Key Notes: Nick’s Cove, Marin County


On the craggy coast of West Marin County, designer/restaurateur Pat Klutz has opened his long-awaited restaurant and hotel at Nick’s Cove. Since the enchanting Manna’s Lodge burned last year, the Point Reyes/Tomales Bay area has not had much in the way of destination restaurants and hotels. Now, ten years worth of permit problems and environmental feuds have finally been resolved.

The hotel is really a set of cottages adjacent to a rustic roadside restaurant of the same name. The five redone fishing shacks on Tomales Bay are directly across the water from the 70,000 acres of Point Recess National Seashore. On the hillside just across Highway 1, there will soon be seven additional cottages (finished on Oct 1, but reserve now). The seaside retreat in the tiny former fishing settlement of Marshall is an ideal spot for an overnight after a day of hiking and exploring around the foggy coast.


The incredible calm and stunning views of the hills above Tomales Bay. Snug cottages with little porches open onto a rocky beach. At night I could not help but hum the tune to “Harbor Lights” as I looked out on the lights of the pier and listened to the gently lapping waters of the bay. The rooms might be rustic, but no expense has been spared.


A unique Northern California coastal experience with the old-time feel of a roadhouse. Details include a wood burning stove, nice low lighting, plantation blinds, a sturdy amoire that hides a flatscreen TV. (I couldn’t help but wonder who would want to watch TV in such a peaceful spot.) A bouquet of coastal wildflowers and berry sprigs greeted me on the little table of the self-service kitchenette. Divinely comfortable bed and bathroom. Friendly, correct service.


Decor borders on being slavish to Old World detail: knotty pine walls and shag rugs.


Romantics, couples having a tryst. Hikers and bikers fresh from exploring the Point Reyes National Seashore.


Yes, because I am a hopeless romantic and I love the area.

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