It took us only moments to see why Mendocino’s Brewery Gulch Inn blinged in recognition as a top destination to stay. If the immediate views didn’t astonish you, perhaps the reception area full of Four Star Diamond Awards will.

According to Travel & Leisure, it was named as one of the top 100 hotels in the world, Top 10 in US, and Top 5 in California last year. Pretty impressive for a 10 room Bed and Breakfast. With it’s intimate size came immense quality noticeable at every turn.

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We’d like to personally thank Guy Pacurar, owner of Brewery Gulch Inn and his wonderful staff who hosted our stay and made it so special.

And special gratitude to Delphine Davidson at Dew Drop Wellness. In partnership with Brewery Gulch Inn, Delphine hosted our Shinrin Yoku- a Forest Bathing experience. Together, they offer custom wellness adventures for guests to enjoy.

But we all know it takes more than aesthetics to win accolades. So exactly how do they do it in such a competitive space?

We had to ask Guy Pacurar, owner of Brewery Gulch Inn,

“What is unique about your business?”


“Our customer service is our hallmark. The mantra I communicate to staff is that it is our job to figure out how to say yes. For many of our guests, they either save for the experience or are so busy that this may be the only vacation they take in a year, we can’t let them down.”


These words couldn’t ring more true to travelers like us. As someone who loves to travel, nothing is worse than feeling not welcomed or disappointed at a destination. Travel time and resources are valuable to create wonderful memories.

Speaking of memories, we also asked Guy,

“What made you choose this type of business and location?


When I was young, my parents used to take me to a place in Palm Springs, a small apartment hotel where the owners made each guest feel like a part of their extended family. Mint julep parties on Kentucky Derby day, weekly barbecues. I have always wanted to have a place where I could provide a similar experience to guests.


And it shows Guy! From the moment you walk into Brewery Gulch Inn, you’ll feel the family vibe instantly. Known as “The Great Room,” there were games, books, movies, fireplace, dining area, and attached deck with spectacular views of Smuggler’s Cove. We liked how it promotes social engagements to interact with other guests or feel at home in your own space.

Communal area for games, books, and DVD’s to check out at your leisure. Brewery Gulch Inn, Mendocino, CA
The Great Room to lounge and dine at Brewery Gulch Inn, Mendocino, CA

The welcome treats and self-service drinks were available at our leisure. It’s open seating so we could relax wherever it took us.

Our favorite common place was the attached back deck where guests can enjoy the private surroundings with groomed gardens and spectacular views of Smuggler’s Cove. Many guests gather here during happy hour to sip some wine and socialize.

Attached communal deck at the Brewery Gulch Inn for peaceful leisure. Enjoy the afternoon Sunset.
Smuggler’s Cove view from the communal deck at Brewery Gulch Inn. Enjoy the morning Sun.

All I can say is I wish my backyard looked like this!

With all of the recognition and success for Guy’s award-winning service, we were curious to know,

“If you had one piece of life advice to give someone, what would it be?”


Follow your passion, not the dollars.


Guy has never had to look back since. His passion to bring his guests unforgettable experiences in one of the most beautiful areas on earth has lead Brewery Gulch Inn to be a top destination in the world. You can see, feel, and even taste the joy he brings into the place.

Which brings me to tell you about the mouthwatering food he serves every guest.

The Food Service

Nothing says, “Welcome Home!” like a good meal though, am I right? At Brewery Gulch Inn, your full service breakfast and a ‘light’ buffet dinner with wine are included with your room rate.

Do not let the word ‘light’ fool you as it did us. It was a full meal, farm to table cuisine, and made from scratch. Now I’m not one for buffets, but I will make an exception for this place anytime. Each day from 5:30pm to 6:30pm, the Inn serves an amazing spread with wine.

The first evening we had flank steak, purple potato mash, beet salad, vegetable medley, and apple pastry for dessert. It was AWESOME! As serious foodies, we were blown away by the high quality ingredients, flavors, and textures.

Each day a new and wholesome menu is presented on chalkboard at Brewery Gulch Inn.
Lovely Lavender herb touches on the bi-color mashed potatoes at Brewery Gulch Inn. (I’m stealing this idea)
Incredibly delicious flank steak with blackberry sauce at Brewery Gulch Inn.
This was Hubby’s favorite dessert and he usually doesn’t go for apple. All of their breads and pastries are super delicious at Brewery Gulch Inn.

Just so you know it’s not a one hit wonder, our second evening dinner experience was just as delectable. I could easily get used to Chef Mitch Michelle Peace’s cooking for me every night. If you can, run to the Brewery Gulch Inn for their rustic Fall menu. It’s seriously good eats.

Oven Roasted Pork Chops, Sweet Potato Purée, Oven Roasted Butternut Squash & Dates, Greek Salad, and Mixed Berries Mascarpone for dessert.

Oven Roasted Pork Chops with Apples at Brewery Gulch Inn.
Greek Salad at Brewery Gulch Inn.
Mixed Berries with Mascarpone at Brewery Gulch Inn.

Made-to -Order Breakfast is also fantastic at Brewery Gulch Inn.

Served from 8am to 10:30am, it can either be a casual sit down in the main area or brought to your room. The seasonal menu had premium drinks, light breakfast and regular entrée options. You can select one premium drink and choose one item from either light or regular entrée options.


HOT TIP: They already serve unlimited coffee and teas at the self service counter. Go for the housemade hot chocolate, fresh squeezed juice, or my favorite- the Mango-Calamansi Lassi.


My day was not complete without the Signature Mango-Calamansi Lassi. It was like a drink of sunshine. Hubby always had their fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. A great light breakfast was the Seasonal Parfait. The hand cut pears were particularly delicious. You can’t go wrong with The Classic entrée. The Millionaire’s bacon was something to write home about. They make it in house! A bit sweet and spicy that really hits the spot.

Seasonal Parfait at Brewery Gulch Inn.
The Classic Breakfast with Millionaire’s Bacon at Brewery Gulch Inn.

HOT TIP: Whatever you do, get the Millionaire’s Bacon. They created it in-house! It’s a perfect balance of sweet and spicy.


Accommodations

Not only is the food exceptional at Brewery Gulch Inn, the room accommodations are just as fabulous.

The “Pine” Room

Brewery Gulch Inn has 10 themed rooms each with a name. We were hosted in the Pine Room. It’s conveniently located on the main floor closest to the Great Room. It was so easy to grab and go any snacks, drinks, movies, and books from our room location.

When we first entered the room, we thought “oh yeah, this will do!” It was immediately welcoming with a spectacular view, plush furnishings, and a personal note and gift from Guy and his team.

I think what really stood out to us are the personal touches Guy and his team strive to give each and every guest.

We do not drink alcohol and Guy had a nice bottle of Organic Apple Cider for us instead. The welcome note was handwritten and personalized, something that’s more rare in today’s hospitality. There was even a full bag of fancy caramels on the pillows of our bed. Not sure how they knew that Hubby Mike loves caramels, but it was a complete and wonderful coincidence.

Captivating views of Smuggler’s Cove from our Pine Room at Brewery Gulch Inn.
Plush furnishings in the Pine Room at Brewery Gulch Inn.
Personalized touches of handwritten notes and understanding guest preferences makes you feel like extended family at Brewery Gulch Inn.

Take a look at our room tour that also features the huge deep soaking tub- perfect for 2 and luxurious bathroom with high end toiletries from Asprey and Molten Brown. They even had lavish bath salts for an elegant bath.

Room tour of the Pine Room at Brewery Gulch Inn.

The Scene

Location, location, location! It’s difficult to be a top rated destination without a great location with plenty to do. No doubt you get it all at Brewery Gulch Inn.

Brewery Gulch Inn is located in Mendocino, about 3.5 hours North of San Francisco. The coastal community borders the Pacific Ocean and is a fabulous hidden gem amongst the Redwoods and mountain ranges. The drive up and down Highway 1 in Northern California is not to be missed in your lifetime. You will feel like you are at “the edge of the world.”

At “the edge of the world,” looking at the coastal community of Mendocino by the ocean.

Their Pre-arrival Concierge service is top notch and offers a slew of services that can be customized to your liking. Along with typical services like in-room massages, transportation, and reservations- they can arrange a medley of unique activities for you too such as:

  • Forest Bathing
  • Mushroom Foraging
  • Photo Safari
  • Horseback Riding
  • Art Tours
  • Bird Watching
  • Anderson Valley Picnics
  • Ocean Excursions
  • Wine Tours

Forest Bathing

When I saw the Shinrin-Yoku tab on the Brewery Gulch Inn website, I clicked on it out of curiosity. Shinrin-Yoku is a Guided Forest Bathing Experience. It’s basically a meditative walk through the forest that incorporates all five senses. I’m always up for learning new things so I booked it through the Inn for two.

Delphine Davidson, owner and Wellness Expert of Dew Drop Wellness, guided us through the 1.5 hour ‘Dipping Your Toes’ experience. It began with her meeting us at the Inn where she first talked to us about Forest Bathing and asked us some general questions about ourselves.

Wellness Expert, Delphine Davidson explains Forest Bathing

She poured us a lovely cup of blended tea that was still hot and to help us relax. We really enjoyed the herbal tea blend that she brought. It had a calm taste that was easy to drink. Hubby’s not even a big tea person but really liked it. We actually ended up buying some after the tour. Delphine explained the blend to us:

  • Lavender- nervine, soothing, calming, aromatic
  • Astragalus- helps body to stay strong in times of stress, adapt, restores vitality without overstimulating
  • Milky Oat- nervine, soothing, calming, smooth rough edges, balances mood and hormones.

After the 20 minute consultation we drove about 5 miles to a secluded forest area. We sat and breathed for about 7 minutes with Delphine’s guidance. It was hypnotic and we actually wished this part of the session was longer. She has such a soothing voice. Afterwards, she let us walk into the woods with a focused self-awareness she just taught us. For 30 minutes, we wandered quietly and enjoyed our surroundings.

Delphine guided us here, a secluded area for Forest Bathing.

When time was up, she called us back to the meeting spot and we had a post therapy session discussing our mood and feelings before, during, and after the forest bathing. She also referred some helpful resources to aid with our meditations at home.

In partnership with Brewery Gulch Inn, she also offers a day long wellness excursion called The Full Body Immersion. The 6.5 hour experience includes the Forest Bathing, hour long yoga, lunch, and your own individualized holistic health strategy.

Forest Bathing with the Redwoods guided by Dew Drop Wellness.

If you are health conscious and into yoga, wellness, meditation, holistic nutrition, and detox- Delphine is an expert in the space. She has close to 2 decades of experience in several disciplines that will help you meet your health goals. She, like Guy Pacurar of Brewery Gulch Inn, follows her passion in life and loves to help others obtain a better quality of life.

  • Check out Delphine’s excursions at Brewery Gulch Inn here.
  • Check out Delphine’s full services for Dew Drop Wellness here.

Other Adventures

If you have passion for the rugged outdoors, you do not need to venture far from the Brewery Gulch Inn to see the splendor of Mendocino. There’s so much more to see and do that it’s possible to spend a week here. We stayed at Brewery Gulch Inn for 2 nights and 2 days, here are a few highlights we experienced:

  • Hike Headlands State Park
  • Visit Big River Beach
  • Ride the Skunk Train

Hike Headlands State Park

For jaw dropping scenery, do not miss hiking at Headlands State Park, just a couple miles away from the Brewery Gulch Inn. The paths feel literally on earth’s edge. The Dragon’s Mouth was pretty unique to see. It’s a natural blowhole, but with the right lighting you can see breaths of rainbow spouting in the air.

Look closely, you can see the rainbow from the Dragon’s Mouth
See the Dragon’s Mouth spit rainbow live, Mendocino

The views were captivating and it went on for miles! There were plenty of mighty bluffs, beaches, and forests as far as the eye could see. Families, couples, and dog walkers enjoyed the day roaming the rugged coastline.

Mendocino Highlands State Park has 347 acres of undeveloped seaside bluffs and islets easily accessible from downtown Mendocino. I loved the amazing sea caves and watched people kayak through them.

Captivating ocean views with sea caves, bluffs, and beaches.
Welcome to the edge of the earth.

Visit Big River Beach

Who doesn’t love the beach? Just north of the bridge in Mendocino and within a couple miles from Brewery Gulch Inn, sits the most popular beach with lots of activity- surfers, volleyball, etc. It’s unique because it’s connected to a river and both sides have soft sand where you can linger. The currents can be dangerous though, but we went during low tide.

Beautiful day at Big River Beach, Mendocino
Big River Beach is connected to a beautiful river. Very unique.

Skunk Train

We’d like to thank Sierra Railroad for hosting our ride on the world famous Skunk Train. It’s historic name is The California Western Railroad.

So why is it called Skunk Train?

“The nickname “Skunk” originated in 1925 when motorcars were introduced (today sometimes referred to as railbuses or railcruisers). These single-unit, self-propelled motorcars had gasoline-powered engines for power and a pot-bellied stove burning crude oil to keep the passengers warm. The combination of the fumes created a very pungent odor, and the old timers living along the line said these motorcars were like skunks, “You could smell them before you could see them.” -Sierra Railroad

The Skunk Train on the Pudding Creek Express route.

We took the Pudding Creek Express, it was a 1 hour, 7 mile round trip route to see mostly the redwoods. It was fun standing on the open platform where most passengers gathered to see the views.

The departure was from Fort Bragg about 20 minutes away from the Brewery Gulch Inn. Throughout the ride, they had a musician singing and playing the guitar for the passengers.

Entertainment on the Skunk Train

Tickets for the Pudding Creek Express:

Adult – $41.95
Child (Ages 2 to 12) – $25.95
Infant (Ages 2 and under) – $10.95
Dogs – $10.95

There are several routes to choose from. Click here to see the menu and book tickets for the Skunk Train.

The Ultimate Hideaway

We were looking to hideaway and celebrate our 9 year anniversary. Brewery Gulch Inn is perfect for romantic escapes, local staycations, restorative vacations, and even BFF getaways. We saw a few families too that stayed for the adventure!

HOT TIP: The views can easily distract you on the way to Brewery Gulch Inn. Don’t blink twice though or you’ll pass the turn on Miss Muffet Drive (adorable name), a seemingly private road to the Inn.

Hideaway at the Brewery Gulch Inn.

The Brewery Gulch Inn would like to share a couple of their incredible recipes with you from Chef Mitch Michelle Peace. Guy and Chef Peace hope you will enjoy a piece of Mendocino from their home to yours.

We have a deeper appreciation for the Flank Steak with Blackberry Demi that we had during our stay after seeing this recipe. We now understand why it’s so incredible!

Flank Steak with Blackberry Demi Recipe

On the sweeter side and perfect for this Fall season, try the Savory Pumpkin French Toast. It calls for Brioche bread, my favorite!

Photo courtesy of Brewery Gulch Inn. Click for Savory Pumpkin French Toast recipe.

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