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“Expected much more for the price”
Review of Bodega Bay Lodge

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Bodega Bay Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Bodega Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Expected much more for the price”
Reviewed 9 June 2014

I will say up front that this is a very nice hotel in a beautiful, remote location. But when you charge luxury prices, you should deliver a luxury experience, and ours was far from it. So if the price were lower, my rating would be much higher.

We stayed at the Bodega Bay Lodge for our first night away from our baby. Since it was a special occasion, we splurged for an ocean club suite ($500+ for one night). From the moment we tried to check in, it felt like we had been relegated to low priority status. Maybe it was because so many of the other guests checking in were celebrating an anniversary, but again, we had paid a pretty penny for a suite, so I think our money was just as good. We arrived for check in at 3:30 pm, but apparently check in is at 4:00 pm and as I've read in other posts, it appears that not very many rooms - if any - are ready before 4:00 pm. A little strange, but we were happy to wander into "town" and come back in 30 minutes. Both times we checked in - at 3:30 and when we returned at 4:00 pm - we were treated as if we were bothering them. We asked about the possibility of late check out the next day and were told that late check out isn't available when they're sold out (we didn't know they were sold out until she said that), but sometimes they will allow guests to stay an additional half hour if we call the morning of to check on availability. An additional 30 minutes hardly seemed worth it, so we abandoned that idea.

The room (#703, Blue Heron) was nice, but again, not what we expected for the price. Our assessment was that the rooms were likely state of the art luxury about 10 years ago. And today, they really are nice, but for the price, we expected more. The bed was unbelievably soft and the comforter was really heavy/hot, resulting in poor sleep and one sore back. The walls were thin, so we heard a fair amount of the family next door. And it was the little things, like when we wanted to turn on the pre-programmed radio and all six pre-programmed radio stations came in as static because there was no antenna to be found.

We were starving when we arrived, and the Lodge is in a truly remote location so we asked about ordering room service, but none was available until the restaurant opened (at 6pm?). Slightly odd given the price tag for the hotel and the fact that nothing else is nearby. Oh, but the Lodge offers a wine and cheese reception each night, so we headed to that only to find mediocre wine, a slightly rude woman pouring the wine, and cheese cubes/slices from a local grocery store.

Our experience at the Duck Club Restaurant for dinner was another disappointment. The restaurant is romantic and friendly; it feels like a special occasion restaurant, especially with the pretty views and the ability to watch the sunset. But similar to our experience at check-in for the hotel, we were treated like the lowest priority. We were shuttled to the one table in the entire restaurant shoved in a corner without a view. One chair faced outward toward the windows, and the view, but the other chair faced a corner with not only no view, but also nothing on the walls to look at. My husband was looking at two walls all night. We began to feel like our guest record had been tagged for sub-par treatment. The food was truly underwhelming and overly salty. Nothing special, especially given the price.

But as I said, this is a nice hotel, just not for the price we paid. So the positives included the view from our room. We had a nice seating area outside with an unobstructed view; they give you binoculars in your room, which is a nice touch. We had a working fireplace, which we used. The room was spacious, with a separate seating area, and a very nice large bathroom and good toiletries. The pool and hot tub are great; we sat in the hot tub in the morning and watched the fog lift over the bay.

Overall, a disappointing experience for the price paid. This is a lovely hotel that needs to step it up a notch to justify its price.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank 415traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (329)
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English first
Forestville, California
Level Contributor
77 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 214 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

As a longtime resident of western Sonoma County, I hadn’t previously stayed overnight at the Bodega Bay Lodge, but have eaten at their restaurant (the Duck Club) many times and consider it ot be one of the best dining on or near the Sonoma coast. Last month I was very fortunate to receive a stay at the Lodge as a special birthday gift from good friends, so my husband and I finally had the opportunity to experience the Lodge as overnight guests.

We checked in midweek about 3:30 p.m. and the process was quick and easy. However, the person at the reception desk didn’t notice that our lodging package included a complimentary breakfast altho’ that was stated on the TravelZoo certificate I’d given her. I had to remind her to give us a breakfast voucher for the next morning. Other than that oversight, our interaction with the Lodge’s staff was very positive and everyone was friendly and outgoing.

The Lodge’s rustic, wood-shingled 2-story buildings with stone and tile accents blend nicely with the coastal environment. Well cared for plantings flow over the property and are quite attractive with lots of textures and subtle colors.

The lobby is an open area with a trestle-beamed ceiling and lots of windows. The area contains the reception desk, attractive displays of gift items and seating around a stone fireplace. We enjoyed looking at the pieces of art that were placed around the area. Altho’ spacious, it did get crowded during wine and cheese hour (5-6 p.m.) and we ended up standing since all the seats were taken. Just off the lobby there is an alcove that contains a guest computer and also a separate room that serves as a lounge with a coffee bar.

After checking in and moving our car closer to our room, we arrived at the same time that a bottle of sparkling wine was being delivered to our room--perfect timing! Our “Pacific Coast room” (#208) was located on the lower floor of the long, main building. There appeared to be ample spaces in the parking lot immediately in front of the building and parking is free. Rooms have exterior entrances. #208 was fairly spacious and the layout of the room enhanced the uncrowded feeling. Altho’ the ceiling was low, the light colored walls and sliding door to the private balcony helped to open up the space and prevented it from being too dark. The room had contemporary furnishings in hues of gold, tan and cream.

The queen bed had a rather dramatic-looking wooden headboard, but the other furniture was subdued in design. The side of the mattress closest to the sliding door had a definite slope to it. It’s understandable that guests would sit on the edge of the bed to enjoy the view, but that had taken its toll on the mattress. The other side (mine!) was in good shape and quite comfortable. Other furniture included an upholstered arm chair, a single nightstand with lamp (not so good when both people want to read), sofa (well-used), coffee table, desk and chair, and a built-in chest of drawers. The mini-bar held a limited number of typical drinks and snacks. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze dinner leftovers into the stocked mini-bar frig.

Amenities included (2) phones, iPod dock, white noise machine including sounds of a waterfall, meadow, rain, city(!), brook and of course--the ocean; LG flat panel TV mounted on the wall, real fireplace (using press logs) with a large, raised tile hearth and surround; Keurig coffeemaker, iron/board, hairdryer, spa robes, and an umbrella. There was no in-room safe. Wi-fi was available, but I didn’t need to access it. Prior to our stay I’d asked about cell coverage and was told that it was spotty, but there were hotspots on the property. When using my cell I faced the sliding door and got as quick a connection each time as I do in San Francisco, but I’m sure that wouldn’t be the case in all rooms or locations.

Our private balcony had just enough space for 2 chairs and a small table. There was a very pretty view over the landscape, pool/spa area and out to the estuary and the Bay. It was a wonderful place to sit and enjoy our sparkling wine!

Attractive, enhanced photographic images of local scenes added interest to the otherwise plain cream-colored walls.

Lighting consisted of a floor lamp, desk lamp and night stand lamp (seashell-filled glass lamp bases were a fun touch). There were also 3 recessed ceiling lights. Available electrical outlets were at a minimum: 1 outlet behind the coffeemaker and a double outlet in the bath. You could also unplug the iPod dock and use that one. It would have been so much more convenient to have had a couple of free outlets located above the desk top.

Closet space was ample and there were sufficient hangers. There was a single luggage rack.

We didn’t need to set the wall thermostat since the temperature of the room remained comfortable for us throughout our stay (we like it on the cool side). The only vents I noticed were next to the bed, so I wondered how efficient the distribution of heat would be had we left the heater on for an extended period of time. I did turn on the system for a moment and it was surprisingly quiet.

The bathroom was larger than I’d expected and contained an oversize shower, but no tub. The vanity was topped with black marble; the flooring and shower stall were tiled and the latter had an attractive mosaic design.. The sink counter provided adequate space for placing cosmetics and had a large mirror above it. There was an ample supply of towels. The low-flow showerhead was a bit clogged, reducing the volume even further. Once set, the water temperature remained consistent. Lighting was provided by 2 wall sconces and 3 recessed ceiling lights. A very nice feature was a wall control panel that allowed you to set both the fan and heat for 5 to 30 minute time periods. The ventilation was good and there was no steam buildup while showering.

My sleep quality was excellent that night--very, very quiet. I have to believe that there were no occupants in the room directly above us.

Although there are several very good dining options in the Bodega Bay area, Lodge guests can just take a leisurely stroll from their room to the Duck Club restaurant--which is exactly what we opted to do. We had an excellent dining experience from start to finish, enjoying a window table that looked out to the marshlands and the Bay. It was such a peaceful, beautiful view. The next morning we ate a hearty complimentary breakfast while, once again, savoring the lovely view.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to use the pool, whirlpool, or spa facilities. The property also has 2 firepits where guests can relax while sipping a glass of wine or a cocktail.

Altho’ the trails can’t be accessed directly from the Lodge property, if one drives a short distance to the north on Hwy. 1, there’s a parking lot for the Bird Walk and Cheney Creek Trails (the latter will take you to the ocean). Parking fee was $7. The paths are easy, level, short and provide scenic views of the marshes, creek, meadows, egrets, herons and other birds, deer, coastal wildflowers in season, the Bay and ultimately the ocean beaches. While walking the trail you’ll also get a panoramic view of the Bodega Bay Lodge buildings from across the marshland.

While staying at the Lodge there’s always the opportunity to explore the very picturesque Sonoma Coast northwards to Jenner, Fort Ross (historic Russian settlement), Timber Cove and Salt Point State Park. There’s also a range of activities readily available: golf at Bodega Harbour (beautiful but challenging course), kayaking and canoeing, horseback riding, visiting Spud Point Harbor to view the fishing boats and have a bowl of freshly made claim chowder, hiking Bodega Head or any of the many scenic trails that are part of the State or County park systems.

However, if you have limited time to de-stress, choosing to do what we did--staying put at the Bodega Bay Lodge--will provide you with an experience that’s 100% relaxing and carefree!

Room Tip: If you're concerned about quietude, ask about the location of the room since there are several d...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Forestvillian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
124 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

We hadn't been to Bodega Bay for years, so on a whim, I booked us for mid-week a few weeks out. I'd read the TA reviews and had great expectations for the lodge, not to be disappointed. The reception area was welcoming and attractive. When we arrived at check-in time, 4:00 p.m., our room wasn't quite ready. The reception staff said he would call housekeeping right away and by the time we'd used the lobby restrooms, we were all set. When I reserved the room, they were offering a special, half off a second night plus two half off a second entree coupons for the dining room, so we opted for one of the more expensive Pacific Coast Upper bay-view rooms. The rooms were nicely appointed, with a king bed, extra chairs and a table, large screen TV with great reception, faux-log fireplace, a beautiful bathroom with soaking tub and separate shower, and a nice balcony to enjoy the view of the bay. After our first night, the bed had been so soft that my back was screaming in the morning. When I mentioned it to the reception staff, he offered to switch us to the room next door. As we were going out for the day, we only had to spend 10 minutes repacking and they transferred everything for us while we were gone. Excellent service! The second evening we took advantage of the pre-dinner wine reception in the lobby. The dining room was also excellent (see separate review for the Duck Club Restaurant). A wonderful mid-week retreat.

Room Tip: We loved our 600-numbered room(s) and the upper rooms offer the best view. Splurge if you can. The...
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Green Features: They have the standard 'we'll only change your towels and linens if you ask' notices. California is experiencing severe drought, so this is especially important now.
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HappyWandererQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014 via mobile

Stayed at the Bodega Bay Lodge for 2 nights before going to San Francisco , I'm sorry it wasn't longer. The setting is beautiful the rooms are comfortable with access to your own balcony - lots of fresh sea air ! We had dinner at the restaurant which I fully expected to be mediocre but in fact the food and service were stellar . The location is perfect for a trip to Healdsburg and the wine country or Point Reyes , and lots of charming little gems in between. Would love to go back .

Stayed May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Carolaseattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia
Level Contributor
107 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Didn't know much about this but it turned out to be great. Lovely spa like accommodations right on the edge of a marsh with unobstructed views of the ocean. Room was huge with nice patio, gas fireplace, and two person soaking tub, all well maintained. Outdoor hot tub is a large infinity pool overlooking the marsh to the ocean. Pleasant fire pit at night. There is an excellent restaurant on site where we enjoyed breakfast and dinner with the same great views. We walked down to the beach in the AM, which was gorgeous and unspoiled. While we only stayed on night on our way north, we felt we could have made it a base for a few days of exploring the coast. Will hope to return. One reviewer complained about the foghorn but that was strange to us as it is distant and VERY faint, and we are fairly noise sensitive...

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank brooklands22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackson, California
Level Contributor
89 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We found this lodge on Trip Advisor and were not disappointed! We booked the "Sittin On The Dock of the Bay" getaway and it was just what we needed at the end of a hectic month. We went to Osmosis Spa as part of our package and were pampered beyond belief. Then, took a short drive to Occidental for a late dinner of soup and bread (9:30 pm). Drove back to the Bodega Bay Lodge for one of the most restful evenings possible. Loved the ocean waves music being played on the nightstand! The fireplace was cozy and we slept soundly. The view was spectacular in the morning and we drove to Sandpiper for a wonderful breakfast as we watched the fishing boats move in and out of the bay. This is one trip that did NOT disappoint! They always have some sort of "special" going on and it is well worth checking into. We shall be back again.

Room Tip: We do not think there would be anything less than a good room here. Fresh brewed coffee in the lobb...
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Green Features: The property conserves water and the amenities are delightful.
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelorTwo221
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portola Valley, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

Great experience on the edge of the ocean. Diverse nature walks from the site, and we had a sunset from the firepit that was fantastic. Romantic dinner at the restaurant. Shot video of me running away from 'The Birds' at the existing schoolhouse from the movie, great fun. Our room had views of the marshes out to the ocean, nice.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank 115re
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bodega Bay Lodge

Property: Bodega Bay Lodge
Address: 103 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923-9723
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Sonoma County > Bodega Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Bodega Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Bodega Bay Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An Unexpected Getaway in a Soul-Stirring Hideaway With its rugged shoreline and rolling countryside, the Sonoma Coast has its roots firmly planted in the land. The Bodega Bay Lodge—a Bodega Bay hotel poised atop a tranquil bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean—reflects the wild beauty of this romantic region and offers an array of incredible things to do in Sonoma. Watch the fishermen ply the bay for the day’s catch. Spot migrating whales in the waves. Scout for rare birds in a location prized by the Audubon Society and Alfred Hitchcock. Stroll two miles of soft sands, hand-in-hand. Signature Service Whether it’s our popular wine hour, in-room fireplaces or complimentary Taylor Maid Farms organic coffee and organic Numi teas in the lobby, our signature service offerings are noteworthy extras that make every moment something to savor. Our staff is available 24 hours, ensuring you have a memorable and inspiring stay. Complimentary services include: •Luxurious, oversized guestrooms and suites •Concierge services •Complimentary morning newspaper in the lobby •Ocean-view pool, whirlpool spa and sauna •Bay-view fitness room •Wireless internet access •Free parking •Taylor Maid Farms Coffee served in the lobby throughout the morning •24-hour business desk with PC and printer access •Complimentary wine and cheese reception (daily from 5-6pm) •Safety deposit boxes •Non-smoking hotel •Views of Bodega Bay throughout the property Services available for an additional charge: •Drakes Sonoma Coast Kitchen •Spa treatments ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bodega Bay Hotel Bodega Bay
Bodega Bay Lodge And Spa
Bodega Bay Lodge Spa

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