by Terry Ward
The Shoreline Cottages are easy to access off Highway 1. This friendly inn puts your family within walking distance of the gorgeous Pacific Ocean and provides great hospitality to all who visit. Make sure to check out Mendocino for many dining, shopping and entertainment attractions. At the hotel, you’ll find recently renovated cottages, perfect for spreading out and feeling right at home. Seaside-themed dÃ©cor will instantly put you in a vacation mood, and easy access to the beach will let you quickly hit the surf. Full kitchens come equipped with everything you need to make the perfect family meal. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout your stay. Check emails in bed, connect with friends and entertain the kids with high-speed access. Pets are welcome, so make sure to bring along Lucky, Fido and Boots. An outdoor hot tub lets you relax after a long day of sightseeing. All rooms are smoke-free.
Our Editor Loves
- Cottages available
- Beach nearby
- Pet friendly
- Water Sports
- Free Wi-Fi
Firstly, I wanted to mention that this is probably only my 4th or 5th review of a lodging property, and the first one in over a year.
My wife and I always celebrate our wedding anniversary during the 2nd week of October. What we like to do is rent a vacation home or stay at a rustic hotel that accepts dogs, as we have 2 very large ones, solely for the purpose of getting some rest and relaxation, have no to-do agenda, other than take leisurely walks, visit the local mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and attractions. In the last few years, we made road-trip vacations to Lake Tahoe, Pismo Beach, Solvang, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, and Santa Barbara.
The last time we stayed at Shoreline Cottages was back in 2010, so we thought a drive up the coast to Fort Bragg would be a great idea.
Shoreline Cottages is a small property with only about a dozen+ cottages, with a small selection of configurations. The first two nights, we chose to stay in a Suite (Cottage #11) because it had a backyard deck (for us to lounge and for the dogs to just lay out), and because it offered a jacuzzi tub. The room was not large but quite suitable for our needs. What we found truly amazing is that, for a property that accepts dogs, the rooms smelled very fresh (no odor of canine whatsoever), and the grounds, which offered wood-chipped picnic areas and dog-romping areas, were clean – no dog droppings, no smell of urine or dog poo – very surprising but very welcome! Having a doggie welcome package containing dog towels, dog bowls, and a large tin can of dog biscuits, was a nice welcoming touch!
The manager told us that, a few years ago, they had replaced the carpet with hardwood floors, which were well-kept and not noticeably scratched, dented, or damaged. The beddings, pillows, duvet, rugs, and bath towels were all clean and acceptably usable. The tub was clean and didn’t look worn. The water pressure from the rainshower faucet was weak but functional. The deck had some spiderwebs and dust/dirt which probably should have been power-washed.
The only negative experiences we had was that the remote control for the TV was old and worn, the text on the buttons were completely illegible (they were almost all just black buttons with very light white traces of letters and numbers), the remote’s batteries were dead, and the extension cord for the microwave was old and worn so we had problems getting the microwave to power up.
We enjoyed our 2-night stay so much that we decided to extend by one day, but we had to switch rooms. Our new room was a traditional cottage. The plus is that it had a full kitchen. No jacuzzi tub, no deck, but it was cozy’ish and comfortable.
Now here’s my biggest gripe – the WiFi is absolutely horrendous. There are allegedly three WiFi channels to choose from, but it’s a crapshoot as to how reliable and strong the connection is. We brought a Roku streaming device so we could catch up on our TV shows and watch premium channels, and the WiFi was virtually unusable. The feed buffered almost every 2 minutes. Just for kicks, I timed how long it would take us to watch a one-hour prime-time TV show – NCIS: New Orleans. That 60 minute show took 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete – due to excessive buffering, lost connections, having to reboot, etc. Had I come to town to get a little work done, I would have been PISSED as the signal wasn’t even strong enough to receive and transmit emails. I used SpeedTest.net several times and the fastest download speed I got was 2.6mb/s and fastest upload speed was 1.1mb/s. The manager said that the main router is in the business office, but that there are antennas on the roofs of a couple of cottages. Well – that setup was not effective whatsoever. If you’re going to advertise jacuzzi tub, fireplaces, dog-friendly facilities, and WiFi, you expect ALL of these features and amenities to be satisfactory and usable. Honestly, just kicking back and vegging out in front of the TV to watch commercial-free online streaming, catching up on our entertainment programming because there’s no time during a typical workweek to do so, was about 40% of our vacation goal, so this WiFi inefficiency actually REALLY WRECKED our stay. Imagine, for example, if you promised your kids that the family would go away just to get away, and they could just watch movies/TV and play online video games for the entire week, and then the WiFi was substandard and completely unusable – that would be a vacation-wrecker.
More flaws from our second room (Cottage #1 – Dolphin Room):
1. There was a large gap of about an inch underneath the front door and the floor, so that contributed to noise (which could get really bad because the facility is right on the main highway) and a strong cold nighttime draft. [See attached photo.]
2. The bottom and right side of the refrigerator door showed a good amount of rust. [See attached photo.]
3. The exposed tube that runs from the wall into the toilet was also rusty and worn. [See attached photo.]
4. The bottom edge of the bathroom mirror was very corroded and rotted-looking. [See attached photo.]
But here’s one very important piece of feedback – the manager, Faith; and the maintenance manager, Chris, were lights-out awesome!
A. When I brought the TV remote and microwave issues to their attention, they responded immediately and resolved the issue within a few minutes!
B. Their attentiveness to making sure our doggie welcome kit and our room and all our amenities were in order, was exceptional.
C. Faith was very accommodating in allowing us to check into our 2nd cottage, early.
Lastly, even with the shortcomings that I mentioned above, this place is a decent VALUE. I realize that for the amount of money I paid, I shouldn’t expect blazing-fast internet speed, but for the amount of money I paid, I was given a nice, clean, relatively quiet room that did not smell of pets/dogs, with comfortable beds, beddings, and towels.
Would I come back? Maybe yes – but with the caveat and preparedness of knowing that the WiFi is not up to par, unless they improve it before I return.
We opted to stay here on a recent visit to Fort Bragg for a wedding, and I'm SO glad that we did. Everything about our stay was perfect, from the lovely cottage, with a full kitchen and comfortable bed, to the charming people who worked there. Although we didn't take advantage of the hot tub or the huge fire pit or grills, they all looked inviting and other guests got good use out of them. The location - just down the highway from the Mendocino Botanical Gardens - was perfect and we will absolutely stay here again on a return trip to Fort Bragg.