The Stanford Inn by the Sea is a self-contained haven for those visiting the beautiful Mendocino Coast. Finding the inn is no difficulty at all, as it is located just off of the scenic Highway 1.
The first thing you notice when you drive in are the acres upon acres of landscaping. It is beautiful year-round, but during the early spring and summer it is especially spectacular. Flowering plants of all colors shock your vision as you approach, and sitting out on the deck looking over the gardens is one of the greatest joys imaginable. The gardens are open for guests to walk through, and I have spent many hours exploring them. The gardening staff is friendly and knowledgeable, ready to tell you what a particular plant is – they even have their own nursery, so you can visit the greenhouses and pick up some plants on the way home.
The rooms are elegant and well-equipped. The fireplace was laid out when I arrived, and a crackling fire at night helped cap off a perfect day of wandering through Mendocino. Small touches are what sets this inn apart from so many others – complimentary chocolates and a bottle of wine, friendly greetings from the desk staff and owners, and a bountiful gift shop thoughtfully stocked with any amenities one may have forgotten at home.
The pool area is fabulous. It is an indoor pool, hot-tub, and sauna, with tropical plants growing throughout. Stepping through the door at night feels like being whisked away to some distant island paradise, with the warmth and humidity kept perfect twenty-four hours a day.
The restaurant on the premises, the Raven’s, boasts organic vegetarian and vegan fare. Those who are used to meat as a staple in fine dining have nothing to fear however – the food is excellent, served in a distinguished manner deserving of any of the finest restaurants of the city. The wait staff is knowledgeable about their extensive wine list, as well as the menu items, and talking to them is in and of itself a treat.
The property is on the edge of the Big River, and in addition to offering fabulous views of the Pacific ocean, this also allows them to provide canoes and kayak rentals for day trips up the river. The current is easily manageable, and as the river runs through a park area, the views are unspoiled and truly majestic. At the canoe shop you can also rent bicycles to take short or long rides along the many paths and roads (including an old logging road which borders the river). The beach is also within easy walking distance, or a one or two minute drive away.
Everything about this place makes it feel like home – but a home offering more amenities and luxurious comfort than you could possibly imagine. The staff is attentive and friendly, and the owners are often available should anything come up. Of everywhere I have stayed in Mendocino, this is far and away my favorite, and I highly recommend it to anyone planning a visit.
- 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