It’s all about the view and the location at Timber Cove. Set on California’s Highway 1, on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean, getting to this stretch of Sonoma Coast is half the fun. As you make the trek through the likes of Jenner and Fort Ross, it’s not a question of if you’ll pull over to take in the views, it’s a question of when and how often.
A bit of an icon in its neighborhood, Timber Cove was built in 1963. A waitress in the onsite restaurant, Coast Kitchen, is happy to share with guests how her husband, who worked at the property as a youth, would ride his horse to the hotel and tie up behind the kitchen.
Inspired by the architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright, redwood, stone, and earthy colors help the property blend in with its surroundings instead of trying to compete with them. Step inside the lobby and the classic A-frame structure shows off a rustic modern design. Close to the door, the front desk is small and unassuming, but it naturally leads guests in to the Great Room. Flanked by a fireplace and bar, it’s Timber Cove’s social take on a hotel lobby.
Timber Cover offers 46 guest rooms and suites. Some offer forest views, but a majority look out at the waves that crash into the Sonoma Coast. (If it’s in your budget, an ocean view is worth the splurge.) Though the configurations and layout of the rooms can vary, they all have a natural feel that’s just sleek enough to still fit in on the Sonoma Coast. Wood dominates the design scheme, but it’s not dark and heavy, it’s light, and thanks to plenty of windows that bring the outside in, an airy feel prevails.
Thoughtful touches, like record players in every room, have a way of inducing smiles. A full vinyl record library in the Great Room, allows guests to hunt for favorite tunes. Almost all rooms feature fireplaces and Smeg refrigerators. Some offer large soaking bathtubs. There’s even a bunk room complete with coastal views that can comfortably sleep four, thanks to two hand-crafted bunk beds. Yoga mats, pour-over coffee, and Lather toiletry products supplied in large eco-friendly, refillable bottles are a given, regardless of what room category guests call home.
Coast Kitchen, the onsite oceanside restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menus feature locally sourced ingredients. Outside seating is available, but you don’t feel like you’re missing out when sitting inside, thanks to a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. A fireplace and natural rock wall, complete with smiling stones, adds to the space’s cozy feel.
Set on 25 acres, the property boasts two miles of scenic hiking trails. Maps and a scavenger hunt, complete with prizes, are available at the front desk. Oceanside fire pits are ideal for roasting marshmallows, or sipping a glass of wine from one of the many local vineyards. An Outdoor Living Room offers foosball, billiards and a ping pong table. There is a small gym, and private yoga classes are available for an additional cost.
The property features two works by famed San Francisco artist and sculptor Beniamino Bufano. An obelisk known as both the “Madonna of Peace” and “The Expanding Universe” reaches nearly 100-feet above timber Cove. A second, significantly smaller sculpture, sits in the Outdoor Living Room.
A 90-mile drive from San Francisco, curvy coastline makes it about a two-and-a-half hour trip. The coastal scenery helps time pass quickly.
Forest View room rates range from $249 to $419. Ocean View room rates range from $299 to $539. Ocean View Suites range from $499 to $819. Parking and Wi-Fi are complimentary. You can check rates on the hotel website and compare prices at a site like Travelocity or others.
Review and photos by Dana Rebmann. Her stay was hosted by Timber Cove, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.