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“Thinking of renewing your vows at The Post Ranch Inn? Maybe not...” 3 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
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Thinking of renewing your vows at The Post Ranch Inn? Maybe not...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

This is, no doubt, a stunning resort. However! Don't expect special treatment, even when you book months in advance and are willing to spend $2,600 per night for the best rooms. This review is mostly for those who are coming here to celebrate a significant event-- and after our experience, it’s probably not a good idea to try and coincide this with a holiday.

It seems romantic to choose a small Hotel for a wedding. However, after years of experience you realize that when the chips are down certain well known, large Hotel groups fall over themselves to fix your problems and smaller Hotels have the potential to leave you out in the cold to dry. Sadly the Post Ranch Inn fits the latter description.

We had booked here to renew our vows and requested one of their newest,Ocean Front rooms. We had stayed at The Post Ranch Inn five times prior. We loved the place. On check in I realized they had given us the wrong room type and mentioned it, but wasn’t too worried as I had booked the best room overlooking the ocean-- and they assured me that I would love the room they were going to allocate to us.

We checked in at 10.30 am and I felt as we were so early, that they would definitely get us into the right type of room as the day progressed. No one came to find us on the property to say otherwise. As this is a small resort they could have tracked us down to let us know how things were going, so we assumed all was well.

We went to get our keys at four. We did not end up with what we thought we had booked. Although I had booked a newer room we ended up with an older one. I needed to get unpacked and organized as the next day we had a wedding to get on with, so I was really quite upset. All our photos were to be in the newer room with a balcony. We went to see the front desk to ask what had happened and they assured us that by tomorrow they would have the right room, which wasn’t a great help as I couldn’t unpack!

What you need to do here is actually reserve the exact room you want which really means a prior visit a year before the actual event.

While waiting for the room we had lunch. We waited two hours to get our main course. During this time a waiter dumped an ice bucket over us (and also the guests next to us)-- and only a brief apology was made. We had sat down at 1.00 and I finally left without eating at 3.00, it would be dark in two hours, and I wanted to enjoy the property.

We were going to eat that evening at the restaurant Sierra Del Mar (a lovely spot) but as no real apology about the room or lunch was forthcoming and as much as it would be a huge hassle for us, we decided to go down to the desk and discuss the possibilities of checking out and rebooking at another time. We were genuinely worried. There were several other weddings on the same weekend, it was very busy and the Hotel seemed 'off' in general. Our event did coincided with a holiday and The Post Ranch could have been overwhelmed, however this is an intimate and very expensive resort and you really do need to know they are interested in the welfare of their guests during their stay!

The lovely front desk manager persuaded us not to leave and assured us we would have the correct room by at least 2.00 the next day. This was pushing it as the ceremony was at 4.00! All of these arrangements had been booked through the Post Ranch yet they seemed to have no understanding how the coordination of a wedding works. How can you have only two hours to both unpack and prepare?

The next morning when we had breakfast; it was unusual to observe that there was no one clearing your table or coming over to ask if you needed anything, it was totally self service, which is not how it had been in the past. After breakfast my husband went to check on the progress of our new room and was then told it may not be available at all??? Seriously?!

At this point we decided to see the GM so we could discuss the situation.

The GM was rude and abrasive. He was completely unaware that we had a wedding planned and basically told us to leave. We were absolutely astonished. He said that we were difficult and the staff was worried that they couldn’t do anything right for us! I explained that not getting the right room in the beginning, having water and ice spilled on us at lunch, then waiting two hours for lunch to arrive and having no help at all at breakfast was not in fact ‘being difficult’! In fact these were things that were the Hotel’s responsibility to get right or make amends for and at no point had we even made a big fuss about any of these events! Interestingly, unlike larger hotel groups, there was absolutley no loyalty from him regarding our past five stays with The Post Ranch.

We explained that leaving at this point would obviously be a huge inconvenience and totally ruin our occasion! If we were going to leave it would have been the day before, as discussed. We would have had to cancel the ceremony, flowers etc and all that goes with renewing vows. We were horrified. He then started making wild accusations, accusing us of having six people in our room and numerous guests coming that were not allowed for. We booked for five and that’s who was coming! It showed this on the records at the hotel. Really quite a bizarre situation.

Finally the GM moved us to another room, absolutely not the type we had booked. Although it did have a view, it was not intimate at all; it was the top floor of a very large unit with no charm. At this point we just dealt with it.

The wedding was lovely; thank goodness for the person who performed the ceremony, she was fabulous-- as were the flowers and the photographer. At no point did anyone from the management call to see if we needed anything and when we left no inquires were made as to if we had enjoyed the ceremony, or indeed were any apologies ever made.

Instead of lingering, we left early the next day, we had been looking forward to the idea of relaxing on the beautiful property, this was now quite impossible. So many other criteria that shape a hotel are just as important as location: in this case the lack of compassion and an 'out of touch' GM tainted what should have been a unique and happy experience at what used to be, a wonderful and attentive establishment.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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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
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English first
Greenwich, Connecticut
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
133 hotel reviews
Reviews in 105 cities Reviews in 105 cities
160 helpful votes 160 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

“I’d been reading and hearing about, and wanting to visit Post Ranch Inn for at least 10 years! For whatever reason, a stay there never fell into place until our last trip over New Year’s. Suffice it to say, upfront and center: it is for very good reason that this property is known to be one of the very best in the world. It certainly is. Period. If your finances allow, stay for minimum three days. If you are on a tighter budget: go for one night as part of a Carmel / Monterey area stay. It is one of the USA’s most expensive places to stay – but worth every penny. The service is impeccable – staff is always respectful and available to assist in any way possible, yet are not obtrusive nor overt.

What a spectacular setting that words really can’t well-describe, with its casual, outdoorsy meets ultra-luxe attributes, it is an experience like none other. Quiet and serene marked by rustic elegance. Minimal and chic, the property makes sure to take full advantage of its natural surroundings. The whole place seems to float above the Pacific, providing the most stunning coastline views I’ve seen (and I’ve been around). The deck outside our room quickly became one of my favorite reading spots – and evenings spent watching the sun go down from the outdoor hot tub at the edge of the cliff, watching whales breeching - were simply magnificent and deeply relaxing. Two nights in a row, we stayed basking in the heat, in the cooling air, for two hours after sundown. Morning yoga classes in the yurt were a great start to the day and counter to all of the hiking; followed by a remarkable breakfast buffet at Sierra Mar – the most delicious baked goods and fresh fruits outside of your own home.

A real standout was the night I spent stargazing with my boyfriend. There is a resident astronomer on site who pointed out the magic while we sat wrapped up in cashmere, a glass of California cabernet in hand. It was so magical – the closest night sky I’ve seen to the Omani desert and African bush.

Should also mention, dinner at Sierra Mar is not to be missed. The menu changes daily, always featuring the freshest of California fare made with grass fed meats, wild/organic fish and organic produce. Cliff top ocean-view dining doesn’t get much better than this. heir award-winning wine cellar has over 14,000 bottles and 2,600 selections. It was recently honored by Wine Spectator with its prestigious Grand Award, one of only 3 new recipients in 2012 to receive the honor.

The Post Ranch is just perfect for a retreat into nature that will awaken your mind, relax your body, and lighten your soul. Privacy and peace are at the core of this hotel and there is as much or as little activity as one desires with top hiking trails and easy walking trail variety.We’ve already planned a Spring trip back to hike amongst the wild flowers!”

Room Tip: The Inn’s unique, modern cabins are all about the vistas. Choose an ocean view or mountain view when...
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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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

For years I'd heard about how fabulous the Post Ranch Inn is. Maybe the expectation was just too great for the experience to live up to it. We were unable to have any spa treatments during our visit because the spa was being renovated. Everyone neglected to give us this information until we were checked in and settled in our room. To add insult to injury, the next day we saw a woman with a portable massage table heading down the hill so we called to find out about that. We were told that oh - you could have had your spa treatment in your room - but again, no one told us that, even when we tried to book with the spa. Also it was impossible to nap during the day because they gave us a room next to the spa (under renovation) so the hammering and sawing was really loud and obnoxious. In fairness to the staff, they did take a bit off our bill when we left, but that doesn't make up for the fact that we would have chosen a different time to go had we had full disclosure upon booking. Also in fairness, the property is truly beautiful and the food was very good (except for the bread) although quite overpriced.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
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, February 5, 2013
Dear Angeltraveler247

Thank you for taking the time to share your remarks regarding your recent stay at the Ranch. I apologize your stay fell short of your expectations as well as our own.

We acknowledge there was some minimal improvement work taking place within our spa treatment suites at the time of your stay. Such activity was not intended to impact your stay in the least. Indeed spa treatments are always available to take place in the comfort of your own guest room at no additional cost in the event our spa treatment suites are not available. We regret you were not properly made aware of this option. Nonetheless, your concerns did not go unheard by the Guest Service Representative who assisted you with the check-out process as she amended your balance significantly in addition to gifting you with a token of apology in the form of a spa certificate for your next visit. The amount of the rate reduction and the spa gift totaled close to $1000.00. Accordingly we were surprised you chose to follow through with your rather dismal review about your experience since we feel we had adequately addressed your dissatisfaction even before you departed.

We thank you for your kind remarks regarding our property and Sierra Mar’s food and we look forward to welcoming you back to the property at another time so we may restore your faith in us.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact me directly.

With warm wishes,

Dan Priano
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Carlsbad, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Post Ranch Inn was the first stop on our two-week long honeymoon road trip up the west coast. It was everything we could have imagined and more, we cant wait to return.

Pros:
- location
- wonderful staff
- private and romantic
- complimentary mini-bar
- delicious comp breakfast

Cons
-refrigerator humming noise all night

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Really great place, worth every cent. We stayed 3 nights over New Years and had an great dinner, lunch during our stay. We stayed in the tree house and the room was lovely. I can't wait to go back. We drove to Monterey one day and saw wild otters. The drive to the post ranch inn is spectacular from both directions, but another day we didn't leave the property and just enjoyed the walks around the property.

Room Tip: We liked the tree house if you don't want an ocean view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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.
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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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