We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Rustic Luxury Beneath the Redwoods”
Review of Highlands Resort

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Guerneville
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Highlands Resort
Ranked #9 of 13 Guerneville B&B and Inns
Dallas
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Rustic Luxury Beneath the Redwoods”
Reviewed 6 July 2008

We once owned a beach home in REMOTE Mexico that we rented out. Some guests said they really wanted a quiet area, a place to read and relax without TV and radios. Most were content. A few really wanted the Ritz. So what are you really looking for?

GLBT friends, my partner and I have been guests at the Highlands for 14 years. We just returned from 4th of July weekend at the resort. It was packed with old and new friends, even gorgeous gay guests from Russia. (I’ve already applied for a visa!)

We work for a major airline, so we have the world at our feet. Yet we come back to Guernevillle three, even four times in a year to stay at the Highlands Resort. Regardless of the season, the Russian River area offers a lot to do for those who like to entertain themselves in the quiet of a cozy cabin or the spectacular outdoors of Northern California.

The Russian River offers superb dining experiences, tasting opportunities at world renowned vineyards, and, above all, the friendly, caring, relaxed atmosphere created by Ken and Lynette at The (Peaceful) Highlands Resort.

If you need TV, you’re out of luck, but there are movies in the evening in the public lounge. Bring your iPod with earbuds - there's not much radio in the area. And cell phone service is limited - aw, gee! (Boy do I “miss” those folks screaming “can you hear me now?”) Few guests are attached to laptops. There are not pets running everywhere, but over the years I've met several 4-legged dogs at the Highlands.

But Guerneville and The Highlands Resort are all you need for a fantastic, romantic getaway. Or, if you are in Guerneville for one of the big party weekends like Jazz Fest or Lazy Bear, but you want to be able to escape the madness, The Highlands is the place to be.

There's no room service, but the public lounge is the center of attention at 0830 when a continental breakfast of homemade granola, hot coffee and juice are served. (You might even meet a new boyfriend or girlfriend or new best friend.) Fri-Sun, Ken and Lynette also serve hot homemade muffins and breads and fresh fruits. What’s more, on special occasions, hosts and guests contribute food and wine to BBQs open to all.

For those folks who've had negative comments, all I can say is "why is it often difficult to get last minute reservations at this popular getaway? Because of repeat business, that's why!"

We love it - over and over again. I hope to meet you there soon!

  • Liked — Proximity to several major airport choices.
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank RussianRiverWineGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

79 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    47
    17
    10
    4
    1
See reviews for
1
47
13
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Derby, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2008

My Boyfriend and I first came here in July 2002 for a few days and loved it so much that we returned in 2003,2005 and 2006! The only reason we did not return in 2007 and 2008 is that we were in Southern Cali!

We will be back we hope early next year.

That should say enough, Lynnette and Ken are both friendly and helpful, the resort is clean, quiet and very peaceful.

Some of the cabins need re-furb but by 2009 I would think all would have been refurbished, the ones Ken showed us in 2006 looked fabulous.

The pool is clean and nice to sit around and breakfast whilst not exciting is fine with home made granola sometimes muffins and always coffee and juice of course.

If you would like to just get away from it all, be in the woods and want somwhere straight friendly then come here. Dont expect high luxury or pretension, that is not what Highlands is about.

Chris & Chris

  • Liked — Clean comfortable and rustic
  • Disliked — Some cabins looking tired but are all being re-modelled
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RaleighGrifter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nijmegen
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 September 2007

My partner and I initially spent four or five days at the start of a three week tour of California at the Highlands but we loved it so much, we rearranged our plans and went back there toward the end of our vacation as well. We couldn't get enough of the beautiful nature and friendly atmosphere here. The resort's owners, Lynette and Ken are extremely kind and friendly and yet manage, at the same time, to give the guests all the space they need to enjoy what are essentially cabins near the woods (a few were still on the rustic side, which we loved, and many have been recently renovated and are very comfortable, dare we say even a tad lux). We were in need of some major rest and relaxation and the Highlands was the perfect place to get it. Here one truly gets away from the rat race: limited Internet access (please don't change this despite what another reviewer wrote), at least some cabins are without televisions (hooray!), etc. If you want to enjoy a fire in the evening, sink into the hot tub and admire the stars, walk in a beautiful nearby redwood forest, sunbathe nude or in a swimsuit next to the pool with a good book and enjoy a small town that is still authentic and not gentrified to the point it could be anywhere in the US, this is the place for you! Just to give you an idea of how Ken and Lynette do business (and we had never met them before this trip), where else in the US can you still buy an ice cream sandwich for $1 or drink a Pepsi for 75 cents? Just a small but meaningful example of how they care about their guests. We were visiting from the Netherlands and were smitten with much of California but this resort was our favorite destination. We would need more space than they offer here to explain all of the reasons we loved this place. But don't take our word for it. Go check it out yourselves. Just do us one favor: make sure there is still room available for us next year when we go back:). We can't wait!

  • Stayed August 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank USExpatinHolland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2007

I stayed at the Highlands resort for 2 days - Wed through Fri - with my partner. It was the first time for us in Guerneville. The place is just fantastic. Only a couple of minutes walking from "downtown" Guerneville, the resort is surrounded by the redwood forest, and has a swimming pool where you can sunbathe naked all day. The staff is incredibly nice and helpful. All guests seem to enjoy the place and "play by the rules" - it's very easy to make new friends there, but you can also stay on your own and enjoy the quality time by yourself or with your partner. When we stayed there the guests were mostly (gay) men, and although the place is "straight friendly", I guess you enjoy it much more if you're gay/lesbian.
The room we stayed was small but cozy - with a terrace overlooking the pool.
Just a few miles from the resort is the Armstrong redwood forest, which makes a great and easy trip. And of course all the other attractions of the Russian River area are close by.

  • Liked — The pool area (and some of the guests as well!)
  • Disliked — Nothing really
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Bingo_the_dog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2007

My partner and I recently stayed at Highlands Resorts during the “Lazy Bear” event in Guerneville. We rented a “deluxe king” cabin that included a Jacuzzi and small fully equipped kitchen with a coffee maker. The room was recently renovated, clean and the bed was new and comfortable.

The resort is comprised of a small number of cabins located in a cozy forest of mature growth redwoods. There is a pool and hot tub, which are clothing optional and consistent with the “Bohemian Grove” essence of this property. The property is a short two minute walk to get into “town” – far enough away to be secluded and quiet.

Other amenities include continental breakfast and a massage concession located in a secluded grouping of redwoods. While the breakfast is basic (muffins, cereal, juice, coffee), the muffins/breads are homemade and warm. I also took advantage of the massage concession, which was relaxing, excellent and professional.

My only complaint was something that the resort hosts touted as a plus, i.e., the “technology-free” environment. There are no in-room TVs, telephone or WiFi except for a communal TV and one internet line located in the common living room; there is no cell phone service with the exception of AT&T. During my weekend stay, I had to queue up in order to use the internet and shied away from the communal TV gathering place.

As discussed with the hosts, technology is a necessary evil, especially WiFi. In these modern times, sometimes one can only escape for a weekend getaway as long as one is “hooked” in. Personally, I would have had to otherwise abort countless weekends away if I didn’t have internet access. Unfortunately, technology and all its negative trapping is a fact of life. Likewise, Guerneville – even during Lazy Bear – is a sleepy town; being able to watch in an in-cabin movie or hook into the news would have been a welcomed diversion.

Another minor complaint – and I am being very picky here – is that there was construction debris (cement blocks, sliding and wood bits) strewn around the cabins. While not a horrible eye-sore, it did mess up the aesthetic and setting.

Finally, I can whole-heartedly recommend this resort. It is gay friendly, warm welcoming, clean, comfortable and well-appointed. The hosts are unobtrusive and helpful; the fellow vacationers were pleasant and most were repeat guests (a good sign).
The room rate, while slightly higher than neighboring properties, was worth it.

  • Liked — The cabins - new and comfortable
  • Disliked — Lack of technology and TV in cabins
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Micknyny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Highlandsgirl, Owner at Highlands Resort, responded to this review, 14 May 2010
Ok, we caved. We put in a nice wireless internet hot spot at the resort last summer (2009) and you can now pick up the signal at the pool, lodge building, and many of the cabins and rooms. We hope to install a signal amplifier during the summer to boost the signal to the remaining rooms and cabins. Oh, and it's free.

Cell service: We can now receive both AT & T (weak signal) and Verizon (strong signal) and if you stand in just the right spot you might get T-Mobile.

TV: We have always had two units with TV and DVD (Pool Suite and Garden Suite). Based on our ongoing conversations with guests, we have no plans to add more TV's (most like being disconnected from "the box"). We do now have a portable DVD player that guests can check out if they want to watch one of our movies in their room or cabin.

Thanks for your nice review and we appreciate your helpful comments!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2007

The Highlands is a uniquely beautiful compound nestled in a residential neighborhood. It’s a short walk to Guerneville’s commercial area. I cannot begin to describe how much I enjoyed my time there last summer. I’d never stayed in a Gay Resort before, and I was a bit apprehensive to say the least. It’s so friendly and laid back (beautiful also) my room was very modest (just a place to sleep) but I wasn’t paying very much, they have more expensive options. It’s just a wonderful place to relax and take it slow. The breakfast was nice and so was the company in the lodge each morning, a great way to start the day. Although its clothing optional at the pool and hot tub, it’s not a nudist resort. Most of the people staying there had been coming for many years – I think that says plenty. Anyway it’s a great place to hangout!

  • Liked — Natural beauty and friendly laid back peple
  • Disliked — hot tub closes at 10:30pm
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 2go3go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 17 July 2005

As an overseas visitor I found the 1940's style wooden cabins, set amongst mature Redwoods, THE most peaceful setting for a holiday.

It is just up the hill from Guerneville, so away from the noisy resorts in the town; no music blaring, just a heated pool, nude sunbathing, friendly guests & staff and VERY laid back - a perfect destination for a gay couple.

Our stay was completed, with a several dinners at the 'Village Inn' in Monte Rio - California cuisine at its best above the Russian River as the sun sets...

Bliss.....

Max (BearZest)

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Guerneville
6.2 mi away
Farmhouse Inn
Farmhouse Inn
#1 of 2 in Forestville
691 reviews
0.3 mi away
The Woods Resort at the Russian River
0.5 mi away
Applewood Inn
Applewood Inn
#4 of 13 in Guerneville
513 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.0 mi away
Cottages on River Road
Cottages on River Road
#2 of 13 in Guerneville
413 reviews
0.9 mi away
AutoCamp Russian River
AutoCamp Russian River
#1 of 9 in Guerneville
55 reviews
0.3 mi away
Riverlane Resort
Riverlane Resort
#3 of 9 in Guerneville
33 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Highlands Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Highlands Resort

Property: Highlands Resort
Address: 14000 Woodland Dr, P o Box 346, Guerneville, CA 95446-9501
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Sonoma County > Guerneville
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Guerneville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcoming guests since the 1930's, Highlands 'came out' as a gay resort in 1980 (we're 'straight-friendly'). Individual cabins retain a vintage look with chrome and formica tables, inlayed linoleum floors, charming gas fireplaces and private porches.Two blocks from town, the resort is on 3 acres of redwood groves and gardens. Relax at our clothing optional pool! Our concierge assists with everything from restaurants and outdoor activities to wine tasting adventures. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Highlands Hotel Guerneville
Highlands Resort Guerneville, Sonoma County, CA

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing