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“Like being on another planet... absolutely stunning resort” 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
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Like being on another planet... absolutely stunning resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2010

Post Ranch Inn was by far the highlight on a brilliant but rather hectic tour of coastal California during September 2009. We'd driven from San Francisco and were stopping off at PRI for a couple of nights of untrammelled luxury before continuing down to Santa Barbera.

Luxurious, private and discreet relaxation is how Post Ranch Inn sets itself up and on that score it succeeds admirably. The rooms, suites and houses are ingeniously laid out so that no-one gets in anyone else's way - in fact we only saw other guests a handful of times. We had a Treehouse and I would heartily recommend these rooms to other travellers - they are spacious, airy and the all-round windows mean that they get the best light at both the beginning and end of the day. Our Treehouse in particular was stunning - from one side we had an uninterrupted view of the mountains and the other looked out over the cliffs to the Pacific Ocean.

The room itself was marvellous, luxurious but not overdone which is just how I like it. The bed was HUGE and very high off the floor - very nice just to sit on and look out of the various windows when it was too hot to go outside (come on, we're British, we're not used to the Californian heat!) and the bathroom was just lovely - wonderful scented products and a slate-tiled bath that opened out onto that amazing view. There was plenty of storage and the cleaning staff were fantastic - the place was spotless.

We spent most of our time either walking around the property marvelling at the views or in the infinity pool at the north end of the resort which was just pure heaven. It's impossible to describe what it feels like to be at Post Ranch Inn - the height from sea level, seclusion and remote location all lead to the feeling that you're on another planet, or at the edge of the world... it's just breathtaking. The resort smartly chooses not to try to upstage the astounding setting and actually complements it with its thoughtful, rustic charm.

The on-site restaurant, Sierra Mar, is lovely and again is perfectly located on an outcrop over the cliffs. Our evening meal was excellent (if a little rich) and the wine selection was fantastic. The breakfasts in the morning were absolutely brilliant too.

Two tiny flaws in this otherwise perfect ointment: firstly, as I mentioned the food in the restaurant is a little rich; secondly, and this is such a tiny thing, but the air conditioning unit inside our Treehouse was rather noisy, to the point where it kept us awake for a while on the first night.

These things barely account for half a percent of the overall experience though, which was completely magical. I would not hesitate to go back to Post Ranch Inn and I've been raving about it ever since we came back to the UK!

  • Stayed September 2009, 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.
DanPriano, General Manager at Post Ranch Inn, responded to this review, August 23, 2010
Dear Friend,
We want to thank you for the time you took to write about your recent stay at Post Ranch Inn. We appreciate all of your comments and have passed them on to our staff. In particular, it was nice to read your perspective about our choice to not upstage the natural setting with over the top architecture and accommodations. We could not agree more that the natural beauty and grandeur of Big Sur speaks for itself and lends an easy transition for the rustic charm Post Ranch offers. This was the intention from the beginning and it means so much that you saw it in the same way, and were able to have a memorable experience. In regards to your comments about the air conditioning units in your treehouse, we have since replaced those and hope upon your return you will notice the difference. We hope to welcome you back for another memorable experience soon.
Be Well,
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807 reviews from our community

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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
Leawood, Kansas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2010

For the money you pay here, I would have expected posh accomodations which is definitely not what this is. Coming from the incredible Bernardus Lodge, I was really disappointed. The rooms leave much to be desired. The only saving grace as far as the rooms go is the real wood fireplace and the cleaning staff who were absolutely excellent the entire stay. We had an upper butterfly room and booked this because of the reviews of the lower rooms hearing everything from above. Well, this issue is prevalent on any level I assume because we would hear the man below us blow his nose and every single vehicle or person walking outside our room even at a distance. How anyone can sleep here or get any peace and quiet I do not know. The rooms are also very rustic. Don't expect pampering here.

The food here was way overpriced. Spending $80 on two cheeseburgers from the restaurant was not ideal for room service. The breakfast however, was exceptional.

The views were absolutely incredible. That's all that can be said about that.

The final point I will make is the staff. We heard rude and somewhat strange comments from the staff at the front when they thought we were out of earshot. Hearing the staff's opinions on cars being driven, apparel etc whether they were directed at us or anyone else was far from professional and disappointing based on the goal of the resort.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
DanPriano, General Manager at Post Ranch Inn, responded to this review, August 23, 2010
Dear Friend,
Thank you for your review. We value your comments, which will allow us to look at the ways we can improve. We were sorry to hear that you did not find value or comfort in the accommodations, aside from the wood fireplace. Our concept behind Post Ranch continues to be sustainable/rustic luxury; we believe these two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I am also sorry to read the noise was bothersome in your upper butterfly suite, preventing you from experiencing peace and quiet during your stay. Since our property is very secluded and private, at times the slightest noise can be heard which at other hotels in more urban areas those subtle noises might be drowned out. If I could suggest, if you consider booking with us again, a stand alone unit like the Tree House or Ocean House might be better suited to your needs. We have addressed the issue with our family of employees regarding comments made and please know this does not exemplify the level of service at Post Ranch. I apologize for all the areas which you felt were lacking during your stay and want to thank you for taking the time to bring these to our attention.
We appreciate your positive comments about the complimentary breakfast offered each morning, cleaning staff and the views. We hope to welcome you back someday to offer an opportunity for you to experience a higher level of service and comfort.
Be Well,
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Boston
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

This is basically another planet where relaxation is the natural human state. Everything is perfect. The setting is breathtaking.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • 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
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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, August 23, 2010
Dear Friend,
Thank you for taking the time to review Post Ranch Inn. We are very glad to hear your time spent here was perfect. We hope to provide all of our guests with ultimate relaxation, and were happy to know you were able to walk away with that. Please visit us again so we can welcome you back to heaven on earth.

Be Well,
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Philadelphia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2010

Just finished a 2 night stay with my wife. We have stayed at some of the top hotels in North America, the Carribean and Europe. Post Ranch Inn came highly recommended. Unfortunately, during our stay, there was heavy fog and you couldn't see much (other than the fog). The rooms are decent (not great) and the setting is very nice. The staff is friendly, albeit not to the level that I would have expected especially for the rates that they charge. Facial at the spa was fair at best. Breakfast is excellent. Dinner is overdone and seriously overpriced. All food is very rich and not very healthily prepared. For an environment which allows for hiking, the dinner is completely at odds with the environment. For the price (all-in at better than $1,500night), this place is good, but far from great.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
DanPriano, General Manager at Post Ranch Inn, responded to this review, August 23, 2010
Dear Friend,
Thank you for sharing your recent experience at Post Ranch Inn. We are sorry to hear that your expectations were not exceeded. We hold this as our number one priority. Our restaurant is very conscious about preparations, ingredients and purveyors; the chef visits farmers markets weekly to source fresh healthy fruits and vegetables, in addition to harvesting from our on property garden which he farms himself. However, we understand your concern for the richness and price of the food served at Sierra Mar. Keep in mind that everything is either all natural, organic, locally sourced and always classically prepared as in most fine dining establishments. Indulgence is good in moderation, and our guests come here to indulge their senses in every way.
We were disappointed to hear that the heavy fog affected your perception of your entire stay as a whole. We have passed along your comments about the staff and the rooms to our employees, and we hope you know that we value your opinions. It was nice to hear you were satisfied with the complimentary breakfast, describing it as excellent and how you enjoyed the setting of Post Ranch, which is one of a kind. We hope someday you will come back to Post Ranch so we can welcome you back and improve upon the things you felt were lacking during your most recent visit.
Be Well,
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San Diego, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2010

My wife and I just returned from 3 nights of bliss at the Post Ranch Inn. We had a lovely room with a fireplace overlooking the redwoods served by an attentive staff in a quiet, serene environment. Very romantic and restorative. The complimentary buffet breakfasts were delicious, with hot breakfast dishes offered and fresh tropical fruits ripened to perfection. This was followed by an hour of meditation to a didgeridoo in a yert. It was foggy the entire time we were there, which gave the resort an ethereal quality, although we were disappointed not to have the spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. Split a bottle of champagne with my wife while in a beautiful, contemporary hot tub secluded at the end of the road. The dinner was delicious, and my only complaint is that the portions of the courses served at the Sierra Mar were very small (novelle cuisine style) but beautifully presented.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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.
DanPriano, General Manager at Post Ranch Inn, responded to this review, August 23, 2010
Dear Friend,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Post Ranch Inn. We were happy to hear your time spent here was restorative and romantic; two things we hope each guest can experience within the serene environment nature provides us in Big Sur. We were please to know you were able to embrace that and walk away with feelings of bliss. Your comments about the attentive staff and the complimentary activities such as meditation are appreciated. We hope to welcome you back to Post Ranch Inn someday soon.
Be Well,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Encinitas, CA
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2010

Definitely not worth the $$$$. I must preface this review by saying that there was heavy fog every day that we were there so we could not enjoy the beautiful views that is usually the common "rave". Although, I am told that the fog tends to loom at this particular location. Perhaps our room would have been worth the ridiculously high price had we been able to see the ocean rather than fog. We have been to Big Sur many times and the area is gorgeous but I think the Post Ranch Inn is a better fit for publicity shy patrons. Dinner at the restaurant is a must (fixed menu at $100 per person without drinks) but you do not need to stay there to eat at it. Breakfast is included and was lovely. We also tried the spa and had a hot stone massage which was one of the best that I have ever had. The yoga class was nothing special. The drivers were really nice but the rest of the staff are quite pretentious. All in all - very relaxing and but nothing special.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
DanPriano, General Manager at Post Ranch Inn, responded to this review, July 9, 2010
Dear Friend,
Thank you for your review. We were happy to hear you had the best hot stone massage of your life, a wonderful dinner at Sierra Mar, and enjoyed the expansive complimentary breakfast offered daily. Although you expressed having a nice relaxing experience, we were disappointed to hear the weather affected your perception of your entire stay as a whole. I’m sorry this made you feel there was not value in your stay, and unfortunately the weather is the one thing we cannot control here. Please know that we value you as a guest and appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts. We hope that someday we can welcome you back to Post Ranch Inn for a second chance to improve upon the areas you felt were lacking during your first stay.
Be Well,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2010

My husband and I stayed here for 4 nights. As many reviewers have said, the Ranch is undoubtedly in a lovely spot, with great views, and we were given a warm welcome. However, our room, the facilities and service were very poor considering the $1600 per day room rate (staying in Ocean House); most notably:

• Some aspects of the room were good (the view, the fire, the bath and the snacks) but lots was poor, for example it was cold (we had in-room massages and the masseurs commented that this was often a problem), there was very little storage, it was very dark at night even when every light was turned on, there were not blinds for every window so we woke up when the sun came up etc etc.

• Apart from treatment rooms, there is no spa (maybe because all they want is for you to pay for treatments???). The gym is pretty poor, with only a scattering of basic equipment. The swimming pool is miles away and pretty basic too. Lastly, apart from star gazing, they put on no other activities for guests whilst we were there. We love Canyon Ranch in Arizona and when you compare their facilities to the Ranch, it is almost comical!

• We eat in some of the best restaurants in the world and dinner here is dreadful – without wishing to be cruel, it is far too elaborate for the kitchen’s abilities and expensive for what you get. Also, the dining room is very basic (perhaps that is why the lighting is so dim in there that I had difficulty reading the menu??). The simpler room service menu is much better though (be warned, however, the room service wines are some of the most expensive on the restaurant menu). Breakfast is good.

• Some of the staff are good – notably the guys that drive the guests around and deliver room service. However, many are unprofessional to a lesser or greater extent and some quite patronising.

In summary, we felt ripped-off by what we received considering the room rate and, also, we felt that there was quite a push to extract more money from us whilst we were there. We gave the Ranch a comments card when we left, which was over two weeks ago, but no one has contacted us further about it. We would never go back to the Ranch and would not recommend it to friends.

Lastly, for all the talk of sustainability (I sometimes wondered if this meant cost cutting by another name), I noted that several items in their shop had ‘made in china’ stickers’ - I think that sums the place up!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
DanPriano, General Manager at Post Ranch Inn, responded to this review, June 16, 2010
Dear Friend,

Thank you for taking the time to fill out the comment card and write an online review regarding your recent stay with us. We appreciate your comments, in particular, the ones where you expressed your dissatisfaction. We would not be able to effectively run this world-class resort without guests like you, who give us an honest evaluation. We do value your points of direction; this enables management to take a closer look. Also I am very sorry to hear we did not exceed or even meet your expectations, as guest satisfaction is our number one priority at Post Ranch.

In response to your comments regarding the concierge I was very sorry to hear that your experience with that department resulted in you feeling “patronized” and that you felt you were dealing with an “amateur”. Please accept my heartfelt apology regarding this part of your stay, and know we have discussed this with our employees to ensure this would never happen again.

With regards to your feelings about the restaurant décor and furniture creating an uncomfortable experience for you we were very sorry to hear this. This seems to also be the case when you evaluated your Ocean House, stating that there was not enough light at night, and that it was too bright during the morning hours. When describing the spa we were very disappointed to read about your experience. In addressing these concerns of yours, please know when we designed Post Ranch, we were trying to achieve a feel of “rustic luxury”; design that was not too pretentious and fancy, one that people can feel comfortable in. The rooms, spa and restaurant were designed to reflect the simplicity and beauty of the surrounding environment. We are sorry if you did not appreciate the design for what it is intended to be; sustainable, simple elegance amongst the dramatic scenery of Post Ranch and Big Sur. Most people describe this property and Big Sur as the most beautiful, relaxing experience in the world.

To expose our guests to the varied beauty offered amongst the 100 acres of Post Ranch was the reason why we positioned certain guest amenities, like the fitness room and swimming pool, away from the guest rooms. The fitness room and swimming pool are located amongst glorious meadows and majestic redwood trees, not as prominent around some of the guest rooms.

Please know we are sad to hear that you did not feel there was value in your stay. We try very hard to make sure all of our guests have an amazing “Post Ranch Inn experience”; one they will never forget. When I take your entire review into consideration to see the “whole picture” it seems there is not much we can do unfortunately, regarding your dissatisfaction with aspects of our property falling into the category of design and structure; things that simply cannot be changed. Be sure to know the areas which you stated dissatisfaction with the spa and concierge have been addressed. Your positive comments about reservations, housekeeping, bellman, and reception/check-in were very much appreciated. From that portion of your review, it appears that you were satisfied with most of the employee service during your stay, and for that we are grateful.

In reference to your comments about sustainability - we have 990 solar panels which powers 65 percent of the yearly energy usage for the entire resort; we stopped using plastic water bottles and only provide guests with reusable stainless steel bottles they can take home; we have planted all drought resistent landscape; we honor open space for other wildlife and their habitation; water conservation; using architecture to maximize the natural light and ventilation based on the position of each room relative to the sun and, the list goes on. We have invested heavily in providing a sustainable environment, not only for our guests, but for our future generations because that is what we believe in.

I also wanted to respond to your comment about 'made in china'. Some of the finest things in the world come from that region. We honor and support that by placing quality, select pieces amongst the interior design of the guest rooms and throughout the property. We offer these pieces to our guests in our mercantile shop and will continue to do so.

Please reach out to me if you would like to discuss these matters further, if there is something you feel we can do to regain your confidence in our resort. Thank you for your time.

Be Well,
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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*
Number of rooms: 39
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Post Ranch Hotel Big Sur
Post Hotel Big Sur
Post Big Sur

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