A room at the end of the world

Yes, it’s a one-song line but this place is really more than that. Imagine a 180 degree view of the Pacific from your hotel window, in a small inn set on several acres of property. I’ve been going to the Mendocino Coast for years, mostly tasting wine in the Anderson Valley, and rarely have I seen a place like the Newport Ranch in Fort Bragg.

The ranch is named after a small town that grew around a logging community in the 1860s. It currently houses a 10-room hotel and is still a working cattle ranch. The current owner planted the new ranch with over 11,000 trees on the property and created one of the most unique nature preserves in the Pacific: and the owners are thankfully determined to care for it for the long term. When I visited earlier this year, there were a number of adorable newborns who weren’t afraid to approach guests from a distance.

The ranch now totals over 2,100 acres with a mile and a half of oceanfront property with panoramic views. It is also home to over twenty-five miles of trails through redwoods and along creeks and rugged coastline. What’s truly special about this property is the chance it gives select guests to explore an unspoiled slice of the Pacific Coast beachfront. There’s even an ocean-view hot tub on the top floor.

seek and eat

Mushrooms have long been a serious dish in Mendocino. This is an area that has done everything to promote their growth and sustainability. Customers can visit the different varieties available and pick them, if any, at their leisure. The chef of the property often uses them in many recipes.

The hotel’s dining room is only open to guests: a more discreet feature for those who stay there. Breakfasts are delicious and plentiful, eggs are easy, lots of bacon and Bloody Marys as needed. The kitchen can also prepare lunches to go: which are not difficult to enjoy while overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The ranch has chairs and benches placed at odd angles near the Pacific where guests can stroll and admire the view.

If that wasn’t enough, most rooms have stunning views of the Pacific from multiple windows. The Captain’s Quarters, one of the hotel’s most stunning rooms, even offers stunning views from two sets of windows with smaller openings to watch the sunset and sunrise.

Gastronomy

The restaurant’s chef offers a delicious prix fixe every evening, with an emphasis on locally grown vegetables and sustainably raised meat. One evening promised butternut squash bisque, followed by grilled lobster, duck and smore pie. Proteins change every night. The soups were particularly divine: fresh peas and squash were on the menu.

Wines are often local with some fun imports for after-dinner treats: think an in-depth assortment of Scotch and Madeira. One of my favorite local picks was a slightly aged Nelson Hill Pinot Noir from 2014: it was great with the duck. Mendocino sparkling wines are also on hand for wine pairings, as are well-made cocktails.

About Dwayne Wakefield

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