Make a Winter Retreat to Cozy, Revamped Timber Cove Inn

For 53 years now, Timber Cove Inn has welcomed guests to the Sonoma County coast, rewarding them with beautiful seclusion on their cliff-side property overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Now, the grand place is even more gorgeous, following an extensive remodeling that also welcomed the new Coast Kitchen restaurant. These days, there’s all the more reason to make the scenic drive up California Highway 1 past Jenner.

It’s taken several years to complete the 46 elegant rooms, refreshing them to a lovely palette of natural stone from the resort’s surrounding boulders, and lots of wood to complement the soaring A-frame ceiling lobby capped in spectacular wood rafters.

The luxury experience starts at the entry, welcoming with an enormous stone fireplace, a bleached antler chandelier, eclectic retro and tree trunk furniture, and a long, sleek wood full bar. A hostess offers us glasses of ginger ale spiked with fresh ginger and a hint of cayenne, joking that it might help settle us after completing our drive along the skinny, sharply cornered highway.

Every room and suite is unique, but we can count on signatures like natural boulder rock protrusions coming through the walls, ocean and cliff views from private balconies, and salon touches like mini fridges stocked with complimentary beer and snacks. Some suites boast fireplaces, and all have in-room turntables, for spinning the retro vinyl records on the shelves.

New chef Phillip Kaufman hails from San Francisco’s One Market, and Laguna Beach’s Hush, and here, he’s put together a California menu showcasing coastal flavors with fun accents. The theme is enhanced by the ocean views, enjoyed via a floor-to-ceiling wall of windows and French doors.

A few seafood selections include an appetizer poke duet of ahi and salmon, chopped with black sesame seeds, seaweed and radish sprouts with a swath of avocado puree, plus an entrée of local King salmon, brightened with balsamic roasted red onions, lentils, tangy sorrel salad, pickled shallots and lemon oil.

Other delicious bites include buttermilk battered, fried quail with caramelized onions and sweet chile scallion vinaigrette, or a decadent, 18 hour braised short rib atop a creamy mound of whipped sunchoke puree, alongside roasted baby zucchini, squash, multi-color carrots and cippolini onions finished in oatmeal stout reduction.

After a good night’s sleep, it’s wonderful to wake to the sound of the ocean, and then, climb the steep hillside behind the hotel, up to the landmark totem pole at the top. Taking in views of endless ocean, we’re reminded this a truly magical place, indeed.

21780 Highway 1, Jenner, 707-847-3231, timbercoveresort.com.