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“Not my ideal place to stay...”
Review of Big Sur River Inn

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Big Sur River Inn
Ranked #2 of 2 Big Sur B&B and Inns
Oceanside, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Not my ideal place to stay...”
Reviewed June 21, 2013

My family and I stayed at the Big Sur River Inn thinking it would be a great experience by the river, boy were we wrong. It was crawling with people, and we couldn't even get into the river until it was late in the evening. I took a few pictures. We checked in our room, but it seemed that we walked to the office a few times and it was like pulling teeth to get the wifi passcode and to ask for an iron and a hair dryer seemed to annoy the hotel receptionist.

The restaurant was expensive and the General Store had a burrito bar and pizza that we decided to try. It was expensive and not good at all. We ate what we could stomach and tossed the rest. The room was big but looked like the inside of a log cabin. For the price, I was not impressed. It was dark and gloomy. No AC and it was stuffy.

Thankfully we only stayed for one night. By morning, the bathroom had 6 of the biggest spiders that jumped at me while I tried to smack them with a towel. I was upset because I'm scared of spiders. If you watched the movie "Vacancy" that is how I felt walking into that room the night before. I placed a chair and my luggage in front of the door, and was happy to see daylight. I will never stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ritamarie045
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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391 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
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English first
Yorba Linda, California
Level Contributor
62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2013

We stayed the night on our drive down from SF to OC.

Pros: surprisingly large double bed room; clean beds, room and towels; relaxing atmosphere; easy to find; free wi-fi; lovely area and flower boxes; right by quiet river; comfortable bed; rooms feel private w your own little porch. Discount on breakfast at restaurant w room keys.

Cons: no tv; highway a little noisy; if you want a river-side room you have to book the river suites specifically and pay more otherwise you go across the street. Limited food options and no mini-fridge option. Tiny bathroom, shower only.

Things to consider: bring a book, because you are here to relax. No distractions. Nature is your entertainment. Not for those looking for nightlife or shopping, obviously not urban location.

Overall: happy to have stayed!

Face: happy

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kitkat2986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
345 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

We had a lovely brunch here out on the deck overlooking the river. The steaks were juicy, large and very tasty. The service was good and friendly and we would eat here again if passing by.you can also have a nice walk by the river and sit on the benches in the water for some pictures.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barry and Nicol... G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Coast
Level Contributor
105 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013

The dining room and outdoor dining are rather pretty due to the river, but this is "no place to bring a lady" for an overnight if you are hoping to impress. Entrees are expensive. We arrived in the afternoon to our "suite"...say what? One room in front, like a living room, with a pullout set of twin beds and NO window to open and NO air conditioning, a bath in the hall and a room in the back w/ a blood stain on the coverlet. When we asked for a different room, we were shown another room just as gloomy and stuffy. There appeared to be rooms on the other side of the street, which must have been the ones pictured on the website, and none were available. This is one of those cases where you look at the website room and it sure isn't what you may get. Be very very sure, if you look at the site, to insist on one of the rooms as pictured or you may end up with the awful one we had. A tiny window provided ventilation and that window was on the road, where we had the joy of hearing the many motorcycles that stop at this place. There was a fan, thank goodness, which had to run all night. There were long hairs in the shower...need I say more? It is no place to sleep with a family, or a lover, or anybody except a bunch of guys. You could picnic by the river if you enjoy a rather rough crowd. Two motorcycle types got into a fight as we watched from our balcony. Not my kind of place at all. The rug in the main room was soaking wet, and when we complained, the young girl in charge shrugged and gave us $100 off an already overpriced stay. The next morning we did eat in the dining room and breakfast was enjoyable, w/ pancakes or burritos. The fare was decent and we were glad to be on our way.

Room Tip: We were not shown any rooms that were nice or at all worth the steep price charged, and if there wer...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EastCoastAmanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Big Sur hotels

Louisville, CO
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 3, 2013

We had reservations for Friday & Saturday evening. Upon check in on Friday, we were told that the entire place would be closed from 2 pm on that Saturday because they were having a wedding. We weren't allowed in the pool, restaurant or the rest of the grounds. We were told we could go to the general store and a pub on the back side of the property. Saturday evening we felt like misfits.
I had called on the Thursday before to confirm our reservation and I wish I had been told this. I didn't think we were treated fairly.

Room Tip: Call before you go and "ask" if there is a wedding.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LarryGloria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
45 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Big Sur is just wonderful but don't try it during summer (big fog).
This hotel is located near the river and it adds some kind of magic. We stayed two nights. The rooms ar OK but there is a something special about this place, maybe the river.
Excellent breakfast and dinner. And service in the restaurant. Otherwise we did not see staff.
A pool nearby. My daughther tested it and she was happy.
Rustci.
A bit expensive vs quality but it is the place ! and we were there high season.

Room Tip: There doesn't seem to be any difference betwen rooms. Tend for quietness and best view over the...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ParisVoyages
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
63 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Stsyed at this motel on a trip up the California coast. Big Sur is really the first point you meet going north which is very green. At this point you are slightly in.and inI the valley of the Big Sur River. The motel is a really delightful place to stay. Accommodation seemed to be mainly in cabins at the side of route 1. The style is quite unique and is quite a break from the identikit chain motels. Would recommend for anyone seeking a chill out experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brendan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Sur River Inn

Property: Big Sur River Inn
Address: 46840 Highway 1, Highway 1 at Pheneger Creek, Big Sur, CA 93920-9507
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Big Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Big Sur River Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A quaint stream-side inn. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Big Sur River Hotel Big Sur

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