Why Elk Cove Inn & Spa in California is the Perfect Weekend Getaway

Why Elk Cove Inn & Spa in California is the Perfect Weekend Getaway

Why Elk Cove Inn & Spa in California is the Perfect Weekend Getaway

The rugged and magical coast of Mendocino draws me to Northern California every year. The setting of one of Mendocino County’s most romantic inns sits on a bluff overlooking the relative calm of an inlet with sweeping views of rock arches, teal and cerulean water, and sunset skies. mandarin. The power of the Pacific Ocean splashes the waves over the sea stacks, and seagulls compete for seats atop the jagged stone.

You should consider visiting Elk Cove Inn if you want to get away for a weekend, eat great food, drink memorable wines, relax and unwind from your everyday life. It’s the perfect weekend getaway on the west coast.

While I was staying at the Elk Cove Inn on this visit to Mendocino, all opinions are my own.

View of Elk Cove from the George Burke Suite

View of Elk Cove from the George Burke Suite

Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Comfort and hospitality

Our room key for the George Burk suite was waiting on the clipboard outside the mansion for our contactless check-in.

Sunlight streamed through the huge floor-to-ceiling windows of the ocean-view room as we arrived, and a soundscape played quietly in the background on the flat-screen TV, setting the mood for our stay.

A plush duvet on the queen bed cradled the wine and gift basket all guests receive at the Elk Cove Inn. Port wine, crystal goblets and chocolates on the buffet brought a sweet end to a memorable day on the coast. The fireplace kept us cozy throughout our stay. The TV trays made it easy to organize our meals in the suite with a view inside our room or on the balcony.

Spa services are available at the European-style day spa on the ground floor of the mansion. The library and games room are upstairs, along with overstuffed chairs and sofas for relaxing and reading.

Elk Cove Inn gazebo and guest benches

Elk Cove Inn gazebo and guest pews for ceremonies

Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

The story

Elk Cove Inn, a pet-friendly Bed & Breakfast, is a cottage-style mansion that was the home of the Mill Superintendent, dating back to 1883. It became one of the first Bed & Breakfast Inns in Mendocino County in 1968 .

Nestled among native trees, Elk Cove Inn is popular for honeymoons, girls’ getaways, couples, singles, and weddings. The gazebo is a classic ceremonial setting and benches built into the side of the hill below provide an unobstructed view.

Sheltered between cattle pastures, redwood forests, and ocean cliffs, the property is ideally located for beach walks and beach walks. Driftwood litters the beach along with seashells and flat rocks that are perfect for building cairns.

A staircase hidden under the buildings leads in two directions – to the beach and to the town. A short walk up the hill connects the beach and park at Greenwood State and the small town of Elk.

Elk Cove Inn Guest Suite

Elk Cove Inn Guest Suite

Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Innkeepers

Melissa and Victor, co-owners and general managers of Elk Cove Inn, are kind and friendly hosts. Sharing how they became co-owners of the property, they told us about their life journeys and the pride of all they have accomplished in the two years since owning the hostel.

The rabbits, goats, hens, roosters and gardens that provide farm-to-table produce come straight from their land. We learned that they are self-sufficient when they showed us around their farm and nursery.

Chef Victor brings years of experience and accomplishments to Sibo, the restaurant at the Elk Cove Inn. Trained in Quebec and Switzerland, he has worked in several countries and has owned numerous restaurants. During a 25-year stay in Miami, Florida, he was appointed to the advisory board of the Miami Culinary Institute, where he made significant contributions to the institute.

During his “retirement”, Victor prepares the daily gourmet breakfasts and dinners for guests and the public at Elk Cove Inn.

Sommelier Melissa, born in France, educated in Texas with a degree in journalism, completed all four levels of the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) program. She met Victor when she moved to Miami, where they managed and owned a high-end wine distribution company. They specialized in French and Spanish wines catering to American tastes.

Gourmet breakfast at the Elk Cove Inn

Gourmet breakfast at the Elk Cove Inn

Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

The menus

The Elk Cove Inn offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Victor is the only chef in the kitchen and aims for zero waste. He only prepares the ordered meals, which you select before noon on the day of your reservation.

Gourmet breakfasts, ordered by customers the day before from a full menu, are prepared and delivered to guests’ suites between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

I ordered the brouliette, which is scrambled eggs with parmesan, truffle oil, shallots and crème fraiche. The potato casserole is gluten free and is made with eggs, cream, cheese and herbs. Both of these dishes were so delicious that I ordered them again on the second day of our stay.

For dinner, I chose the saddle of rabbit, a farm rabbit. My husband ordered duck cassoulet, duck leg confit and smoked pork belly in a rich and delicious sauce. As a starter, I was lucky to have sautéed mushrooms, fresh locally harvested mushrooms.

Our meal started with a light consommé, followed by appetizers, entrees, dessert and house plum wine.

The whole Sibo experience was memorable and we enjoyed exceptional service in the dining room.

Elk Cove from Greenwood State Beach Trail

Elk Cove from Greenwood State Beach Trail

Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

The city

Elk, California, with a population of less than 250, is 22 miles south of Fort Bragg. Originally, the 19th century forest community was called Greenwood in honor of the brothers, who were the first settlers.

Today, historic buildings remain along Highway 1. Matson Mercantile, established in 1901, is still family owned and operated. Everything from ear drops to olive oil, unique gift items, gardening tools and equipment are on sale.

The Greenwood State Beach Visitor Center Museum houses the late 19th century post office, photos of early settlers, period furniture, and lumber camp artifacts. Due to their limited hours on Fridays and Saturdays, they were not open when we were there.

Old Hospital House is believed to be where Jack London wrote Call of the Wild. No account of Jack’s life supports this story, but locals promote it.

Elk Store is a humorous grocery store and deli. Their handcrafted sign warns motorists: “Danger Traacherous Road Ahead, Stop Get Sandwich”.

Elk Cove Inn Farm Goat

Elk Cove Inn Farm Goat

Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

How to get there

Mendocino County is about three hours north of San Francisco on US 101 or nearly three hours south of Leggett along scenic Highway 1.

The nearest airport is Santa Rosa, a two-hour drive south, with a small municipal airport in Little River serving Mendocino County. Driving is necessary no matter how you get to this Northern California destination.

Both roads of US 101 leading to Coastal Mendocino, Highway 128 to Cloverdale, and Highway 20 from Willits are winding and best navigated during the day. Route 128 intersects with Route 1 and continues the curves on the two-lane road down the coast to Elk.

Pro Tip: We visited Mendocino County in the spring and fall. It’s breezy most of the year, but we enjoyed most days with sunshine and the occasional fog on both visits. The sunsets are spectacular and last an hour.

For more information on traveling in California, check out these articles:

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