Mendocino Eco Lodge: Stanford Inn by the Sea

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Stanford Inn Eco Resort photo © Nancy D. Brown

Located on a bluff overlooking Big River Bay, Stanford Inn by the Sea is an oasis tucked among the redwoods on the wild and scenic Northern California coast. The Mendocino Eco-Resort has been owned by Innkeepers Jeff and Joan Stanford who moved to this small coastal community in 1980. Open year-round the inn is a place surrounded in natural beauty; some might say this place radiates healing energy. The AAA four diamond rating adds to the sparkle of this unique inn.

My husband and I have enjoyed the Mendocino coast over a span of many years. We’ve watched whales migrate down to Baja California Sur to give birth to their babies in Magdalena Bay. We’ve attended the Winesong Charity Auction in the gorgeous Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. I’ve ridden horses along Ten Mile Beach in MacKerricher State Park and we’ve witnessed close friends exchange wedding vows by the edge of the Pacific Ocean. So many residents of this storybook village share their talents in the arts, food, wine and hospitality industry. We always look forward to good food and recharging our souls when we visit this area.

stanford inn, eco resort, mendocino, california, unique inns
Fall in love with life again in front of the fireplace. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

On this particular adventure, we came to Stanford Inn after a robust winter storm had passed through the area. Winter is a perfect time to relax by the fire after a massage in the forest or a soak in the tub. In addition to canoeing and yoga, there are plenty of options to expand your horizons through Living Well services such as cooking classes, nature walks through Mendocino’s trails and backroads or simply slowing down to watch the many birds in the area.

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Big River Executive King Room. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Our room, Big River Executive King, was located on the top floor of the Big River Building and rented for $340 per night. The large room had a wood burning fireplace and looked out to the organic gardens and the Mendocino Bay. The pet-friendly room was covered in Ponderosa pine with redwood accents. Our room had a mini fridge, microwave and coffee maker stocked with Big River fair trade, organic coffee. The pet fee (at the time of our stay) was $45 for the first pet, additional pets are $22.50. The fee includes an all-organic sweet potato-based treat for your pet, bowls for food and water, waste bags & covers for furniture and beds. I guarantee that this is one of the most dog-friendly inns you will ever experience!

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Ravens Restaurant breakfast burrito photo © Nancy D. Brown

Ravens Restaurant organic dining

The term “eat your rainbow” takes on special meaning at Ravens Restaurant with its beautiful plates decorated with healthy, vibrant food. Chef Instructor Sadhana Berkow oversees cooking classes, while Kitchen Manager Ubaldo Meraz works closely with Jeff and Joan Stanford, as well as Nutritionist Sid Garza-Hillman. In true cooperative spirit, many hands at Stanford Inn contribute to the local and organic dining experience, from the 19 year old prep cook creating a califlower ceviche to the tasty mint chocolate ganache tart. I devoured the Ravens Banana Split (with a little help from my husband); don’t judge, after all it was my birthday weekend!

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The indoor pool features a hot tub & sauna. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Need to know:

Rates start at $257.40 to $555. per night. The eco-resort is within walking distance of downtown Mendocino. Breakfast is included in the room rate from The Raven’s menu. DirecTV and complimentary WiFi are also included, as are the daily use of bicycles. Afternoons at the Inn take place daily from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. and include tea or coffee and a sweet treat. Happy Hour (1/2 off cocktails and beer) starts at 3:30 p.m. Sunday thru Thursday and lasts until 6:30 p.m.

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Don’t miss happy hour at the inn. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If you happen to drive an electric car, guests may charge their plug in vehicles at no cost. Yet another example of the Stanford’s commitment to sustainability and mindfulness toward the environment – no pesticides or herbicides used here.

Stanford Inn by the Sea is a member of Unique Inns

Insider tip:

Mendocino is an ideal location for a romantic escape. Try the “Falling in Love with Life Again” package (including an ocean view room with king-size bed and wood burning fireplace, canoe or kayak on Big River, use of mountain bikes, yoga classes, massage in the forest or facial, three course dinner at Ravens’ Restaurant, daily organic breakfast & afternoon dessert tastings) or a Vegan Retreat – offered several times a year. If you want to bring a little piece of the Stanford Inn home with you, pick up a signed copy of Dining at the Ravens or Joan’s book “The Art of Play.” For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and Stanford Inn Eco-Resort on Instagram.

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Watch the moon rise over the inn. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If You Go:

Stanford Inn by the Sea (707) 937-5615

44850 Comptche Ukiah Road

Mendocino, California 95460

Stanford Inn bed and breakfast review, all photography and YouTube video by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Stanford Inn by the Sea for first-hand review purposes, however all opinions are my own.

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