Manka’s is a secret that I regretfully will share with the world. It is one of the last few places where time truly slows down and allows it’s guests to do the same. In this day and age where instant gratification is the norm, Manka’s allows you to understand the importance of spending quality time with someone special or simply enjoy time getting away from it all. It is a representation of what understated and sometimes quirky (in a good way) luxury should be.
We stayed in one of the rooms in the annex. Our room had an incredible old stone fireplace with two reading chairs in front of it. The bed was extremely comfortable and fit snug into an alcove created just for it. The bathroom had a modern look to it while at the same time having old-fashioned touches, the white soaking tub. The room was large enough to also have another alcove area that had seating for a “party of 2” dining table. Wildly romantic when dinner is served in room (an option available at an extra charge). Our room had a private deck where our Japanese soaking tub was located. There are no TV’s (or at least not in our room), cell phone service is spotty (land lines are available), however they do provide Wi-Fi that allows you to stay in touch with the world, if you want. Overall the room was great, comparable to any other luxury type room but with a simplicity that allows you to relax instantly.
As for the food, you have your choice to have in room dinner brought to you at an extra charge. Dinner is predetermined and ours was a 3-course meal. Breakfast is included in your stay. What you have to remember when staying at Manka’s is that what you are eating has been gathered within a 15-mile radius of the Lodge. Also, the combination of the freshness and unique pairings of ingredients can make a simple dinner a very unique and gourmet meal. Dietary restrictions are taken into account when reservations are made. I was in the middle of chemo so I had a number of restrictions on my meal choices but the owners were more then happy to accommodate. Also a consideration is, meals are brought within a certain time window which sometimes may or may not be made…have another glass of wine and enjoy the roaring fire. The wine list is wonderful also. When wine suggestions are made, the staff/owners are giddy over your selection. Again, the wine is from local wineries and I’m sure the owners probably have a personal relationship with each one…maybe that’s what makes them so excited about your selection? Breakfast is delivered along with the coffee and a copy of the New York Times, always good to get a perspective of what’s happening elsewhere.
The staff and owners are also what make Manka’s a unique experience. You can choose to keep to yourself or have a conversation. The history of the Lodge, the fire and what Manka’s has had to endure through the years to rebuild is interesting story that I’m sure they retell a number of times but were happy to share with us. The concern of these “strangers” for me during my stay since it was obvious I was in the middle of chemo was again something you simply do not find at many “luxury” type accommodations. My husband and I have stayed at Post Ranch, Calistoga Ranch, Meadowood and other incredible places that California has to offer and I think, Manka’s is now one of our top 3 favorite places to stay. As for the negative reviews left by others, I also question the authenticity of them or simply put maybe these folks belong in a more high maintaince type of luxury resort? These unwarranted negative type of reviews are devasting for a small business like this. I admit I was hesitant after reading them but there is no hesitation now for us when we rebook our future stays. Enjoy and be sure to check out Heart’s Desire Beach and all the walking trails this area has to offer.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC