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A Room With a View?

September 20, 2015


For the first time, my wife and I have joined several family members in attending the annual Portuguese Festa (pronounced Fesh•ta) in Fort Bragg, California. We are staying in various hotels and motels in the area. My wife and I chose to stay in Mendocino.

Also for the first time, my wife and I are staying at a particular hotel we’ve ogled for years, hoping to someday stay there. The time, it seems, has arrived. Built in the late 1870s, the interior looks like it’s right out of a TV or cinematic western. I could easily picture Wyatt Earp—either the real deal himself, or any version as portrayed by Henry Fonda, Hugh O’Brian, Kevin Costner, or the great Kurt Russell—descending the carpeted, wooden staircase that rises from the lobby floor. It’s a little bit of the Wild West along the Northern California coast.

The views of the ocean afforded by the front windows of the hotel, or from any vantage point along Main Street, are gorgeous. And as for the weather—as is our experience, mid to late September is the optimal time to visit the ocean.

As has been said, the interior of this hotel is Wild-West opulent. The lobby affords plenty of inviting nooks to curl up with a good book, or sip sherry and take in the ambiance. There’s a snapping fire that invites a couple to engage in soft, intimate conversation.


Here are a few notes about our room up on the second floor…

(Warning, some exaggeration is employed in the following descriptions…)

• Upon entering our room, we were greeted by a pristine view of a rain gutter down spout from our window. Awesome to behold, the painted-white conveyance of precipitation creates a compositional juxtaposition with the stained yellow siding behind it. Verily, it creates an “L” shape which, of course, could easily stand for Lavish, Luxurious, or Laxative.

• Our room, with only a modicum of practice, could do a passable impression of a broom closet. The ornate sink that stands in the corner, only takes up a full one-third of the square footage.

• Our bathroom is conveniently located down the hall and around the corner and then around the corner again. Without any possibility of cracking open a window, the humidity within is consistently comparable to a Brazilian rainforest in mid-August.

• The bedroom walls, as thick as 2-ply bath tissue, made it easy for us, at 7:00 this morning, to hear Fred and Joe discuss their chosen route down Highway 1.

• The bed was like a really soft, slab of granite.

• My wife and I agreed that, other than a sleeper car on the night train that took us from London to Inverness, it’s the smallest space we’ve ever paid to sleep in.

• My cousin Danny didn’t believe me. When I took him upstairs and opened the door, I thought he was going to die laughing. He attempted to pace off the square footage, and determined it was just shy of the dimensions mentioned in Roger Miller’s song, King of the Road — “…a eight by twelve four-bit room.” Oh, and it missed being a “four-bit room” by about several light years.


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  1. Sounds horrible (and a little funny). Incredible how bad some hotels are..

    • You know, the way I see it — the worst day on vacation is typically better than the best day at my old job. This was no exception. While the room was ridiculous, the hotel lobby, restaurant, and bar was fabulous, the food excellent, and the service was pretty darn good. Thank you so much for your comments!

      • That’s good to hear! Luckily, it’s not always only about the room 🙂

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