Seeking a Cool Coastal Escape? Bodega Bay Lodge Beckons.
By Fran Endicott Miller
Bodega Bay is a mere 1 hour 30-minute drive northwest, but it might as well be a world away. Cooled by nature’s air conditioning, surrounded by the flora and fauna of its coastal habitat, and unfettered with the congestion we experience daily in the East Bay, Bodega Bay is an ideally located refuge – close enough to reach quickly, but far enough to provide an alternative reality, if only for 24 hours. Spend that 24 hours in the care of Bodega Bay Lodge, and you’ll reenter the real world recharged and with a sense of calm.
Perhaps you’ve been to Bodega Bay Lodge in the past. Sister hotel to well-known Bay Area spots such as the Lafayette Park Hotel, Monterey Plaza Hotel, and Stanford Park Hotel, among others, it has consistently rated through the years as a top Sonoma Coast choice. But recent enhancements have elevated the Bodega Bay Lodge experience, making this beloved hotel a gem that begs to be (re)discovered.
Here’s how to make the most of your Bodega Bay Lodge stay:
Your Room: Choose from a selection of room layouts, but consider an elegant Ocean Club Whirlpool Suite. Newly remodeled in soothing hues of gray and blue with sea-faring décor, these single story suites, with their large whirlpool bathtubs (and bath salts at the ready), deliver an extra dose of tranquility. Each has a private patio overlooking a vast lawn, with unobstructed views of the bay and ocean. (Nearly every room at the Lodge affords water views, so you simply can’t go wrong with whatever layout you select.) All rooms feature down comforter beds, plush robes, Keurig coffee makers, a gourmet mini-bar, and ZENTS bathroom products. Many feature wood burning fireplaces; and yes, it gets cool enough during the summer to light ‘em up on foggy nights and mornings.
Check-In Itinerary: Check-in at 4pm, and acclimate yourself to the property. Notice the various fire pits, the Bocce Ball court, the lawn games, and the hammock hanging amongst the trees. Note the newly remodeled infinity-edge hot tub, perfectly positioned for optimal views. Take a quick walk to adjacent Doran Beach, a wide, 2-mile stretch of pristine white sand, and return to the lobby at 5pm for the daily complimentary sampling of Sonoma Coast vintages.
Dinner: The Lodge’s newly remodeled onsite restaurant, Drakes Sonoma Coast Kitchen, is an integral part of the the Lodge experience. Casually elegant, with all tables facing the large picture windows, Drakes is a Sonoma Coast favorite. Ingredients, including those from the bar, are all sourced locally. Start with a craft cocktail made with artisanal spirits such as “The Perfect Man,” featuring Healdsburg’s Alley 6 Rye, or “Bees Knees” with Petaluma’s Griffo gin. In the kitchen, Chef Jeff Reilly utilizes the bounty of the region in his delicious dishes. Start with oysters prepared several ways, or a plate of local artisanal cheeses. Fish offerings change according to the day’s catch, and meat lovers will find several options. Save room for a piece of ‘Jeff’s Mom’s Chocolate Cake,’ a dense slice of heaven, slathered in cream cheese frosting. After dinner, grab your sweater and a bottle of wine, and settle into a rocking chair near one of the property’s fire pits.
Morning: Start your day with an ocean-view workout in the Lodge’s fitness room, or borrow one of the hotel’s complimentary bikes for an easy ride to the beach. Return for a soak in the hot tub, or a sweat in the sauna. Schedule a massage – either in-room or in one of the two treatment rooms. Then relax by the heated pool, or plan a day of sightseeing.
Activities: *Plan a winetasting route; Bodega Bay is central to more than 200 wineries. *Plan a cheese tasting route; Bodega Bay is surrounded by notable cheese-making facilities. *Take a drive through rolling hills, apple orchards, redwood groves, and old farm towns. *Go kite flying, kayaking, canoeing, or surfing. *Play golf. *Hike any number of trails. The staff at Bodega Bay Lodge can advise and help you chart out your day.
Bodega Bay Lodge is part of Northern California’s Woodside Hotels collection of premier hotels, restaurants and spas. The company strives to provide authentic experiences with locally-inspired hospitality. Bodega Bay Lodge, with its ocean-inspired spirit, is a lovely example of the Woodside Hotel aesthetic.