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An Idyllic Lodge Among Nature

by Lou Seibert Pappas

For an idyllic retreat of Northern California's Mendocino Coast, Stevenswood Spa Resort rates accolades. Contemporary and secluded, this tranquil inn offers a gracious respite from the daily whirl. Nestled in a forest by the sea, the intimate lodge echoes the natural beauty of its rural setting. Here guests are pampered with comfort, privacy, and peace, and indulged in gracious service and superlative cuisine.
In the fast-paced world of big city or suburban life, it is easy to forget the beauty and rejuvenation that nature offers. This private locale refreshes the soul while experiencing the serenity of nature in a gorgeous pristine environment. Flanked by sea and forest, the resort integrates the best of two worlds. What fun it was to jog in the cool verdant woods one day and the following in the grassy meadows alongside the azure-blue Pacific sea.

Located just two minutes south of the village of Mendocino, this AAA four-diamond property is surrounded on three sides by the 2400-acre Van Damme State Park, with its towering redwoods and golden meadows. Intimate by design, the lodge encompasses 10 luxury suites, many with dappled views of the ocean. Each room contains a wood-burning fireplace, cable plasma TV with HBO, private baths, cordless phones/speaker phones and a fully stocked honor bar. A private botanical garden, jacuzzi spas, and landscaped grounds enhance the breathtaking setting, with a backdrop of Redwood groves and ocean meadows.

Working with local architects, the lodge was designed and crafted superbly with custom-made Honduras wood doors and hand-rubbed Red Oak ceilings. Much of the furniture and furnishings at Stevenswood is imported and stylish, with a flair of contemporary elegance. Italian microfibre sofas, dark espresso fixtures, Venetian glass bowl Italian vanities, imported cork flooring from Portugal, and bathrooms finished in Ocean Green slate from Madagascar. Down comforters and a coterie of plump pillows adorn the premium Tempurpedic Swedish beds.

A perfect compliment to the four diamond, five star resort is the legendary and award winning Restaurant at Stevenswood. The intimate and scenic dining room has a glowing fireplace and plush comfortable chairs.  Sit back and get ready for sumptuous gastronomical delights.   

At dinner the local steelhead arrives in an aquavit-cured gravlax tart, nestled on caramelized onion rings alongside wafer-sliced cucumber discs. A Mozzarella-prosciutto roulade joins heirloom tomatoes in a balsamic reduction for another taste-tingling first course.
Bouillabaisse features a brimming soup bowl of scallops, shrimp, mussels, clams, and lobster claw in a Pernod-infused tomato fumé. The osso bucco of lamb order brings a huge crusty shank with rosemary-scented bread pudding and oven-roasted vegetables.

The desserts dazzle. A martini glass brims with zabaglione and summer berries and a lemon tuille shatters with each biteful. And if you have a passion for home-made ice cream and sorbet, out comes a platter-size serving with six scoops of intense flavors-strawberry, plaintain, black walnut, espresso, fig/blueberry, and mint granite. California wines by the glass and the bottle compose a fine spectrum. The award winning wine list offers a perfect pairing to the selection of fine foods. Their lavish breakfast achieves equal renowned for the morning menu which features a wide variety of full-service dishes, custom-made to order, seven days a week.

Temptations include wild rice and toasted pecan waffles with fresh fruit and vanilla yogurt, salmon crêpes with spinach and sweet onions, corned beef hash with poached eggs, and tantalizing fruit plates. To introduce the meal, a basket arrives with hot-from-the-oven walnut and dried fruit-filled scones and aromatic Private Labeled Big River coffee, in a French coffee press. Pastry flour and whipping cream are the secret to their wonderful light scones. Both breakfast and dinner menus change frequently, so check at the resort for the latest offerings.

The personable, responsive staff is available to suggest various activities or arrange reservations. Trained by some of the world’s most prestigious hospitality properties, every staff member is 100% dedicated to total guest satisfaction. Recreational options include hiking and jogging on the ocean bluffs, beaches, and forest trails; bicycling, with rentals available through the concierge; and golfing on a scenic nine hole course and playing tennis, horseback riding on the beach, touring the Botanical Gardens, wine tasting, antiquing and luxuriating at the onsite 5 star full service spa, Indigo Eco~Spa. Stevenswood’s newest addition is over 5,000 square feet of pure tranquility, with 2 canyon rim Jacuzzi hot tubs, an ocean view workout fitness room, and a Australian teak sauna, with iced lemon water standing by with plush towels waiting.

Other attractions include visiting the charming village of Mendocino for gallery viewing, shopping, and dining.

The 47-acre Mendocino Botanical Gardens located just 7 miles north of Mendocino are open daily offering scenic and picnic rest sites throughout the grounds. Plantings include hybrid rhododendrons, heathers, succulents, ivies, fuchsias, dwarf conifers, heritage roses, dahlias, and camellias.

The Skunk Train makes runs through the redwood route from Fort Bragg to Willits with half-day and full day schedules. Steam engines, diesel-powered locomotives, and classic vintage motorcars provide three modes of transportation from which to choose.

Dining options abound in the area. And a friendly Stevenswood concierge is ready to make recommendations and reservations.
Reservations for Stevenswood Spa Resort may be made directly with the hotel at (800) 421-2810, or at www.Stevenswood.com . One bedroom suites range from $169 to $425.

Stevenswood Spa Resort
8211 North Highway One
Mendocino, California 95456 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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