5 Things I Learned From Staying in an Eco-Resort

Wow—what a weekend. It was quite the whirlwind, but I returned to San Diego with more energy, inspiration, and peace than I have experienced in months. Selfishly, I do not want to share the location of my weekend getaway because I want to keep it all to myself. However, I also want other people to experience the joy and beauty of this magical place. 

So where exactly was I? Nestled between the rolling hills and stunning coastline lies the rural town of Mendocino. The town itself is rather small, but full of adorable cafes, boutique hotels, and miles of walking and biking trails. I had the true pleasure of staying at the Stanford Inn by the Sea, an eco-resort that lies on top of a hill overlooking the coast about a half mile outside the town. I wrote about this property a few months ago in my Eco-Resorts Around the World. When I was invited to stay, I jumped at the chance. Staying in a resort that was on my bucket list, YES PLEASE.

I think the best way to introduce the property to you is through this video…

Gorgeous, right?

The eco-resort holds strong values and it shows in the best way possible. Every single decision is made with sustainability, the earth, and spiritual and physical health in mind. Everything from the recycled wood paneling that lines the lodge walls to eco-friendly spa products to the bio-dynamic raised garden beds is thought out to maximize sustainability.

Jeff and Joan Stanford have built a truly magical paradise. I had the pleasure of sitting down with both of them during my stay to chat about the evolution of the resort, their core values, and how they choose to inspire others. It would be impossible to describe the inspiration, passion, and commitment the couple has for sustainability and bettering the world in a blog post.  

Instead I am going to share with you some of the knowledge they bestowed upon me.

1.     Sustainable practices can cost more, but it is about your values and priorities

From the very start of the Stanford Inn, Jeff and Joan have stayed true to their values. Taking care of the land and bettering the earth are at the center of every decision. Joan openly admits choosing the sustainable option is typically more expensive, specifically when it comes to food, but she also believes whole-heartedly that your business should reflect your values and priorities. If you are committed to making sustainability a priority then you make those decisions even if they cost a little (or a lot) more.

Stanford Inn

2.     You grow through new experiences

One of the best ways to grow is by getting out of your comfort zone, reflecting on your current life position, and learning from it. Some of my most monumental experiences in life have been when I was in unfamiliar territory. Jeff really confirmed this point for me. He spoke about how vacation can get you out of your daily routine allowing yourself to take a step back and analyze what your current situation looks like. This can allow you to see things more clearly, restoring morale towards work, and find a new appreciation for life.  

Writing a blog post on mental health and vacation has been on my to-do list for some time now. Stay tuned for a full blog post on it soon!

3.     You are born with one body, so why wouldn’t you take care of it?

The Stanford Inn sits on 10 acres of land where the energy runs strong and free. Pure natural air fills the grounds and lush greenery surrounds the lodge. This is the perfect setting for a zen vacation. Physical, mental, and emotional health are all important aspects of taking care of your body. The Stanford Inn has successfully created an atmosphere where all three can be restored and thrive. Let me explain…

Daily yoga and tai chi classes, canoeing down Big River, strolling through the organic gardens, and renting a bike are just a few of the physical activities to get your body moving while staying at the Stanford Inn. Books for all ages fill the cozy lobby where guests are welcome to grab a book, sit by the fire and enjoy an afternoon of reading. The energy on the property provides a welcome boost of happiness, relaxation, and calmness to restore your mental health.

A little story about energy…

I was asked a few months ago by a friend if I was an “energy person.” I honestly had no clue what she was talking about and sheepishly answered “no?” Until my weekend in Mendocino that answer remained true. However, upon arriving at The Stanford Inn, a calmness and relaxation fell over me, a feeling I rarely experience. This feeling carried throughout the weekend. It felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be at that moment. 

4.     Plant-based eating is delicious and nutritious

When I heard The Ravens, the on-site restaurant at The Stanford Inn, is plant-based I was intrigued. I love a good plant-based restaurant, and they are not easy to find. About 80% of the guests at The Stanford Inn are non-vegan, but most eat at least one meal at The Ravens, and I understand why. The restaurant is straight-up delicious. Just have a look!

Much of the produce comes directly from their organic gardens and dishes are prepared from scratch. Muffins, scones, sauces, salads, and desserts all all made on-site and fresh daily. 

The Ravens made me love breakfast again. I have a long history of digestive issues and eating plant-based has helped tremendously. However, I have struggled with breakfast for various reasons. My weekend was full of delicious and nutritious breakfasts that left me feeling amazing. My favorite meal at The Ravens was none other than my favorite food, ENCHILADAS. Seriously, they are one of my top five favorite foods on earth. The Ravens enchiladas were the best enchiladas I have ever had. No joke. I can’t say they are the most photogenic food ever, but they sure are delicious. 

5.     Maximize joy in your life

Last but not least- maximize joy. Life is short, why let it be anything less than joyful? David and I both needed to hear this as we are going to make some big life decisions in the coming months. Making decisions based on maximizing (long- and short-term) joy is a good rule of thumb. Jeff shared with us his philosophical thoughts on life, joy, and making life decisions. He shared his experience with making decisions as a business owner and steward of the land. It was inspiring to hear how committed and passionate he is about The Stanford Inn. I hope to make a fraction of the positive environmental impact he is making. 


My weekend at the Stanford Inn in Mendocino was magical, inspiring, revitalizing, passionate, and most importantly, FUN! Two days was not nearly enough time to explore all the activities the property and Mendocino County have to offer. I will be returning to the Stanford Inn, except next time, I will be bringing Sammy. Did I mention the whole property is pet-friendly?! Yep.

And on that note, thank you for reading. Have you checked out my 6-Month Blogging Update? I share with you what it’s like being a full-time blogger and where the blog is headed. Let me know your experiences with eco-friendly resorts in the comments below, or contact me for recommendations!

Safe travels!

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