Redwoods on a steep slope tower above this tidy roadside complex of single and duplex cottages separated by a grassy lawn. Although the cottages lack upscale amenities, many guests, including a sizable European contingent, return here yearly for the woodsy setting and warm service. Book ahead as far as possible in summer.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The cottages sit right off River Road, making traffic noise an issue for the ones closest to the street.
All the cottages, modestly furnished but with appealing contemporary accents (think Ikea or CB2), have (with one exception) refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, flat-screen TVs with cable, and an outdoor patio, balcony or sitting area.
Five two-bedroom cottages are good for families and groups.
Bathrooms painted in white or pastels have tile floors and showers or shower-tub combos. They're functional if not high style, though space to lay out toiletries is limited in most of them.
Complimentary fruit and coffee are available all day in the check-in area, which has the feel of a living room. Each morning breakfast is laid out here.
The small pool abuts the steep hillside to the north. It's a tranquil spot away from most of the cottages.
On-call massage therapists customize massages to suit clients' preferences. The lead therapist specializes in several modalities, deep-tissue and Swedish among them.
Staffers serve a straightforward but filling Continental breakfast—pastries, bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice, and coffee and teas. There's no on-site restaurant.
There's no bar here.
River Road runs west 18¼ miles from U.S. 101 to the cottages. Driving a car is the most convenient way to get around, though Sonoma County Bus 20 serves the area. The walk west to town is about 1¼ miles.
Staffers recommend several restaurants are less than a 1½ miles away (all a 3-minute drive), including boon eat + drink for New American cuisine, Big Bottom Market for soups, sandwiches, and biscuits, and Dick Blomster's Korean Diner for KFC (addictive "Korean Fried Crack" chicken) and other Korean-influenced comfort-food items.
Right on the river, cash-only Stumptown Brewery (3-minute walk), which has a full bar, makes its own microbrews with names like Rat Bastard and Death & Taxes. You can order by the glass or flight. Head to El Barrio (3-minute drive) for mescal and classic tequila margaritas but also a good selection of bourbon and other craft spirits. Good bar bites (chips, quesos, deviled eggs), too. The Rainbow Cattle Company (3-minute drive), a gay bar open since the late 1970s, has a convivial vibe.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Hospitable owners and its setting amid redwoods make this a fetching stop for visitors who prefer to devote their dollars to wining and dining instead of lodging. The cottages are furnished simply but thoughtfully, with the garden setting heightening the appeal.