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“Superlative” 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
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Simply stunning & sublime describes the Big Sur coast and the Post Ranch Inn.
There is a Big Sur aesthetic of the predominance of nature and the artistic culture that flourishes there.
Post Ranch Inn not only has the unsurpassed views of nature with the ocean, coastline, mountain views and wildlife (deer, wild turkeys and raptors are guaranteed “sightings”) it also showcases the artistic with monumental sculptures and an inspired collection of architectural elements that make up the structures themselves. The interiors cement the whole with every detail considered and every amenity you could think of.
Our bellman said that some guests have been known to burst into tears when being shown their accommodations because they are overawed.
The Inn is run with a sense of stewardship & history and it is a privilege to feel a part of it however briefly. Each room has wonderful books that are fascinating.
A magical experience with no sleight of hand involved. The staff are attentive & kind. They really are an essential part of the whole. British understatement - "we had the best time".

  • Stayed February 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
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913 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
Level Contributor
59 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed for 2 nights in the Post Ranch Inn in January. I've wanted to visit this hotel for many years and so a trip to California coincided with enough time to drive up to Big Sur.
I was not disappointed - in fact, Post Ranch Inn exceeded my expectations on so many levels.

The staff at reception are lovely. A glass of champagne and a red wine for my husband made us relax the minute we walked through the door. Perfect!

We were in one of the Coast rooms. The view was literally to die for. I have travelled the world and stayed in some of the most amazing places but when I realised I could see whales spouting water, I was just even more entranced. The ocean views are unparalleled. I couldn't stay at the hotel and not have the full ocean view!

There are so many beautiful touches at the Post Ranch Inn that it is hard to list them all. It was my birthday so there was a bottle of champagne left in my room for me with a card. Beautiful touch! We also absolutely loved the water bottles in our room. Another thoughtful touch. I could go on and on but really, you should just go there and experience it for yourself!

I will most definitely be back.

  • 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

My wife and I spent 5 days at the resort after reading a favourable review in a Travel Magazine. Upon check in, we were blown away by the property; the well manicured gardens, the bautiful views and the creative architecture. We entered our room (one of the tree houses), and the first thing I did was call the front desk to see if we could stay an additional 2 nights (we were only going to stay for 3 nights, and then head down to LA, but after catching a glimpse of this place, I knew that 3 nights would not be enough), and they were able to accommodate (we moved to a different room, and it was fun to switch it up). The rooms are impeccable and the views offered are incredible; too sun/moon-roof was a nice touch and gave us something to gaze into as we drifted off to bed in the uber comfortable bed. The 'fire-ready' fireplace (honestly, throw in one match and within 10 seconds you have a roaring fire) was a nice touch and we lit the fire every evening. The stocked fridge (wine, chocolate, almonds, organic juices, etc.) was replaced twice a day (even on days when we went on hikes and pretty much emptied it out before leaving) free of charge, and this was a nice bonus. The rooms and layout are very private and allowed for a very romatic week. The infinite hot tubs with incredible views were amazing and a great way to end off a day hiking or a long meal at the fantastic restaurant on site.
The spa treatments were fantastic, but I was put off by the fact that for one of our treatments, we arrived 15 minutes late due to circumstances beyond our control (they were cleaning our room and we had to wait to get in to get changed before our treatments) and explained our situation, but they cut 15 minutes off our treatment time and had NOBODY booked after us. I think that when you are investing so much in a resort and something like this happens (for which they can accommodate), they should be flexible and understanding. Regardless, this is a very small point and did not steal away from the overal experience, which was fantastic.
We used the fitness center and swam in the pool and were satsified with these amenities as well. The walking trails on the resort were also fun for a pre-dinner hike as it stimulated a healthy appetite.
We will certainly be back!

Room Tip: Try the treehouses if it is your first time! If you are celebrating something special, make sure you...
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  • Stayed April 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.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We just left Post Ranch Inn, on our way back to San Francisco and I had to write this review on the ride home because I can't get this beautiful experience out of my head. First of all the staff was the most genuinely caring and considerate staff I have ever encountered, especially Eugene Jauregui the Front Desk Representative. He was so charming and accommodating to our every want and need without hesitation. The personal attention that he gave to us was spectacular. We are two insanely picky, very well traveled men and we have never experienced such perfection as we did at Post Ranch. The property has unsurpassed beauty from the sprawling ocean side views on one side to majestic mountain views on our other. The Ocean view cabin on the cliff was everything a man could dream to experience. Watching the sunset from the infinity pool next to our cabin was life changing. Every detail of the cabin was designed to perfection. Wood, concrete and glass with metal was in complete harmony with nature. The cliff side restaurant was not only visually stunning but was also 5 star dining. We sat on the deck listening to the waves crash below while we sipped on amazing cocktails awaiting our meal. We had trout tartar with crispy skin, an heirloom beet salad to start and for our main course we had the big sur chanterelle risotto and yellowtail tuna. It was everything! A true culinary feast. The staff was inviting , personable and knowledgeable which we appreciate. It is by far the best experience we have ever had traveling be it across the globe or a long weekend down the coast. I know the saying goes, I left my heart in San Francisco but I think my heart just found new digs. Bravo and Thank You Post Ranch and your wonderful staff. George Falcon and James Mackey

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwich, Connecticut
Level Contributor
133 reviews
133 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 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
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 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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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
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 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
#1 Green Hotel in Big Sur
#4 Family Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Post Ranch Inn 5*
Number of rooms: 39
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Also Known As:
Post Ranch Hotel Big Sur
Post Hotel Big Sur
Post Big Sur

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