I Could Live Here: The Inn At Newport RanchAuthor:Annette Hanami
Mendocino has a new getaway and it’s pure Mendocino. The newly-opened Inn at Newport Ranch in Fort Bragg sits on 2,000 private acres of rugged coastline and forested hills that guests can explore on foot, horseback, or ATV. The Inn was conceived by owner Will Jackson whose family has used the property as their own vacation home since 1986 with the new Main Inn and the Redwood House providing additional accommodations with the same residential feel.
The Inn was designed by Dave Sellers of Sellers and Company Architects and Jim Sanford of Sanford/Strauss Architects in a Coastal Ranch style that’s seamless with its surroundings. The architects worked closely with Brent Anderson Construction and designer Robin Cannell Baker to create new residential buildings with extraordinary custom woodwork that honors the history and natural beauty of the coast.
There’s a mile of coastline and 3 miles of ridgetop trails to wander at the Ranch with a 50-mile panoramic view. Special picnic spots like Council Bluff above are carved out throughout the property inviting guests to settle in to enjoy the view and breathe in the fresh air. The Inn is stunning year-round, blanketed with colorful wildflowers in the spring, golden fields in the summer, and even during the coldest, blustery winter, it’s romantic curling up by the many fires and looking out at the drama through the picture windows.
The Inn at Newport Ranch is named after the original logging town that occupied the headlands in the 19th century, a convenient location for felled redwoods to be transferred onto waiting schooners. Guests feel the connection to the nearby forests in the rich and weighty redwood construction of the buildings. The hallway and staircase walls are paneled in impressive 5-foot wide redwood slabs and underfoot are 30-inch boards that were milled from old logs left on the property or recycled from pine stadium seating. Every redwood door and headboard is hand-crafted in a unique design and tabletops of polished burl rest organically on finished trunks or branches.
Entering the light-filled Newport Room, one realizes they’ve just passed through a 20-foot wide walk-in fireplace. Ideal for events and meetings, a single, 40-foot long redwood slab dominates the center of the room, cut into five sections for re-arranging and for seating up to 35 people. At the north end of the room, a stunning redwood burl is set into turquoise-colored concrete.
There are three intimate rooms in the Main Inn. The Captain’s quarters above has a generous bath and spectacular view of the ocean.
Even though the town of Mendocino is a pretty 20-mile drive south, guests won’t have to leave the Ranch for meals. Made-to-order breakfasts are included in the stay and lunches and dinners are available upon request, prepared by innkeepers Creighton and Cindi Smith, who owned a catering business for 15 years before managing luxury hotel properties. Creighton, a trained chef, tends several vegetable beds on-site and goes to nearby Noyo Harbor to check out the latest catch of the day. If going out for dinner, try an old-school, classic seafood restaurant Silvers at Noyo Harbor where you’ll dine while watching a beautiful sunset and boats coming in for the night. In the town of Mendocino, the most charming Café Beaujolais is a perennial favorite.
The soon-to-be-opened Redwood House has 3 fully-equipped suites with intimate kitchen and dining area, flat screen TV, private hot tub, and outdoor terrace or deck with grill. One of the most dramatic design features of the Redwood House is the structural integration of 24, 3-foot diameter, 25-foot tall redwood columns that make one feel they’re nestled in a forest abutting the headlands.
Look forward to the spa facilities here with two generous treatment rooms in the lower level of the House and sauna upstairs. Also downstairs is a large conference room for distraction-free meetings.
The owners’ original home, Sea Drum, has 4 bedrooms and 4 baths is also available for rent. The residence was named after the dull beat of the sea shooting up through a blowhole on the side of the bluff.
The entire property is equipped with complimentary WiFi and both buildings have a comfy rec room downstairs with a 60-inch flat screen TV. All baths are supplied with luxury amenities.
Yes, I could definitely live here.
The Inn at Newport Ranch is open year-round.
Visit: 31502 North Highway 1, Fort Bragg