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“Would find another place next time”
Review of Big Sur River Inn

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Big Sur River Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Big Sur B&B and Inns
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Pictures of the place looked very inviting when we made our reservation - now that we've stayed there I would pick another place.

Pros:
- We picked a suite, so the front of our room overlooked the river which is picturesque.

Cons:
- All rooms are about 100 ft from the highway - very noisy from sun up to sun down! 18 wheelers, cycles, cars, you name it pass by. A mere seconds between each vehicle.
- Room was clean yet rundown - carpet was well worn with snags, wood accents looked like they had seen better days.
- No A/C - we stayed during a warm week and had to sleep in the living room due to no a/c, road noise (bedroom of suite backs to highway), and ceiling fan in living room only
- Lack of cell phone reception and TV. (but wireless wifi is available for free)
- Quite pricey for what you get

If I had to do it over again, I would probably stay further north in a city and just drive down each day to spend time in the Big Sur area.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank svelte-in-San-Diego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 27, 2013

Stayed at this nice motel along HGW1. I think you can expect much more since you almost pay the same amount of money as you would do at a Hilton hotel. They rooms are clean but noisy and small. The location is great and you have access to a large pool, bar and a decent restaurant.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jimZon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013 via mobile

We stopped by here 4 years ago. Had a coffee and sat by river. It seemed rather magical. So on this trip we booked one night in the motel on our way south to Santa Barbara. I don't think I have ever stayed in a poorer place. And to add insult to injury the rate is $290 (before 10.5% tax). I say "is" because I am writing this review while in our room (#16). Which is a dump. Ironically it is the first hotel in CA where they have placed an envelope for the maid's tip! And to finish on a bad note the dinner at the restaurant is sub par and over priced.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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3  Thank Pashita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

Went on a 2 week road trip through CA. Worst hotel on the trip. Not really one big thing, just a ton of small things. No A/C, which would have been okay, but there is no ocean breeze and no wind flow at all. The window is right next to the parking lot, so if I open it everyone can see in. No cross ventilation. Oh, and no fan. A fan costs like $30 at Walmart. Next, the WiFi doesn't work in the rooms. No tv. Killed 3 spiders (quarter size) in my room. The food prices are crazy high, like 30-40+ per person. Did I miss something, this isn't Ruth Chris. All this for $200 a night is highway robbery. I would have bought a tent and stayed on the ground before staying a second night. The only redeeming quality? The general store sells affordable and pretty good pizza. Drive the extra few miles and say anywhere else! Both people at the front desk were rude. Oh, and it was June, so we were hot. Finally just took off all our clothes, minus the underwear, turned off the lights and sat on the bed, sweating like pigs. It doesn't chill down at night there until about 2-3 am. The parking lot is full of complainers in the morning and everyone is rushing to leave.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Carl K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

This motel sits immediately off Hwy 1. The noise from the traffic along Hwy 1 is unbearable. When a group of motorcycles or a semi passes by, the floors inside our room rumble. The windows to the rooms overlook the parking lot, so yes - you do hear the parents screaming at their kids to get in the d***n car and stop your whining! My husband, who is a very sound sleeper, was unable to get any sleep because of the noise from the parking lot and road. A simple change in the floor plan of each of the rooms would resolve this problem, but don't expect any changes from management - they simply don't care about the comfort of their guests.

The buildings are very old and in desperate need of maintenance. For example, the table that I'm using for my computer wobbles with every strike on my keyboard - the legs are barely attached. The carpeting in our room (#16) is very stained and very worn with huge runs in the carpeting. The walls are dirty, the moldings are coming apart from the wall. Noise from the highway and parking lot could be abated by installing new windows and re-working the floor plan to place the bathrooms against the parking lot rather than in the middle of the suite. Frankly, I haven't seen a place this run down in at least 20 years.

There's no ventilation in the rooms. To get fresh air, you'll have to open the only window that sits over the bed (that is adjacent to the parking lot/Hwy 1). For unknown reasons, there's no ceiling fan in the main bedroom area, only one in the front room that has another single bed, and 1 chair. There's no place to sit at night other than in the bed if more than one of you wants to read or use the computer.

We were prepared for no t.v., but were not prepared for the noise or the dirty facilities.

Front desk staff was curt and efficient, there wasn't any warmth or inviting tones or gestures. We were advised if we wanted ice to take the ice bucket to the restaurant and ask for some and that our room key would provide a 10% discount at breakfast the next morning. One would think that paying over $290 for a room would entitle you to more than a 10% discount off at an overpriced restaurant.

I suggest that you continue on to Carmel or Monterey and avoid this overprice motel at all costs! There's such a thing as supply and demand, but this place is well beyond that. This establishment has intentionally misrepresented its facilities and accommodations with a very polished website that substantially misrepresents the truth. The owners of this establishment have spent a small fortune on professional photographs to trick the unsuspecting traveler. Don't buy into the tranquil setting depicted, it simply doesn't exist. They should spend their money updating their facility instead.

Room Tip: Don't get a room here if you want to sleep - you can't avoid the noise from the parking lot...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Meadowlark1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

The Big Sur River Inn is a lovely place to stop & maybe have a drink or lunch as the area around the river is lovely however the hotel itself was really basic & old fashioned. We stayed for one night on our honeymoon & the room was extremely expensive so we thought it was going to be fantastic - it was small, old, wore out, no basic amenities, uncomfortable. I wouldn't recommend staying at all considering the price however the little pub was nice for a drink & the river is worth looking at.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ataylor03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

It's hard to know how to give this place an overall rating. It's old, and for its time probably perfect. And the setting can't be beat. But if you are looking for modern conveniences, look elsewhere. We stayed in the old section on the east side of the highway,in Room 5. The room is small. There is no refrigerator, no TV. During the day you worry that the highway noise will keep you awake, and it would except that, thankfully, hardly any traffic goes by at night. Both lamps were unplugged, and for one I never could find an available plug. The fan in the bathroom is noisy and goes on whenever the bathroom light is turned on. The night light we brought saved us from the racket at night. The room is clean enough, but old. But take a walk by the Big Sur River, which is on the west side of the highway, and all reservations are washed away. The river ambles along among towering evergreens. There are wooden chairs sitting in the river where one can cool off, or, when there is a concert on the grounds, sit to hear the music. Or sit on the porch in front and look at the trees across the highway. If you are looking for modern, don't stay here. But for desert rats hoping to cool off, it was just fine.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dianne T
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

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 #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Big Sur
Price Range: $140 - $443 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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