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Stanford Inn by the Sea
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Reviews (501)
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Reviewed 10 April 2012

We came to the Stanford Inn, for the second time, with my parents and our two children. Everyone had a fantastic time. The staff were friendly and welcoming, including the front desk, chambermaids, and everyone in the restaurant. Our children loved visiting dog-owners outside the restaurant and playing in the indoor pool. We loved sitting by the fireplace after the kids were asleep. My parents loved the vegan restaurant, where we didn't have to worry about their food allergies. It is an amazingly restful place though there is plenty to do in the area, should you feel adventurous. We were very sad to leave, and look forward to our next visit.

Room Tip: Rooms on the second floor have a better view, but you really can't go wrong.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank BklynGuy68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2012

Stanford Inn is not everyone's cup of antioxidant tea. On gorgeous grounds by the Little river, there's an expansive stretch down the garden over the highway to a distant but beautiful ocean view. The vegetable gardens are replete with spitting llama. Bicycles are available to ride to town, canoes available to explore the river. The pool and hot tub area have an inside/outside quality - safe from sun and rain, but not oppressive and smelly like a typical indoor pool. There's Raven's, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant (excellent by these standards) where you can actually dine with your dog (just outside the restaurant in the parlor area). Wood burning fireplaces, free sumptuous breakfasts in the dining room and a feel of Northern California/Redwoods/Mendo that permeates the ambience. The downside: a kind of holier-than-thou preciousness that can feel abrasive at times. (others have commented on the aloofness of the front desk - I would concur - others, however, might experience this as the quiet carefulness of seasoned yogis). If you are a vegan, an animal lover, or a true believer (of the Northern California kind), welcome to heaven. If not, keep reading!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank LeChat123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2012

I visited the Stanford Inn last week for a quick getaway with my mom from Sonoma. We stayed in one of the Suites which has a bedroom with a separate living room, and a deck which had a view of the property and ocean. The bed in the room was super comfortable, we loved it! And the wood burning fireplace was an excellent, cozy touch for a cool evening. We happened to luck out with the weather, and had amazing sunny skies while we were there. The grounds of the property are beautiful, with flower and vegetable gardens to walk in, llamas, etc. We didn't take advantage of the canoeing on the river or the bike riding, but it was a nice feature (maybe next time!). In the afternoon we went into the dining room for their tea time, and had tea paired with a home-made, vegan, chocolate mousse which was delicious! The breakfast was also delicious; their restaurant is completely vegan which is not the way I typically eat, but it was very good, we were both pleasantly surprised!
The hotel is just a couple minutes away from the downtown, which has a lot of great shopping, and we went to the edge of town to the headlands park, where we were able to spot some whales! All in all, it was a perfect quick getaway, I would highly recommend it.

Room Tip: We stayed in one of the Forest Suites, which is at the far end of the hotel with great views!
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank foodieldy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2012

I brought my three daughters to the Stanford Inn for a mommy/daughter getaway, and we absolutely loved our time there. As you drive in, you pass organic gardens on your left and a paradise of greenery and flowers all around. The girls were literally squealing with delight, and I was as well, in my somewhat quieter way...
Our room was everything we could want. We stayed in the Big River Suite, and it was more than enough room for the four of us. The bedroom has a king bed and it's own TV (which the girls never even asked to turn on; that alone says plenty about this place), and, most delightful, french doors leading to a large deck. The views from the deck were beautiful and calming, stretching across the gardens to the ocean beyond. We could also see Mendocino village. I found the beds very comfortable, and I have to say I'm completely perplexed by previous reviews that griped about the feather beds. Really, griping about feather beds??? I usually wake up several times a night, and this was the first time I have slept through the night in years.
The living room area was spacious and inviting, including a desk, a table (set with four big cookies and a note from the owners welcoming us), a long console with a tv, a cd player and some relaxing instrumental cds, plenty of places to sit, and another deck. The girls loved the room, and happily spread out with their books and their drawing pads. My youngest daughter was so thrilled with it all that she made detailed drawings of the room so that she could later show my husband "our elegant vacation place". We were so happy that we decided to stay another night. Our suite was already rented that night, so they showed us a few options and offered to help us move our things. The second room was as lovely as the first.
There were cozy bathrobes hanging in the closet, which the girls quickly donned so that they could feel like they were "being elegant". The robes were handy for more than prancing around in: they kept us nice and cozy later at the pool.
We went down and rented bikes right off the bat so we could see the estuary nearby. Bike rentals are free with the stay, and we were set up with bikes and helmets by a friendly man who also suggested other great outdoor activities in the area. We set off in the rain (!!) for a bike ride along the estuary, and although we got wet, we had a great time. We got back in time to change for afternoon dessert, which was also complimentary. A week before we came to the Inn, we found out that my youngest daughter is allergic to eggs, gluten and tomatoes, so eating out will no doubt be tricky. But not here. They brought her a gluten-free dessert, including a piece of chocolate, so instead of feeling sad about what she couldn't have, they made her feel special. I really appreciated that. We then spent lots of time in the pool and hot tub. Lots of plants and light, a really pleasant place to be. There was a sauna as well, so by the time we left we were all relaxed, and hungry for dinner.
Dinner was delicious. Our family is not vegan, not even vegetarian, although we are moving in that direction. We are, however, foodies to a rather silly extreme. We've eaten all kinds of food, at all kinds of price points, and after a while it's uncommon to be surprised with anything utterly new. This was new. And delicious. Flavors that I had never experienced. And I felt so good that the girls and I were eating foods that were really good for us. The girls loved the restaurant, so much so that we came back the second night as well. Again, my youngest daughter was accommodated with gluten-free options. Cheerfully, I might add.
The girls were interested in the garden and asked the front desk staff if they could offer to work for a bit with the gardeners. They walkie-talkied the garden folks, and we made a plan to meet up. They were offered the option of threshing wheat by hand, which we all did with Jamie in the little gardening shed. We removed the wheatberries from the stalks and the chaff, sifting carefully as we went along. They were amazed to see that this is where flour comes from. Jamie also showed us the garden, and offered to let us help with tomato seedlings. The girls were so happy to be a part of what would later become a meal at the Inn.
We never left the property until it was time to go home, so we didn't discover until late in the game that the car key had gone missing. The front desk staff were so nice as we were flapping around trying to find it. They contacted Jamie to see if it was in the shed, and the bike rental place to see if it might be there. Really nice.
My ten-year-old daughter picked a wildflower bouquet and wrote a thank-you note to the owner, she was so happy. And I was so thrilled that I had to write my first tripadvisor review ever. Stanford Inn knocks it out of the park!

Room Tip: Be sure to rent bikes and see the estuary. Have dinner at the Ravens. Food is inventive, unique, delicious and healthy.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Joan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2012

In the past, my wife and I tended to gravitate to a new locale each year for vacation, but we departed from the norm last summer when we decided to spend ten days revisiting the Stanford Inn for a second time. Why? Because every aspect of our trip the summer before had been exactly to our liking and sincerely impressed us. The helpfulness of the staff; the cozy, immaculate, and welcoming rooms and facilities; the impeccable food; and the scenic splendors of the setting were just the tonic we needed for a restorative getaway. There is something quite magical about that part of the California coast, and the Stanford Inn manages to sound all the right notes and underscore and complement the Mendocino experience. We decided to book again for this year and eagerly look forward to exploring more of the stunning coast and forests, the topnotch wineries and restaurants, and the considerable charms of the Inn itself on this third trip. The Inn provides excellent value for the price, especially when considering the beautiful grounds and gardens, the sumptuous breakfasts (included in the room rate), and the attentive and welcoming service. The Stanford Inn has become "our place" and we are very happy for having discovered this perfect vacation spot.

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