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“An off season trip to Ft. Bragg”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Grey Whale Inn

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Grey Whale Inn
Ranked #7 of 12 Fort Bragg B&B and Inns
Oakland, CA
2 reviews
“An off season trip to Ft. Bragg”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2008

We visited the B&B as family had gotten us a gift certificate to stay and we hadn't yet been to Ft. Bragg for a long time. We're not really the B&B type but this was a very cool old building, former hospital I think with large open areas and rooms close to town. Our room was nice & clean, pretty simple with a small TV, fireplace and an old fashioned quilt on the wall. We called ahead to let the staff know we would be arriving late, they left a key out for us though not in the spot they said it would be. Breakfast the next morning was nice, good coffee and eggs made to order. Checked in after breakfast and the innkeeper didn't find our reservation but had no problem with the gift certificate and we confirmed we would be there for two nights (glad the place wasn't booked!). The B&B seemed very quiet and it wasn't very full so any vacant rooms were left open so we could see what the others looked like. I would recommend a room overlooking the garden or on the back of the house, bigger rooms & baths with a bit more privacy (Whalewatch or Sunset). Arrived back after a day hiking and at the beach with no one to be found, should have asked for a dinner recommendation at breakfast, oh well. We found a nice spot and headed out the next morning for brunch down the coast at the Little River Inn (very good). I would recommend this B&B folks who are happy to be on their own (bring your own ice) and have a cozy place to stay near town. Not sure this would be a good spot for families....better for single travelers.

  • Liked — Very interesting history of the B&B
  • Disliked — A bit cold and drafty with the Inn keeper hard to find
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank catraveler815
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
california
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2008

I have stayed at the Grey Whale for many years now. It has unfortunately been sold into hands that have forgotten what the original Inn Keepers set out to do. That was personal service. Not only have the rooms become old and let go (ours had mold on the ceiling and pipes) but the service was horrible. The reviews state that a "chef" will create your breakfast. Not so. The Inn Keeper cooks breakfast that my husband would not eat because of the quality. We were charged for two nights when we checked out because of the accomidations. We could not even stay the second night. The price of the Sunrise room is far to expensive for what you get now. It used to be chocolates on your pillow, a evening cup of tea and the keepers were so personable. I was so saddened by my last stay I have to recommend that others stay somewhere else. The lack of care and quality was astounding.

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — the Inn Keeper and lack of care in this
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank tallpeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tiburon, California
Level Contributor
53 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2008

We stayed here one night. It was pretty nice, but not super-luxurious. The bathrooms were fine, and the room was fine, but you did not feel like you were in a luxury B & B. The bed and sheets were fine. The TV was very small and grainy. They had cable, but the picture was very grainy. They had a small portable heater to heat the room. The bathroom was very tiny. The breakfast consisted of eggs, bacon, fruit, coffee, and juice. Overall pretty good.

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Californianative123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2007

The Grey Whale Inn is a real gem! The rooms are great. Ours was huge which was completely unexpected in a B&B. There was more than enough room for us and our daughter. The period furnishings are thoughtful, the game room was a lot of fun and the breakfast is to die for! No day old pastries and juice here. Top notch all the way around from a charming host to good conversation with other guests over breakfast. We'll be back!

  • Liked — The giant rooms
  • Disliked — no complaints
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sdtlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2007

Centrally located, yet surprisingly quiet, this place is a jewel. The atmosphere and decorations are unpretentious but conducive to relaxation. The breakfasts they provide are way above par, particularly the home-made coffee cake. Michael, the innkeeper is very accomodating and welcoming. I found the Grey Whale to be a perfect compliment to the beauty and peacefullness of the North Coast area.

Stayed August 2006
Helpful?
1 Thank morker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
no. cal
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2007

Well...
Before our most recent stay we would have said that this was our favorite b and b bar none with or without kids. The continued good points are: large rooms that are clean, easy access, great breakfast for adults, quiet even with the highway facing rooms (the traffic dies down at night anyway). We have been so happy in the past--no problem giving it a five star rating.
Why have we changed our minds and have decided NOT to come back? Here's why....

Our first difficulty was with changing the night we wished to stay. We decided to get home a day earlier, so we called the proprietor. He talked a little, decided to get back to us and did 10 minutes later, with a "we are all booked". We were changing from a Wednesday to a Tuesday and we did it with a two night notice. With a 14 room inn in a small isolated coastal town for a midweek booking, that was a bit suspect. But--o.k.

We arrived at 5:30 on our original day, to a harried looking man rushing out the back door---"Oh, you are the___?" Here's you key. I'm___. Then, he left. Is 5:30 too late to arrive? Were we being rude? We didn't think so, but the proprietor never gave a time that he needed us to be there, so we thought this was a pretty decent arrival time. O.K. not so bad, you say. We shouldn't be complaining. But, it would have been nice to know when breakfast was served,(we only found out after we checked the inn's homepage on the web access downstairs) and after we got to the room, it would have been nice to know that there was no ice to be had on the second floor landing like there used to be. Nowhere else for that matter, and it always had been in the past. A sign that says "Contact the front desk for ice" was too little too late. Where was _____who just left? The desk was locked up tight for the night at 5:40 p.m. Never saw him again until the next morning. Ice isn't a biggie unless you have been on the road all day and would like to chill that nice, locally purchased bottle of wine to consume on the night of your 20th wedding anniversay, which it was that very day.

Gosh, the internet access really was nice, but it was sad to see that the tea/coffee/ hot chocolate for guests to have in the evening was no longer available in the small common room on the ground floor. Still, that's not much to complain about, you say.

So, are we being picky, maybe. But it continues......
We arrived next morning to a very nice breakfast. We had a four year old with us, but we anticipated adult fare even though two out of three guests the night before had children, and the innkeeper was aware of this. The proprietor didn't have milk. That's sad. However, our four year old had a blast slurping up all the half and half that was available to wet her cereal. Maybe that's selfish to expect milk, but a mere four days earlier, we had stayed at a b and b that knew we had a child, and they had some milk in their fridege. They knew she was coming, and accomodated accordingly, at $20 cheaper per night with a quieter and nicer view.

The one thing that really nails it for us here is that I spied on the reservations ledger when we checked out the next day. They were not full the night we wanted to change to, not by a longshot. Maybe I was misreading, but a friendly chat with the one other family and the only other customer (a business person) who stayed that Tuesday (the night we wanted to change to) confirmed that tthe b and b was not full.

There were many small things to be picky about and gloss over, but the combination of being lied to for whatever reason, a less than hospitable welcome on the last lodging of our trip that we definitely drove out of the way to get to (we could have stayed on hwy 101) for a "special day" in a place that has given us definite good memories and good feelings in the past, lack of a tiny breakfast accomodation for a child when it was made known she was coming (and the fact that there was another family with children there as well), and the lack of information on the basics that anyone might want when settling into a place made the stay a general let-down for us, especially when the standards were so very high in the past.

Perhaps we caught the proprietor on an off day. Maybe we weren't the effort because we were staying for only one night. This inn was a destination for us in the past, for one, two, even three nights, and we never had felt so cold a reception and service as we did this last stay.....so sad. I almost didn't want to write this review, especially when other people signing the ledger seemed to have a good time, as we had in the past.

  • Liked — large clean rooms
  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank toycofi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Coast
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2007

The Grey Whale Inn is a historic attraction in itself. This lovely inn was converted from the original town hospital built in the 1910's. The Inn houses art collections, quilts, ceramics and antiques, not to mention the owner's ceramic studio now in the former hospital's operating room. Located just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean and "Glass Beach" and a similar short walk to the hot spots of downtown Fort Bragg dining and browsing. Mendocino galleries are just a 7 mile scenic drive away.

Each room is unique with features ranging from queen and king size beds to full kitchens, gas fireplaces, sofas, balconies and jacuzzi tub. Some rooms even offer multiple beds for a family stay and handicapped access. All are furnished with lovely antiques and beyond comfortable beds with down pillows. As a person with many allergies, I can attest that this is the cleanest, freshest smelling and homiest, establishment in which I have stayed. In fact, I loved it so much that I stayed on as a resident from February through July 2007 while I attended the world reknown furniture school located just a 1/4 mile away. The owner made me feel at home, often packing a gormet breakfast for me when I didn't have time to eat in the Arts & Crafts dining room with the other guests.

The Inn also offers a full conference lounge with leather sofas where guests can entertain their friends or each other and a gaming room complete with pool table, television, dvd player and wireless internet.

The owners' mom sends homemade delicacies via overnight express to add to the charming ambience of this delightful inn. I couldn't recommend it more highly.

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
Thank woodcritic
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

Property: 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 #7 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Fort Bragg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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