Reintroducing Sea Ranch Lodge (Part II) –
Natural serenity and more: Enhancements throughout the lodge
Sea Ranch Lodge is the same, but different. As described in Part I below, our guestrooms have beautifully updated, and most rooms now feature inviting gas fireplaces in addition to the stunning ocean views. We are also delighted to announce that our brand-new Spa Studio is now open, ready to welcome and pamper guests. Also described are changes to the common areas, which all lodge visitors enjoy when they come to dine or view the art gallery. If you haven’t been to Sea Ranch Lodge recently, we invite you to see our new look, all throughout the property. Hope to see you soon!
The new Spa Studio offers enhanced opportunities to experience Sea Ranch Lodge’s natural serenity. The intimate spa features a welcoming courtyard, cozy waiting area, two treatment rooms, spa beverages and slippers. We offer spa guests 18 and older a choice of several massage treatments – each designed to relax and refresh. All full-service treatments start with a welcome ritual treatment; this complimentary 15-minute treatment provides a soothing transition from the outside world to the serenity of the spa. Guests may enjoy their massages either in the Spa Studio’s treatment rooms or in the comfort of their own guestrooms, for a small additional fee. For guests to ensure their preferences, we recommend spa appointments be made in advance, by contacting us at 800-732-7262.
BLACK POINT GRILL
Our acclaimed restaurant now has a different look: its clean, casual vibe complements the delectable dining inside and ocean panorama outdoors. Sonoma-made tabletops are crafted from reclaimed Douglas Fir; banquettes are from reclaimed cedar. Mirrors recycled from guestrooms expand and reflect the ocean, so diners can savor the view from all directions. Comfortable dining chairs with padded seats encourage lingering over conversation and coffee.
FIRESIDE ROOM & ART GALLERY
Changes in the Fireside Room have garnered rave reviews. The wall separating it from the Art Gallery was removed, opening the room and expanding the space onto two levels, making it ideal for small events and functions. Surrounding the large river rock fireplace are comfy leather couches to sink into with a glass of wine, a book or both. Up a few stairs is the Spindrift Gallery at Sea Ranch Lodge, featuring rotating exhibits by distinguished regional artists. Here guests can contemplate the artwork from inviting orange leather easy chairs.
Reintroducing Sea Ranch Lodge (Part I) – The same natural serenity, now with fresh updates!
Welcome! Sea Ranch Lodge is the same, but different. We are delighted that after months of activity, the extensive lodge renovations are almost all complete. Here in Part I are changes to our guest rooms you’ll enjoy next time you visit. In our next blog, Part II, we’ll focus on the updated common areas and the brand-new Spa Studio.
ALL GUEST ROOMS
Our 19 guestrooms have been updated with natural, fresh style from top to bottom. All have stunning views of the Pacific; most have 1970’s-design Malm gas fireplaces, making the interior space even more warm and inviting. Custom king-size pillow-top mattresses by Serta invite luxurious repose; they are enhanced by down pillows and attractive linens, then finished with a cozy duvet and throw. New furniture includes custom headboards and swivel chairs to easily access the ocean vista, while oak bedside tables from the 1960s have been refinished and recrafted to bring in a vintage touch. Contemporary style is featured in the decorative pillows, window-seat cushions and blinds. Artwork from noted local photographers including Paul Kozal and Tom Eckles adorns the walls. New to the rooms are the small refrigerator and beverage station, featuring an electric kettle & coffee supplies so guests can brew their own from organic, locally roasted coffee from Thanksgiving Coffee Co. Guests who prefer other beverages can enjoy organic teas from T and water in refillable glass bottles.
PACIFIC SPA PATIO
Among our 19 accommodations is an inviting couple’s oasis, the Pacific Spa Patio room. This generous room – a favorite of couples for celebrations – features views of the ocean and patio, where an outdoor hot tub, private courtyard and small garden expand the living space. It has a private entrance, California King bed, and separate seating area with gas fireplace and two comfortable chairs to enjoy a cozy fire. Like all our guest accommodations, the Pacific Spa Patio has a small refrigerator, beverage station for fresh-brewed coffee and tea, and gracious amenities.
Bathrooms in all accommodations have a fresh look as well, beginning at entry with locally made cedar barn-style sliding bathroom doors. Attractive vessel sinks boast a unique heritage: these cast-concrete bowl sinks are crafted with Russian River gravel, which was removed from the river to aid the return of salmon runs. Bamboo bath accessories and BeeKind guest amenities sit atop black quartz countertops. In the shower is a large rain showerhead and attractive porcelain tile.
All accommodations are ready for guests to enjoy now. Remember that room rates include a full breakfast, prepared to order and served in Black Point Grill.
We hope to welcome you here soon to experience first-hand our stylish new look. When you come, please ask us for a tour of the changes!
Thar She Blows!
Whale-watching at Sea Ranch Lodge
Each season at Sea Ranch Lodge has its own charms. In the cooler months, generally from November through March, ocean-gazing guests are delighted by the sight of migrating whales not far offshore. Traveling between Alaska and Mexico, often along California’s shallow coastal waters, both gray whales and humpback whales are often viewed from the lodge’s 50+ miles of hiking trails. For those who prefer to enjoy these cetacean sights without the elements, there is excellent whale-watching from the lodge’s guest rooms and Black Point Grill, which all have panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean and Sonoma Coast.
The whales feed in the summer months in the cold waters of the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, between Alaska and Siberia. As the seasons change and daylight gets shorter, the whales begin their long voyage to the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico, where they mate and calve. Here is more information on the whales most often seen at Sea Ranch Lodge.
The gray whale is named for its gray patches and white mottling on dark skin. Its migration is one of the longest of all mammals, averaging 5,000 – 7,000 miles one way. The journey takes 2-3 months at a speed of 3-6 miles per hour. A baleen whale, the gray whale feeds on small crustaceans and tube worms, which are found in bottom sediments and strained through the numerous, fringed baleen plates on its upper jaw, where teeth might usually be.
A migrating gray whale generally blows 3-5 times in 15-30 second intervals before raising its 10-12-foot fluke and submerging for 3-5 minutes. Adult males are about 45 feet long and adult females slightly larger, each weighing about 30-40 tons. Females have a single calf about every 2+ years, which is about 15 feet long and over 1100 pounds at birth. In their calving and breeding lagoons, some gray whales, known as “friendlies,” occasionally approach small boats and allow people to touch them.
Although there were once three gray whale populations worldwide, the north Atlantic population is extinct from over-hunting and a Korean or western north Pacific stock is greatly reduced. Given full protection in 1947 by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the eastern north Pacific gray whale, that seen in California, has recovered to its original population size of 19,000 – 23,000.
Found in all oceans of the world, the humpback whale is a member of the rorqual family, characterized by dorsal fins on their backs and ventral pleats from the lower jaw to belly. The discovery that the shape and color pattern of the humpback’s dorsal fin and fluke are individual to each animal has allowed researchers to identify and track important elements of their population. The humpback’s body is black on the upper side and mottled white and black on the underside, with very long flippers. When the humpback ‘sounds’ (goes into a long or deep dive), it throws upward its fluke – serrated and up to 18 feet wide – showing the black and white underside that is unique to each whale.
Also a baleen whale, humpbacks feed on krill, small shrimp-like crustaceans, and small fish, eating up to 1-1/2 tons a day. Both weighing between 25 - 40 tons, adult males are 40-48 feet long; adult females about 45-50 feet. Females have a calf every 2-3 years, which is between 10-15 long and up to one ton in weight.
Active and acrobatic, humpback whales often breach, jumping completely out of the water, swim on their backs with flippers in the air, and slap the water with their flukes or flippers. Humpbacks are perhaps best known for their ‘singing.’ Remarkably, their long, complex songs are the same within a geographic population (the North American Pacific population, for example), but they are different and unique from humpback songs sung in different regions. Lasting 10-20 minutes and repeated for hours, the songs are sung only by males, possibly part of mating behavior.
Humpback whales received worldwide protection status in 1966 from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), but many were killed illegally by the Soviets into the 1970s. Today, their numbers are estimated at 30,000-40,000, about one-third of the original population.
(For more information, visit the American Cetacean Society at www.acsonline.org, the source of this whale information.)
We’ve Got Rhythm
“Sunset & Jazz” in the Fireside Room
In August, Sea Ranch Lodge tried something new – jazz at sunset once a week in the Fireside Room. Harrison Goldberg, in concert with one or more of his musician friends, has delighted the audience of both lodge guests and neighbors from The Sea Ranch. The improvisational group’s diverse repertoire includes swing, Latin and jazz standards from the Great American Songbook, as well as some original tunes. As a result of the enthusiastic response, “Sunset & Jazz,” featuring Harrison and friends, continues through September.
Commenting on his music at Sea Ranch Lodge, Harrison describes the easy-listening events as rhythmic, multi-layered and melodic. “Our music is characterized by a group dynamic that encourages shared musical discoveries through improvisation, plus soloist gems,” he says. The friends joining him vary, but may include a guitarist, pianist, bassist and/or drummer.
A former resident of The Sea Ranch for 13 years and now living in Gualala, Harrison Goldberg is a full-time musician who plays the saxophone. Well-known in Northern California jazz circles, Harrison, an alumnus of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, has been a professional musician since 1960. He plays with several bands, including Cloudfire, which will release their fifth CD this year. As part of the duo Lavender Fog, he is working on a separate CD project fusing science and art, Landscape of a Dream, which utilizes a software program that converts painting to music. In addition to his music, Harrison’s other creative endeavors include award-winning visual arts and wine label design.
“Sunset & Jazz” is featured from 6 – 9 pm on Thursdays in September. The cover charge is just $7. For those who are hungry for more than music, drinks and food are available. In the Fireside Room, Chef Phillip Kaufman has created a small menu of jazz bites – featuring tasty light fare like mushroom, peppers & bleu cheese bruschetta and spicy pulled pork sliders with apple & cabbage slaw. In addition, the full menu of Black Point Grill is available for those enjoying the music in the solarium, just two steps from the Fireside Room and overlooking the ocean.
UPDATE: "Sunset & Jazz" continues into on Fridays with Harrison Goldberg & Friends. October 5 & 12 and November16 & 30, 6 - 9 pm. Just $7 per person.