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Lodging preferences are so personal. With the advent of the internet, travel magazine advertisements have given way to lodging websites and individual reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. Of course, lodging websites are no more objective than print ads – which leaves us to depend on personal reviews to help us decide on the best places to stay. Unfortunately, personal reviews run the gamut of “wonderful,” to “horrible” for the same property. So what’s a traveler to do? One suggestion is to single out reviews written by dependable travel writers.
As travel journalists specializing in luxury travel, our mission is always to find, photograph, and write about a unique lodging where discriminating travelers would enjoy a stay. In addition to cleanliness, we look for something unusual, historic, or really special. If we happen to pick a place that turns out not to meet those standards, we don’t write about it. We may have wasted our time, but we won’t waste yours.
How We Found Scopa at the Sea Bed and Breakfast
We were heading down the picturesque Oregon and California coasts along highways 1 and 101 to the port of San Francisco, where we were scheduled to board a Princess Cruise to the popular Mexican Riviera.
We thought the drive would be an excellent opportunity to point out some genuinely special places to stay along the route. The northern Pacific coastal drive is a breathtaking adventure, and we wanted to find lodgings that would complement the excitement of the trip. We found three properties to write about. The first is Scopa at the Sea in Crescent City, California, 5½ hours south of Portland and some six north of San Fran. And it turned out to be a stellar choice - we rate it as one of the top boutique B&Bs of the hundreds we have reviewed.
The weather that day, however, was not cooperating - blustery and raining. In spite of the bad driving weather, we did feel fortunate to see some super-exciting ocean scenes along the way.
The Scopa is in a residential neighborhood, and on an oceanside street with amazing panoramic views. The house has been recently remodeled and redesigned for the purpose of becoming a B&B for discerning guests seeking a special haven apart from the ordinary.
The public rooms include a cozy living room with a creative mantel made from parts of a vintage organ that had been played in that same room years ago.
Following on, there is a spacious gathering room, dining room, and kitchen. A perfect layout for socializing or finding a private corner to enjoy the exclusive company of your roommate.
Deborah the gracious innkeeper is a delight and an excellent baker and cook. Waiting for us was a home-baked banana cake with banana walnut frosting – all made from scratch. Yummy! Other guests arrived at approximately the same time, and dove into the cake before we could tempt you with a fresh close-up photo.
Around seven, Deborah laid out a selection of local cheeses and we did a little wine and cheesing along with a bit of friendly conversation before retiring.
t’s difficult to explain why this house has the aura of a lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Certainly the tasteful nautical décor and paintings are part of the reason, as is the restless and magnificent ocean view from so many windows, but there’s something more. If you stay at the Scopa, we invite your input.
Our second-level bedroom is named the Whale Horizon Spa Suite. It is a nicely appointed, spacious room with an inviting bath.
Its stunning views entice you to gaze at the marvelous ocean and rugged outcroppings that make up the rocky northern California coastline. The beach below our window, and just across the street is known for agates and is appropriately named Pebble Beach.
Our fellow guests were a congenial and interesting couple from Miami, Florida. We had planned a quick getaway after breakfast, but ended up staying right up to the 11 am check-out time.
Our new friends were pleased to have stayed in the suite next to our own. It’s named the Seal Song Suite, aka the Hugh Jackman Suite. It’s probably unusual to have a celebrity stay in the little town of Crescent City, so we applaud the Scopa folks for unofficially promoting it. A photo of Hugh Jackman in the living room is available in the guest photo gallery on the Scopa website.
We woke from a sound sleep in a luxurious king-sized bed to the wafting aroma of freshly ground brewed coffee and sizzling bacon. We thought this was a great way to entice all guests to the communal morning table.
Breakfast consisted of apple waffles with homemade apple syrup, pecan topping, eggs, bacon, and baked sausage. Then after this morning feast we bade farewell to Deborah, who by now felt more like family than an innkeeper.
For more details about the finer points and reservations, look at the website ScopaProperties.com. Scopa at the Sea prices are very competitive considering what you get in indelible vistas, luxurious furnishings, conveniences, an exquisite breakfast – and other foodie treats. There are only three guestrooms on property, so it's best to reserve as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment.
By the way, don’t be confused by the Scopa properties website. There are actually two buildings on one property, and one more at a different location. Scopa at the Sea is the three guestroom bed and breakfast inn where we stayed (above right), while the building to the left is called the Seaview Beach House and has three spotless and lovely housing units, Agate - Fern - and Pebble.
Two units have mini-kitchens, and one has a full-size kitchen. These are fitting homes for any duration.
On the short drive back to Hwy 101 to continue our trek south, we passed Crescent City's picturesque Battery Point Lighthouse. It was a windy day with sweeping punctuated rain. Fortunately, the stormy weather added to the kaleidoscopic colors that showcased this remarkable landmark.
Next stop: the Inn at Newport Ranch in Fort Bragg - but that’s a story for another time.
The opinions expressed in our articles are the journalists’ alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any entity.