For groups demanding seclusion, the Inn at Newport Ranch, about three and a half hours north of San Francisco, presents an opportunity for an exclusive luxury retreat on Northern California’s Mendocino Coast. The newly constructed inn, which opened for business in August 2015, sits on a 2,000-acre ranch that includes a mile and a half of coastline dotted with sea stacks, bluffs and spectacular views. Sleeping a maximum of 30 people, the inn is ideal for small retreats for boards of directors and similar groups.
“You don’t have to worry about there being another group there,” says innkeeper Creighton Smith. The staff is focused on customization, curating the entire experience for a group’s specific needs—after all, they’re the only hotel guests on the entire property. This includes helping to arrange accommodations for groups larger than what the inn can accommodate overnight.
In addition to a well-appointed conference room seating 40 people, the ranch’s natural surroundings provide outdoor opportunities for meetings. Council Bluff, for example, is a Stonehenge-esque array of rock benches, sculptures and a fire pit. It’s situated on a particularly breathtaking area of the coastline, overlooking blowholes and rocks. Smith says it could serve as a small meeting venue or as a spectacular place to network while watching the sunset.
There’s plenty to do around the ranch during downtime or as teambuilding activities too, from ATV tours of the old-growth redwood forests to horseback riding to picnics on coastal bluffs. The inn also provides shuttle service to the nearby cities of Mendocino and Fort Bragg, and can arrange trips to wineries and other attractions in the wider region.
Dining at the inn is a “ranch-to-table” concept, says Smith, and is exclusive for guests. Many of the fruits, vegetables and fresh flowers used in the dining room are grown on-site, and the inn’s position on a ranch that still houses several hundred head of grass-fed California cattle and with easy access to fresh-caught fish from the Pacific means local cuisine is abundant. —Emily Freehling