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“Manka's -- quirky, and fantastic”

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Manka's Inverness Lodge
Ranked #5 of 10 Inverness B&B and Inns
Reviewed 8 August 2012

We stayed at Manka's this past weekend. It was our third visit to the hotel, and our second stay in "Manka's Cabin." We love the place. Point Reyes is a real treasure, with hiking and amazing Pacific Coast beaches, and Manka's is hidden away in the small town of Inverness, in the middle of the park. The old hotel burned down about 6 years ago or so, and what is left is a bunch of different types of rooms and cabins, some tucked in up a hill in Inverness, and some down on the water, looking over Tomales Bay.

Manka's cabin is big, with a living room and a sleeping annex, a beautiful spacious bathroom (complete with incredible outdoor shower) and two outdoor decks. One deck has a Japanese soaking tub and Adirondack chairs, and the other a table for outdoor eating. The room itself is beautiful, cozy, and funky, with a huge elk head on the wall above the working fireplace, and decorations from the area's past. The raised bed is incredible, comfy, cozy, and there is a pullout couch in the living room. There is also a refrigerator, coffee maker, and electric teapot.

Delicious breakfasts arrive at your door each morning between 9 and 9:30, so it is hard to get an early start, but worth the wait. The breakfasts are homemade, and feature local produce and products, and the food is excellent. Homemade granola with yogurt and the best cinnamon buns on the planet were among the offerings. We also tried the $58 prix fixe dinner which was offered on Sunday night. Three courses were brought to our room, and a wine list was also offered, though we brought our own. The food was superb, and there was plenty to eat, and the experience surpassed our expectations.

We are kind of do-it-yourselfers. We don't need many services from a hotel. The service at Manka's is warm, friendly and professional, but don't expect to be overwhelmed by staff. If you are looking for a very cool, romantic place from which to explore Point Reyes, Manka's is a great spot, and Manka's cabin, while expensive, is hard to beat.

It is not exactly a traditional hotel experience (whatever that means) but it is a great spot for a romantic getaway, and we will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank familyfoodie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 - 57 of 104 reviews

Reviewed 20 June 2012

Whether or not one gets one's money's worth staying at Manka's depends largely on how much money one has and how picky one is about spending it. I drive a crap car but adore a luxe holiday so it worked well for us but I readily can see Manka's isn't everyone's cuppa tea and I expect that's exactly as the owners wish it to be. We stayed in their priciest digs and I think we derived value but it's the sort of place that appeals to me.

Definitely order the in-house dinner if you stay on a Friday or Sunday (or both, as we did). Finest kind dining and certainly worth the bucks.

A special occasion place, not your every-day respite long weekend. NOT for kids; no way, no how.

We stayed in the boathouse which was so spacious we almost got lost. Next we'll go for Manka's Cabin because of the hot tub.

If your cuppa is the "luxe" of the Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and the like, then Manka's is most assuredly not for you.

Staff is helpful, courteous and friendly. But there's not a whole lot they can do for you once you are ensconced. They'll deliver pricey wine, arrange for flowers (gorgeous!), and bring dinner on Friday and Sunday ... and that's about it. Other than good tips and information about what to do and where to go in the area.

There's an atmosphere, an attitude, a very particular high-bohemian ethos on offer here. A different sort of pretention that can be fun if one is in the mood and not too overly concerned about the lack of traditional luxe and service.

Room Tip: Manka's cabin has a hot tub on the deck. The boathouse is on the shore of Tomales bay with a pi...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank CatalinaW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

We stayed at Manka's a couple weekends ago, in Annex #8. Things we loved: the cozy fireplace, comfortable bed, and some luxurious touches (Frette linens and towels). Our stay was comfortable but for the price we were paying we were expecting something more magical. Some of the decor missed the mark on feeling up-scale. For example, when we walked into the bathroom and saw the concrete shower (floors and walls were concrete) my husband's first reaction was, "wow, just like prison!" Now, I'm sure prison would not have a delightful rain shower head but the walls and floor reminded us more of a cold communal shower than an upscale one.

Service was also not warm or accommodating. We ordered the dinner on Sunday night and the guy that brought our meal was stand-offish. He acted annoyed when we asked for some water because it required a second trip. He did little to set up the dinner nicely on the table, we dug around for our napkins, and found ourselves cleaning up after the meal. However the food was pretty good.

Another incident that was annoying - our bathtub drain stopper was broken and non-functional. When we nicely asked for a replacement the receptionist said she was very busy at the moment so we would have to wait several hours for her to address the issue (she had to put some glue on the rubber stopper where it was cracked). Giving guests restrictions on when they can take a bath doesn't feel hospitable especially at a place that costs so much!

All in all if Manka's were $100 cheaper a night we would be quite satisfied. But compared to other luxury lodging out there at the same price point the service and the amenities just didn't seem up to par. Inverness is nice and peaceful but there isn't a lot to do in the surrounding area (restaurants, etc) so you really rely on the experience of the lodging to make your trip memorable. At the end of our two day trip we felt a bit cooped up and like we didn't want to bother the staff about anything.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank sherene c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2012

This was my husband's and my first stay at Mankas since the devastating 2006 fire that destroyed the lodge and restaurant. Naturally, we wondered how this stay would compare to our previous visits. Well, we needed have worried, because it was spectacular.

Manka's owners have clearly done everything in their power to keep their inn as special a place as possible, and have succeeded brilliantly, a process that had to have been difficult in the extreme. Yes, it was disconcerting to see a gaping hole where the lodge used to be, but we were greeted in such a warm, gracious, and friendly way that that was quickly forgotten. Silver Airstream trailers are scattered around the property, including one which serves as the check-in office. Bright yellow Aidirondack chairs sit in front, along with a sign that reads, "You've Arrived." Our host met us at our car with a Thermos of hot cider, pressed from local apples (of course; this is, after all, West Marin), and helped us settle into our cabin. What a wonderful welcome.

We stayed in the Fishing Cabin, which sits apart and below the hill from the Annex, a row of cabins next to where the lodge used to be (and will be again, thankfully), where we had stayed on our previous visits. The rooms in the Annex are lovely, but the Fishing Cabin is a cut above, as is Manka's Cabin, presumably, which is directly next door. Among the amenities are a huge, wonderfully comfortable King-sized bed, covered with Frette linens, thick quilts and plenty of pillows; a large wood-burning fireplace (with an endless supply of wood); a large couch facing the fireplace, and a leather reading chair and ottoman. The bathroom is spacious (although the floor is a bit cold), with a large soaking tub, thick white towels, bathrobes, Kiehl bath products, AND an outdoor shower.

There are two seperate tables, with space for working (if you must. And if you must, there's free Wifi), or for stacking the books you'll no doubt be reading during your stay, because there is no TV at Manka's. I can't imagine arriving at a place so obviously designed for total relaxation, and finding a television. The reason you come to Manka's is to escape all that, and to take in the gorgeous inn and its surroundings. And to say the surroundings are stunning is a spectacular understatement. Manka's sits in a quiet residential neighborhood up the hill from Tomales Bay, and while you are surrounded by other properties, you would never know it, even on the deck, which is quite large, and has two Aidirondack chairs and a large hot tub.

The food is as wonderful as it always was, presumably because it's being cooked by the same person (Daniel DeLong, one of the owners). Manka's prides itself on using only meat and vegetables from the local area, and each bite is a true testament to the difference between food that has been processed and food that has not. Breakfast is included in the price of the room, and is delivered each morning, along with a copy of the New York Times. Dinner is available only on certain nights, and is served in your room. Luckily, we were there on one of those nights, and it was one of the best meals I've ever had.

What else is there to say? I've read negative reviews from people who clearly don't 'get' Manka's, and the people who do 'get' Manka's will know exactly what I mean. It is a very special place and, hopefully, always will be.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, upgrade to either the Fishing Cabin or Manka's Cabin.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Havecakewilltravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2011

Tucked away, not by the bay, as the picture might lead one to believe, but in the middle of a wooded neighborhood. The shower "window" opened below the neighbors backyard. The room was cozy warm with the fireplace, but the bathroom was unheated and quite cold - not what you expect for $400 a night.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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3  Thank Cathy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2011

Wow! If you really want to feel you got away and decompressed, this is your place. A little pricey, but worth it!The environs are gorgeous and quiet, while the interior of the cabin is rustic the has all the amenities.Breakfast served in your cabin is delicious, and we had dinner in one night and the food was amazing.Local, and organically grown.The hot tub on the deck was pleasant , especially the view and private enough to skinny dip.
Two things that might have made it better would be a bottle of wine waiting for us when we arrived, as the nearest store was 10 minutes away by car, and the generator for the hot tub was loud, and spoiled the serene sound of peace and quiet.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank pixie90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2011

We stayed in one of the few rooms without a fireplace and it was comfortable and well appointed.

Given that this styles itself as a high-end, exclusive lodge I was disappointed about a few things. We ordered the in-room dinner which was delicious but basic (although dessert was quite late and over-cooked) and for $58 per person it could have used a salad, or some pre-dinner nibbles, or maybe a bottle of wine to make it feel like good value for money. The other issue is that it is not made clear whether a gratuity is included in the price so when you leave and are presented with the check for the whole stay it is difficult to work out what to do.

Our room also adjoined another and there was quite a lot of noise through the walls.

My only other comment would be that when the owner is also the person you need to report problems to, it can be a little uncomfortable. Usually when paying this kind of money you don't have to feel like you are offending the person whose life's work it is.

Breakfast is unequivocally amazing but for early risers you can't get it early. There is a coffee place in Inverness that opens at 7am (breakfast doesn't arrive until 9-9.30am!)


Anyway, it was a pleasant enough stay but I think next time I would go somewhere a little less high end because Point Reyes is beautiful and you don't end up spending much time in your room. Alternatively, if I want a "luxury weekend" I would stay somewhere where they really have the facilities and resources to do it properly.

Room Tip: Call early in the morning for early check-in
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Berkeley1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Manka's Inverness Lodge

Address: 30 Calendar Way, Inverness, CA 94937
Region: United States > California > Marin County > Inverness
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Inverness
Price Range: £90 - £131 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arts and Craft era Lodge tucked in above Inverness Rooms and Cabins in the hills and on the water ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Manka`s Inverness Hotel Inverness
Mankas Inverness Lodge
Manka's Inverness Lodge California

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