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“Absolutely Beautiful,Serene,Relaxing,Romantic!”
Review of Howard Creek Ranch

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Howard Creek Ranch
Ranked #2 of 3 Westport B&B and Inns
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
1 review
“Absolutely Beautiful,Serene,Relaxing,Romantic!”
Reviewed June 18, 2011

We loved the beautiful gardens, deserted,private Beach, the solitude, the wonderful breakfast, and the beautiful room and private balcony. If you stop and listen-all you can hear is the cheerful sounds of the birds, the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks, and the silence is so relaxing and unusual. We cant wait to go back, and will definetely stay there again! The hosts, Sally and Sonny, were sweet.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CyndB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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171 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 (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2011

We stayed at HCR for four nights June 5th to 9th and stayed in the Blue Balcony Room which is in the converted Barn. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!! The Ranch is an ongoing creation that provides not just a wonderful room to stay but a whole experience that is really not to be missed. Sure its rustic, but you can stop in any number of bed and breakfasts that are pretty and spotless but have no soul. HCR is unique, hard to describe sufficiently to capture what it gives you. Warmth and hospitality is in abundance. You experience HCR, not merely sleep there and come away feeling as if you have been part of something really special. We will definately return and look forward to seeing Sally and Sunny again. There are some, we feel, completely unjust reviews - seeing is believing. Check it out for yourself its awesome. Oh and by the way the breakfast is amazing.

Room Tip: need transport
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank missyc96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2011

After reading many mixed reviews, I decided to give the Ranch a try. I should have spent my money elsewhere. The property is painfully neglected and literally falling apart. The suite we stayed in was covered in cobwebs, and the walls were stained from water damage. In the main house where breakfast is served, there is a moose head whose skin is so old that it is decaying on its nose. My wife was so disgusted by it that she had to sit pointing away from it every meal. Finally, there is a "private soaking tub" in the room we stayed in. In reality, it is a hot tub that is broken on the back porch with no privacy. Indeed, other guests walk right by it on the way to the beach. Do yourself a favor--go somewhere else.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank calokie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alcuin, Owner at Howard Creek Ranch, responded to this review, June 17, 2011
I'm sorry that you were disappointed. Evidently our paradise is not for everyone. After seeing your review, I went into the suite with a ladder and flashlight because I could not see any cobwebs inside the room at all. We try to eliminate all bugs from the room before you arrive and succeed pretty well, but I am not going to spray pesticides all over the place. We are organic and this is the country. Bugs exist, although I agree that they should not be in your room nor in mine. We are not neglecting this place nor is it falling apart. You should have seen it when we bought it. We are spending our life working here. We should paint every year, and I wish we could. The ocean storms rip the paint right from the buildings. Your suite used to be a dirt floored horse stable.
Our moose is what he is. He has been on the living room wall for a long time. Yes, his nose has seen better days, but he has not decayed further since we acquired him thirty years ago. No, we did not shoot him, and since he gave his life to be a wall hanging, I am not going to remove him.
We have almost unlimited hot water for the tub and it feels good to sit in it. Privacy is all relative. The screens are all lattice work . It would be extremely rude and also quite difficult for someone to come up and put their face right next to you on the deck and peek through. I suppose that it is possible but it has not happened. The path to the beach is a long ways away.
We try our best to keep our 60 acres of paradise in as good shape as we can. We are not perfect and the ranch is not perfect, either.
If you have read other responses from me, you might see Alcuin as my name. I did not realize how the system worked in the beginning and thought that I had to pick a "nickname" so I picked the name of an English scholar who taught Charlemagne in 800 A.D. I am changing it. With kindest regards, Sally
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copperopolis, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2011

First of all, if you're looking for a spotless, new hotel, type of accommodation, you might not want to stay here. But, if you have ever stayed at a family member or friend's house, then you might be comfortable here, as we were. We stayed two nights on Memorial Day Weekend. We had viewed a lot of websites for accommodations along the coast from Mendocino, Fort Bragg, etc. and we are glad we chose HCR. This property has a lot of character. It's not a cookie cutter motel or hotel. You feel as though you're staying with friends.

Sure, in certain areas, the place looks to be "under construction." But, it didn't take away from our enjoyment. We stayed with our 16-year old son in the Willow suite. It was perfect! We had our room and our son had his. It had a small kitchen in our son's room with a small table, refrig, microwave and sink. It also had a shower in the corner, which may bother some since it's in the same room as our son's bed and the kitchen. However, it didn't cause us any problems.

The room was clean and we didn't see any bugs (no flys, spiders, etc.) This was surprising since I saw some pincher bugs under the cushions on the chairs outside the room. But, no critters at all in the room, which my wife appreciated.

The room was tastefully decorated. In fact, the entire property is loaded with beautiful lamps and other antiques. The lounge above our room had plenty of areas to curl up with a book, play a game of chess, or just sit and talk with the other guests. My only comment would be that the spa was in need of cleaning. I thought about jumping in one morning, but it appear to have dust balls in the water. I used the skimmer to remove as much as I could, but I still felt the water didn't look appealing to me, so I skipped jumping in. I would also suggest buying a new spa, since this one seem rather old and basic. It would be nice to have a bigger one with more jets and hydrotherapy options. That would have definitely added to our enjoyment.

Now, as for the breakfast, it was crowded since it was a holiday weekend, so we were the last to get breakfast our first morning. This didn't seem to be a problem, but I did notice the sausage and eggs were a bit cold. The cooked bananas and French toast made up for this. And, we were the last and only ones still eating so they seem to pay a lot of attention to us.

The next morning I went early and ran into Sonny (the owner) and asked to be sitted earlier. He was very accommodating and said "no problem" just come early. I then joined him for a nice hot mug of coffee.

Bottom line is this....If you are a bit adventureous, enjoy interesting people, seclusion, relaxation, character, etc. Then, you must give Howard Creek Ranch a try. We will definitely stay there on our next visit to the area. Enjoy life and your adventure, wherever it takes you!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dvez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alcuin, Owner at Howard Creek Ranch, responded to this review, June 17, 2011
Thank you for your lovely response. We enjoyed meeting and talking with your family. If you do come again be assured that the hot tub should be 100% okay all the time and I apologize profusely if it was not. I check it constantly but it must have gotten away from me. If you come again or if someone else visits and there is something wrong with the water or you feel at all hesitant to go in the water, just let me know and we can change the water. It is of course clorinated, but we have plenty of great water, so it is usually not much effort. Thanks again, Sally
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
58 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2011

Howard Creek Ranch is a former ranch, former hippie commune, and now is an Inn. Each room is unique, comfortable, quiet, and has interesting windows, views, and furnishings. The hot tub is beneath two skylights. You are a short walk under route 1 to the large beach. You can walk both directions on the beach quite a ways, especially at low tide. Although close to route 1, it is quiet and you hear the ocean, not the road, and up this far north, route 1 is not well-travelled. The Pacific is gorgeous and there were a few seals swimming in it. There is a lovely walk right from the Inn into the redwoods. There are sheep that make themselves at home, not penned in. The host played amazing piano and guitar one evening. No shopping nearby, which is a good thing. No restaurants or stores nearby, so do bring whatever you want for lunch or dinner with you. Took a day trip to Laguna Point which was windy but wonderful. Highly recommend this Inn! I don't think there is a bad room there. Breakfast was great - several selections each morning - served promptly at 9 AM, no range of times. Would be nice if there were afternoon tea or wine but not their m.o. But go anyway!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JustQuietAndClean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concord, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 22, 2011

I found this place by accident 15 years ago and have made an annual trip ever since. The owner's, Sonny and Sally are two of the most gracious and caring people I have the honor of knowing. The moment you drive on the property, the serenity wraps you like a warm soft blanket and you know you have arrived at a very special place. You'll have to sacrifice paved parking lots, TV and constant noise, but you are gonna love it! Between the lush garden, the close proximity to the ocean and the sumptuous breakfasts, your soul will be restored in no time. Once you've been there, you'll be drawn back again and again. You must try it! - Jill P.

Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank HarmOny123_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2011

We should have loved Howard Creek Ranch. We really should have. But from the moment we walked in, there was a...smell. Not animal, not mothballs. Maybe a mix of potpourri and deep fry oil that went bad?

We ended up sleeping with the door open, and the heaters in the room weren't up to the task.

For $125+ a night, we expected better. Rustic is not smelly, nor does it require electrical connections that don' meet code.

Oh, and the only' sweeping ocean views' were across the road.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Golddavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alcuin, Owner at Howard Creek Ranch, responded to this review, May 20, 2011
I am so sorry that this has happened. It took me some time to figure out "what the smell was" but I think I have it now. Cauliflower. Yep, no kidding. I would have happily changed their room into another building if asked. We try to make everyone happy, but I have learned that this is impossible. We try our best to serve. That is all we can do.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howard Creek Ranch

Property: Howard Creek Ranch
Address: 40501 N Highway 1, PO. Box 121, Westport, CA 95488-8732
Location: United States > California > Mendocino County > Westport
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Westport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Registered Historic ocean front farm on 60 acres settled in 1867, bordered by miles of beach and mountains in a wilderness area. Award winning flower gardens, antiques, a 75 foot swinging foot bridge over Howard Creek, cabins, comfortable beds, hot tub, nearby horseback riding, full ranch breakfast. A work in progress. "One of the most romantic places to stay on the planet" S.F. Chronicle. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Howard Creek Ranch Hotel Westport

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