Without a moment's hesitation, we made the decision several months ago to spend another week at the marvelous Stanford Inn for our third summer in a row. In the past, we have not been inclined to return to vacation sites, as we like to experience new places, but we have found a cozy and snug haven at this idyllic getaway in Mendocino, and the "we're home again" feeling has its own allure and charms. "Our" room--the same one we had stayed in on our two previous visits--had been lovingly redone, with new hardwood floors, welcome blackout shades, and some slimmer furniture, allowing more space in the room itself. Otherwise, little has changed in outward appearance, which is fine--the place is lovely as it is. A new chef has tinkered with the excellent vegan menu and rendered it even more mouthwatering. The complimentary afternoon desserts, offered in the lounge by a roaring fire, were uniformly delicious and served with grace and enthusiasm by the young and attentive staff. We were surprised to read one reviewer's posting about poor service. For three summers, we have found the entire staff helpful, attentive (without being overbearing), informative, and good-humored, following the lead of the Inn's dedicated and welcoming owners, Joan and Jeff Stanford. One of the highlights of this trip was the solar eco-tour on a kayak up Big River, run by the Inn's Catch-a-Canoe kayak/canoe/bike rental business. Rick Hemmings, Catch-a-Canoe's good-humored, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic manager, provided a magical two-and-a-half hour "cruise" upriver and back for five of us in this one-of-a-kind solar/wind-powered outrigger kayak. We heartily recommend this, especially for those whose paddling muscles may not be in top form, because the small sail and the solar battery-powered motor do most of the work. Although we didn't spot the river's otter family, we did see a beautiful speckled seal, many Merganser ducks, cormorants, and a stunning blue heron. (Side note: Rick told us that that evening the International Space Station would be visible, so we made a point of going out onto our balcony at 9:45, per Rick's instructions. We found the Big Dipper and watched this orange dot make its way from one horizon to the other...a lovely sight, and we were so glad that Rick had told us about it.) We are not small-town folks--we were born in big cities and live and work in one--but the Stanford Inn keeps calling us back and provides a welcome tonic of relaxation and gentle pampering that hits all the right notes.
- 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