It was a little embarrassing to admit that although I’ve traveled to about 70 countries and live in San Francisco, I’ve never visited Mendocino. I think it was the thought of driving three hours of nauseous winding roads that had turned me off. But when my best friend called to say she was coming to visit and desperately needed to get out of the city for a few days to chill, I decided to put on those little seasick wrist bands and bravely head out.
No worries — it’s an absolutely beautiful drive and really only about 30 minutes of it was curvy and I was so busy oohing and ahhing over the redwoods that I barely noticed. (Or maybe it was the not so periodic winery stops to sampling the lush Mendocino wines.)
Stanford Inn by the Sea
If you’re looking for a healthy choice for a romantic weekend getaway, Joan and Jeff Stanford have created the ultimate escape, a mini “Shangri-La” so peaceful and comforting that you’ll never want to leave.
The first-class Inn boasts the Ravens’ Restaurant featuring organic fare, both vegetariann and vegan, an on-location garden, composting, and is extremely pet friendly! Fido can have his own bed in your room, dine on homemade vegan meals — the treat of the day was yummy-looking sweet potato doggy biscuits, and will surely make a lot of new friends.
The spa was heavenly! A “Massage in the Forest” is just that — located right in the redwoods with private rooms that look out into deep lush forest. The pool and Jacuzzi are in a huge green house making taking a dip warm and cozy year round. Don’t forget to check out the animals — mostly rescued creatures — the inn and its ten acres are home to many dogs and cats, a black swan, a Toulouse goose, many ducks, two quarter horses and pinto, and ten llamas. What? No partridge in a pear tree?
The lobby was our favorite — warm, inviting with comforting aromas and classical music, crackling fireplaces, and killer views of the ocean from every angle. It was surrounded by the rambling gift store that was stocked with a creative assortment of feel-good items, books, candles, massage creams. Their (complimentary) afternoon tea consisted of: roasted veggies, hummus, maki roll, spicy nuts; 100% vegetarian and 200% delicious!
The cozy wood guest rooms get my vote for the “best place to go to recover from a broken heart.” Every room has feather beds, (the ultimate cocoon, because you sleep on top of one feather bed and then have another on top of you and no less than six plump pillows to protect you from the outside world) and wood-burning fireplaces.
Complimentary for overnight guest is a HUGE breakfast menu which reads:
“Good Morning! Our ingredients are 99% organic (the exceptions are noted+) and much of our braising greens and vegetables are from our own Big River Nurseries. Organic ingredients are expensive and to assure the highest quality, we cook breakfasts to order.”
I selected the “The Ravens Portabella”: Poached eggs or tofu a top marinated portabella mushrooms and house-made English muffins or toast with our Hollandaise or Lemon Tahini Sauce. Served with grilled red potatoes, and was happily stuffed until dinner.
Be sure and check out the Website for interesting specials. I can’t wait to bring my boyfriend here for this one:
FALL IN LOVE WITH LIFE … AGAIN
A romance package for two
Come to the enchanting Stanford Inn and the Ravens for two or three nights. Stay in an ocean view room with a wood burning fireplace and king-size bed. Experience canoeing or kayaking on an unspoiled estuary, bike through forests, have a massage at Massage in the Forest, find the Big Dipper and enjoy gourmet organic cuisine for breakfast and dinner and much more!
STANFORD INN BY THE SEA
Jeff & Joan Stanford, Innkeepers
A: Coast Highway and Comptche Ukiah Road; Post Office Box 487 , Mendocino, CA 95460.
T: 800.331.8884 or 707.937.5615.
By Vagablond’s Token Redhead.