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Whale Watch Inn By The Sea

35100 S Highway 1 , Gualala, CA 95445-9515 USA (Show map)
271 Reviews
$180 - $300
per night

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There is no other bed and breakfast on the Northern California Coast closer to nature than the Whale Watch Inn For a truly quintessential bed and breakfast experience that contrasts the rugged outdoors just off your deck featuring hawks gliding the thermals, whales in season, majestic woodscapes, and surf tossed beaches, it’s The Whale Watch Inn, in Gualala. The Whale Watch Inn is truly one of a kind, with an ocean views from EVERY first class, uniquely designed room. Even the walk to your own individual, one of a kind suite is lined with a carefully tended riot of exotic plants and flowers.



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  • Guest room4.1
  • Service4.5
  • Value3.9
  • Cleanliness4.2
  • Dining4.3

Score Breakdown based on
271 Reviews

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Only a Shadow of its Former Self

1.8 on November 02, 2014

We have been staying at the Whale Watch for years. While the property location is ideal, over the last several visits we have noticed the property falling farther and farther into disrepair. This time was the final straw. The room was dirty, smelled moldy, had spider webs hanging from the ceiling, the toilet didn't work properly, the decor was extremely dated, and the carpets are smelly and old. Not to mention the bedding - substandard at best, especially for the money. We hope the new owners make the effort to remodel the property and restore it to its former glory. Until then, we will not waste our time nor our money.

Rosie & Jim

4.0 on October 20, 2014

We really would have enjoyed having the "inn" apparel available for purchase at the now closed gift shop, (my wife really loved the bath robes.) although the breakfast & snacks at the Inn are healthy & great, the local restaurants were a bit disappointing. north turned out to be the better direction for dining out ; ) We're hoping for another break from the "rat race" soon so we can book our encore.

Lovely place to stay on the coast!

4.2 on October 08, 2014

Great view, great breakfasts! Loved the location and comfort.

Nice romantic weekend getaway

3.8 on September 24, 2014

We stayed in the Reflections Room and really liked the view. Staff was friendly and getting breakfast served in the room was really nice. The beach below the hotel was a good place to take a quick break. We saw some Elephant seals go by.

Perfect getaway

4.8 on September 23, 2014

I would not go anywhere else during my stay in Whale Watch, only for dinner to saint orres. This place is amasing and highly recommended.


1.8 on September 17, 2014

Very disappointing, maintenance issues, property is not what it appears online. Grounds are not well kept. Roof is in bad shape. Locks are worn out. Not worth it. Previous owner died and let the property decline. New owner is not bringing property back to its former glory . Breakers Inn in Gualala was very nice, much higher value.

I don't write reviews

1.6 on September 04, 2014

I don't write reviews, but I read them.That's why I'm writing this today. We went to WWI last week because the reviews we very positive except for a few. Mostly everyone agreed WWI needed updating and I can live with that. We encountered not just updating that was needed but it was in near shambles! One of the buildings had a blue tarp covering the entire roof, the main building also had a tarp on the roof. The planter boxes either had dead plants or no plants and there were a bunch of broken planters in a pile on the way to the beach. The photos on the Web site must be 5 -10 years old because overgrowth of the trees took a great deal of the views away from the rooms. On the Web site, the rooms look fresh and neat, but in person the are very drab as we able to see several that were open.. We did not like the lack of privacy and in our first one room along with the size and condition and upgraded for $100.00 more a night! Oh my..The carpets are very stained all throughout the Inn. Scuff marks everywhere and in our upgraded room the main window was filthy, the bedding was old and musty with pillows that had not been washed, you know what I mean. The liens(advertised about) would come off the matteress with the slightest turn. The screen feel off the sliding door, the door came off the fire place, there was not a screen on a functioning window and the handle came off the shower door all within a few days. There were old flowers in a vase. The baskets were empty of soap and shampoo. We had asked for breakfast at 9:00. We rushed back from a walk as not to be late, however breakfast showed up at 9:45! The staff were nice but, you could tell it's just a job for them. Where are the new owners? It was not worth the amount of money we paid and could not recommend this bed and breakfast to anyone, at this point. It's a nice location but that's all I can really say. So, I'm writing this review because I was very disappointed and felt previous reviewers missed the mark!

Return visit

3.0 on September 03, 2014

Nice place, but pricey.


4.6 on August 30, 2014

We stayed in the Country French Suite and loved the room. It's two levels with comfy chairs, a fireplace and an amazing view up a spiral staircase. The room has some wear, but the new owner is making improvements. There wasn't a refrigerator in our room as promised, so the staff gave us a key to the empty room across the hall. This is a place to RELAX, no TV, phone, alarm clock and little internet service. Who needs that on vacation? All the staff is pleasant and helpful. An ample, delicious breakfast is delivered to your room in the morning. There are several good restaurants in the area. We would come back.

Not worth it

1.8 on August 21, 2014

My wife, my baby, and I stayed at the Whale Watch Inn, in the Ocean Sunrise room. Unfortunately, I found the room and service to be inadequate. I am disappointed because after a long drive we arrived at the Inn, we peeled back the covers to lay our baby down for a nap, and to our disgust there were dozens of hairs all over the sheets and pillows. I immediately went to the attendant who checked us in and explained what I saw, and she just said "Oh no. Sorry." and handed me new sheets. I was required to change the soiled sheets at your inn. I did it, but now in retrospect it angers me to think that that was the service that I paid for at nearly $300 per night. After that experience with the used and soiled sheets, my wife and I had the "heebie jeebies" and couldn't fully enjoy ourselves. We were too worried that the tub wasn't clean, so we didn't use that. We were too concerned that the floor wasn't clean, so we didn't let our baby crawl around. It was disappointing that we had to deal with this on our 10 year anniversary getaway.

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Location Type

Mendocino, Beachside, Oceanside, Small town, Wine country


San Francisco, CA (SFO) 170 miles

Directions to property:

From the Bay Area, proceed north on Highway 101 to Petaluma. Exit at Washington St, turn left and continue west thru Valley Ford to Bodega Bay. Follow Highway 1 North to Whale Watch at Anchor Bay, five miles north of Gualala. Or take the River Road exit from Highway 101 north of Santa Rosa. Proceed west to Jenner and follow Highway 1 north to Whale Watch.

Area Attractions

Art Galleries, Beach, Casino, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Movie Theater, National/State parks, Nature area, Ocean, Fine Art galleries, Gualala Arts Center, Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, River, Vineyard, Winery

Inn Details

Establishment type

Other, Bed and Breakfast

On-site amenities

Board games, CD player, Conference Rooms, Copier, Fax Machine, Library, Radio, Telephone, Wedding Facilities , White water views from every room, Utmost privacy and comfort in every room, Gourmet Breakfast served in your room each morning, Relaxation, Rest and Rejuvenation, Beach access, Pet Friendly

Room amenities

Bath robes, Coffee/Tea facilities, In-room internet, Desk, Fireplace, Fridge, Hairdryer, Hot tub/whirlpool tub, Internet Service, Private entrance, Wet bar, Wi-Fi

On-site activities

Bird watching, Canoeing, Fishing, Golfing, Hiking trails, Horseback riding, Kayaking, Whale Watching Tours, Shopping, Sight-seeing

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  • Check In:: 3:00 p.m.
  • Check Out:: 11:00 a.m.
  • Open All Year Round: Yes
  • Smoking Allowed: Outside only smoking on private deck only
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided Yes
  • Suitable For Children: Yes soft drink beverages and hot chocolate
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: Yes $40 - $50 non-refundable pet fee
  • Disabled Access Yes

Terms and Conditions

  • Minimum Stay: 2 nights over weekend; 3 nights over holidays; please call for more information
  • Accepted payments Other, AMEX, VISA, Discover, Mastercard, Personal checks, Travelers checks, Cash
  • Deposit Amount Required: First night room rate plus tax collected at the time of the reservation.
  • Cancellations: Deposit cheerfully refunded if cancellation made ten days prior to reservation date. With early departure or cancellation of any of the reserved dates with less than ten days notice, you will be charged for those nights we cannot re-rent the room. No service or cancellation fee.



Gretchen, Tracy, Tina, and Lisa

Languages spoken

English, Japanese, Spanish

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Full Gourmet Breakfast is delivered to your room

  • Time Served: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
  • Serving Location: Guest room

Special meal options

Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian , Vegan, Diabetic, Gluten Free

Signature Dish

Scones and Frittata


35100 S Highway 1 , Gualala, CA 95445-9515 USA (Show map)

Property highlights

Free gift card up to $250!