Looking for a low-key, but still luxurious honeymoon hotel? The Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino, Calif., may be just the place.
About three hours north of San Francisco and tucked away just outside the town of Mendocino, this 10-room hotel is small enough that you feel like you’re staying in someone’s home, but big enough that the service and amenities are top notch.
When you check in you’ll immediately notice two things: the beautifully rustic Great Room with a large fireplace and comfy mission furniture, and the friendly service from General Manager Steven Smith. When we arrived about an hour before check-in, he and his staff made us comfortable in the Great Room with cups of tea and muffins until our room was ready.
The good vibes don’t stop at the Great Room, though, as the rooms are furnished in the same cozy-meets-rustic style and feel just like home (well, if your home was an eco-friendly cabin overlooking the Pacific Ocean). The heat comes from the fireplace and most rooms open out onto a deck or balcony so you can take in the view.
While the overall look is arts and crafts style, there is a large flat screen TV in the room as well as a DVD library in the Great Room where you can borrow anything from “Some Like it Hot” to season three of “Coach.” Also, if you take advantage of their pre-arrival concierge service you could have a massage appointment, bouquet of flowers, bottle of wine or more waiting in your room when you arrive.
Making you feel even more at home at the inn is the nightly wine hour, from 5:30 to 6:30. You can sample local wines and beer — the hotel’s owner Guy Pacurar is often on hand to give you the back story about the vineyards each wine came from — and enjoy a light dinner. During our stay the “light” dinner was satisfying enough that we forgot any thought of heading into town for an evening meal. It’s also a chance to chat with other couples and families staying there. On our visit there were two couples enjoying their honeymoons at the hotel as well as a few couples on “second honeymoons.” The Brewery Gulch Inn does have a few suites that are especially good for families, so there may be a few kids running around, but it likely won’t detract from the relaxing atmosphere.
The wine hour was a fantastic perk of staying at the hotel, but breakfast may have been even better. As part of your stay you can head into the Great Room each morning for a made-to-order dish. The Millionaire’s bacon on the menu is a must-try (well, if you like bacon). It has a sweet and spicy glaze and was so good I had to get it every morning of our stay. There are lighter options in addition to the standard bacon and eggs as well, like a fruit and yogurt parfait.
When you do manage to venture beyond your room and the Great Room, you’ll see the gorgeous view of Smuggler’s Cove and the Pacific Ocean from just about any where in the Inn. A short walk down the road, past plenty of trees and a small brook, is a closer view of the cove that’s just stunning. And when you finally commit to exploring the area, the staff is at the ready with maps, suggestions for restaurants and activities, and tickets to popular tours and attractions.
If all of this sounds amazing but you’re not married (and eligible for a honeymoon) yet: Well, they also do weddings …
Full disclosure: Destination42 received a media (discounted) rate to stay at the Brewery Gulch Inn. All opinions, however, are our own and this content was not subject to approval by the hotel.