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“Feels cozy and warm” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Big Sur River Inn

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Big Sur River Inn
46840 Highway One, Highway 1 at Pheneger Creek, Big Sur, CA 93920   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Big Sur B&B and Inns
Cedarhurst, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Feels cozy and warm”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Did a trip up the coast and stayed there with my family, total of 4 rooms and they gave us a discount of $120/night each room. Very friendly. Restaurant part food good, little pricey tho, but love the fire place in common area and the lodge cozy feel. Very accommodating. Rooms were across the road... But not to inconvenient. Rooms were basic, but clean, bathrooms need major updating. No tv. Feels very outdoorsy. Would stay again tho.

Stayed October 2013
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260 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
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English first
Apollo, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

Overall, we enjoyed our stay. We had a riverfront room with a balcony. It was a little lacking, especially the bedding. The bed itself was nice, but the bedding could be nicer for the price you pay. The restaurant and bar are very nice and accommodating with a big fireplace and charming warm decorations. What really turned me off was the awful attitude and personality of the young woman who was the hostess of the restaurant on the afternoon and evening of Friday, October 11, 2013. What a rude and poorly trained individual to have greeting guests that enter the property. For example, she rudely scolded me for adding a log to the fire that was almost out in the large and open fireplace around which we were seated with several other guests. (An open box containing firewood was located right beside the fireplace). She said I should have asked her to add the log and that I had no right to do so. I asked her why she was not tending to the fire and why, if the Inn would not want a guest to add a log, there was no notice advising guests of this policy. (I asked this in a very polite manner as I was somewhat embarrassed by her hostile attitude). She basically told me to shut up and walked away giving me a very menacing and obnoxious glare. Based upon this treatment, the scales were tipped in favor of NOT staying here again. We dropped ALOT of $$ at this place and we would never expect to encounter this type of horrible behavior anywhere.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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midwest
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

We spent two nights here as part of a family wedding. I had read reviews, and looked at their website before arriving so was prepared for some of the things that would have sent us right on down the road if we were not prepared for them, but even at that the inn is very pricey.

Half the rooms are across the street. And by street I mean Highway 1. I'm surprised that they do not get more close calls with guests crossing the road after dark, especially after a wedding. Pretty noisy during the day, but not so bad in the middle of the night.

The rooms themselves were where the real problems occurred. No hair dryer - at an inn that routinely hosts weddings. No plugs in the bathroom - so no way to dry or heat style your hair in front of a mirror. No iron. Four hangers in the closet. Stained blanket in the closet. And one of my personal favorites - the bathroom room was half-painted. No TV, no radio, no internet - supposedly there was wi-fi in the restaurant area, but that information was not readily available. And depending on your carrier - not a lot of cell reception.

Beds were at least comfortable and since we were there in the end of September, no air conditioning was not a problem for us.

The food in the restaurant was good but pricey. The store next door had good burritos and pizza and there was a small bar just down the parking lot.

All in all - for the premium price they are able to demand due to the lack of options in the area, a small amount of investment of the $250 & up per night per room they are collecting in the rooms could go a long way towards making guests feel more comfortable during their visit.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Here's the deal... You never get what you pay for in Big Sur. Options are limited and thus, prices are high. Period. Knowing that, I didn't expect much from the Big Sur River Inn. I was still tremendously disappointed. Not only did I pay more for this room than I have ever paid in Big Sur, it was BY FAR the shabbiest, dirtiest room we've seen in a long, long time. Their website claims that the rooms are sparkling clean. Not true! We're talking moldy wood baseboards in the bathroom, water stained doors and mouldings, a dirty blanket across the foot of the bed and carpeting so filthy you don't want to go barefoot. The bathroom counters had a layer of dust (or cleaning supplies?) all over them, the windows were filthy, and there were cobwebs everywhere. There was no screen on the front door and the front window didn't open, so there was no way to get any ventilation in the hot, musty room. As for the decor...? Well, don't trust the photos on the website, which might lead you to believe that this hotel has been somewhat updated. Nothing about our room had been touched in at least the past couple decades. We're talking dated and ugly. And as if all that wasn't enough, the bedroom window, which faces the highway, had a filthy bent screen on it that wouldn't have done anything to keep mosquitos out, IF we had been able to open it and sleep thru the passing traffic noise.

The moral of my story? You can do better in Big Sur. We certainly have!

Room Tip: I'm pretty sure there are no rooms here, but I think the motel rooms on the opposite side of the...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emeryville, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Very comfortable nights sleep. Cocktail bar across the street nice after a long drive or hike. If you're staying more than 1 night, get a room facing the river with a balcony. Other reviews liked the food, we had breakfast and dinner and they were both poor /breakfast was $50. (we live in the sf bay area and used to high prices). Close to the parks and a good place to stop if you're driving down Hwy1.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the river with a balcony
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

This location is a welcomed sight after a sometimes nerve-racking drive up or down HWY 1. The restaurant food and bar atmosphere is good...and the opportunity to dip your toes in the Big Sur River is a refreshing bonus. As well as being in a picturesque setting, the staff is friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Crofton, Maryland
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

We took a 2 week vacation down the coast and really looked forward to staying in Big Sur. This was the most expensive hotel over the two weeks. Good points: river was cute and the food was good. However, our room was across the highway which was a surprise. We had to leave the windows open because there was not an air conditioner or a fan. Therefore, we heard cars driving by all night and early in the morning were startled awake by the garbage truck emptying the dumpster that must have had 1,000 glass bottles in it. In the middle of the night I found a bug calling on my back. I finally couldn't take it anymore and at 6 am went to shower. There was a huge spider in the shower that crawled down the drain. It creeped me out too much that I couldn't even shower. Plus, there wasn't a hair dryer in the bathroom anyway. One more thing, the walls are thin so we heard the drunk women coming in around midnight and laugh and talk for about an hour. In conclusion, stop by to have dinner and to see the river but think twice about spending that much money for a less than stellar room.

Room Tip: Try to get a room in the main lodge.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Sur River Inn

Address: 46840 Highway One, Highway 1 at Pheneger Creek, Big Sur, CA 93920
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Big Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A quaint stream-side inn. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Big Sur River Hotel Big Sur

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