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HomeLuxury TravelA Winter Escape to Mendocino's Stanford Inn • We Blog The World

A Winter Escape to Mendocino’s Stanford Inn • We Blog The World

We’ve been to Mendocino many times but it’s always been for a weekend getaway, never in the winter and never with a teenager in tow. During a winter break, we decided to head up north for a different kind of experience. Nature options make it a great family stay, even in the winter, and the Stanford Inn certainly makes it easy to travel with kids.

Let’s start with the fact that the property is surrounded by lush nature on all sides, making it ideal for walks, nearby hikes and learning about sustainable living. Just look at the views of the property from the room balconies.

The Property

The property itself is charming, inside and out. You’ll find the dining room in the main building, but before you get to the wooden-walled eatery, you are greeted with a tea station, books, gifts and a fireplace. They offer snacks in the late afternoon before dinner in the same area. Outside on the porch, they’ve added beautiful little touches to the property to make you feel at home.

The reception area

The tea station

Above, lower right: Snacks in the afternoon

The Rooms & Suites

The Stanford Inn offers a variety of room and suite offerings. Since there were three of us, we went for the two room (one bedroom) suite, so we could all have our privacy. Below are the views from our suite.

Their one bedroom suites are located on the garden, main, and top levels of the Forest Building and include a living room and separate bedroom with a king-bed. The living room has a large wood burning fireplace and a sofa that can be opened into a queen bed, which is a great option for families. Each of their five one bedroom 2-room suites are paneled with ponderosa pine with redwood accents. The private deck overlooks their gardens and higher level suites views extend to the Bay, Mendocino Headlands, and the village.

Their suites can be combined with a King-Bed Executive Suite where two couples or a family of six can enjoy a suite with two bedrooms, each with their own bath and a common living room.

Above and below photo credit: Stanford Inn

Above and below photo credit: Stanford Inn

For those looking to book, they have five one bedroom/two room suites in this category: Alder, Bishop, Cypress, Douglas Fir and Grand Fir. As a heads up, we stayed in the Cypress suite.

Some of the perks include a chef-prepared breakfast, wood-burning fireplaces, high speed WiFi, satellite HDTV, fridges, microwaves in the rooms, stereo systems with phone connectivity, coffee makers with organic coffee, private decks, eco-friendly and vegan amenities, and luxe robes.

King rooms, pictured below, can be booked on the main or top floor of the Big River Lodge Building and they include wood burning fireplace, views of the gardens and Mendocino Bay. Done in traditional style, they are paneled in ponderosa pine with redwood accents.

Above and below photo credit: Stanford Inn

Above and below photo credit: Stanford Inn

Here’s a view from another one of the rooms. Spectacular, right?

Photo credit: Stanford Inn

Stanford Inn Activities

At the Stanford Inn, you’ll have access to their indoor swimming pool, sauna and hot tub as well as complimentary mountain bike rentals. They also offer private classes/sessions in nutrition & healthy living, cooking, creative play shops, breathwork, meditation, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, Tai Chi, yoga, massage and spa treatments, gardening, nature walks, mushroom foraging and beyond.

On-site is Mendocino’s only fitness center and aquatic facility. The Aquatic Center’s greenhouse features a saltwater swimming pool (heated to 82F), dry sauna, hot tub, showers, and lounging areas among plants. Let’s just say that it was a perfect way to unwind and escape the rain when we were up there in February (rainy season in northern California).

Photo credit: Stanford Inn

Before or after relaxation time, you can try out their fully equipped fitness room as well.

Above and below photo credit: Stanford Inn

Above and below photo credit: Stanford Inn

Stanford Inn Dining

Ravens is all about farm to table plant-based dining. For breakfast, they offer a comprehensive plant-based menu, which features elegant, gourmet plant-based breakfast dishes. Dinner options offer a variety of plant-based takes on dishes such as a Kalua pork using onions and mushrooms.

Photo credit: Ravens/Stanford Inn

At Ravens, they focus on locally harvested products—from seaweed to chanterelles—organic sustainable ingredients from their own farm, conscious products that support sustainability and of course, respect for the land. Their wine list, for example, includes mostly wines produced from certified organic vineyards, biodynamic vineyards, or those using sustainable, traditional farming practices.

Their breakfast menu is even more comprehensive than their dinner menu, with tons of interesting choices. For example, they offer items you’d find on other breakfast menus, but made with a vegan twist. Their savory crepe has chickpeas, turmeric tofu, zucchini, onion, garlic, and avocado. There’s the Stanford Herbed Polenta, Chilaquiles (tortilla chips with enchilada sauce, cashew cheese, Spanish rice and refried beans), and something they call the Garden Scramble, which is your choice of tofu or tempeh, served with garden veggies and potatoes. If you want something a bit more traditional, they have scones, muffins, waffles and pancakes served with fruit.

Above and below, a savory crepe for breakfast at Ravens

For dinner, there are a variety of veggie options, from their Ravens Rustic Flatbread that you build on your own (mushrooms, spinach, onion, garlic, arugula, red bell pepper, fresh jalapeño, strawberry, artichoke heart, tofu feta) to the Ravioli, which I tried. The latter is stuffed with hemp and sunflower ricotta and served with greens. (both are pictured below)

Their flatbread

For something a little lighter, they offer salads and soups as well.

The beet salad at Ravens

The mushroom soup at Ravens

Other options include the Sea Palm & Root Vegetable Strudel, their Thai Red Curry, which they serve with Squash or Sweet Potato, Tofu and Jasmine Coconut Rice, Enchiladas filled with Mexican-Spiced Cauliflower & Walnut, Spinach, and Green Chile or their Kalua Mushrooms with Coconut Rice.

The Ravioli at Ravens

More on Sustainability

The property has something they call the Environmental Leadership Field School. Participants in this program receive tools for creative problem solving and gain insight to assist oneself and others to live sustainably. Their mission is to “provide experiences that mobilize future leaders from different fields to support and enhance the environment, biodiversity, and equitable relationships.”

Photo credit: Stanford Inn

Nature & Towns in the Area

On the way up, you’ll pass a little town called Boonville. Here you’ll find several cute little shops, a coffee bar, and an art gallery with the Moon Honey Tea shop adjoining it. They have lovely homemade teas, mugs and other gifts here and we ended up leaving with some goodies from this gem.

Shops, cafes and an art gallery

Above, Moon Honey Tea Shop and also below (left side only)


Before you get to the town of Mendocino, you’ll also pass sweeping views of the ocean and it is . . . spectacular.

For more information about the property, including how to book, visit their website.


Stanford Inn

44850 Comptche Ukiah Road
P.O. Box 487
Mendocino, CA 95460



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