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“An authentic travel experience without leaving the US”
Review of The Pelican Inn

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The Pelican Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Muir Beach B&B and Inns
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“An authentic travel experience without leaving the US”
Reviewed April 24, 2007

If what you are looking for is the experience of staying in an historic English inn, think traveling to some small town in the UK -- without actually leaving the US, than THIS is the place.

This building was brought over from the UK brick by brick and is completely authentic. This means for those of you who have never left the US, VERY small rooms with low ceilings (because folks didn't grow very tall back then because of poor diet). So every review you read here of people complaining about how small and cramped the rooms are, was clearly written by someone who has never seen a 16th century British inn, or regular home for that matter (not the homes of the rich but of the regular joe).

ALSO, just like in an inn in a small British town, this place IS the local tavern. If you were to stay at a pub in UK you would hear the locals drinking and being merry.... you will hear the same thing here.

So if the experience of traveling to the UK and staying at a quint 16th century pub in a small town is not what your after, don't stay here.

Also, if your not a true fan of british fare, don't eat here.

If you are and you do, they you will love it.

Stayed March 2007
1 Thank japlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2007

DO NOT STAY HERE!! My husband and I were coming in to San Francisco on business and wanted to go up the coast for a night for some quiet, scenic coastal beauty. This WAS NOT the place to be. We thought that since it was a member of the Romantic Inns, that surely it would be, well - Romantic (or at least quiet). Little did we know that it was the only pub/bar within miles and all the locals were partying it up. (This wasn't even a weekend night). I haven't been in a place that loud since fraternity parties in college. To make matters worse, the employee who was staying there that night kept taking her party friends on noisy tours of the guest quarters (which aren't very far from the bar). The kitchen staff were so loud that we could hear the music and yelling from our room and there seemed to be another party going on in the parking lot right outside our window. We had just gotten in from the East Coast, had been up since 4am EST, and were ready for some sleep in our quaint B&B. Thank goodness for my Ipod.

The next morning we awoke ready for showers. My husband tood a deep breath and explained that there wasn't any hot water. Maybe that explained the virtual waterfall sound that had been going on in the wall behind our bed all night. I threw my neck out in the cold shower and hobbled to breakfast.

The wait staff were very apologetic for our experience - but management never even acknowledged us! They were not there when we checked out - and paid for this horrid experience - and were supposed to call us. Have never made contact.

Spare yourself the expense and the disaster. Stay somewhere in Stinson Beach.

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4 Thank KSML
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carmel Valley, CA
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2006

The Pelican is a fully transplanted old English inn. Lot's of low wooden ceilings, brick and mortar, warm fireplaces and good cheer. They serve well-prepared food and hearty ales for lunch and dinner. The included breakfast was a either a traditional English (with bangers, roasted tomato and such) or a lighter selection. We choose and enjoyed the former.

We had two rooms on a weeknight at $200 each. Both were small (approx. 200sf?) but neat as a pin, well appointed, made with warm and fine linens under the canopy of a draped four-poster bed. and looking out traditional diamond-shaped, lead-pained windows. The bathrooms are a little worn but very clean and well maintained. Our hosts were friendly and accomodating. There is a charming "snug" where you can sit by the fire and read quietly. There are nearby trails that we did not avail ourselves of. It's not 30 minutes from San Francisco but feels like you're in Yorkshire or some other charming English rural spot.

Very nice indeed.

  • Liked — Charming traditional English inn
  • Disliked — Pricey
  • Tips/Secrets — Anglophiles will love it. Looking for posh, modern? Steer clear.
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Cubro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Anselmo, California
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2006

We've been frequenting the Pelican Inn for years as beach goers and hikers but never had the opportunity to stay the night. We decided to make a quick mid-week getaway out of it and it was the perfect elixer to our work-week blues!

Unlike the previous reviewer, I found nothing "unclean" in the rooms, rather a wonderful vintage charm of an old English country inn. The rooms are on the small side but are accurately portrayed in the hotels website. And to complain that the setting was "dark and scary" to stroll around at night, well, HELLO, it's a country inn...as in "no town". One should see that quite obviously as you pull up to the inn.

The food at dinner was wonderful, from the prime rib to the chocolate desert and a large English breakfast is included in the price of the room. The garden room with a roaring fire is a great setting to read the morning paper whilst eating your bangers and eggs.

"Entertainment" is provided with the small pub...a convivial atmosphere and great beers as well as a dart board helped pass some evening hours. Then there's the "snug", a sitting room off the pub reserved only for inn guests. Roaring fire, wing chairs, board games. Another place to stretch out if you find your room too confining.

Of course, the star of the show is the marvelous setting at pretty Muir Beach and access to hiking trails both along the cliffs and into the surrounding valleys.

Pelican Inn makes for a wonderful retreat from modern life...no phones, no tv...very romantic! Only suggestion is perhaps to roll back the tariff during the midweek. $200+ is a bit dear, perhaps $175 and up would be a better value. Otherwise, no complaints. Rooms are really English style "bedchambers" with very comfortable beds and lovely vintage touches. Authentic without being "precious". We loved our stay and will definitely be back.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank Shreddie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco Bay Area, Ca
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2005

The inn has good points, but for the price--$203 for our room (including tax and breakfast)--I expected a much nicer room (cleaner and updated) and good service. The inn did not meet my expectations in these areas.

When you hit the $200 point, I think you expect (and usually get) a much nicer and cleaner room. We've always been able to stay at much nicer hotels at that price, and we've also been able to stay at nicer hotels for much lower costs as well.

I'll list the pros and cons and let readers make up their on minds:
*Near the beach, 10 minute walk
*Rooms with balconies have nice views and provide fresh air
*Bar and restaurant in the inn
*"Snug" room with fireplace, reading materials and games open till 11:00 pm
*Breakfast included in price of room
*Hospitality director went out of her way to make us feel welcome and informed about the inn, and to compensate (by offering us a free during-week stay, which we probably won't take her up on because we did not find the actual rooms to be nice enough to stay in again) and aplogize when a few things went wrong
*Comfortable, firm bed
*Breakfast can be delivered to your room or eaten in a dining room

*Did not enjoy the food at the restaurant (others may like it)
*Did enjoy the small bar
*Linens are below expectations (towels are not soft or fluffy, they are an off white color and rough, I'm sure they were clean but just didn't feel like it because of the color)
*Sheets also same off white color and had some stains on the pillowcase, again must have been clean but did not feel like it with the stains
*Bathroom really needs to be updated: cracks in all the tiles and in shower floor and tiles, no matching accesories in bathroom, looked totally thrown together in a very unattractive way (the bathroom was the worst part of the room)
*Little attention to detail in rooms (again, this was off-putting for the price.) Some of the curtains on the four poster beds were held back by safety pins instead of the hooks the other ones were on, one curtain hook fell off the wall because the screws were totally loose, curtains looked dingy
*Small rooms
*Sounds from bar and restaurant below can be easily heard from rooms. We were woken early in the morning from music from the dining room below us and could not get back to sleep. Noise in the evening went till 10 or 11 but it didn't bother us too much, we tried to be good natured about it

(What did bother us was that because of the reviews here we called and asked for a quiet room and were NOT told to expect some noise, but when we mentioned it at the inn they said "Of course, it is like a house and you can hear what's below you (Why didn't they tell us this when we specifically called to ask about it?)

*No other businesses in the town--if you got just a bit further to Stinson beach or Bolinas, you will have places to walk around to (we wanted to go for a walk at night and there was no where to walk except the dark highway--scary), have a choice of food instead of having to eat at the inn, and will be able to walk to shops, galleries, etc.

*Overall I felt that the room and bathroom were dingy and felt unclean because they needed updating and more attention. I felt I was getting "ripped off" for the price we'd paid by so little attention having been paid to making the room and bathroom look nice.

I realize the Northern California and beach location add to the cost of the room, but even considering those factors, the room was not up to par. We had some small problems with the service as well, but the hospitality director was kind about apologizing for them and offering us to stay for free midweek because of the problems

(We would have preferred a discount on our room instead because we will not use the free offer, especially since it's only for mid-week and we'd have to take a day off work just to use it! I felt that it would have made a stronger statement and felt more sincere if they had given a discount instead. I imagine they have vacancies midweek so giving us the free room then would not affect them much and would bring money to their bar, restaurnt, etc., anyway.)

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank BayAreaLoveLetters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monument, CO
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2005

We were around the San Fran area to celebrate our anniversary and stayed one night at the Pelican Inn at Muir Beach. It is such a quaint, English style B & B in the middle of no where, yet within walking distance of the beach. The rooms were small but very cute with drapes around the bed. Waking up with our balcony doors open over looking the mountains and fog lifting was simply gorgeous! Having dinner right below us in the pub in the evening and breakfast on the patio was very memorable as well! It seemed very authentic in appearance, food, etc... Definitely would recommend the Pelican Inn! Reasonable rates too!

5 Thank Monument101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 9, 2005

My husband and I stayed at the Pelican Inn for our first wedding anniversary and loved it! We live in San Francisco, but felt like we were a million miles away. The Inn is very cozy, clean and charming, with a great bar with darts and live music, and for hotel guests only there is an adjoining room to the bar called the "snug room". We hung out in the snug room all evening - there's a fireplace stocked with wood for you to light if you'd like, a drawer full of games (we played Texas Hold'em and Checkers) and a tuned piano. Our room (#1) was so cozy and quiet and the bed was amazingly comfortable. We had the English breakfast delivered to our room in the morning before going on a 10-min. walk to Muir Beach. We had such a great stay here, we would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing and romantic get-away.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 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 The Pelican Inn

Property: The Pelican Inn
Address: 10 Pacific Way, Muir Beach, CA 94965-9729
Location: United States > California > Marin County > Muir Beach
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Muir Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Pelican Hotel Muir Beach

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