Descriptions really can’t do justice to this property, it encompasses so many delightful aspects that one needs to experience them firsthand. Not far south of Mendocino Village, located across Hwy. 1 from the ocean (and next door to scenic Van Damme State Park) Glendeven Inn’s 8 bucolic acres contain llama pastures (home to 6 llamas), organic gardens filled with veggies and ornamental plantings, 50 or so chickens in coops as well as free ranging, 2 sociable cats, and 11 very individualistic lodging accommodations ranging from comfortable country-style rooms to luxurious suites to a 2 floor/3 bedroom vacation rental. The varied accommodations are housed in 3 distinctive buildings: the Barn (which also contains the reception area, lounge, art gallery, wine tasting bar and wine shop), the circa 1867 Farmhouse, and the contemporary but attractively rustic looking Stevenscroft building.
The amenities provided at Glendeven entice you to stay for multiple days (altho’ we had only one to spend): Wine tastings with wonderful house-made appetizers, 3 kinds of cookies including a biscotti (delicious--I ate far too many), 24 hr. coffee and tea, evening sherry, 3-course breakfast delivered to your room, 4-course dinner available by reservation on Wed., Thurs. and Sat. (alas, we stayed on a Mon. night), spa services by reservation, kitchenettes (which included a sink, microwave, full-size refrigerator with icemaker, and complimentary bottled water) located in both the Farmhouse and the Stevenscroft buildings, guest computer and printer, and trail access into Van Damme State Park (take the Fern Canyon Trail) as well as ocean bluff and beach trails.
We arrived about an hour after the specified 3 p.m. check-in time (per written instructions, no early check-in is allowed and late checkouts are strictly verboten). A parking space with a sign having my name on it was a welcoming gesture! The check-in process was smooth, friendly and efficient and we felt well taken care of by the Inn’s staff from that point on.
Our room was the Bay View, a corner room on the 2nd floor of the Farmhouse building. It provided a very comfortable space with wall-to-wall carpet and a nice floorplan that included a sitting room with woodburning fireplace and a separate area with a Queen bed. I loved having six openable windows that provided light, airiness and wonderful views out to the llama pasture, rustic buildings, a colorful bed of “Naked Ladies” (Belladonna Lilies) and the deep blue ocean beyond. Our long balcony with wooden chairs provided us with the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine and savor sunset as well as sunrise!
There was a personal “welcome note” in our room, as well as brownies, a vase of pretty flowers and a little linen pouch of chicken feed--sweet touch! In-room amenities also included: Wine glasses, Wi-fi, iPod dock/CD player/clock radio, and a hairdryer. There was no separate closet and the armoire was a tight space with (2) bathrobes, iron/ironing board, ice bucket and even an emergency fire escape ladder packed into it--not much room was left for hanging clothes. Only one luggage rack was provided, but there was a bureau chest with 3 drawers.
Furniture was good quality with several antique pieces. There was a slip-covered loveseat, 2 armchairs, an occasional table and a small coffee table in the sitting area. A little table and 2 chairs were situated in the area between the sitting room and bedroom. Our Queen bed had a feather topper and altho’ it didn’t look or feel terribly comfortable, it passed the true test with flying colors--no sore back the next morning!
Room decor was done in neutral/natural hues, mostly beiges, white and wood accents. The artwork was an eclectic mix with a number of attractive, bright abstracts.
We enjoyed having the fireplace going in the evening and first thing in the morning, and plenty of wood and kindling were provided on the wide, tiled hearth. The fire started with little effort. There was a wall thermostat with baseboard heater, but we didn’t need to make any temperature adjustments as the room remained comfortable.
Lighting fixtures consisted of a floor lamp, table lamp and ceiling light in the sitting area. There was enough illumination for me to read at night. Wall sconces on both sides of the bed and a small lamp on the bureau provided adequate lighting in the bedroom area--altho’ not quite bright enough to read in bed. Electrical outlets were limited in number, but at least they were accessible.
Our bath had a good size shower with tiled surround, but no tub. Temperature control was fine and the water flow adequate. The shower had 2 wall-mounted soap dispensers, but since they weren’t labeled, I was left wondering if one might have been shampoo and the other body wash. An additional towel rack would have been welcomed. Counterspace was quite limited--just the area around the sink (which had a small circumference but was nice and deep). The toilet required multiple flushes every time--the one negative about our room. Bathroom lighting was OK, but I would have liked something a bit brighter. The ventilation was good with an openable window and a ceiling vent with fan.
Throughout our stay it was blissfully quiet with nary a sound heard from other rooms. Perfect.
One needs to be on a leisurely schedule--or no schedule at all--to thoroughly enjoy the Glendeven experience. Altho’ the newspaper arrived at 7:30 a.m. and coffee was always available in the common room downstairs, it must be said that the 9 a.m. delivery of breakfast encouraged a late stay in bed. Breakfast arrived at the designated time and was a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach: Freshly squeezed OJ, melons in honey lime syrup, creamy yogurt with honey and toasted almonds, and baked eggs (courtesy of the resident hens) with a generous piece of sliced ham tucked into the individual casseroles. In retrospect I should have thought to ask if the egg dish contained meat since I’m not a carnivore--but fortunately, I was able to gently pull the ham out of the eggs.
As much as we liked our room, walking thru Glendeven’s pastures and gardens was a true delight. We photographed the 6 resident llamas from every vantage point as they calmly observed us. We dispensed with 3 little pouches of chicken feed--enthusiastically received by the flocks of energetic hens!
We greatly enjoyed our time at Glendeven and wished that we could have stayed at least a second night. The property is so beautiful and calming that one could simply sit or walk, taking in the picturesque views and be perfectly content for days. But I also would have loved to have had dinner there and to have done more wine tasting--and purchasing. They have a good selection of Mendocino County wines as well as other local products. I came home with a jar of La Mar’s Mendocino Nori Sea Salt and a bottle of 2007 Rivino Sedulous Red Blend. They will be savored, along with my experience at Glendeven Inn!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 'One of the 10 best inns in America'. This stylish inn with its blend of fine antiques and contemporary art, offers wood burning fireplaces, ocean views, full in-room gourmet breakfasts, private baths, secluded patios & decks, featherbeds, plush robes, a wine and hors deouvres hour, and free-Wi-Fi. Glendeven is a Select Registry inn built on a serene eight-acre farmstead around an 1867 country estate situated on a headland meadow with grazing llamas, just minutes south of historic Mendocino. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Glendeven Hotel Little River