Sandpiper House Inn

$149 for a One-Night Stay for Two with Snacks at the Sandpiper House Inn in California (Up to $305 Value)

Give as a Gift

By Mika Turim-Nygren, Travel Correspondent

Historical Bed-and-Breakfast Overlooking Ocean Cove

In the early morning hours, when a heavy fog envelops the rocky bluffs of Greenwood Cove, a sort of eerie stillness takes over outside. It holds no sway in the kitchen of innkeeper Curtis Koval. Here the fireplace is already crackling, and Koval is busy making breakfast, which on this morning includes nut cake, fruit salad, bacon, and swedish pancakes—all garnished with nasturtium blossoms plucked from the garden outside. Koval plays a part in running every aspect of the Sandpiper House Inn, from preparing its gourmet meals to maintaining its rooms with a meticulous eye for detail.

Thoughtful touches grace each of the inn's five guest rooms. There's a corkscrew to pop open bottles from local vineyards and extra blankets in the closet for cozying up next to the fireplace. All accommodations don a unique layout and antique furnishings, which hark back to the inn's origins as a 1916 lumber workers' residence, in the days when trains carted redwood timber and the season's hottest flannel shirts along the cove's cliffs. Today, things have quieted down considerably, and views of the Pacific Ocean include few signs of human intervention. The Clifton room's bay window frames a vista of cliff-side pines and a line of craggy islands that dot the sea. The private decks of the Headlands room lead to a perennial garden overlooking the frothy ocean below.

Hints of the Queen Anne cottage's lumber-working legacy linger in the redwood paneling of the living and dining rooms as well as in the kitchen, where sepia-toned photographs show laborers in rolled-up sleeves posed in front of the house as it once was. Koval can regale interested visitors with tales of the inn's past, and sojourners are free to wander off on their own to the garden knoll, where deck chairs sit feet from the bay's ridge and a fishpond burbles quietly. Depending on the season, migrating whales might appear in the distance, as ospreys and hummingbirds wing by.

Elk, California: Cozy Hamlet on Quiet Mendocino Coast

Set on the shoreline of northern California just south of Mendocino, the quiet town of Elk is awash in small-town charm. Pastel cottages perch along the coastal ridge, and an artists' collective serves as home to 28 local artists, whose output spills onto a front lawn dotted with delicate bronze sculptures and weathered wood carvings. Overflowing thickets of both wildflowers and cultivated blooms perfume the air, and crashing ocean waves up and down the Mendocino coastline lend a steady rhythm to local life.

"We have such a geologically exciting landscape," says local plein air painter Deborah Nord, referring to the steep ocean cliffs that crop up so often in her canvases. The pounding sea has expressed its own artistry along the coast of the Mendocino Headlands State Park, carving basins, sculpting arches, and doodling political cartoons in the sand.

The oceanside bluffs also provide ideal lookouts for whale watching. "The easiest whale to see here on the coast is the California gray whale," says Tanya Smart, an instructor of environmental ethics at Point Cabrillo Light Station and State Historic Park. The 50-foot-long leviathans journey southward in January, and upon their return in March, the area welcomes them back with a series of whale festivals.

Not to be outdone, the region's wineries organize numerous wine festivals throughout the year. Vintners showcase a plethora of local vintages with tastings, competitions, and educational events. Travelers can also drive down the 128 into Anderson Valley to go straight to the source, hopping from one bucolic, rolling vineyard to the next.

What You Get

  • A one-night stay for two people in the Headlands, Clifton, or Woodland Rose room
  • Chocolates
  • Pastries and hors d’oeuvres

Amenities

  • Views of ocean and Greenwood Cove
  • Perennial English garden
  • Gourmet breakfast cooked fresh daily
  • Unique antique furnishings
  • Complimentary Thanksgiving coffee and custom teas
  • Afternoon snacks of assorted cheeses, crackers, puff pastry, cookies & more
  • Wine tasting by fireplace upon request
  • Gas fireplaces in rooms and common areas

The Fine Print

  • Must travel by 7/1/12
  • Limit 3 per person, may buy 3 additional as gifts
  • Limit 3 per visit
  • Subject to availability
  • 1-night stay: 7 day cancellation policy or fee of up to Groupon price may apply
  • 2 consecutive night stay: 10 day notice or fee up to Groupon may apply
  • Must be 18 or older to check-in
  • Credit card required at check-in
  • When purchasing 2 or more Groupon, must use for consecutive nights
  • 2 night minimum stay required on weekends only
  • 11% tax not included

Other Details

How to Book

  1. Purchase Groupon.
  2. Call Sandpiper House Inn before 7/1/12.
  3. Choose a date before the expiration date.
  4. Mention your Groupon and provide your credit-card info.

Room Details

All Rooms

  • Standard occupancy: Two
  • Maximum occupancy: Three
  • Adding occupants above standard: $25 per adult older than 10 per night or $20 per child 10 or younger per night; children younger than 12 are discouraged
  • Gas fireplace
  • Mini fridge
  • Private bathroom and closet
  • Down comforters and feather pillows

Headlands

  • King bed
  • Ocean and garden view
  • Private garden entrance
  • Private garden patio

Clifton

  • King bed
  • Ocean and garden view
  • Panoramic bay window

Woodland Rose

  • California king bed
  • Meadow and foothills view

Hotel Policies

  • Check in: 3:30 p.m.
  • Check out: 10:30 a.m.
  • Parking: Free
  • Rollaways: Available for $25 per night
  • Smoking: No smoking inside the property
  • Pet policy: Pets are allowed in the Woodland Rose room for no extra fee.
  • Accessibility: Handicap-accessible rooms are not available.
  • Room upgrades: Not available

What It's Worth

  • One-night stay for two in the Headlands, Clifton, or Woodland Rose room (up to $285 value)
  • Chocolates ($10 value)
  • Pastries and hors d’oeuvres ($10 value)

    Total value: up to $305

Getting There

  • By plane: Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport (STS, 91 miles) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO, 163 miles)
  • By car: About 97 miles NW of Santa Rosa or 150 miles NW of San Francisco

Traveler's Tips

  • Elk and the Sandpiper House Inn may not be labeled—or may not be correctly labeled—on many GPS and smart-phone systems, so keep the innkeeper's phone number handy.
  • Though the inn's garden steps do not connect with the beach below, a path in Elk across from Queenie's Roadside Cafe leads to the same shoreline.
  • Breakfast is served as it's cooked, usually sometime from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., so ask the innkeeper in advance if you would like to dine at a different time.
  • Coastal temperatures can vary widely through the day, so dress in layers while exploring.

Customer Reviews

109 Ratings

Innkeeper is an awesome person to conversate with and an excellent cook.
Lorena M. · July 24, 2012
We loved your place a lot. How about free continental breakfast next time?
Mikhail B. · June 24, 2012
Very happy with our stay. Have recommended to others and will stay there again.
George B. · May 29, 2012
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