Like a cat with nine lives, The Inn at Newport Ranch changes to adapt to its unique surroundings. When the lumber business was booming on the Mendocino coast, Newport was actually a lumber town with 2,000 inhabitants living on the spot where Newport Ranch now stands. Before the mighty redwood trees were cut down for timber, the Yuki tribes roamed this coastal setting. An abundance of seafood was available in its ocean waters and many animals and birds flocked to the open land. When the lumber mills moved south to Fort Bragg, Inn at Newport Ranch was known as Orca Inn. The transformation to today’s luxury, boutique inn, took many years and a long list of craftsman to bring this romantic retreat to life.
Today, The Inn at Newport Ranch, perched on a bluff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean is the ultimate Northern California escape. The winding drive, three and a half hours north of San Francisco, is as scenic as they come. Once you turn into the gated-driveway you’ll smell the ocean and take in the beauty of your surroundings. Black Angus cows dot the landscape and a lone cypress stands guard over the main house.
The inn has several lodging options; the main house, The Redwood House, Sea Drum house and Barb’s Place. We stayed in The Redwood House, composed of three multi-level, individual suites. The Fireside Spa is located below The Redwood House. You have to experience The Redwood House to understand this unique piece of architecture. Owner Will Jackson went to great lengths to incorporate 24 redwood trees (felled redwood trees salvaged from the property) into this structure. All three suites have a living room, kitchen, fire place, deck, ocean views and internet access. The Grove Suite and Newport Suite have hot tubs. Our suite, the Birdhouse Suite, had a sauna and we had access to the 6 person hot tub on the second floor of the main inn building.
The Main Inn building is home to Captain’s Quarters, The Chute and The Ranch Room, in addition to the library, the parlor and the dining room. The Captain’s Quarters is coveted for its 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean.
Breakfast is served buffet style in the dining room or room service is available. Early risers have access to hot beverages and pastries. All guests have access to the kitchen for granola bars, tea, coffee and the cookie jar. Lunch is available, as are to-go picnic lunches, with advance reservation, for an additional fee. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail, or glass of wine, is included with your stay each night. A farm fresh, ranch dinner is available for an additional fee and is a nice way to meet your fellow guests at the communal table the first night of your stay. Room service or individual tables are an option if you prefer more privacy.
There’s plenty to keep you occupied on the ranch if you enjoy hiking, a guided ATV tour, whale watching, spa time, hot tubs or curling up by the fire with a good book to read. As this is a working cattle ranch, this is not the place to bring young children or pets.
Rooms rates start at $350 per night with a minimum of two nights. Go to Expedia or Hotels.com to compare rates. The entire property may be rented out and their is a conference room in The Redwood Room for small business retreats, family reunions or weddings. I heard one couple talking about getting together a group of friends to rent out the complete inn. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a California sunset on the Mendocino coast.
Hotel review and all photos by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer Nancy D. Brown. Her stay was hosted by The Inn at Newport Ranch, but her thoughts and opinions are her own.