Find your own personal paradise at The Inn at Newport Ranch, Mendocino

by Dec 16, 2022California

Inn at Newport Ranch Main Inn. and Cypress Tree

The Inn at Newport Ranch is a special Mendocino destination. A luxury boutique hotel on the Northern California coastline, the inn is perfect for anyone seeking a natural sanctuary, a personal paradise, and a sustainable coastal escape.


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If one were to imagine a Northern California paradise with sunbeams cutting through misty mornings and the serenade of waves crashing against rocky cliffs, all in a luxury setting with a focus on sustainability, The Inn at Newport Ranch rises to the top of the list.

Situated on 2,000 acres with 1½ miles of stunningly beautiful private coastline and 20+ miles of trails that wind their way up into dense redwood forests with sweeping coastal views, the inn indeed comes very close to being a perfect sanctuary for vacationers seeking a restorative retreat.

Inn at Newport Ranch aerial view coastline

Aerial view of The Inn at Newport Ranch coastline and property.

The Inn at Newport Ranch is right on the California coastline, just 11 miles (20 minutes by car) north of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County. Before an inn ever opened, Newport was a small town that was born in 1865 around the logging community. When the loggers left, ranchers moved in and constructed various buildings, including a farmhouse. Parts of the farmhouse are what eventually became the inn’s main lodge.

The Inn at Newport Ranch is part of the land it sits on

As you drive onto the property (or land on it, if you are well off enough to take a private helicopter … yes that is an option), the first thing you may notice is the sprawling property that sits behind the front gates and a fence that will be your private domain. While it is still a working cattle ranch, it is also an architectural delight. In the construction of the inn, architects used natural stone (some over a ton and quite massive) and reclaimed wood from redwood logs left behind by loggers decades ago to sustainably weave the current structure into the history of the area and its surrounding landscape.

In the main building, also referred to as the “lodge,” some of the paneling and a fireplace mantel piece are from the original ranch house. Headboards for the beds are milled from single redwood burls and slabs. Throughout all the buildings, you’ll find doorknobs, coat hooks and various handles made from tree branches, animal bones and even kitchen implements and farm tools. Near the bar in the main building, there is a dining table that seats 10 people made from a single redwood slab – it is incredibly heavy, as you might imagine. One evening, we watched a staff team attempt to move it – oh-so- beautiful, but perhaps not so practical. Some tables are also made from redwood burls and boards and may also use tree trunks and branches for bases. And don’t forget the elegant lamps made from trees.

The Bar At The Inn At Newport Ranch

The bar and the redwood burl counter at the Inn at Newport Ranch.

All of this serves to create an atmosphere that is intimate, warm, natural, and very harmonious.

Not your ordinary hotel rooms by any stretch of the imagination

In total, The Inn at Newport Ranch has just four guest rooms and five suites, meaning there are never more than 26 overnight guests if the inn and its room are fully booked – which truly does help to make the inn feel more like a private paradise. All rooms have luxury bath amenities and very plushy robes, as well as very thoughtful extras such as a powdered vitamin drink and ear plugs (the waves can be loud!). Each suite has an LCD flat screen TV and a DVD player – although we have no idea why: Who wants to stay indoors watching TV when there is all this natural wonder and beautiful coastline to explore?

We stayed in two very different rooms to experience the inn fully. Our first few nights were in what is called the Main Inn, which has three guest rooms located on the second floor. Each room has a private bath and shared access to a 6-person hot tub on top of the main building’s water tower with amazing views of the ocean and the nearby redwood tree-covered ridges from the deck. There, we stayed in the Chute Room with ocean views out a side window. The Captain’s Quarters is considered the nicest room by many with sweeping ocean views from the bed. Staying here might be the only reasonable excuse to stay in bed all day. The other room, the Ridgeview, has views looking to the east and the mountain ridges. These rooms are up a couple of flights of stairs from the dining room.

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Inn at Newport Ranch Chute Room

The Chute Room in the Main Inn.

Worth noting however is that one will hear early morning breakfast preparation and late evening dinner service and cleanup from all of these rooms. There really is no way around this, short of asking the kitchen staff to whisper and not make any noises with cutlery, pots and pans. How loud depends, we expect, on the staff on duty.

We also stayed in the Hearthstone Junior Suite in the Ranch House. The Ranch House is across the parking from the main building, with the Hearthstone Suite being the newest of all the inn’s rooms. It is a very private setting, tucked into the side of the Ranch House with – best of all – a private outdoor hot tub.

Inn at Newport Ranch Hearthstone Room

The Hearthstone Junior Suite.

The suite is very spacious with oversized leather lounge chairs, a small table for eating or reading, a coffee machine, mini-fridge, snacks, and your own gas fireplace to cozy up in front of. While the inn says the views of the ocean from the hot tub are “sweeping,” suffice it to say the views are actually limited due to its location – sitting in the hot tub one would be hard pressed to see the ocean. Still, that hot tub is pretty darn special! We adored this room and its extra private feeling, but if you want to sit in a room and look at the ocean, this may not be for you. The Ranch House also has a two-bedroom suite on its other end and that can also connect with the Hearthstone, but this suite does not have access to the hot tub on its own.

Hearthstone Junior Suite Bathroom Inn At Newport Ranch

The bathroom in the Hearthstone Junior Suite.

The other three suites are in the Redwood House, with each, like very room at the Inn, featuring unique architectural features. The building itself is supported by 24 reclaimed redwood trees. Each of the suites in the Redwood House has a living room, dining area, small kitchen, fireplace, outdoor terrace, or deck with an outdoor grill, and of course, views of the ocean. Two of the suites have private hot tubs while the other has a private sauna.

Another room in a building separate from the Main Inn building is Barb’s Place, perhaps the most private – and smallest — room on the property with its own small terrace with a seating area. It is quite cozy and very cute. After touring it, we’d stay there in a heartbeat if the Hearthstone was not available. No, no ocean views, but total privacy.

The Main Inn is the social hub

With its huge stone fireplace, sitting area and dining rooms, plus games and nooks to hang out, the Main Inn serves as the social hub for the property. Each morning, a delicious cooked-to-order breakfast is served with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. In the evening, there is also a happy hour with a small complimentary hors d’oeuvres plate of a select goodie plus a choice of one glass of Mendocino wine or beer of the evening. If you don’t like what is being offered that evening, there are additional wines available to purchase by the glass or bottle, or other drinks.

Inn at Newport Ranch sitting room

The main sitting area in the Main Inn, perfect for breakfasts, happy hour, or even dinner if desired.

There is no lack of cozy seating options either, making it very easy to sit somewhere different every day of your stay. We loved cozying up in front of the crackling flames in the huge stone fireplace. Although sitting outside on the covered ranch-style deck if the weather is clear and warm, soaking up the last of the day’s rays of sun while sipping a cool white wine was pretty special, too.

Therese Iknoian Sits By Firepit At Inn At Newport Ranch

Therese sits close to crackling flames on a cool foggy evening while holding a glass of white wine.

Though we didn’t take advantage of it more than once, sitting in the super cozy library with its books, board games, and a fireplace made quiet time reading and journal writing quite special.

Food is very good…

Let’s start by saying the food — make that the culinary experience at the Inn — is supremely good. The chef sources as many ingredients from local produce, meat, and seafood as possible. The inn even has its own garden where it grows many of the vegetables, and most herbs and greens used at meals.

Breakfast is included as part of the room and the offering is stunningly good. Fresh juice, fresh fruit, made-to-order food such as omelets, scrambles, quiche, etc. The fresh baked goodie is different each morning and always yummy.

Keep in mind, though: Unless you are willing to drive 11 miles and 20-plus minutes each way into Fort Bragg for alternative dining options, you will need to budget for dining on site. We ate dinner at the inn most nights, although for variety and because one menu didn’t appeal to us, we did drive into Fort Bragg one evening, and we have also brought take-out with us to enjoy in the room. You decide each morning whether you will dine at the inn that evening.

If you do decide to eat in, know the chef will be preparing a 3-course seasonal dinner menu that is delicious — at a cost of $95 per person at the time of this writing. In addition, the inn has a full-service bar that features local wines, beers, and spirits for purchase with dinner.

The inn’s kitchen will also prepare a box lunch for you for $30 per person. However, we found it much more desirable and flexible to bring our own snacks and nibbles, which we kept in an ice chest in our room or in the mini-fridge (not all rooms have a mini-fridge).

Explore with Otis

Granted, there is so much to experience and see during your stay at the inn. Like spending inordinate amounts of time doing absolutely nothing except watching waves roll onto the rocky shore from one of the inn’s 14 shoreline and mountain benches.

Couple On Bench At Inn At Newport Ranch

A couple sits on a bench enjoying the rugged California coastline at The Inn at Newport Ranch.

A stay at The Inn at Newport Ranch is indeed a salve for the soul. That said, amidst your plans to wander here and there slowly, please take our advice and book a UTV tour with Otis. We guarantee you will be instantly enamored with his local, humble, folksy mannerisms and genuine love for the history and ecology of the ranch. He grew up in the area – just up the road, in fact – and he knows it like the back of his hand. His wife also tends the garden.

Inn at Newport Ranch Otis UTV Tour

Otis talking about the land on his UTV tour.

You’ll learn about the Pomo Indians, original inhabitants of this land. Otis will regale you with tales of shipwrecked sailors, logging and mills, the building of lumber chutes to transfer logs to waiting schooners heading to San Francisco and so much more. He’ll teach you about each of the property’s seven distinct microclimates. Depending on what tour you take – we took two – you may be able to plant a baby redwood tree in the forest, part of his plan to help reforest the slopes and keep the area healthy, or you could forage for mushrooms.

Therese Iknoian Plants A Redwood Tree At The Inn At Newport Ranc

Therese plants a redwood tree while on a UTV tour with Otis at the Inn at Newport Ranch in Mendocino County, California.

And, of course, on the tour there are views – amazing views from high up on the ridge out to the ocean and down to the inn far below. He may take you to the historic Newport cemetery on the hill, too.

Mendocino's Historic Newport Cemetery

The historic Newport Cemetery. We wandered up there at night so Therese could catch the Milky Way and light paint the graveyard.

If you don’t leave blissfully relaxed, you’ve been doing it wrong

The Inn at Newport Ranch is built entirely around encouraging its guests to rendezvous with nature at their own pace. There are chairs and benches scattered throughout the property that encourage sitting and enjoying the rugged headlands. Trails lead to secret beaches and overlooks where you can peer into rocky caves, watch water spout out of blowholes, or smile at a gathering of seals below.

Two People Walk Along The Coast At The Inn At Newport Ranch

Two people walking along the coastline in Northern California at the Inn at Newport Ranch.

Of course, you can also hike or jog various loops to suck in a lot of fresh coast air, too. Firepits make perfect spots to cozy up with a beverage at day’s end to watch the day’s light fade. Then, as you slip between luxurious sheets, we suspect you’ll feel as we did, that you’ve just discovered your own perfect paradise, where land and ocean meet on a Northern California coastline.

Sunrise And Waves On The Inn At Newport Ranch Coastline

A beautiful sunrise cuts through the fogbank along the coastline at the Inn at Newport Ranch on the Mendocino Coast in California. The sea stacks in the distance are covered in brown pelicans and cormorants.



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Disclosure: We were fully hosted at The Inn at Newport Ranch. The review, opinions and ratings here are our own, and are not approved, provided, or otherwise endorsed or influenced by the hotel.

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Rating The Inn at Newport Ranch

97%

OUR RATING Our hotel ratings will tell you what we think of an individual property and are not a comparison to other hotels in the area. They are valid at the time of our visit. We frequently pay for our hotel stays and will disclose whenever we receive discounts or comped room nights as a part of a hotel stay. Our ratings are a percent, with 100% being perfect and 0% someplace not even a rat would stay. We rate cleanliness/upkeep (e.g. dust on the windows, dirt under the beds, unclean bathroom fixtures, need of repairs/maintenance, etc.), comfort (e.g. taking into account quiet, how comfy the bed is, if there is a nice robe, a comfy chair, etc.), amenities (e.g. free parking, breakfast included and its quality, free Wi-Fi, free bikes, fitness gear, workout room, pool, etc. -- and we are not fans of hotels that say they include things, but then charge a facilities fee!), location (e.g. how easy is it to get around by foot, bike, and car or how perfectly situated a hotel is for a quiet getaway), and value (e.g. how much we feel we got in return for the amount charged).

Cleanliness / Upkeep
100%
Comfort
90%
Amenities
100%
Location
100%
Value
95%