Mendocino’s Harbor House Inn Is Ideal Winter Weekend Getaway

The view from Harbor House Inn
The view from Harbor House Inn

Photo Credit: Brendan McGuigan

With its dramatic rock formations, crystalline blue waters, and sky-high redwood trees, there’s something magical about the Mendocino coast. The area was once a logging community and many of the places that remain today are steeped in history. One such place is The Harbor House Inn an upscale bed and breakfast 20 minutes south of Mendocino in a town called Elk. The inn underwent eight years of restoration before it opened, with nine guest rooms, earlier this year.

Harbor House Inn
Harbor House Inn

Photo Credit: Brendan McGuigan

Initially built in 1916, Harbor House is a stunning redwood structure. The Goodyear Redwood Company commissioned architect Louis Christian Mullgardt to craft a home that showcased the beauty of the lumber. The house served as the offices and embarking point for lumber into the Pacific Ocean until 1966 when the mill was torn down. The property underwent a series of ownership changes. In 2005, its current owners, Edmund Jin and Eva Lu, purchased the premises. The duo launched Harbor House as a lifestyle brand in 2009 selling linens inspired by the area and finally in May of this year, reopened the historic building as a luxe lodging house.

Chef Matt Kammerer
Chef Matt Kammerer

Photo Credit: John Storey

One of the things that make Harbor House unique is its innkeepers. Chef Matt Kammerer is in charge of all things culinary while his girlfriend, Amanda Nemec, is general manager of the property. The stylish young couple greets guests—welcoming them into the inn as if it were their actual home. With chocolate leather couches, vintage artwork, and antique furniture, the lobby is masculine, warm, and inviting.

The lobby
The lobby

Photo Credit: Brendan McGuigan

Outfitted in Harbor House linens, the rooms are chic and cozy—many have stunning seaside views. Minimal artwork and a neutral color palette allow the Pacific Ocean and the jagged coastline to take center stage. Fireplaces, claw-foot bathtubs, and bedside books enhance the home-like vibe.

The dining room
The dining room

Photo Credit: Brendan McGuigan

Chef Kammerer’s restaurant is a 25-seat jewel box, located just behind the lobby and surrounding an oversized fireplace and reclaimed wood table. Here, Kammerer’s culinary prowess shines. The hotel has extensive gardens and access to a private beach where the chef spends his mornings foraging for sea lettuce and other edible delicacies from the ocean.

An egg dish
An egg dish

Photo Credit: John Storey

He sources all ingredients from a 50-mile radius of the hotel resulting in hyperlocal and super seasonal food. The menu, which consists of up to ten courses, changes daily and includes everything from spot prawns to wild boar. It’s innovative, thought-provoking cuisine executed with precision. Kammerer treats the sea as an essential element and infuses subtle Japanese flavors into some of the dishes.

A guestroom
A guestroom

Photo Credit: Brendan McGuigan

He also oversees the decadent breakfast offerings which can be delivered to your room in the morning. Although there is not a spa, one can make arrangements for in-room treatments like massages. Whether you spend one night or many at the Harbor House, it’s hard not to leave feeling relaxed and invigorated. The views, the fresh ocean air, and the delicious cuisine combine to make one memorable and magical stay.

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