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“NOT Romantic or Relaxing”
Review of Sea Ranch Lodge

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Sea Ranch Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in The Sea Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 4, 2008

My boyfriend and I are in our early thirties. We wanted to get away, relax, and take in nature. I didn't expect the Lodge to be a super luxurious property, but I did expect it to be relaxing. We made the most of it, but I don't want anyone else to make the mistake we did. Here are the problems: The walls are extremely thin, so think you feel like you are staying in a youth hostel. You can hear everything! Also, there are a ton of kids that stay here, which means they are up early and very active. If you plan on sleeping in or resting, forget it. If it wasn't the 3 women staying next door talking at the top of their lungs at 6 am, it was kids and dogs running on the wood panel walk downstairs. It is incredibly noisy. When I complained to the front desk, they offered no solution whatsoever. The food at the Lodge is okay, not really "seasonal and local" as they say, but it is definitely the BEST around. There is nowhere else to go, so plan on eating every meal (if you care about food) at the Lodge. The view and service is nice. We loved walking around the property and being close to nature. The water and animals are great, but that is it. Rent a house and make your own meals or go to the Sea Ranch bakery.. their sandwiches are great.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Sarahsanfran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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738 - 744 of 777 reviews

Reviewed June 8, 2008

I want to start off by saying Sea Ranch is an amazing place and definitely worth the visit. My husband and I had a wonderful time. However, I was slightly disappointed in the accommodations at Sea Ranch for the money. My husband and I are not picky. We have ridden across the country on a motorcycle and have stayed in every type of hotel from 5 star all inclusive resorts to road side motels in the middle of no where.

We stayed in the deluxe ocean view room for 295.00 a night.
The bed was really uncomfortable. I've slept on sofa beds that were more comfortable. We could actually feel the springs.
The walls were very thin you could actually hear voices through the walls and unfortunately we had a 2 year old above us that awoke and ran across the room at 7:00 AM.
We wanted to enjoy the nice ocean breeze but opening the windows resulted in the circa 1969 window rattling so loudly you couldn't enjoy it.
The towels actually had stains on them and were so thin. I think the towels at Motel 8 are higher quality.
The maid service was horrible. We had a cheese plate and champagne brought to the room the night we arrived. The next morning we put everything in one place (glasses, plates, bottle, etc..) and when we came back from our long walk, the bed was made but they had left all the nasty dishes where we left them and they didn't refill the water bottle or give us fresh glasses.

If I were paying even half of the base rate, I would have been writing a much different review because there were some positives: The views are amazing, you get a nice complimentary breakfast included in the price of the room and they allow dogs. In fact, the dog bed they provided was more comfortable than our bed. And, the restaurant was good with amazing sunset views.

But, the bottom line is: You should get what you pay for and we didn't walk away from Sea Ranch feeling like it was worth the money. I would recommend looking at other options either in Fort Ross or Gualala. You could probably get similar accommodations for half the price or better accommodations for the same price.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank jules2jewels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2008

My husband and I stayed here for one night, and we absolutely loved it!

The lodge has a limited number of rooms, so it has a more intimate feel, and while we were there we only saw maybe 20 other guests total, and only a few at a time, so that added to the secluded feel. We were impressed with the rooms and personable service, yet nothing was overdone or stuffy.

We had booked the cheapest room, but we were upgraded upon arrival (probably in the high season this would not happen), and the room we were given had a window seat and sitting area with a lovely view! From our large window, we could see the grounds including an old barn, and the ocean in the near distance - close enough to see the huge waves (and hear them when we opened the window).

The room was larger than most hotel rooms I've stayed in, and tastefully decorated, very low-key and understated. See my pictures! The queen bed was honestly one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in - I loved the bedding so much that I searched for tags so I could duplicate it in my own home!

The bathroom was a tad small in that the door almost touched the toilet when opened, but once the door was closed there was certainly enough room to move around. It had a dark countertop and once again the low-key decorations were very nice and added to the relaxing atmosphere - no pink tile or any shocking patterns! My husband also had trouble with the shower, because the head was at his chin level (he's 6 feet, so not huge), but it was fine for my 5'6 height. The water pressure and heat was fine, but the shower head "mists" instead of pouring or pounding - another thing that my husband didn't like, but I thought it was relaxing.

The room had several nooks and closets, along with a dresser, to store luggage and clothes. There was even a full length mirror, which I thought was a really nice touch. Another added bonus were the bottles of water and dainty cookies awaiting us when we arrived!

The restaurant at this lodge deserves it's own review! The food was very good. We ate dinner there and were impressed (the goat cheese salad and the shrimp with capers are delicious! Not to mention the made-from-scratch creme brulee!) A little more than what we usually spend, but less than I expected (about $25/entree, $9 for dessert, and SO worth it!). And the breakfast, which is COMPLIMENTARY!, was the best complimentary breakfast I have ever had. It consisted of a little fruit sampler plate drizzled with honey, a hot coconut bread in a ramekin, and choice of breakfast burrito, oatmeal, or pancakes. We chose the pancakes and were served three large, incredibly fluffy pancakes with strawberry sauce and real whipped cream, with a thick side of bacon. It was so good, and I'm sure had many calories, but I chose not to think about it so I could fully enjoy the experience. :)

Overall, we LOVED our experience and would go back in a second if it wasn't a 5 hr drive from our current location. We would definitely recommed this hotel to anyone and everyone!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank princessbride029
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2007

I love, love this place. So relaxing and beautiful and with the best food. We were there in late March, when the wildflowers the area is known for were beginning to bloom. The cliff trails over the ocean are stunning!

I knew from the lodge Web site that the lodge had a seventies/eco/grandma's house style, but when we arrived and I saw the room, I didn't think I liked it at first. I didn't "get" it. After a few hours, I got used to the different look and I loved it. Rooms are huge and have big windows overlooking the ocean. Really reasonable prices for an oceanview, especially if you stay midweek. The bathrooms are fine (showerhead is short). Everything was clean and they constantly replenished our bottled water supply. People there (guests and staff) were friendly.

The road getting there (if you're coming from the south) is twisty. You might want to drive up during the daytime.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 1cc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2007

I stayed once at the Sea Ranch Lodge (SRL) many years ago and was looking forward to my recent return - unfortunately it did not at all live up to my expectations.

Last May I made reservations for both a hotel room and for dinner on August 30th (four months in advance).

Upon arrival - registration was smooth but I did get quite a surprise. I made the dinner reservations for 6:30pm and asked for a window seat if possible. When we checked in, I was told that my dinner reservations had been changed to 7:15pm (totally without my approval and even a prior notification) so that we could be guaranteed a window seat. Needless to say, I was a bit taken-back by this action - but was pleased to get the anticipated window seat.

Arriving at the room, we found it to be extremely hot. We did know ahead of time that there wasn't any A/C in the hotel. I tried to call the front desk to see if we could get a fan in the room to try and cool it down. I called and called and there was no answer to be found at the front desk for nearly 90 minutes. Per their voice mail, I did leave a message for the front desk to return my call. They never did prior to me finally getting a hold of them. When I did finally get someone, they told me - "sorry, it was an unusually hot day that day and that the room would cool off in the evening and that they didn't have any fans on the grounds to let us use." Needless to say, I wasn't happy. Granted the room did cool off about 10pm ---- but the heat made the room uninhabitable until then. We had to leave an unsecured window and the room door open to get any kind of temperature relief in the room.

When arriving at the restaurant - the hostess walked us to our table - and to our utter surprise - it was against the back wall of the room. We said that our reservation was moved by the front desk 45 minutes later than we wanted so that we could have a table by the window. They looked at us, like we were crazy and knew nothing about this. Needless to say, we were not moved to a different table (they were filled) and we were not happy yet again.

Dinner was very unexceptional and was in a tappas (small plate) style for the evening. I very much understand this type of dining - but I'm sorry - $1.50 for one plain roll and one pat of butter is outrageous!

When checking out, the front desk staff did ask how our stay was and I told them 'very disappointing' and told them of the numerous errors in their customer service. I also told them that I was going to write a less than satisfactory review on this site. They did not try and fix any errors or offer any kind of compensation - and all they said was 'thanks for the information.'

This resort is physically 'tired' and very lacking in all aspects of customer service. It did not live up to any of my expecatations.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank ChgoSailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2007

Everything at The Sea Ranch Lodge is almost perfect!

While I was prepared for spotty/no cell service and no TV, my husband was not. However, we both agree that we couldn't imagine the Sea Ranch with these. There is internet service, but why take away from the quiet and peace you have while visiting. It is like taking a step back into a time very few remember or know. There is no A/C, but we did have a room with a fireplace, not used as this was summer time. I also must comment that we had no need to use the A/C at all and this was in July! The daytime highs were 68-73 and I believe pretty average for this time of year. Sleeping with the window open and only hearing the ocean was beautiful, even for afternoon naps! In fact one night my husband wanted to close the window because of the cool breeze. The only complaint about heat was when we first entered the room, and I must admit at that point my husband was not happy at all. We had two huge windows, one west and one east, both opened to the sun and the room was hot and stuffy when we entered. It took a while after opening the ocean window before the room cooled. We both agree that a ceiling fan, or even just closing the blinds over the east window would have made a huge improvement and major difference upon the first impression when entering the room.

While the bed and pillows were very comfortable (and a beautiful view out over the coast), the quilt was tired looking. The bathroom was clean and had a large counter, but the shower had a hand held sprayer that would not tighten to a position above your head. The towels were surprisingly soft. We had delicious coffee in the restaurant, but the coffee brand in the room was horrible and bitter tasting. In front of the huge window overlooking the coast was a comfortable leather chair with pull out foot rest, you could sit for hours captivated by the view or reading a good book. I do not understand why there was only one! Also, the window needed to be cleaned, and perhaps with the moisture from the ocean this is impractical.

The fruit left each morning by the staff was delicious and perfect for a snack, and I believe we also received the San Francisco newspaper (cant remember, and we are not from the area). Speaking of the staff, everyone we had contact with was very nice. Always helpful and thorough.

We chose not to eat every meal at Sea Ranch and traveled north to the small town of Gualala, and were not disappointed. While not as fancy, the other restaurants each had their own unique charm and menus. We were pleasantly pleased, and thoroughly enjoyed the trips (10 mins) more ocean to see!

We stayed over a long weekend for us, and must comment that we hardly saw other people. The parking lot was full, and there were always others when we dined, but at the same time it was like you were the only people there. I heard children laughing outside, but never saw them. Part of the charm I guess.

Perhaps my complaints seem picky, but at $300 a night, this could be perfect with a few extra touches. The only reason I am rating above average is because of the view from our bed.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank emsmom89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2007

I've been to the Sea Ranch Lodge many times, and it's an absolute gem of a place. True, there are some amenities that are lacking, but that's really not the point of being at Sea Ranch. It's about the location - which is mind-blowing - and the warm, rustic environment that is delightful and unharried. For travelers who are expecting the Ritz Carlton, it's important to remember that the location of Sea Ranch is very remote and relatively unpopulated...you simply aren't going to have all of the usual perks. What you do get is is astonishing natural beauty, great food (and wine!) in the restaurant (not common on the north coast), privacy, and one of the most impressive stretches of coastline in the country. I sort of hope the folks who are overly concerned with amenities DON'T make the journey to Sea Ranch and spoil it for the rest of us. Indeed, the room rates are not cheap, but running a full scale hotel in a remote area of northern California is not inexpensive. There are so few places like Sea Ranch...I'm just grateful that it exists for those of us who appreciate it.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled as a couple
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Thank earlygirl35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sea Ranch Lodge

Address: 60 Sea Walk Dr, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > The Sea Ranch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in The Sea Ranch
Price Range: $214 - $361 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sea Ranch Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ENJOY NATURAL SERENITY, UNSURPASSED. A small, secluded property on Northern California’s rugged Sonoma Coast, Sea Ranch Lodge is a serene destination that embraces the beauty and bounty of nature in myriad expressions. A getaway here features nature untamed – ocean vistas, pristine bluffs, dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife – with miles of hiking trails to enjoy it just steps from your door. This sublime natural setting melds with man’s mindful efforts to live lightly on the land. We respect an ethos of sustainability in lodging, dining, activities, service and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sea Ranch Hotel The Sea Ranch
Sea Hotel The Ranch

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