:15 pm it was locked and no employee was on the property until 9:30 am the next day. We were the only guests in the hotel. No wifi, no cell phone coverage. There was a sign in the lobby that said "use this phone to call innkeeper", but there was no phone. The hotel smells moldy, is dirty, and the stairway to the beach is rotting & dangerous. When we told the manager our complaints she was sympathetic but when she called the new owner who bought the hotel Nov 2013, he refused to refund the 2nd night and refused to speak with my husband. We left anyway and filed a complaint with the jBBB and our credit card company. What a shame that this beautiful place is not being maintained and is not a safe place to stay.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
8 Thank Audrey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ardmore, Oklahoma, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2013

Took advantage of last minute cheap airfare to San Francisco for a long weekend to celebrate 39th wedding anniversary. Had previously visited Whale Watch Inn 2 years ago, but had not stayed there. Checked on-line for room availability and secured the Country French suite. Rented car in SF and followed directions provided by Whale Watch Inn that took us up Hwy 1 along the coast to Anchor Bay.

Perfect weather, wonderful drive with "amazing" vistas along the coast, wine and cheese reception on Saturday night when we arrived, enjoyable conversations with other "repeat guests" at reception, bottle of champagne waiting for us in our room upon arrival, were just the lead up to the best part-our suite! Located in main building, this suite was two stories with spiral staircase leading up to loft that had fireplace, window seat, wet bar, 2 comfortable chairs, beautiful desk, and windows on 3 sides with incredible views of Anchor Bay and the Pacific Ocean! This is where we took our breakfasts with the fire going. Downstairs was the queen bed, whirlpool tub for two, wooden balcony deck with stunning views of the pines on the cliff and overlooking the bay and the ocean, separate shower for two, and a purple covered "something" that came in very handy at night! The surprise treasure we found in the room was several journals written by previous guests about their "adventures" in that suite and spanned some 10-15 years. Fabulous entertainment! Did I mention there was no television or cell phone service at the Inn? Didn't need it!!!!!!!

The Inn sits on a cliff overlooking Anchor Bay. You can descend to the beach via the 138 wooden and rock steps provided at the back of the property. Took a walk on beach in late afternoon with our coffee and were just about only ones on the beach!

Breakfast was brought to our room and was excellent, not overwhelming, but just enough!
Kudos to the new owner who we met upon our arrival and look forward to future stays at this wonderful Northern California coastal haven! Next time we visit, we hope it is during the migration time for the whales.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Thom M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vacaville
1 review
Reviewed November 19, 2013

My 3 year old son and I traveled up the coast to visit family, and had the privilege of staying at this enchanting location. The views are just breath taking, even had my boy in awe, he loves the outdoors. Spending one on one time with him in front of the fire, taking in the scenery was amazing, much different from our fast paced life in the city! The staff, everybody was just amazing, and friendly, we will never forget our breakfasts in bed! Already planning our next visit!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TWB2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2013 via mobile

This place is spectacular. Breath taking views of the ocean. Serene and peaceful environment. The staff is so courteous, friendly and accommodating. Great place to get away from the hustle and bustle.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jhav-sj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Whale Watch Inn by the Sea

Property: Whale Watch Inn by the Sea
Address: 35100 S Highway 1, Gualala, CA 95445-9589
Location: United States > California > Mendocino County > Gualala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Gualala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Whale Watch Inn by the Sea 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have a motto here at the Whale Watch Inn and it is to provide you with "World Class service in a World Class setting." With 18 beautifully decorated guest rooms each with a dynamic view of the ocean, our rooms also all include a private deck and wood burning fireplace/furnace. Also included with your stay is a full breakfast, either delivered right to your room or buffet style in the Whale Room. We are committed to making your stay an out of this world experience by accommodating your needs, and paying attention to the details. We hope you will join us soon. The ocean is waiting! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whale Watch Inn By The Sea Hotel Gualala

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