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“Fabulous Place to Stay!”
Review of Grey Whale Inn

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Grey Whale Inn
Ranked #8 of 11 Fort Bragg B&B and Inns
Reviewed 8 April 2012

We have been coming here for ten years. This is a fabulous place! We absolutely love it. Unlike many B&Bs, the Grey Whale Inn resists a single defining image. This B&B was built as a hospital in 1915 -- hence the wide hallways and large guest rooms. Each room is unique and spacious. We love the game room with a pool table and foosball which I played endlessly with my daughter. Just eight miles north of artsy Mendocino, with its Victorian picture-postcard village full of galleries and trendy restaurants the Grey Whale is a welcome reprieve from the sugar coated kitschy ambience of Mendocino. We had breakfast in the beautiful Craftsman-style breakfast room (built by the owner Michael Dawson) discussing food and art with the other guests in the Inn, many of whom are students at the Living Light Culinary Institute. In addition, the inn features many artists whose works include handmade paper, photography, painting, print, ceramics (the owner is a ceramic artist) and more. On your walk trough the inn and the exquisite garden you will find many interesting art pieces that are among the finest anywhere. I saw beautiful woodcuts by Donna Fenstermaker, an artist from Oakland, the finest hand blown glass by glass artist Eric Eiserling, and photographs by the late Hugo Steccati, one of the most important architectural photographers to document modern Bay Area history. We will return.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Mickela P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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42 - 48 of 70 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2012

This is the most interesting place to stay in Fort Bragg. Once a hospital, the building has been completely renovated. The rooms are large, most with full baths, large comfortable beds, very nice sheets, towels and amenities, and beautiful art. The owner Mike is a potter, so pottery lines the building halls along with wonderful patchwork quilts on most walls. Like many buildings in this area, redwood paneling also lines the walls. The inn boasts two large kitchens, completely outfitted should you like to cook, an incredible vegetable garden,a large breakfast room with fireplace and a very friendly cat named Sweet Pea. Living Light students - this is absolutely the place to stay. The kitchen has Vitamixer, dehydrator, Cuisinart, etc for all of your desires..and a stove just in case! Ask Mike for special rates. I will return.

Room Tip: Mike will show you every room available. They are all good. Fort Bragg is very quiet, so noise is no...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank bradleytravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2011

This B&B should be called the Beached Whale. Adjectives to describe our room are depressing, decay, decrepit, basically a dump. No romantic atmosphere for our 6th year anniversary. The medicinal smell gave me a whooping headache but it could have been the mold growing on the window panes, the worn carpet, or the pre-fab plastic shower. No place to hang clothes as the armoire was stuck shut, and the only amenities in the room was a bar of soap. Our view was of telephone poles and beat up neighboring houses. The tv was a tiny relic from the seventies. The landscape outside was neglected, even the sign. The innkeeper was angry, prejudicial and insulting when we expressed our displeasure with our room. And yet the place was empty so why didn't he have a clue??? We decided to end our stay rather than endure another night. What a rip off. We've stayed in many other B&Bs in Mendocino and around the world, and we've never been treated so badly and had so little enjoyment from a vacation.

Room Tip: Don't stay here.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TJHS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2011

We were 2 nights in Grey Whale Inn in 2006 or 2007.
The Inn has charm and certain characteristics that make it a cute place to be for us Europeans (German and Spanish). We followed the grey whale migrations along the Californian coast and these part of California is one of our most beloved ones. The Inn has a-temporal feeling, and the decoration is interesting (pathwork, US style). What I did not like is the fact that there were cats in the Inn, and our bed cover had a cat (urine) smell.
I personally like pets but I am not fond of their wandering about an Inn, and not specially the bed I am going to sleep in.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank eepfb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2011

Is lacking a little on cohesive decor. Needs a little work on warmth. Has all of the elements on a great inn, just needs a little polish. The breakfast was fresh and delicious! And I always appreciate a real blow dryer in the room and extra pillows readily available, so extra points for that.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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Thank colleenbrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2011

During many visits to the Mendocino Coast over decades, I nearly always have stayed in the village of Mendocino. We’ve often stopped at galleries in Fort Bragg and eaten at the fine Mendo Bistro on No. Main St., but have never lodged in town. But each time we drove into Fort Bragg and passed the Grey Whale Inn, I would always think “that’s where I’ll stay if I ever spend the night here.” This month the opportunity finally came and we stayed 2 nights in the Grey Whale Inn’s Campbell Room.

The location of the Inn was so convenient for walking everywhere we wanted to go. It was such a pleasure to be able to park our car when we arrived and not need to get in it again until we were ready to leave town--restaurants, art galleries, shops and the Skunk Train were all within a very short walk from the Inn.

The expansive yet still cozy feeling Inn with its unusual history of being Fort Bragg’s former hospital, was a unique treat. It was so comfortable and welcoming; filled with history and art and even a little Bohemian flavor. One can easily devote over an hour to exploring its different levels and areas and perusing the old photographs, maps, artifacts, fascinating artwork and beautiful pottery and ceramics (most created by Mike, the congenial owner/innkeeper). Sweet Pea, the resident cat, came to greet us when we checked in and made us feel very much at home since we have 2 kitties at our house.

There is a very lovely, diverse garden that contains both ornamentals and edibles. Many of the herbs and veggies are used at the Inn.

I very much liked the idea of having a “guest kitchen” available for those wishing to prepare simple meals themselves if they don't wish to go out to eat.

The Campbell Room (located on the 2nd floor in the southwest corner of the Inn) was spacious and serene feeling, and we even had a distant view of the ocean. There was plenty of space to relax as we had a small sofa, 2 armchairs, a small writing desk and a gas fireplace. A TV (which we never even thought to turn on) and a phone were in the room. The VERY comfortable King bed was set back into its own curtained alcove area. Small nightstands would have been a convenient to place glasses, but there were none.

A little area leading to the bath contained a small refrigerator and sink. There was an open closet area, but strangely, no hangers in it. As it was, we had only foldable clothes so didn’t ask about getting hangers. The bath itself was serviceable and had decent lighting, a nice long countertop and another sink. The shower/tub seemed to be narrower than standard. The water pressure and heat level were both good and the toilet functioned fine (not always the case at historic properties!) A hairdryer was provided in the bathroom.

Our breakfasts were simple, but absolutely fresh and delicious. We had a choice of homemade granola, yogurt, whole grain bagels with cream cheese, English muffins, fresh fruit; plus each morning we were served an egg dish with potatoes. The savory flavors (herbs from the Inn’s garden, no doubt) were so good! Coffee, tea and orange juice rounded out breakfast. Mike, along with being a wonderful host and talented artist, is also a fantastic chef!

After staying at the Grey Whale Inn, I understand why guests return there again and again--and each time feel like they’re coming home.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Forestvillian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2010

The inn was a hospital and the rooms are quite large and comfortable. Michael, the innkeeper, and Sweetpea, the cat, were great. Breakfasts were very good. Only drawback is that the inn is in need of maintenance, with, for example, the paint peeling on the windowsills. It's very clean, however, and the price was far below other accommodations in the Mendocino/Ft. Bragg area.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank MSandDS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grey Whale Inn

Address: 615 N Main St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437-3240
Region: United States > California > Mendocino County > Fort Bragg
Amenities:
Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Fort Bragg
Price Range: £175 - £191 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grey Whale Inn offers vacation lodging amidst comfort and laid back Mendocino Coast elegance. The Inn, a classic architecture of old-growth redwood, is a premier oceanfront inn in historic downtown Fort Bragg. Within walking distance of a great selection of restaurants, the internationally award winning North Coast Brewery, Glass Beach, the Skunk Train, art galleries, a culinary center, and the historic downtown shopping area. Experience the real Mendocino personality at the Grey Whale Inn. We no longer provide a breakfast. However, there are many wonderful local dining locations within walking distance of the inn. ... more   less 
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