CHOOSING A RETREAT
Mendocino County is home to a number of boutique inns, B&B’s and small hotels which take hours to wade through when choosing accommodation online. Although I spend an obscene amount of time researching where my head will lie at night, I inevitably discover places I didn’t come across online, while visiting in person. The following list of properties was culled from my online research paired with visual confirmation of each place.
A note about my search criteria: I am somewhat value oriented (different than cheap) when picking a property. I don’t want to overpay for a pedestrian room (who does?) I generally look for lodging that is between $150 and $225 (if that is the average range for the region) that offers modern renovations with a unique perspective: A renovated farmhouse or a Victorian home with updated furnishings and lavish breakfast.
I also don’t like cookie cutter or corporate (usually synonymous) hotels, so I rarely stay at chain properties unless we are traveling on points in a horribly expensive area. I also love the concept of B&B’s, but don’t want to sleep in Aunt Sarah’s bedroom. The goal is to find the perfect blend of contemporary and charming; unique and “reasonably” priced.
This inn beat all the others, having met all the criteria listed above. We paid $215 w/tax for a lower-priced room (not the cheapest), in November. The property is modern, renovated and charming. The owners converted a barn into a wine bar that features regional wines, as well as host a farm-to-table dinner three nights a week. When the innkeepers care about wine and food, it is generally reasonable to assume they care about the rest of the property.
We partook in the evening dinner which was fantastic and absolutely worth the price at $65/person (coming from an NYC dining perspective). There were several courses which included use of the region’s famous candy-cap mushrooms plus wine pairings. Dinner begins at 6 pm and only accommodates 12 guests, creating a very intimate but jovial atmosphere. The owner John, after learning I was interested in wine, pulled out several more bottles from his personal collection.
We loved our high floor Garret Room with view of the ocean and llamas in the backyard. The breakfast was lovely and served at the breakfast nook by our window. Hot, freshly baked scones and cream were served alongside fresh squeezed juice, baked pears and a savory egg dish.
We did not stay at any of these properties; they merely looked promising online and in-person.
Albion River Inn– This was my second choice based on the price for a cliff-side cottage with gorgeous ocean views.
Boonville Hotel– This property is located in the Anderson Valley in Boonville. A good option if you want to stay closer to the wineries, albeit not necessary.