Most vacation listings inflate their amenities, and choose photo angles that exaggerate space and hide flaws, so I was prepared for the Artist's Retreat to be a little rougher around the edges than it looks here. Not so. It was just as cool in reality as in the pictures and description--moreso in some ways--and aside from some inconsequential wear and tear, was totally clean, well-built, and well-maintained.
It is the perfect size for a couple--cozy and luxurious at the same time--and could easily have accommodated our large dog (next time!). Total privacy, too; you can't see or hear the neighbors, even from the deck. The kitchen has every utensil and appliance you could ask for, ample spices, and a very usable layout. The shower is really cool, the hot tub was perfect for a romantic evening soak, and the bedroom upstairs is spacious and attractive, with a comfortable bed.
Most impressive, which we never considered when looking for honeymoon spots, were the lighting and sound systems. The speakers are built into angled boards between the wall and ceiling (which house cool lights as well) on both floors, which ended up really adding to the romance. The lighting is practical, adjustable, and setting-appropriate, with easy-to-find switches; in hindsight, it was details like this that really make sure nothing gets in the way of your vacation weekend.
The only bad part of our experience was a power outage, which according to a local store owner are not uncommon. The Artist's Retreat is fairly well equipped for it, though, with plenty of candles, a battery backup for the wifi (though when that ran out, it was frustrating), and a land line phone upstairs. The owner was very responsive and helpful too.
You could spend the whole weekend at the Retreat without tiring of being there, but there is so much to do and explore in the area, too; several times we simply walked down the hill to the shore, and we also ventured by car up to Salt Point and down to the Russian River.
I would definitely recommend this place for a honeymoon, anniversary, or any romantic escape/adventure. Some tips for first-time visitors:
1) Write down your access code before you leave home (don't count on looking it up on your phone, because there is no cell service there)
2) Bring all the groceries you need, or budget for expensive dining out. Food options nearby are extremely limited (gas too!).
3) Bring headlamps in case of a power outage or an evening stroll.