I’ve never been into vacation rentals. This isn’t because I don’t appreciate their uniqueness, the additional space, or other amenities they provide that hotels don’t. offer The Redwood House Vacasa Rental gave us all of these.

No, my issue is because there is no easy way to use rewards to book them, at least not at a value I can get behind. But that has changed with Wyndham’s partnership with Vacasa. Using Wyndham Rewards points for Vacasa rentals can yield excellent value. And you may be able to enjoy properties as unique as the Redwood House.

Booking The Redwood House Vacasa Rental

I decided to take my sons on a short getaway over Labor Day. We’d made a similar trip last year, staying overnight on the coast about two hours north of where we live. This time we’d enjoy a long weekend on the rural coast of Sonoma County, about twice the distance from home. The boys don’t like car travel, but we’d brave winding Highway 1.

With hotels few and far between, Vacasa ended up being the primary option I considered for lodging. I had enough points for three nights in a one-bedroom rental, as Wyndham charges 15,000 points per night. As a Wyndham Rewards credit cardholder, I’d also get the 10% award discount.

There were a surprising number of options to choose from. I browsed rentals right on the ocean, as there were several that looked like they’d be great. But I kept coming back to this on listing called The Redwood House.

a room with a large window and couches

Set amid the forest near Fish Rock, California, it wasn’t an oceanfront listing. But it looked fantastic. The living room clearly had floor-to-ceiling windows that make it seem like you’re living among the trees. We would be able to hang out on the back deck as well, enjoying the hot tub. With two twin beds and a queen bed, it’d be perfect for the three of us. And since one of the beds was in a loft, it qualified as a one-bedroom listing in terms of its award price.

So, I booked it. Three nights cost me 40,500 Wyndham Rewards points. The value I got for them is downright fantastic (although you can no longer book at this value, unfortunately). Rates were fairly high over Labor Day weekend.

a screenshot of a hotel ticket

Arrival and First Impressions

The drive was as expected. At its northernmost extent, Highway 1 is either a thrill or terrifying, depending on how much you enjoy curvy roads with a steep drop off one side. What isn’t up for debate is that it is spectacularly beautiful, as long as you’re not shrouded in fog.

We arrived at the Redwood House around sunset. Since we were getting into Gualala after business hours, I had to pick up the key from the local Vacasa office. It’s less than 10 minutes from the Redwood House, making it one of the more convenient rentals.

a building with a sign on the front

There is a lock box with keys to properties being rented, plus a small info packet for your vacation rental.

a wooden box with signs and a padlock

To get to the property itself, you exit Highway 1 at Anchor Bay and head up a steep hill. The Redwood House was a bit eerie, set amid the trees and bathed in fog. But once we got the lights on and the fireplace going, it started to feel a lot more cozy.

a house in the woods

The first thing I noticed is that the house is completely devoid of curtains. There are none. Nada. Zilch. It allows you to feel like you’re one with the forest, gazing up at the treetops visible from the living room couch. But it also makes you feel very exposed.

a couch in a room with a deck and trees in the background

The house has a rustic feel, but it fits the setting. The kitchen wasn’t as well stocked as I expected, but we managed just fine with the old cookware. Other than that, I have few complaints. The Redwood House has a fridge, stove, oven, coffee maker, and sink for washing dishes. There is no dishwasher (which wasn’t a problem…I brought along two).

The living and dining room is the highlight. You feel one with the forest with the multi-story windows. The fireplace adds a cozy ambiance. With two twin beds, the bedroom was perfect for the boys. I took the queen bed in the loft.

two boys lying on beds in a room

The back deck is a great hangout space. You can enjoy views of the distant Pacific Ocean or relax in the hot tub – the latter was a hit with my sons.

a wooden table and benches on a deck

Overall, it was well worth the points and made for a great vacation stay.

Redwood House Vacasa Photo Tour

a room with a couch and a rug

Living room from loft

a living room with a fireplace and a couch

Living room

a living room with a rug and couches

Living room

Redwood House living room

Living room

a table with a book and a lamp in a room with trees

Dining table

a kitchen with a refrigerator and drawers

Kitchen

a kitchen with a sink and a microwave

Kitchen

a bed with a striped bedding and two lamps

Loft bed

a room with a window and trees

Exterior windows from the loft

a wooden deck with chairs and a table in the woods

Back deck

a whale carved out of wood

Whale carving

a forest with trees and a sunset

Sunset view from the back deck

Enjoying the Sonoma and Mendocino Coast

On Saturday we met one of my sisters and her kids at Fort Ross. It had been many years since I’d visited. Many people don’t know that the Russians had a settlement on the California Coast in the 1800s. It wasn’t much, but it’s a cool piece of history. Now it’s park of the California State Park system.

a wooden building with a cross on top with Fort Ross in the background

Fort Ross Russian Orthodox Chapel

From there we ventured south over one of the most difficult sections of Highway 1, all the way to Sonoma Coast State Park. It was a lovely day, and we enjoyed playing some soccer on the beach as the powerful surf crashed a short distance away. Our final stop was in Bodega Bay for pizza.

a rocky beach with rocks and water

Sonoma Coast State Park

There’s much more to see along this rugged stretch of Pacific coastline. If you haven’t been to northern California (or happen to think that it consists of solely San Francisco), I’d encourage you to plan a trip to our neck of the woods.

Final Thoughts

After our long weekend at the Redwood House, I’m already eyeing other properties in the area. I’m not sure when we’ll be back, but it will likely be a part of next year’s travel plans. This trip showed me the upside of vacation rentals compared to hotels, and I’m sold. As long as I can use points to pay for the stay, that is.

two boys standing on a beach

Boys at the Mendocino coast