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“Trip of a Lifetime” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Post Ranch Inn

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Post Ranch Inn
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   47900 Highway 1, PO Box 219, Big Sur, CA 93920   |  
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Ranked #1 of 8 hotels in Big Sur
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Norton, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Trip of a Lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

From arrival to departure every tiny detail was exquisite! There is no reason to leave the property - you wouldn't want to. Our accommodations, surroundings, meals and interactions with other guests and staff were unlike anyplace we've ever stayed.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The views are priceless whether you are spending $2000 a night for a room at Post Ranch or $20 for a camping spot next door. So many reviews focus on the view rather than the hotel.

Staying at the Post Ranch reminded me of staying at a condo rental at a ski resort in the 70's. The rooms are small for the price, and the decor doesn't seem to have changed in decades. Even the in room coffee pot is an old Mr Coffee rather than a Keurig. There is no booze for sale in a mini bar but they throw in some free coke and coconut water.

The rooms are all right next to one another. This surprised me as the photos make them appear isolated. What this means is that when you are sitting on your deck at sunset you are subject to listening to the conversations of neighbors on 2 sides and above/below you. Again, for the cost, this seems unacceptable but it's good that no children allowed with the rooms so close together.

Ordered a room service sandwich for a snack in the middle of the day - bread was so hard I had to remove it (and yes, it was $20).

Not a good choice if you have trouble walking for any reason. The steps!! And the hike to the pool. I am totally in shape and love to work out but it was a little extreme.

Spa treatments are top notch.

If I were judging the hotel purely on the view it would get 5 stars - but when I consider the other aspects I have to mark it down.

If you have money to burn I would rent one of the many beautiful homes in Big Sur so you have acres between you and your annoying loud talking neighbors. Same view - more peace.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanPriano, General Manager at Post Ranch Inn, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear val8112,

Thank you for taking the time to express your observations and insights about your recent stay at the Ranch. In the twenty years the property has been welcoming guests; it has never received a review comparable to yours.

It was quite puzzling trying to understand how you assessed your stay at Post Ranch with an experience at 70’s ski resort condo. With all due respect, the Ranch does not pretend to be more than a 39 room rustic luxury retreat blended within its natural setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The award-winning organic architecture of each guest room compliments the many thoughtful in-room amenities, including a diverse complimentary mini bar featuring snacks and beverages (which are restocked daily) as well as a gift of red and white wine. We have learned most of our guests prefer to order any additional alcohol and libations from our full bar at Sierra Mar, which our Room Service department is delighted to deliver to any destination on property.

We believe all of our guests foresee the tranquility and serenity of our property. It is rare to receive a complaint about noise from guest rooms. I apologize you were disturbed by your neighbors. Had we been made aware of this lapse in harmony during your stay, we would have addressed it immediately. We do feature Tree & Ocean houses and Peak & Cliff rooms, all of which are free-standing structures.

Throughout our property one cannot walk too far without coming to a rest area which serves not only to catch their breath but to further reflect on the natural beauty of the surroundings. The trail to the lap pool leads through the chef’s organic garden where guests are able to contemplate and rest as they walk to or from the pool. Transportation service is provided for guests who choose to ride or have difficulty walking.

Thank you for your kind remarks about your spa treatment and the location of the property. If you wish to further discuss your visit, please contact me directly

Warm wishes,

Dan Priano
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

If you have it, spend it here. We don’t (not for this place), but were able to go as a wedding gift from my husband’s cousin, lucky us. If you are reading this review, you’ve most likely checked out the hefty price tag for this resort, but if you have any stress in your life, or a lot of it, you will leave it all behind at Post Ranch. We have traveled to some far-flung places, such as various Rosewoods in the Caribbean, etc., but this place stands apart. It is a fairly large property with few rooms, all clustered in 2 lines along the ridge that overlooks the Pacific with stunning views of either mountains or the ocean. If you’re going to spend the money in the first place on this one, it’s probably worth the extra bucks to get the ocean view. We were booked in a “Pacific Upper Suite” of which there appear to be 3 on property. Our room was named “Gilkey” and was an amazing suite set into the slope that plummeted down to the ocean. There was another room below us in the same building, “Fee”, which is a “Pacific Lower Suite”. From the upper suit we felt like we were completely alone (except for the deer that wandered by) unless we leaned out and over to look at the lower room. We had an unencumbered view out and down the southern coast of Big Sur. Our room was the furthest south of all the rooms, save a house you can rent (but not really see) a little further down, so it had a very private feel. Our cousin and his wife also had a Pacific Upper Suite named “Ross”, which was closer in to the middle of the resort, including the pool and restaurant and thus felt a little less private than ours (although the whole place has a very private feel) and it had a slightly different, yet equally amazing view. From Ross, unlike ours which was blocked by a slight outcropping, they were able to see the sun set at night over the ocean right from their room and large balcony, which was facing more north than our room, although you could see AND hear the ocean from theirs (ours was a bit further away and you could not hear the surf). However, it came with the price of their (Ross) room dramatically heating up (despite it being the 60s) once the afternoon sun hit, to the point where they had to close the door and run the air conditioning. We went over to theirs to see the sun set, but retired to ours in the afternoon to hang and nap, because with the slight outcropping blocking the intense late afternoon sun, we could have all the patio doors open and enjoy the outdoors while napping, reading, etc., although ours got the heat earlier in the day. They also could not see down the southern Big Sur coast since their room looked out over the ocean and more north up the coast, which was also incredible (we agreed that ours looking south and the private feel made for a slightly better set-up). They were closer to the restaurant and the center of things, so it was easier to get places from their room. There are 2 pools up on the ridge, both heated and overlooking the ocean, and easy to walk to from the rooms, similar to the fabulous restaurant on site. Dinner one night at the resort restaurant was included in a package our cousin bought, but the price on the menu per person was $110 for 4 courses and an extra $95 if you wanted to do a wine flight/pairing with your meal, and I believe was $160 for a nine course meal if that’s what you wanted. We took 3 hours to eat dinner as a foursome that first night, lingering by the fire, and could feel ourselves just melting away into stressless blobs.

Our rooms were fantastic and other than the Cliff Houses, which are single dwelling structure similar to ours, but actually a bit smaller inside, were the second highest priced room (Cliff Houses are highest). There appeared to be 2 Cliff House rooms on the ocean side and 2 on the mountain side. We asked staff to tell us a bit about the rooms and they mostly said they liked the ones we and our cousin were in, and also the Ocean Houses, which are slightly less expensive. We walked the property and there appears to be one “Tree House” room that also can see the ocean, which most don’t, called “Harlan”. One of the staffers told us that he likes 2 of the Tree Houses, “Grimes” and “Innocenti” because they feel very private and tucked away a bit on the mountain/tree side and also have sky lights where you can lay in bed and see the stars, so that’s a little less expensive option (no ocean views from those, however, but you can easily head over and hang out in the heated pool or on the restaurant deck and soak in the Big Sur coastline).

Our room had 2 sections, the bedroom and a separate sitting area with 2 smallish sofas, which was nice and made us feel like we had tons of room. The huge balcony with sets of patio doors from each area (plus a full window that slides open in the bathroom shower out to the balcony, so you feel like you are showering outside while looking at the ocean) also added tons of room. There was also a lovely soaking tub on the balcony that we used every day, and 2 lounge chairs along with a table and 2 upright chairs. There was also a fireplace that was nice to take the chill off that you could see (was next to) from the bed. We were told the other rooms that were not suites were similar to just our bedroom area with some added furniture around the bed, which would be totally fine if you are looking to cut some cost and don’t need the ability to host a party in your room! It was nice to have the separate sitting area because we did play cards with the other couple at night, so we were able to easily hang out and not be directly in our “bedroom”, although the 2 sort of blended from one to the other. They have a stocked mini bar with great snacks that come with the room, and since we had just gotten married we found champagne and red wine waiting for us.

I’m sure I’m biased because we had great, clear weather, which we were told is not always the case (can easily be rainy or foggy – and paying for an ocean view room with fog socked in would be a little frustrating I’m sure), but I think having an ocean view is worth the extra. We hung out on our balcony (or just from the bed) and had magnificent views. We also managed to be at the resort during whale season (it apparently runs from December – March and we were there in January) and I’d tell you how many whales we saw but we lost count. There are binoculars in the rooms, so when you locate a spout with your naked eye (yes, from your balcony, from the restaurant, from the pool...you get my drift) you can quickly get the binocs up and see the whales in action. Our cousin’s wife saw 2 breaching while she was in the pool. If you want to see more whales and other marine life (sea otters, seals) stop off of Highway 1 to the North at Point Lobos State Reserve.

Another really neat thing about this resort is the staff. From George who checked us in (and has been there 7 years) to Sergio who ran us around when we needed a lift (been there 20 years) to Luis who got our luggage for us (been there 22 years and said he “helped to build it”), all were exceptionally upbeat, helpful and absolutely love working at this place, which truly showed and says a lot about it. I won’t continue to go on and on, but I’m not sure I’ve ever been anywhere else more relaxing. Take a hike, try a massage (thanks Jessica and Jill!) in your room or at the small spa, do some yoga in the yurt, or blow off some steam in the small but well-appointed fitness center and this place will make you feel like you are a million miles away from everything.

Room Tip: The further south the rooms are the more private they feel, but longer walks to the restaurant, etc...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carpinteria
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

If there was a higher rating than excellent I would give it. My husband and I have never spent this much money to stay somewhere. This is not within our budget but we decided to splurge and it was worth every penny. From the moment we talked to Lorena in reservations we were shown extraordinary customer service. When we arrived we were warmly greeted with Champagne and by Martine. The bellman who escorted us to our room was equally warm and helpful. Everyone treated each other and us like family. We stayed in the first tree house. It blew us away. To be in the redwoods with an unobstructed ocean view in such comfort and luxury was such a unique experience. All the little details and special touches from the fresh baked cookies to the bath salts and loofah to use in the jacuzzi bath tub made it even more special. Not one detail was overlooked and every member of the staff made us feel at home. If you want to feel relaxed and at peace I cannot think of a better place to go. As soon as we got home we started a "Post Ranch Inn Fund" so we can go back again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

If you can't stay there overnight($$$$), visit the wonderful restaurant for lunch or early dinner.(before its too dark)Breakfast is for guests only.
The view is so amazing and the restaurant is so beautiful,that you will find yourself taking photos the entire time (no matter how many times you will be there)...
The food is great(if you will be lucky enough to visit in Duck Pizza season,dont hesitate)& the service is friendly.
A must place!
Big Sur area is beautiful beyond words,and for such a small little place it has so many great restaurants.Amazing!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

What an amazing hotel but not really a hotel at all more of a five star retreat, there is so much I could say about PRI it is simply wonderful - our room a top level ocean room had a clear view of the ocean nothing to block the view the sunrise and sunset and the stars at night were nothing short of spectacular - all natural light, wood burning fire that you did yourself, a fridge full of goodies with the most yummie cookies that were replaced daily and a spa bath made of natural stone with doors opening onto the terrace and that amazing view totally private not another person or neighbour in sight. The service was first class and the walks in the 100 acre grounds and the basking infinity pools wow - we were there fro New Years Eve and had a fab dinner in the restaurant - we did not want to leave but did and drove the pacific coast highway to LA the best drive in the world words cannot sum up the Big Sur

Room Tip: We had room 125 - upper level full ocean view - only the sky and the ocean to be seen - amazing
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

Stayed only one night, 12/25/12. What a Merry Christmas! After a wonderful meal at the restaurant we retired to our room at about 10pm but it was cold, windy and pouring rain. Didn't matter. We braved the elements and settled into the soaking tub on our deck, which was in one of the Upper Pacific Suites. It was amazing to see the whitecaps on the raging Pacific 1200' below in the moonlight after a passing Pacific storm. Not many places where you can experience that.

The fireplace in our room had real kindling and real wood. We had to light it and stoke it. So unusual and so awesome these days. Kept our room very toasty.

The next morning we had an in-room couples massage. Great therapists, great experience. The sun was peeking out between the clouds and that added to the ambiance. Afterwards, my wife and I soaked again in the tub in better conditions. The sun was out and the Pacific was calm. The air was cool but enjoyable.

We checked out late but were never rushed. We sent our bags and car keys down and they took care of the rest. All we had to do was sign the bill and drive away. We hated to leave.

Northern California in the winter is something that everyone should experience. It's not warm... it's not cold... well, maybe a bit cold. But no snow. It's simply spectacular. I've been twice to Tahiti and Big Sur rivals it in every way, in its own way. And Post Ranch Inn brings the best of Big Sur to you. Give it a shot. If you have the right state of mind, you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: The Upper Pacific Suites do not disappoint.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Post Ranch Inn

Address: 47900 Highway 1, PO Box 219, Big Sur, CA 93920
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Big Sur
#1 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
#4 Family Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Post Ranch Inn 5*
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Also Known As:
Post Ranch Hotel Big Sur
Post Hotel Big Sur
Post Big Sur

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