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August 25, 2014

Little River: Heritage House; hotel review + restaurant review

1 North 

The Heritage House Resort  5200 N. Hwy. 1, in Little River, 4 mi. S of town, (877) 295-9973, (707) 202-9000.  46 rooms; $$-$$$+.  All gas fireplaces.  Fitness room.  Restaurant; dinner room service.  Pets ok.

Same Time & Next Year units at The Heritage House Resort near Mendocino in Little River, California

Opened originally in 1949, this hotel became particularly famous when it co-starred in the film “Same Time, Next Year.”  The unit the movie was filmed in is now divided into two popular rooms called “Same Time” and “Next Year.”  The ranch house and Smuggler's Cove below have a colorful history of harboring rum runners, slave traders, and criminal "Baby Face" Nelson.  Recently closed for about 10 years, a new owner plans to keep the property similar to what past guests have come to love.  The rooms are divided among 11 buildings scattered on 37 acres atop steep bluffs.  All are updated to a contemporary style and have large floor-to-ceiling sliding doors with an ocean view as well as a wide private deck with Adirondack chairs.  Linens are Frette, and this place really gets it right—almost all the beds face the view full on.  Nights are super quiet.  Bathrooms have heated slate floors and rainfall showers, and 11 rooms have deep soaking tubs and his-and-hers sinks.  All rooms are within strolling distance of the main house, dating from 1877, where the lounge and restaurant are positioned.  Golf carts are available to pick up guests by request.  A small two-story spa adjacent to the main lodge is nearing completion; meanwhile, massage can be scheduled in room.  A fitness room with floor-to-ceiling windows on three walls is also near to the main lodge.  Trails crisscross the property, and there is beach access, though the stairs that can be a little treacherous.

Lounge bar at The Heritage House Resort near Mendocino in Little River, California

When we first arrived, we bee-lined to the Lounge area to relax on the comfy couches with a drink and enjoy the spectacular view.  I had a killer spicy Bloody Mary with a salad on top—celery, cucumber, olive, onion.  It was even better than the really good one I remember from another visit here long ago.  Don’t miss it.  Board games are also available here.  Fine dining occurs in the ocean-view 5200 Restaurant, and non-guests are welcome.  The high-up dining room gave me the delightful impression of being in a grand tree house.

French toast at 5200 Restaurant at The Heritage House Resort near Mendocino in Little River, California

Breakfast is basic, with housemade granola, oatmeal, omelettes, and a tasty broiche French toast.  Dinner is more elaborate and offers a sophisticated menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, wines, and beers.  We started with a tasty Heirloom Tomato Stack made tall with mozzarella layers.  I followed this with a lovely pan-seared, boned, and stuffed California trout with mushroom risotto, and my husband opted for Noyo Harbor salmon with parsnip and Yukon mash and Pinot Noir sauce.  We concluded with a shared sundae featuring poached peaches and fresh raspberries and a glass of Navarro Muscat Blanc.  Reservations advised for dinner.

5200 Restaurant & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

More things to do in nearby Mendocino.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


  1. That is a nice inn by the water, the views are wonderful, it's been too long since I've visited Mendocino.

  2. Oh, how I love Same Time, Next Year. Such a sweet movie. I always thought the location was in Big Sur, so happy to know the correct spot. When we get to Mendocino we'll have to indulge.

    1. Without checking, the movie you're thinking of might be "Bob and Carole Ted and Alice." Actually, when I rewatched "Same Time, Next Year" while at the inn, I thought the movie was quite silly and that it didn't age well. I remember liking it long ago, but I won't be watching it again. :)

  3. Looks like a great place. Not sure we'd call that breakfast basic though, looks pretty special.

  4. How nice to see such a great looking place being reopened. Heritage House looks charming.

  5. What a lovely place! I have not spent any time in this area of California! Shame on me!

  6. I remember enjoying Same Time, Next Year, so maybe better not to watch it again. But Heritage House looks like a great spot!

  7. What a rich history and the French toast looks pretty good, too! :-)

  8. Mendocino is a place we love to visit often. The Heritage House looks so gorgeous with the water rushing by. I love the history of the Smugglers Cove and have to check out that movie again.


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