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“Second visit and still lovely” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Treebones Resort

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Treebones Resort
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71895 Highway #1, Big Sur, CA 93920   |  
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It's easy to be GREEN!
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Big Sur
GreenLeadersGold level
Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Second visit and still lovely”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014 via mobile

This was our second trip to Treebones, and we were as enthralled as the first time. We stayed in a yurt the first trip, and the treehouse this time. The treehouse was so fun, and had an amazing view. Everyone who works at Treebones was as nice and helpful as could be. The facilities were immaculate, from the bathrooms to the pool. We were going to drive the 2 miles down to Gorda to try the restaurant there for our second dinner, but our first night at the Wild Coast Restaurant right at Treebones was so good that we decided to eat there both nights. It's a wonderful relaxing "glamping" experience....love it!

Stayed May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this review, June 10, 2014
Thank you so much for your return visit and confirming to other readers what we are constantly striving for: a consistently clean, welcoming and 'green' minded stay for those who choose to return time and again. Come back soon!
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547 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

I read Treebone's response to another tripadvisor reviewer about the bathing suit/ heater issue. That response is unprofessional and rude. Yes, that other guest did something that could have turned out worse, but what happened to "the customer is always right" they paid the $100 fine, and all you needed to say was that it took four hours to fix the issue. For the "resort" to write a snarky response to the post is uncalled for, and entirely unprofessional. I would not have written this review but for reading that response.

Treebones is a unique place, however I would not call it a "resort", let me tell you why. While I understand that Treebones is eco-friendly there is a fine line between conscientiousness and just being cheap. If I pay $250 a night, I don't want to have to ask for more than one towel for the three day stay. I know the bathrooms are shared, but at least they could be clean, there was a month's worth of grime on 3 of the shower heads. Additionally I did not appreciate picking up the sole and threadbare blanket left for me in the Yurt to see a sticker underneath it saying it would be $40 to replace if I took it. All of these issues combined do not make Treebones a "resort".

Also I would like to mention that the service I experienced at the sushi bar was horrendous. My boyfriend and I chose to eat at the sushi bar on our second night at the "resort". The sushi bar is first come, first serve, which is fine. We put our name on the list at 6pm and the hostess said it could be up to an hour and a half wait, also fine. We came back an hour and a half later and the hostess said it could be another hour wait. Not fine. Treebones is remote. Besides the other restaurant there, there is no place to eat for at least 20 miles, and definitely nowhere worth making the winding, dangerous drive in the dark. We were stuck. However, the hostess said we could order the full menu on the patio. Fine. After waiting twenty minutes on the small patio, the waitress turned up and asked for our order. My boyfriend wanted to order something hot from the main menu because we had been outside in the cold for twenty minutes, but I still wanted sushi. When I gave the waitress my order, she said they didn't serve sushi on the patio. WHAT? Now I was annoyed the sushi kitchen and the main kitchen are literally 10 feet from each other and they share the patio. She called another waitress over, and they said they would make an exception. Joy. fifteen minutes later my boyfriend received his food. 20 minutes after he received his food I finally asked about mine. The two waitresses came over and said it would be out soon, then I heard one of the whisper something under her breath about me. I was incensed but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to ruin the evening.

The last and final issue I have with Treebones, is that during our first night at the "resort" there was a huge hail storm. Clearly, I cannot and will not fault them for the weather. However, in the Yurt with a plastic skylight the hail came down so hard that it sounded like the sky light would burst. I even felt small flacks of ices come in through a little crack in the top of the yurt. I don't blame Treebones for any of this, but the storm was around 8:30-9:30ish PM and it would have been nice if they had come around to see if the guests were all okay.

I just don't feel like the experience added up to the monetary cost, and the response to the other tripadvisor member is indicative of how they run their business, unprofessional and cheap.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new hampshire
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

For me, it would be totally unfair to give Treebones anything less than five stars. The fabulous design work, the boundless creativity, and the spectacular views all make for an absolutely unforgettable experience. How often do you get to stay in a super cozy and warmly decorated yurt!?!? Or for that matter, hang out in a bird's nest overlooking the Pacific!?! We did not pay for an ocean view, but our yurt (#6) still offered an excellent view. You really can't go wrong with any of the yurts- and make sure you take a walk around the grounds and visit the birdhouse, stables, and inspiring garden, Treebones is really a rustic fantasy come to life- all the conveniences of home, but with the benefits of an environmentally harmonious and faux nomadic setting.

The place is kept spotlessly clean, walking to the bathrooms was really no big deal, and they are also very well maintained. The breakfast was pretty good for a buffet- delicious fresh eggs and super tasty waffles. I would have to say that I was left a little unconvinced by the dinner which is served right in the breakfast/check in/gift shop area, but at four star restaurant prices. The waitress was super professional and friendly and the food was at least average, but pretending it is a full fledged restaurant came off as something of a charade. Your best bet is the sushi bar which is in its own self contained and fairly atmospheric little building.

The only other issue that created some consternation was the 10:00 pm check in curfew. The resort website and confirmation made it sound as though it was a hard line, and as it turned out, our itinerary unexpectedly forced us to race there to make it on time. (we tried to call but couldn't get service along the coast) The gentleman at the front desk then said, "oh its no big deal, we would have waited for you" Meanwhile four guys at a table by the reception were making rude comments directed at me as I described how we just made it on time. I thought they were just random drunks, but the next day I recognized them as some of the young guys that provide maintenance around the property. Its too bad, because everyone else at Treebones was so extremely upbeat and friendly. On the whole, this is just a fantastic and entirely unique resort that I would recommend to anyone.

Room Tip: Do be put off if the ocean views are gone, all the rooms are amazing.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this review, June 10, 2014
Thank you for your recent visit and instructive comments, and confirming that the views are pretty awesome everywhere you look!
Note to those coming soon...we highly encourage guests (especially those in campsites) to checkin before 10 so that we can offer assistance, it is for your safety as the terrain is hilly, and very dark after sunset.
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Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

I must admit I was a little nervous to stay in a yurt. I'm not an outdoorsy person, and I like comfortable lodging when I'm away from home. I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the yurt was. It had hardwood floors, a very comfy bed, and fresh, drinkable water from the tap. It felt like being at a luxury camp for adults. The food was amazing & organic, with many of the ingredients grown in their own garden. Breakfast was my favorite part because of the outdoor breakfast bar with ocean views. Rumor is that whales can be spotted from the breakfast bar, although we weren't lucky enough to see any. The bathrooms are separate but very clean and close to the yurts, just remember a flashlight for evening bathroom runs. I also enjoyed the small hottub and pool with the ocean view. Bring your own wine - their bottles are expensive! I can't wait to go back and stay longer!

Green Features: This resort is committed to being green. Instead of plastic coffee stir-sticks they used raw spaghetti noodles because the are bio-degradable. A trick I never thought of!
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

The yurt was fine, large and comfortable, and very comfy bed. And the views are of course breathtaking, particularly from our ocean-view yurt. But I need to share a few issues. One: The fact that you need to go to the lodge to use the bathroom can be highly inconvenient, particularly for middle-aged and older folks who may require the facilities more regularly.

Second: We had an issue where my wife stupidly placed her wet bathing suit over the fire-bearing heater to dry. It wound up melting part of the suit, which then adhered to the thick glass covering the fireplace/heater. A threatening letter from the resort left on our bed by housekeeping told us that there would be charges for "damaging" the heater. However, we were able to take the edge of a dull knife to scrape off much of the melted suit remnants, particularly after reheating the glass. A requested meeting to discuss it with the owner -- a seemingly nice guy -- resulted in his telling us, "Don't worry, it's $1,000 to replace the glass, but I'm sure we'll be able to clean it for $100." I'm thinking, damn straight we're not paying you a grand to replace something that can be relatively easily cleaned. A red flag.

Relieved, we left the place figuring, "OK, they're reasonable people, we did kind of a dumb thing, but they'll clean it and no harm done." We were thus shocked to receive a call five days later telling us, "Good news! We were able to get the junk off the glass and it's as good as new." "Great!" I responded. Then came the kicker: "We'll only have to charge you the $100." I was like, "What? How did you calculate that we owe you $100? Is that what it cost you in razor blade-wielding labor? In cleaning solution? What?" The lady on the phone, obviously merely the errand gal, had no answer.

So of course we paid the hundred bucks to make it go away -- for precisely what I still don't know. But I was left thinking, "What stupid business people these guys are. Was it really worth it to soak us for that $100 and lose a customer -- or, worse, have a customer advertise your lack of goodwill on TripAdvisor and to our friends and fellow travelers?" I think not. If I'm them, I absorb whatever few bucks it cost to remove melted bathing suit and move on. But not Treebones. So be warned: Don't use the heater as a bathing suit dryer. And don't expect them to treat you like anything more than an ATM.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Dear tvrayz,

We believe that our guests should have a sense of personal responsibility for damages they might incur during their stay at our resort, accidental or not, as clearly stated on the agreement you signed at check-in. While we have an obligation to offer professional, safe and warm hospitality – there is also an inherent obligation in being a ‘guest’.

The charge was for our time. Luckily the damage only took four hours for us to rectify because the fact remains that this type of careless action could have easily escalated into a full blown fire- exposing you, your wife, other guests, our family, the 20 staff members who live on site and our larger Big Sur community to real danger.

We feel we handled this situation fairly and respectfully. Although we are disappointed that you felt it necessary to leave us a negative TripAdvisor review in addition to writing about this incident in your Glendale News Press column, anyone who is not willing to accept this type of personal responsibility for their actions while at Treebones will be better served elsewhere.

Sincerely,
The Handy family
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Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

I would say that our stay at Treebones was almost perfect. The location is unbeatable and the staff are very warm and welcoming. We ate in both the main restaurant and the sushi bar. The sushi selection was incredible and when I asked for a "dessert" sushi, the chef customised one on the spot, not on the menu. We stayed in a Mountain View Yurt and it was great. If you can't afford the Ocean View yurts it's really not tha big a difference, only a short walk and the ocean view is there anyway. The pool area is small but nice and the hot tub is small. it's also within really short driving distance of lots of good hikes and state parks. My small complaints were that I had a cold shower on the first night and that the hot tub is too small! We never got near it from all the people who constantly frequented it. On the whole a very beautiful experience. the weather is also unpredictable, so pack for both cool and warm weather. would go back again :)

Room Tip: If you can't afford an ocean view yurt, only a few short steps away from pretty much all the yur...
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whittier, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

I cannot put into words how wonderful my stay was here. I visited last summer and cannot wait to return this summer. My boyfriend and I stayed at campsite #3, which made for an affordable vacation with a breathtaking view. The staff here is so friendly! They drove us and all of our camping gear to our site in their golf cart and the receptionist recommended many hiking sites to see. Breakfast in the morning was great with their waffle maker, homemade granola with yogurt, and a variety of teas and coffee to choose from. Their complimentary breakfast with their outside ocean view ledge in the mornings makes for a perfect combination. The campsites have all the equipment you need: trash bin, wooden compartment to store stove tops/food, picnic table, and again...great view. Make sure to bring your own snacks and beer/wine since the convenient store on site can get expensive. The bathrooms were clean and perfect for showering the mornings. Overall, this was such a unique experience and I cannot wait to come back.

PS... try the sushi restaurant onsite (AMAZING!)

Room Tip: Campsite #3 is away from everyone else, it's very secluded and easy access to the bathrooms.
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  • 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
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Treebones Resort

Address: 71895 Highway #1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Big Sur
#2 Green Hotel in Big Sur
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Big Sur
#5 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unusual and unique eco-lodge experience with immense and expansive ocean views on Big Sur's remote and rugged south coast. Guests enjoy cozy comforts in fully furnished tent-like yurts or choose a campsite and bring all their own tents/gear to camp. Resort 'feel' in rustic setting. Two popular restaurant venues with cozy, communal atmosphere boast great service, organic, locally sustained cuisine with same great views. Massage services, hiking information, and modern book & sundries store on premises. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Treebones Resort Big Sur
Treebones Hotel Big Sur

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