Mendocino’s Little River Inn
Behind every generation is, well, another generation. Fortunately, some choose to carry on the family traditions and when there’s a good thing going, why mess with the formula? The key is to keep refining and improving the foundation. In the case of Little River Inn, that’s exactly what five generations have accomplished.
To find the roots of Little River Inn, located on Highway 1 a couple of miles south of Mendocino, one has to dig deep, all the way back before the American Civil War. Lumber baron Silas Coombs journeyed from the East Coast to mill lumber from the tallest redwoods in the world, a splinter of which was used to build a stately Victorian home back in 1857 overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Fast-forward 156 years to fifth generation innkeepers Cally Dym and Melissa Pyorre, who now run the only true resort property along the Mendocino coast. Their grandfather, Ole Hervilla, turned the house into the Inn in 1939. “Our grandfather turned that original building into the Inn some eight decades ago and we’re still happily on the job, doing what it takes to make you feel more than welcome,” says Dym.
Evidence of that promise can be found on a welcome note in any of the 65 guestrooms overlooking the ocean. “Need an extra pillow? No problem. Need a llama? A little more difficult, but doable,” says Dym. Not to worry, however. If there isn’t a local camelid available, Little River Inn has plenty of beckoning options to match anyone’s palette for an adventurous or romantic getaway.
With a full-service spa and tennis court, Little River Inn also offers the only golf in the area with a nine-hole course built in 1957 by grandpa Hervilla, after he consulted with several course architects who were too expensive. Justin Pyorre, Melissa’s husband and Director of Golf, runs the course that weaves through the redwood and pine trees. Fourth generation family member Danny Hervilla refers to his favorite course as “our poor-man’s Pebble Beach.”
Keeping the entire resort operation in the family, Cally’s husband, Marc, is the Executive Chef, who serves up outstanding menu items learned from his training at the Culinary Institute of America.
This classic coastal property, surrounded by 225 wooded acres, may not be on the same radar as the pantheon of great resorts built along the California coast, but for the beauty and hospitality, the value is unmatched. The best part is that the sixth generation is ready to jump onto the family train. The more things change, the more they stay the same.