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“Third Visit Even Better”

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Stanford Inn by the Sea
Ranked #6 of 25 Mendocino B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Third Visit Even Better”
Reviewed September 8, 2012

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.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank VegieGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joan S, Owner at Stanford Inn by the Sea, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for your wonderful review! We love having you here and look forward to your next visit!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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466 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (148)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Nevada City, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 1, 2012

Found this place while looking for a Vegan Restaurant on HappyCow.com. The room was wonderful and the food was great. You can walk to the Headlands or to Big River. Thr garden and grounds were well-maintained and beautiful, the staff very accommodating, the pool and spa beautiful. We'll be back!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank jfranM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joan S, Owner at Stanford Inn by the Sea, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for your review! We're so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Inn soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
58 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2012

The inn is a beautiful property that we wanted very much to love, but just couldn't. First, the positives: The setting is lovely. The rooms are at the same time both elegant and in sync with the natural surroundings. The beds are super-comfortable. The vegan restaurant does a good job of preparing food that can be appealing to non-vegans.

So, why can't we love the place? It's the issue raised over time by several other reviewers: The front desk staff is alternately disinterested, irritated, arrogant and condescending. To us, this gave a cold feel to the entire inn. On our first night, we had a room problem (smoke backed up from the fireplace) which was mishandled by the desk. I will spare the details, but the net result was that we got a much-upgraded room for our first two nights (at no additional charge) but had to move for our third night. While that was not exactly our desired result I have to agree that in the circumstance it was certainly a fair result. However, the attitude of the front desk was pure condescension. They did little to disguise their feeling that the original problem was all in our imagination and that they were just humoring us. I want to be clear, however, that this incident alone was not responsible for the barely-welcome feeling that we came away with. The vibes coming from the desk were at no time friendly.

In summary, this place needs badly to set up a front desk staffed with employees trained in the art of making guests feel welcome, as virtually every other first-class hotel in the country does. Then, I would easily give it an "Excellent" overall rating. Without that, however, I can rate it no better than "Average" despite the excellent physical facilities.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Ronald G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joan S, Owner at Stanford Inn by the Sea, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review the Inn. We’re sorry that you had a negative experience. We enjoyed having you here and would love to welcome you back to the Inn.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Lovely clean tasteful property. Excellent food, if vegan cooking is your preference. Extremely helpful friendly staff. Very clean salt pool and spa. We enjoyed walking through the magnificent flower and vegetable gardens. A real wood burning fireplace was a treat. And most important dogs are welcome everywhere, except the pool area. We look forward to returning and experiencing winter in Mendocino.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Susitaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joan S, Owner at Stanford Inn by the Sea, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for your review! We're so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Inn soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
65 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2012

Great "high end" resort type accommodation that welcomes your traveling pet...pet fee is slightly higher at $45 than many hotels (although, less than some snooty hotels.) Rooms are lovely with decks all facing the sea, which is in the distance, and every room has a wood burning fireplace.
The restaurant serves vegan dishes....FABULOUS food. A feast for a vegetarian and a pleasant surprise, but even my "must eat meat everyday" husband totally enjoyed the meat free dinner and breakfast. If in the area (especially with your pet) this is the place to stay!

Room Tip: Two rooms on either side of the laundry area may be a bit more noisy than other rooms.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bev E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joan S, Owner at Stanford Inn by the Sea, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for your review! We hope to welcome you back to the Inn soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silicon Valley
Level Contributor
87 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2012

We love the Stanford property -- it is lovely to walk around, the greenhouse covered pool is terrific (since you rarely find a pool in Mendocino) and it’s a short walk to the river//ocean. The rooms are well-maintained -- the bathrooms are clean but not luxurious. We are, however, not vegans so we always end up going off-property for most meals. The owners seem to be very nice people and like many people over the years they have grown more ardent in their personal views (or they are just sharing more). Either way, and while they may ultimately be right, I don't necessary want to ponder if eating eggs is cruel to chickens when trying to spend a romantic day on the coast. If you don't read the newsletter/blog they offer, you can blissfully go on your way (but don't expect bacon or any meat for breakfast). If the mere presence of such literature bothers you, you probably should skip the entire county. The town of Mendocino is close -- about a 5 minute drive (not a great walk since it’s a busy bridge/road to cross). This property is also wonderfully dog friendly. We will go again.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LuxNomadTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joan S, Owner at Stanford Inn by the Sea, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for your review! We enjoyed having you here and hope to welcome you back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, California, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2012

While it seems a bit extravagant, the amenities at the Standford Inn in Mendocino make the nightly cost extremely affordable. Amenities include: indoor pool and jacuzzi on site inside of a beautiful greenhouse with tropical plants and no strong chlorine smell, yoga, bikes, coffee/tea and desert every afternoon, and breakfast every morning. The restaurant serves gourmet vegan cuisine. There are also canoe/kayak rentals next to the property for a paddle up the Big River (also next to the property). Dogs are welcome and the organic garden is just beautiful. Just two days at the Standford Inn and I am rejuvenated!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Debbie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joan S, Owner at Stanford Inn by the Sea, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for your review! We're happy to hear that you felt rejuvenated at the Inn - it's what we strive to accomplish. We hope to see you again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stanford Inn by the Sea

Property: Stanford Inn by the Sea
Address: Highway 1 & Comptche Ukiah Road, PO Box 487, Mendocino, CA 95460
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Mendocino County > Mendocino
Amenities:
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 25 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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