In the quiet enclave of Elk, California, where the Pacific meets the rugged northern coast, I had the pleasure of spending a few days at the Sacred Rock Inn—an intimate retreat that whispers tales of serenity, architectural beauty, and culinary delights.
As I pen these words, I find myself transported back to a haven where the world slowed down, and nature unveiled its grandeur in every detail. Sacred Rock truly feels like a sacred place, and it’s got to have one of the best views of any inn in the Mendocino area.
A Retreat in Nature
The Sacred Rock Inn defies the grandiosity often associated with luxury accommodations, offering instead a sanctuary of small-scale intimacy. With only a handful of rooms, the inn feels like a secret garden—a place where solitude and connection coexist.
The charm of its size lies in the personal touch, the attentive staff, and the shared moments that make it a refuge for a California coastal weekend getaway from the Bay Area or beyond. Regardless of time of year, even in the winter, I’ve loved this slice of coast, just south of the town of Mendocino.
There are smaller cabins on the property that have a one-room bedroom and private balcony, the two story king suites (that I stayed in) with an upper floor featuring what must be one of the best bathtub views in the world, and a larger house on the property that can hold an extended family is in the works. Regardless of which room you choose, everyone has access to the Jacuzzi with an ocean view and AM group yoga classes.
The merging of luxury and nature in this private space is nothing short of poetic—a moment to savor as the waves serenade your senses.
Architectural Poetry: Beauty in Every Corner
As I entered the inn, I was immediately captivated by its architectural poetry. The Sacred Rock Inn is not just a place to rest; it’s a work of art. The new construction seamlessly blends with the quaint architecute of the original buildings to create an almost storybook-like atmosphere, adorned with stained glass windows that filter the coastal light into kaleidoscopic hues.
Balconies beckon, providing a front-row seat to the breathtaking panorama that is the Mendocino coast.
Nature’s Canvas: The Best Inn View Along the Coast
It would be remiss not to mention what can only be described as the best inn view along the Mendocino coast. When you’re standing on your private balcony or taking in the view from your bathtub, watching the pelicans circle rugged landscape in front of you, it becomes clear exactly how and why this came to be called ‘Sacred Rock.’
The Sacred Rock Inn is perched in a way that invites the sea to become a part of its architecture. Coastal views stretch to the horizon, where the meeting of land and water paints a canvas that changes with the whims of the weather. This view is not merely a sight but a spiritual experience—an ever-changing meditation that soothes the soul.
Culinary Symphony: Greenwood Restaurant
A stay at the Sacred Rock Inn is incomplete without a culinary journey at the Greenwood Restaurant. The food, much like the landscape that surrounds it, is a symphony of flavors.
Fresh, locally sourced ingredients dance on the plate, a testament to the culinary artistry that awaits guests. Each bite is a celebration of the region’s bounty, a gastronomic love letter to Elk, a small town that is quickly becoming more known and visited, but still so far away from any kind of hustle and bustle.
We ordered the sea bass for my son, the short rib and beetroot salad for us, and three of the desserts for science. All were delicious. Just keep in mind that this is a restaurant where you’ll want to order each course, as the portions are in keeping with high end restaurants that beckon you to sample multiple dishes.
So is Sacred Rock Worth it?
Sacred Rock is one of the most romantic places I can think of staying. Having stayed in seven different inns in Mendocino over a lifetime of exploring California, this one takes the cake in terms of views. Even on a stormy day, nestling into the bathtub or firing on the fireplace while watching the nature outside is time well spent.
Elk, though a bit farther afield than Mendocino town, is exactly the place to go if you really want to get away from it all and just have a relaxing getaway. The beach is almost always empty, there are no crowds, and the quaintness of it is ideal for a night or two.
It is a reminder that sometimes, the grandest experiences are found in the smallest details—the rustle of leaves, the taste of a well-prepared meal, and the tranquility of a room with a view.
*Thanks Sacred Rock for inviting me to stay and experience this enchanting inn. All thoughts are my own.