California: Mendocino Hotel Recommendation

Glendeven Inn, Little River, California

Glendeven Inn, Little River, California

My dear friend, Jenny Kern, visited the Glendeven Inn in December and raved about her stay.  Here she describes in her own words what dazzled her about this small historic hotel on the Mendocino Coast:

The Glendeven Inn is a historic property on the Mendocino Coast that creates an atmosphere with a certain magic.  When we pulled into the inn, a herd of six llamas all turned to greet us from their pasture. The inn attends to the details — when you arrive you notice a parking space reserved for you, greeting you by name.

Our room contained beautiful historic furniture, while maintaining a luxury feel.  We stayed in the Bayview Suite, which looks out on the ocean over the llama pasture. It was a splurge, but when we read that Bill and Hillary Clinton stayed there, we sprung for it and were happy we did.

Each room has a fireplace and is stocked with firewood.  In the evening, we picnicked in our room by the fire, enjoying a bottle of wine and delicious sausage we bought downstairs. Upon request, the innkeepers provide a picnic basket with utensils, napkins and wine glasses.  In the morning, a breakfast spread is brought on a tray to your room, with eggs sourced from their own chickens. This is a real perk for me, as the one drawback of B&Bs is the need to dress and socialize over breakfast.

The inn provides many other great touches — a bag of chicken feed is left in each room so you can enjoy feeding their beautiful chickens. You can also observe the friendly bees buzzing about their beehives.  There is an endless supply of free cookies downstairs and a complementary wine hour, pouring a local wine and serving an appetizer each day from 5:30pm – 6:30pm.

There are a number of hikes you can take without needing to get into your car. We walked for about five miles along the beach and bluffs near the property.

The owners John & Mike are attentive and friendly – and spent a great deal of time chatting with us as they guided us through a flight of Mendocino wines. Part of the charm of the place, as with all great B&Bs, is feeling you are a part of the innkeeper’s vision by staying there.  We overhead a couple was checking in for their fourth stay there, which is now a tradition. We will be sure to be back, and start a tradition of our own!

Little River, California

On hotels

There is a certain category of hotels that thrills me.  These hotels are not luxurious in a conventional sense.  Nor are they easy to find.  But the challenge of identifying them and the reward of staying in one is enormously satisfying.

The hotels to which I’m referring are small and unique and offer maximum comfort in a way that responds to the natural environment in which they are situated.  Ocean breezes and ceiling fans replace air conditioning.  Local foods are served in lieu of continental style buffets. The scenery is stunning, the service impeccable and you as a guest are made to feel so at ease that you could happily melt into your surroundings and never leave.  These are hotels where the experience in itself is a destination.

One of the goals of this blog is to introduce you to such rare and wondrous hotels, especially those that are reasonably priced.  Here is one of my favorites, located on Point Reyes National Seashore, about 45 minutes outside of San Francisco:

Osprey Peak Bed & Breakfast, Inverness, California

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The Osprey Peak Bed & Breakfast is a tiny inn with only two guest rooms hidden deep in the wooded hills that surround the coastal town of Inverness, California in Point Reyes National Seashore.  Do not let the term “bed and breakfast” deter you.  You need not fear faded floral wallpaper, musty bed sheets or outdated bathrooms at this bed and breakfast.

From the first moment you enter Osprey Peak, your senses will be overcome by the serenity and beauty that surrounds you.  The dominant aesthetic is Japanese.  The exterior is meant to evoke a Japanese style farmhouse with its distinctive sloping roof, while sliding doors and “ikebana” flower arrangements grace the interior.  Every room, from the two guest rooms to the common breakfast area with an adjoining deck, is immaculate and harmonizes seamlessly with the views of the forest and mountains beyond.

The service is also impeccable.  The innkeepers, David Herbst and Nancy Beck, anticipate every need of their guests, leaving a jug of water, Japanese robes and good reading lamps in each room, and preparing a personalized breakfast that is the pinnacle of the Osprey Peak experience.  David and Nancy ask guests to make their own breakfast selection from an elaborate menu that includes fresh ingredients from the farms, bakers, cheese makers and other artisan producers of the Point Reyes area.  A typical breakfast could include a morning bun from the enormously popular Bovine Bakery in Point Reyes Station, yogurt from Strauss Family Creamery in Petaluma, fresh brie from Marin French Cheese Company and various fruits from local farms.

Finally, Osprey Peak offers an excellent value.  Rooms are priced at $195 every night except for Saturday (when the price goes up to $225) and there is never a two-night minimum.  This is one bed and breakfast where I will happily stay anytime.

Virginia studying Osprey Peak's extensive breakfast menu

Virginia studying Osprey Peak’s extensive breakfast menu