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“Harmony and Beauty” 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 9 Hotels in Big Sur
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Harmony and Beauty”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

Post Ranch Inn is designed to be in harmony with nature. Anyone staying here will become a nature lover. Your body will relax and feel stress free.

The property has several different types of rooms/cabins/tree houses. I particularly like staying in one of the houses close to the cliff. Most accommodations have fireplaces and some with soaking tubs.

The restaurant Sierra Mar is spectacular with a fantastic wine list, great views, fine food for breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Spa services are excellent, the infinity pools over looking the cliff are spectacular.

If you like hiking - Big Sur is a great place to enjoy it.

This is not you typical resort spa! You will be recharged after your stay at the Post Ranch Inn.

  • Stayed August 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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770 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (211)
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English first
Napa, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

I wasn't sure what to expect for $1400 a night. There are other places, such as Ventana, that are next door and almost half the price. Post Ranch just operates at a very high level. First the pros:
1. check is in comfortable, with a seated area for a cold beverage while signing in. An agenda for your stay, showing prearranged spa treatments, dinner, etc. is provided- a nice touch. Shuttled up to your room, one finds a complex of discreetly secluded rooms- most of which are either a "tree house" or half of a duplex- up and down.

2. The rooms are fine, but not amazing. Interiors are comfortable, with fireplaces, earthy furniture, and natural materials.

3. The view is really what one pays for, and the quiet. Be sure to book a room with unobstructed ocean view.

4. Dinner at Sierra Mar was excellent. Food was very good, service was good, and portions were not small. There isn't a bad seat in the house.

5. Breakfast, included with the room, is excellent. It includes fruit, juices, eggs, proteins, and some pretty good smoked salmon. If you want to eat in your room, they will deliver it without additional charge.

6. The spa is good. I did not see a steam or sauna, but conventional therapy rooms (many for couples) were well appointed, and had excellent views.

7. I hesitate to use the word "value"- but it was appropriate that the mini bar, fully stocked with everything you could want, was included with the room. Wine, juice, soda, cookies, snacks- you name it, it had it. Other perks include hotel shuttle service to local restaurants in the event you dine off-property. If you do yoga, there is yoga included with the cost of your room every morning at 830.

8. Visual privacy- one can enjoy their deck, if your room has one (tree houses do not) with a 180˚ view of the ocean, without seeing anyone else but for the birds and the wales. It was striking how we saw no airplanes, or sea birds, hovering by. It was amazingly silent and clear.

9. Great air conditioning when needed. Great fireplace when needed.

Words of Caution:
For $1400 a night, I did not expect to hear the people upstairs. I did. They were not loud, but not tip toeing... and that detracted from the ambiance. This wasn't the hotel's fault, but some additional sound insulation might be good. The showers are contained inside the jet bathtub which is custom tiled, not a prefabricated unit. So climbing into and out of the shower, even for someone in good health with excellent balance was not easy or, in my opinion, safe. (The view from the shower, out the window to the sea, is great). The bed/mattress, it wasn't a McCroskey- I found it hard which is not common in a 5-stary luxury property. The window coverings are not black out, so if you want to sleep in, bring a mask. It is not a place for watching ESPN... but there are no televisions in the room.

As in nature, there are lots of insects and lizards. That did not bother me, they didn't bite. But a city slicker might give pause.

Conclusions: For a special couples get away for the price indiscriminate, this is the place. Be sure to have a private deck with ocean view, and bring your checkbook.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the ocean, upstairs, with deck.
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Green Features: Clearly helping the environment is a part of the property operations. There is a recycling bucket in the closet.
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Frederick, Maryland
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

I have always read about post ranch inn being a top rated hotel And have wanted to come here. I don't know where to begin. Most beautiful views/surroundings I have ever seen. The staff are not only incredibly welcoming, but so very accommodating, making sure every little detail is taken care of and that you are happy. We went here for our 23 Anniversary and were so happy we did. Its pricy but worth it and we can't wait to go back. We stayed the first night in an ocean suite and the next night in a Cliff House. We booked late and was not able to get the Cliff House for both nights, which actually worked out great because we were able to experience both room types. We love the Ocean and its beautiful location and walk out patio and the Cliff with the breadth taking view from the glass gated deck and awesome stainless steel hit tub overlooking the pacific. The beds were perfect and I'm extremely picky because I have a hard time sleeping on many bed when we travel so its very important to me. The staff made the move to the other room a flawless and easy experience. I loved soaking in the tub and looking out over the pacific while doing so….so relaxing. The grounds are beautiful ad we enjoyed hiking. Breakfast on the deck was awesome. Our anniversary dinner in SIERRA MAR was just ok for me (my food was kinda cold but they took if off the bill no problem), my husbands meal was good but we have had better. There were many sight to see near by (a visit and lunch to Nepenthe Restaurant is a must and get the Ambrosia burger), but we found ourselves just enjoying ourselves on property and being pampered. The staff bring customer service to a new level. I know this review is late, but thanks for an experience we will never forget and really can't wait to enjoy again! We will be back!!

If you want to spurge, book the Cliff House!

Room Tip: Cliff House or Ocean Suite I don't think you can go wrong!
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  • Stayed October 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cupertino, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We recently stayed at the PRI for the third or fourth time, this time to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. It has always been what my daughter's husband has dubbed his mother-in-law's "happy place" --- the next best thing to Shangri-La. We were treated well as always, delighted with our Tree House room once again, and pleased to find a bottle of Piper Heidseck chilling in our room when we arrived. There are. of course, no words to describe the magic of the surrounding natural environment.

But it is unsettling to realize that the likes of Sean Parker can throw his gazillions of dollars at the PRI and impel them to bounce ordinary mortals from their bookings. If our reservations had been a week or so earlier, we might have been the ones who were bumped. For the handful of guests who complained publicly about this demeaning treatment, I wonder how many swallowed it silence?

It is particularly disconcerting to note that General Manager Dan Priano's rationalizations/explanations/"apologies" to two of the bumped guests were word-for-word identical. Can't really blame him for being unable to come up with a sincere and original apology, because there is no valid excuse for such boorish and insulting behavior --- especially on the part of an establishment that has a reputation for being the ne plus ultra of hospitality and customer service. (For those prices, they had better earn it.)

My question is this: could the money the PRI received from Parker compensate in the long run for the ill will and tarnished reputation the Inn earned with this tacky stunt? I doubt it. And never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would use the word "tacky" to describe the PRI. In this instance it is well deserved. -lk

P.S. I must say that dinner at Sierra Mar, for the first time, was a bit of a disappointment. The incomparable setting, the truly top-notch servers, and plates that are almost too pretty to eat don't compensate for undistinguished food. The tasting menu is so precious and effete that it's hard to understand what you're getting. "Sformato"? I am pretty familiar with cuisines and preparation but that's a new one on me. (Hey, here's why: it's not in Webster. I get it: the chef makes this up as he goes along, assuming the hoi polloi won't know the difference.) It turned out to be a one-inch circle of carrot soufflé on top of a smear of green "fondue," accompanied by a few miniscule baby vegetables and thin curls of carrots as garnish: A visual work of art but not especially tasty, unless you're crazy about carrots.

  • Stayed June 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 16
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, July 3, 2013
Dear friend,

Thank you for your kind words in regards to your recent celebratory stay. It is a delight to hear words such as ‘happy place’ to describe the natural beauty of the Ranch, however it is our service we would like you to remember us by. Our staff has been dedicated to providing an experience for quite some time.

It was disappointing to read the second part of your otherwise thoughtful review. You are entitled to your opinion but If you were to read my previous responses carefully, you would be able to ascertain we make no excuses for the way the aforementioned situation was handled, only sincere apologies were offered. Post Ranch has earned the chance to make things right with those affected and we have done everything in our power to make amends. We also believe part of the healing process is by allowing us to move forward and put this situation behind us. We have learned from our errors and nobody truly benefits from referring to this matter once it has been acknowledged with all those who were affected. You said it yourself; Post Ranch has garnered a reputation for going above and beyond for our guest at every chance we possibly get and it is not because we have to. It is because each and everyone in our family of staff has been forever humbled by the beauty and awe of this piece of heaven as well as the legacies of those before us who made it possible for anyone to see such beauty up close. We as a whole feel proud to be able to share this property with all.

I only wish you had voiced your opinion to me personally during your stay since my office is always open to all guests.

With warm regards, Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New york
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Post Ranch doesn't need another review to tout its spectacular scenery, the fantastic grounds and its infinity pools/hot tubs. It does merit noting that everyone on the staff from Freddy at reception, Luis who drove us to the room, the helpful waitstaff (Sammy and Simone), and the cleaning staff were all stellar. Everyone was friendly and accommodating.
On a bit less positive note....The restaurant menu at lunch and dinner only presents a prix fix menu but the staff was MORE than willing to serve a la carte. Though they were willing, it seems a little awkward and unnecessary to have to ask. The meals were lovely but not all of us chooses to eat 3 courses in this era of "portion control". How about one sentence stating that a la carte is available upon request....? That would be my only complaint and a minor one.
Finally I must say that after hearing a great deal about this hotel, it lives up to its reputation.....Very special !!!!

Room Tip: I loved facing the ocean
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

This is my favorite hotel on Earth. It is cozy yet elegant. It is peaceful and beautiful. The service is unparalleled. It is expensive, but it's worth it. We go there every year, and we always have an amazing time. I recommend renting a treehouse!

Room Tip: Rent a treehouse!
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Green Features: This hotel is very "green." It's one of the things I love about it.
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rosemary Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Post Ranch Inn is an amazing destination with first class customer service. And yes, expensive indeed. We stayed in a tree house that had great gulf views, amazing privacy, and amenities that included a full fridge restocked everyday with wine/cheese/snacks. We never left the resort, spent quite a bit of time in the infinity "hot" pools, hiking on the trails, and saving room for a great gourmet breakfast in the morning. The inn's restaurant has incredible 360' views of the ocean. This place is an adult escape-- I don't think they even allow children on site. You are whisked to your room in a Lexus and never have to touch your car keys once you arrive. Our tree house had a great wood burning fireplace and soaking tub. The Inn offers some interesting "spa" services such as Shaman sessions and fire rituals. Why not??!! First class, one of a kind, bucket list entry. Great place to have your soul get some rest and rejuvenate.

Room Tip: The Little house has a great balcony looking out to the mountains, the Hathaway treehouse has great...
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  • Stayed May 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 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 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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