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“Two thumbs down” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Serenisea Resort Cottages

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Serenisea Resort Cottages
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Gualala
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Two thumbs down”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2011

My mom was visiting me in San Francisco and I wanted to take her on a nice vacation to the Mendocino Coast. We found Serenisea online and I called the day of to book a room for two nights. When we got there, we immediately regretted our decision to book the place. The cabin we stayed in (cabin no. 2) was really run-down. Also, we found out that the Gualala river was too rough for kayaking so we decided to continue up the coast to Mendocino to do some river kayaking. BUT the owner wouldn't allow us to check out early without losing our money for the second night's stay nor would he agree on giving us a voucher to use on the room later. The receptionist was extremely apologetic about the situation but when I tried to talk to the owner, Jim, he was incredibly rude.

The whole experience RUINED our trip. It was bad enough having to stay an extra night in those awful accommodations, but what really brought us down was being treated like a walking pocketbook rather than a person by the owner, Jim.

The other super weird thing about this place is that the contract you sign when you check-in has all this small print about all the extra things they will charge you if not completed. For instance, you have to strip your own bed! Or else get charged $26. Also, if you leave dirty dishes in the sink, it will cost you $5/dish! Super greedy.

I have stayed at other B&Bs on the Mendocino Coast and have never had a negative experience. These are small communities and people are always super friendly (for instance, check out Greenwood Pier Inn at Elk). Its unfortunate that the owner of Serenisea is NOT a people person.

So that I don't end on a totally negative note... There are two good things I have to say about Serenisea: (1) the receptionist (a woman, I don't remember her name) was really really sweet to us, (2) the cliffside hot tub is DA BOMB!

Long story short, great hot tub but stay at your own risk!

Room Tip: Use the hot tub and get out.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank tinazilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
van nuys, ca
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2010

When we went to Serenesea our first time, my husband and friends went up in the middle of the night. It was super windy, rainy and we had no idea where we were. We knew we were heading someplace beautiful but at night, we couldn't see anything and were just anxious to get there. We stayed in Cabin 5 and it was awesome! We loved all the nautical theme decorations and the sauna was an awesome bonus. Anyways, we were so happy to get there but when we went outside, due to the fog and rain, we could not see anything. So we focused on the charm and warmth of the house. Other reviews say its small but those thoughts never crossed my mind. My husband and I had the main bedroom and slept with the curtains open. When we woke up in the morning, we were greeted by the most astounding view of the ocean. I've only stayed at one other cabin at Serenisea but after this experience, I can tell you that Cabin 5 has the BEST view in my opinion. It also has a large deck that overlooks the ocean, a fire pit, and a hammock! We also frequented the hot tub only a few meters away and its secluded on the side of the cliff, with even better views. I wish I lived closer that this could be a regular vacation spot. HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!

Others may have given poor reviews if they have stayed at other cabins. Most of the properties I believe are privately owned so it may have been the management of those specific cabins. We never had any problems with #5 and plan on making many more trips there!

Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank jewey44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2010

To be honest, I’m not one of those super snobby jerks who needs my accommodations to be five-star and sparkling new when I go on vacation. I like places that look like someone lives there, with character and cozy-looking funky decorations. Cabin #5 at Serenisea is my favorite of all the cabins in its little circle. I’ve only stayed in Cabin 5 and the one right next door, but Cabin 5 is the coolest. Here’s why: it has a spacious deck that pretty much hangs you out over the ocean, and the master bedroom has a HUGE glass wall that you can see most of the cove and tons of ocean from. The deck is raised up so you don’t have the fence getting in the way of your view. Right next to the deck is a fire pit which is always supplied with plenty of wood. I love sitting out on the deck next to the fire pit at night, it’s my favorite thing to do there. I’ve never been in the hot tub, but I’ve stood on the deck in front of it and it has an amazing ocean view.

The cabin is small but cozy, and if you don’t want to be outside you can sit inside and have all the comforts of home (cable tv, microwave, kitchen etc.) It has a quirky nautical theme, with actual ship pieces (doors, cabin nameplates, ship steering wheels, lanterns, portholes, etc.) incorporated into the actual design of the cabin. I LOVE quirky themed cabins so it’s why Cabin 5 will always be my favorite. The living room has what is pretty much a glass wall that allows you a spectacular view. When I go to the ocean, I want to be able to see it from where I stay. Short of being IN the actual ocean, this is seriously as close as you can get.

I’ve read in other reviews here about the customer service being “mean” and “horrible” but I’ve never had a problem with them in my three separate stays at Cabin 5.

Everything in the cabin worked as it was supposed to every time I have stayed there. The kitchen is tiny and cute but fully functional, and there is a decent sized dining table in the area next to it.

One of the surprising things about Cabin 5 is that it has a sauna built into the second bedroom, you almost wouldn’t notice it but for the stylized door. I’ve never used it as I’ve never been a fan of saunas, but I noticed it is always clean and in proper working order.

If you’re looking for a huge cabin with tons of floor space, this isn’t the one, but when I’m in Gualala/Point Arena/Anchor Bay, I’m all about running around by the ocean, going to restaurants, and hanging out on the deck so the cozy size of the cabin itself is perfect as a place to stay. I usually only go there with my wife and rarely use the other bedroom so space is hardly an issue.

One thing I never really discovered until my last stay there is that behind the office there is a trail that leads down to the water’s edge, where you can find all sorts of pretty sea shells and climb the rocks at the base of the cliff that the cabins are perched on. I had a great time doing this, I fully recommend exploring the grounds.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mickierat429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2010

I first visited Serenisea when I was invited to a wedding that took place there a few years ago. The family rented out the entire place, I ended up staying in Cabin #5 and it was love at first sight. Since then, I've stayed in Cabin #5 several times and absolutely love it. I readily recommend it to anyone who is visiting the area and make it a point to visit as often as I can.

Cabin #5 is just a few minutes’ drive from Gualala proper, so shopping or eating out is convenient but city lights and noise are nonexistent. The other cabins are far enough away that you don't feel crowded in at all, but also not too isolated.

The cabin is perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean with two entire sides of the cabin made almost completely of glass so you are never deprived of a view in the living room or either of the bedrooms. The first bedroom features a queen bed, the second room has two twin beds; both rooms are equipped with wardrobes and plenty of clean linens. Both rooms have one entire wall made of glass that faces the ocean (not the road or any of the other cabins) and a sliding glass door that leads out onto a truly fantastic deck that has plenty of lounge chairs, a hammock, and a fire pit.

I have never used the private sauna inside the cabin, but peeked in and it looked clean and comfortable. I have also never used the hot tub that all the cabins share, but have seen the view from it and it's incredible. I've made it goal to use it next time I'm there.

The decor inside the cabin is antique and, if you're a five star hotel kind of person, you will call it dated. The cabin itself has a beautiful, charming vintage look with portholes and hardware taken from an actual ship - it would look strange if the owners tried to decorate it with contemporary furniture. The couches are large and comfortable, and all the antique furniture has been kept it good condition. I don't feel like I'm slumming it so much as taking a step back in time.

The living room has a TV, DVD player, and wood burning heater. There is nothing like curling up on the couches with your friends and a few glasses of wine in front of a roaring fire and listening to the waves crash against the rocks below.

The kitchen is clean and equipped with all kinds of kitchen gear – full sized fridge, pots and pans, cooking utensils, wine glasses. We’ve always found everything we needed readily available.

It's perfect for a romantic weekend with just you and your honey, or a fun weekend with your friends or family. The couches are big enough to sleep a few more people, and you could probably fit an air mattress somewhere in there if you wanted to maximize the space.

I love coming to Serenisea and am planning to go back for my birthday. It’s a four hour drive for me to get there, but I always feel its well worth it and am sad to leave.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank xtalcase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Littleton, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2009

After reading the other reviews, I was afraid that we may have made a mistake booking with Serenisea...but we found the service very friendly, the folks we met were wonderful...Cindy, Tom and Kelsey were on duty during our stay and went above and beyond to meet our needs. We stayed in The Cove House for six nights. The views were spectacular, accommodations were great and there was no cell or internet service!!! PERFECT! It was truly a wonderful vacation!
Maybe the other folks didn't read their simple "rule" book??????? We had absolutely no regrets or troubles, no unexpected charges, etc. We will stay there again....didn't want to leave!
But remember...this is a cottage, your home away from home...there is no maid service, no butlers, etc...it's a cottage, not the Ritz...very, very private...absolutely relaxing! We'd go back tomorrow if we could! A home away from home!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RoadTrippinwithMaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2009

While we have have been satisfied with Serenisea cottages in the past, we were very disappointed this time. Chairs on the deck were filthy and the inside didn't appear to have been cleaned recently. The info book from the 'hosts' was 10 years old and very outdated. Given the state of the cottage the per night rate seemed very high.

That said, the view was fantastic.

Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank KenM1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Gualala hotels

Littleton, Colorado
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2008

The house (Moonstar House) was on the cliff with a wall of windows providing a spectacular view of the ocean below. It had funky eclectic décor, fantastic beds, a great gas stove, hot tub, and was located several miles from the rental office. One bathroom looked like it had been recently remodeled. However, the lights were shorted out in the kitchen, the deck area, and the dishwasher was also non-working. We cooked the first night by flashlight.

There was also a sizable drip in the skylight in one bathroom that left the floor really wet. I called the management at Serenisea, and they were very nice. Unlike previous reviews, I found both staff members to be supportive and friendly. However, I found that the previous renter had put the dirty dishes back into the cupboard because the dishwasher was not working. If the house was in good working order, I would have given it the highest rating.

  • Liked — The ocean view.
  • Disliked — The house needed some repairs, and carpet cleaning.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank xmascolors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Serenisea Resort Cottages

Property: Serenisea Resort Cottages
Address: 36100 S Highway 1, Gualala, CA 95445-9520
Region: United States > California > Mendocino County > Gualala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Gualala
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Serenisea Resort Cottages Hotel Gualala
Serenisea Hotel Gualala

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