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“hidden gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Glen Oaks Big Sur

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Glen Oaks Big Sur
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Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“hidden gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

this is the second time we stayed at glen oaks. and certainly not the last. the hippest retro accommodations in big sur. I say this with great perspective as we've also stayed at post ranch, ventana and deetjen's (all fantastic properties). this place is no frills (like tv, pool, in room coffee). but you don't come to big sur for amenities, just a peaceful, relaxing getaway. there is, however, wifi for those of us who just can't break the chain. the rooms are clean and well-appointed. heated floors in the bathroom are a nice touch. and for chilly nights/mornings, the lovely gas fireplace does the trick. now, about the staff; friendly and helpful, affording guests recommendations and local maps of interesting sites.

across from the motor lodge is the roadhouse, where guests can get their morning caffeine fix, gratis of course. we've eaten there twice. nice, clean place with style fitting of big sur. Kerouac would be proud! lovely outdoor spaces and gas firepits. the food is very good. the only thing i'd like to see, is a more comprehensive menu. it's a bit eclectic. for those of us with more pedestrian tastes, omelets would do the trick and although the theme is cajun-ish, potatoes would help. for lunch the chicken lollipops and sea bass sliders are tops. but again burgers and fries and a few other sandwiches would round things out. since they've only been open about 7 weeks, I think the limited menu is great until things shake out.

so, go and relax. if you don't find tranquility there, I suggest a trip to the psychiatrist. cheers.

  • Stayed August 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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961 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (219)
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English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

Stayed in the Little Sur cabins over July Fourth. The cabins are small but very well appointed. One caveat for summer visitors is that there is no air conditioning in the cabins. This wasn't a problem despite an epic heat wave because it got nice and cool at night.

Stayed in Cabin #8, which has the most perfect little fire pit (pictured) nestled in a trio of redwoods. Little river nearby is great for swimming. Staff is on top of their game and always super prompt making up the rooms and re-stocking the fire pit.

I've recommended this place to everyone that will listen to me who has had an interest in visiting the area. I've never stayed anywhere else in the region, but if I go back I'll be returning here.

Room Tip: Cabin #8 has the best fire pit and is super close to the river, and furthest from the road.
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 4 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.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

After reading a Time Magazine article on the top drives in the US, a bucket list item of mine was to drive the Cabrillo Highway and Highway 1 down to Big Sur from San Francisco. We chose Glen Oaks Big Sur on the account that it was in Big Sur, it was close to restaurants, 15 minutes away from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and at rooms during July that started at around US$250, very reasonable considering how expensive Big Sur is. We expected well appointed rooms in a tranquil setting - just a place to crash. We got so much more than we could have ever hoped for.

This trip could have gone south very fast - I booked my room for the day before, so our room had already been booked and we had missed our pre-paid reservation. However, the "Gate House" cabin, where the owner stays when he is on the property was still available. After taking into consideration that I had made an honest mistake and knowing we were from out of the country, they didn't charge us again for our Gate House stay. This literally saved my vacation, and speaks to the kindness of the hotel manager.

On to the actual hotel experience! If you are coming south from San Francisco, the hotel's main office will be on your left hand-side. Check in with the receptionist, who will give you your key and help you find your accommodations. A couple nice touches are the water and iced tea available ithat are in the office, plus complimentary hot drinks at the Roadhouse, the inn's restaurant, at any time. Very thoughful. Reception can also set you up with a Smore making kit or reservations at the Roadhouse

I believe the property is split up between the Adobe Motor Lodge (beside reception) and the Redwood Lodges. If you're staying in a cabin, you are not only given a key to your cabin, but also another device to open the gate that restricts non-guests from driving in. The Gate House was the first cabin upon driving through the gate, with a parking spot directly at the back of the cabin. Directly in front of the parking spot is a firepit and two chairs, ideal for fireside chats and night-time smore making. The cabin itself was blend of rustic and modern - check out the pictures for yourself. Tastefully decorated, with the main living area including a couch, breakfast table for 2, and an impressive functional, and fully equipped kitchen. We didn't cook, but if you do, the gas stove and oven would be indispensable! Cutlery, pots and kitchenware are plentiful, and the humongous kitchen sink would make meal preparation a breeze. Complimentary tea/coffee are available in the room too. The bedroom and bathroom were also lovely. The bed was comfortable, the nighttable had a few old boardgames (Jenga and Scrabble). Will again let my pictures do the talking - judge for yourself. The entire unit was clean, well decorated, and a general pleasure to be in.

We were only there for a night, but we'll remember our stay forever.

A final note - it may cross your mind that there are places in the world where you can get similar amenities and rooms for much cheaper, but do keep in mind that Big Sur is quite an expensive place to stay, and at the price point relative to other properties on Tripadvisor, Glen Oaks certainly didn't disappoint. The hospitality however, is hard to match, and we will remember management's kind gesture of not charging us for the night when they had every right to do so.
I would definitely return to this gem of a hotel if I ever am fortunate enough to return to this special part of the world!

  • Stayed July 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

As British travellers in California, we thought Glen Oaks was uniquely good for a short stay in Big Sur. It's a motel-style hotel, in which we had two cabin rooms, decorated and comfortably furnished with a stylish-retro look, good sized and immaculately clean. We had indoor gas fire-places and private outside seating areas - all at a very competitive price and good value. Plus a communal fire-pit nestling among the redwoods.The staff were extremely helpful and positive. The adjacent Big Sur Roadhouse also provided us with really good quality food and great service. Highly recommended for the discerning traveller.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Miami, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

We travelled from souther California to San Francisco, made last minute plans to stay in Big Sur and found a gem. We stayed in a beautiful private cabin in the woods with our own fire pit outside our door. Very comfortable- what a great way to go camping. We ate at their new restaurant across the highway. service and food was excellent!. We wish we stayed longer. Just perfect!!

  • Stayed August 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

We stayed in the Redwood cabin, which has a full kitchen, living room and bedroom. The cabin is secluded and relaxing. The bedroom is cozy and clean! The best part of this cabin is the outdoor fireplace and sitting deck. We relaxed there until bed time and did not use living room at all. The deck overlooks a small creek and is surrounded by a forest. We stepped outside to the yard and looked at stars. Everything is perfect for us. The next morning, we were again sitting in front of the fireplace until check out time.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Adobe Fireplace King. Indoor / out door gas fireplace. Private terrace. Can't be beat! Close to Carmel and all Big Sur attraction. Be sure to have lunch at Nepenthe!!!!!!

Best sleeping weather when we were there in Aug. 2013.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Glen Oaks Big Sur

Address: Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Big Sur
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Big Sur
#3 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Described as one of the most romantic places to stay, our adobe motor lodge was considered modern in 1957 and 50 years later Glen Oaks Big Sur has a fresh rustic-modern and Green sensibility. Our accommodations consist of 16 Adobe Motor Lodge rooms with cozy gas fireplaces and 10 Cottage/Cabin style rooms with kitchen/kitchenettes and most have access to the Big Sur River. All accommodations have free wireless internet and telephones with free local calls. We are located on Highway One in Big Sur Valley. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Glen Oaks Big Sur Hotel Big Sur
Glen Oaks Hotel Big Sur
Glen Oaks Resort Big Sur

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