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“beautiful cabins in the redwoods”

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Fern River Resort Motel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Felton
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“beautiful cabins in the redwoods”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

we actually love staying here - it's in a great location and is in a beautiful setting. Unfortunately, some of the things that people say on here are correct- the owners are absolutely the most inhospitable people one could ever encounter. The upside to this is that their daughter now seems to be taking care of a lot of the guest interaction and she is truly lovely and welcoming. They would be best off if she just took care of everything and they backed off totally. Even when you pass the man who owns it in the mornng and say hello, he just scowls at you truly making you feel unwelcome. The best news is that once you check in (hopefully with the help of the lovely daughter) that you really don't have to have anything to do with them outside of being glared at when you enter the property.

The comments made about the beds are also true - I so wish that they would just take a litle bit of money and invest in some new beds - as they are right now - they are truly awful. We knew this coming back this time - thought that maybe we had the wrong memory of them - unfortunately, sleeping on the matteress is akin to sleeping on a concrete slab. We finally went to sears the second night there and bought a foam mattress topper. Even if the owners would just buy foam mattress toppers it would certainly be a step up from where it is right now - In all honesty, I would give this place a 5 if they would just do something about their mattresses.

My only other tip is that you should bring all of your own toiletries - this is not a 5 star hotel - which is fine - you don't stay here wanting a 5 star hotel - they are kind enough to put little shampoos in your bathrom, but seriously do yourself a favor and just bring your own.

Again - despite the issues some have referenced, we still love this place - just bring your own mattress topper....bring your own shampoo...hope that the daughter takes care of you when arriving

Room Tip: Try to get one of the river rooms- nice and quiet with a lovely view
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Dejosa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    36
    38
    7
    10
    13
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Yosemite National Park, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

The Fern River Resort was just what we needed for a coastal getaway. We were there in May during the week, and it was very quiet and peaceful. Our cabin was very clean and comfortable. The owners and staff were very nice and accommodating. We'll stay there again if we go back to the area, and we would recommend it to our family and friends.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jeninyosemite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

We had a very difficult time finding lodging in the Santa Cruz area when we went to meet our new grandchild shortly after his birth. We were able to get 7 of the 11 nights of our stay at Fern River Resort, approximately 8 miles from our son's home. It was a lovely, if somewhat challenging, drive up Hwy 9, a narrow, windy 2 lane road with many switchbacks.

The motel is actually a camp with several cabins, some of which had kitchenettes. Ours was a large 1 bedroom with a living room/kitchen combination. It was immaculately clean and equipped with dishes to accommodate 4 people. We rented pots and pans for a fee that was returned at the end of our stay when we returned them cleaned. We ate breakfast there daily which defrayed our food costs. The living room had a soaring knotty pine ceiling and a gas fireplace. The bed was too hard for my back so I ended up sleeping on the futon in the living room, not at all comfortable as a sofa, and only marginally better than the bed. Because our unit was a duplex it was noisy on the shared wall, and also above our bedroom, where there was loft sleeping space occupied by children. Luckily it wasn't occupied for all of the nights of our stay.

This is great place to stay if you like to hike and bike. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is just up the road, and there are several places along Hwy 9 where cars were parked to enter the areas along the river. There is also an old train that takes tourists through the redwoods.
The town of Felton has everything one needs, including grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc.

I would not stay there again, mostly due to the uncomfortable furniture and the distance from Santa Cruz. But I would definitely recommend this extremely well managed motel to those who are not as extremely particular as I am.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NMLNP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicole M, Manager at Fern River Resort Motel, responded to this review, 3 June 2015
Whew ! Finally got all of our accounts matched up so we can reply to reviews!

It is important to us that client input is heard and taken into account when figuring out what to update on our property. We have replaced every single mattress on the entire resort . I have been getting rave reviews from almost all of our clients that have stayed with us since.

It is difficult as a hotel manager to figure out the best ways to address various client concerns as unfortunately you cannot please everyone. Many of our elderly clients loved our firm beds for their backs, but our younger clients that frequent online review sites were not so pleased with the hard beds. The solution came when we found a mattress place that sold a firm bed with a pillow top! We do hope our new and returning clients love the upgrade!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Felton, California
Level Contributor
740 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2014

I called at 2 o'clock on day of arrival and cancelled. They would not cancel and charged my card anyway. No where on website does it state any cancellation or non-cancellation policy. The person on the phone not only could speak clear English, she was extremely rude. I would not recommend doing business with these people. There are much better places in the area.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank simon s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicole M, Manager at Fern River Resort Motel, responded to this review, 5 June 2014
I apologize for the confusion however, When making a reservation as credit card information is collected all guests are informed of the cancellation policy. The clerk making your reservation is required to check a box that they told you the cancellation policy as well as initial that they did. Additionally it is clear on our website under our policies seen here : http://fernriver.com/policy.html that cancellations under 72 hours to check in will be charged for one night.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2013

We were able to relax with ease and enjoy the woods. Peaceful, clean, and friendly. This place is good for when you need to kick back. I wouldn't recommend it if you are trying to see the area, although the drive down to Santa Cruz isn't terribly far and there's a fabulous Bigfoot Museum nearby.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kaeinthegrass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
69 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2013 via mobile

We have stayed in these little cabins before that are surrounded by redwoods and enjoyed the rustic feel, the sound of the river and train blowing in the distant but this time they totally messed up our reservation and we had to seek another place for one of the nights, however they looked into the mistake and graciously remedied it. So at least we were able to stay three of the four nights. Just be sure you get it all straight in the beginning. Don't forget your bathing suit as the have a nice hot tub.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank wilwag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
273 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2013

The Fern River Resort offers you very clean, very comfortable cabins on the San Lorenzo River and very, very close to the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and the Roaring Camp Railway Station (more on that in a bit). Though the cabins look well-kept-but-rustic on the outside, on the inside they look more like a condo--finished walls, wood floors, small but full kitchen with gas oven and microwave, nice furniture. Out in back just beyond the ample back porch is the San Lorenzo River. It was quite low in early fall when we visited and somewhat hard to see but we spent a few hours in the back area just reading and listening to the gentle burbling of the river, which put one of us to sleep.

We found the cabin to be very comfortable. An exception was the shower. The hot water is a bit problematic but it's hot for those who wait. Our cabin theoretically sleeps five but two would need to sleep on a futon. For just the two of us, this was spacious living at the price you'd pay for a suburban chain motel like a Holiday Inn Express. We paid $129 a night and for that you get a place to sleep, two couches to read on, a kitchen, a spare bedroom, and a river out back. There's also a hot tub gazebo on another part of the property. We didn't know about it until our second day, so we didn't use it.

The people running the Fern River Resort live on the premises and the woman we interacted with was very friendly. However, you should be aware that the office desk isn't always manned. The office is locked and you need to ring for entrance. Someone will then show up to help you. Some might find this off-putting. It's not the way a chain motel works.

The Web site says bring your own pots and pans but we were offered the use of some when we arrived. We never cooked so we can't describe the cookware but I thought you should know it's available. Felton's many restaurants and bars are just down the road. (Hints: Don't miss Don Quixote's International Music Hall and Mexican Restaurant or Rocky's Cafe in Felton. Do pass by the first Chinese restaurant you encounter as you go north from the hotel--the one in the converted burger drive-in restaurant.)

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is just north of Fern River Resort. Get there at noon or two for a terrific guided tour of the redwood stands. When we were there, our guide knew the area like the back of his hand and we encountered a small, 4-bird flock of wild turkeys foraging in the area. Admission is $10 but the tour's free. There's a small store on premises for touristy things and snacks.

Finally, there's the Roaring Camp Railroad across the river. You can walk there in seconds from the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park's main parking lot as well.This is a tourist attraction for those who love live steam trains. The trains run all weekend (all week in the summer) and we heard the sound of the engines tooting up a storm during the daytime hours of the weekend. We enjoyed it but some might not. It's a feature of the town and we think the sound gives Felton a unique character. Well, that and the Bigfoot Discovery Museum.

Room Tip: Get a cabin with a river view. It's worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Steven L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fern River Resort Motel

Property: Fern River Resort Motel
Address: 5250 Highway 9, Felton, CA 95018-9548
Region: United States > California > Felton
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Felton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Fern River Resort Motel 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Midst the Majestic Forest - A rare & precious garden, nestled on the river and in the towering redwood trees. Individual & duplex cottages, many with kitchens, BBQ's, picnic areas & gas fireplaces. Private access adult Jacuzzi. River swimming for the kids. Ping Pong, tetherball, basketball & a community campfire ring. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fern River Hotel Felton
Fern River Motel

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