An Incomplete List of the Many Inns, Hotels, and Hideaways You Can Visit for Rest and Repast
by Torrey Douglass
When it comes down to it, the quality of an excursion away is usually captured in how well you slept and how well you ate. When those two aspects are wonderful, you recall the journey with a satiated glow of happiness. “Remember that café? Remember those down comforters? Oh, what I wouldn’t give for another of those beignets …” But when comfy beds and tasty meals don’t materialize, you’re left with little more than chilling horror stories to share with friends. No matter how beautiful the view or delightful the company, if you’re sleep-deprived with a disappointed belly, the trip won’t be remembered fondly.
Fortunately, Mendocino County is brimming with farms, hotels, and inns that will both house and feed you in style. This collection is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a great starting point if you are looking for a place where good eating comes with your stay.
The Apple Farm
It’s appropriate to start the list off with the most novel food/bed combination in the county. At The Apple Farm, you not only eat meals inspired by the seasonal options gleaned from the garden and orchard, you help prepare them. These “Stay & Cook” weekends are designed for eight food-obsessed guests. Arrive Friday afternoon or evening, then spend the next two days making Saturday lunch and dinner followed by brunch on Sunday. The itinerary includes a farm tour and down time to relax by the river, in between picking up pro tips in the kitchen and gathering together to eat scrumptious meals with local wines and seven of your favorite people.
Glendeven Inn & Lodge
Beautifully situated near the tiny hamlet of Little River and surrounded on three sides by state parks, Glendeven Inn & Lodge combines comfort, quirkiness, and charm in equal measure. Their 21-and-over-only policy allows the lobby to double as a wine bar, and an evening wine hour is included in your stay. The abundant garden and 100+ chickens on site contribute to the fresh, hot breakfast that arrives at your door promptly at 9am, so you can enjoy it in the privacy of your room. Fanciful sculpture tucked around the property, as well as the opportunity to help with the nightly llama feedings, add a bit of whimsy.
The Boonville Hotel
You know that urge you get to simplify everything down to just the beautiful essentials and then sit back and savor without fluff or fuss? For over 30 years the Boonville Hotel has been doing just that, serving up impeccably prepared meals showcasing local ingredients at the peak of freshness. The extensive garden out back was contributing to the menu long before it was trendy to do so. Stay for dinner or just drop by for a drink and bar plate. If the weather is agreeable, it’s a delight to eat on the outside deck or patio—particularly on Sunday afternoons in the warm months, when paella prepared over an open fire brings in the crowds (call for reservations).
Brewery Gulch Inn
At every turn, Brewery Gulch Inn gets it. Tired from your drive and not up for turning around and heading out to eat? There’s a light dinner buffet made with local and organic ingredients and just bursting with fusion flavors—perfect for satisfying a body and soul weary from the road. There’s also a delightful selection of local wines. (Since your room is right upstairs, go ahead and have a second glass.) Craving some “Millionaire’s Bacon” or Bananas Foster French Toast after a morning walk on the beach? Sit down and let the friendly staff bring it right to your table. From the hundreds of DVDs available to the multitude of concierge services on offer, Brewery Gulch Inn goes the distance to make your stay both comfortable and delicious.
The Headlands Inn
The Headlands Inn takes its designation as a bed and breakfast seriously. Beautiful ocean views—check. Elegant English gardens—check. Delectable breakfast served on antique china and delivered to your room—happily checked. Not only will the thoughtful staff make sure you are never served the same breakfast twice during your stay, they will make sure your china pattern is different each day as well—a feast for both eyes and body.
If you want to go farther afield, someplace where there’s little else besides you and the rugged Northern California coastline, you can’t do better than the Westport Hotel. Six charming rooms sit above the Old Abalone Pub serving comfort food, pub classics, and California Coastal Cuisine. If you’re there on a Saturday, don’t miss the afternoon tea (reservations required) so you can feel oh-so-civilized while you drink in those ocean views.