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“Totally different experience”
Review of Big Sur River Inn

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Big Sur River Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Big Sur B&B and Inns
Tamworth Australia
Level 4 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Totally different experience”
Reviewed September 23, 2005

I have just read some of the previous reviews and my husband and I must have stayed in a totally different Big River Inn. We loved it! We had the last room on the right on the other side of the road. We arrived late afternoon on a Saturday in August, rather stressed from driving from San Fransisco on the wrong side of the road. A few drinks in the bar at the Inn soon sorted out the stress. We found the rooms huge, clean, comfortable and so much better than expected after reading some of the reviews here. In fact as we were approaching the Inn I told my husband that out of our 7 week holiday this was the only place that I was concerned about. In fact the oposite was true and we were totally happy with the accommodation - yes the shower was a little small - so what, you are in it for 5 mins or so. There was no TV - is that a problem ? There was music on the Sunday afternoon and a large crowd, which surprised us. The bar tender was very friendly and accomodating. THe meal in the restaurant was great, breakfast was great, the atmosphere of peace and relaxation was great. We just missed out on a floor show from next door by the sounds of things. I loved it and would go back tomorrow. I would print my photos but we lost the movie camera 2 days before getting home ( to Australia after 7 weeks) and now it looks like my 781 digital photos may be on a corrupted file Arrrhhhhh!!!!! Just home today so hoping I can solve the photo problem. I wish, right now I was back there sitting on one of those chairs with my feet in the river.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank edwinaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
San Francisco, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2005

We had such high hopes having just seen the Big Sur River Inn featured in Sunset magazine. However, when we arrived we were given a room in the building across the highway that reminded me of temporary trailers at construction sites. Upon entering the room we noticed that the walls were super-thin particle board which we initially deemed "rustic". In the bathroom we were greeted with a huge spider that took us 5 minutes to coerce into a glass for safe relocation. The dinner at the restaurant was fine, definitely the high point despite the fact they had run out of the first item we ordered. The staff were very pleasant and helpful. The pub a few doors down was also a nice stop given their good selection of drinks. Later that evening, back in our room, we noticed that the water coming out of the faucet in the bathroom reeked of sulphur, luckily the shower water was fine. Then to make things worse, we were awoken in the wee hours of the night because our entire room was shaking. The "rustic" paper-thin walls could not shield us or the poor building from the sounds and movements of the couple next door. If you're looking for a cozy, quiet and clean evening, you may want to go elsewhere. Just the opinion of a former health inspector.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank kungfuzsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Big Sur hotels

South Florida
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2005

We were on our way up the Pacific Coast Highway from LA making the tourist-y stops along the way. It was getting late and foggier by the minute so we stopped in Big Sur and ended up at The River Inn. We were starving so we booked a room a room first right inside the restaurant at the hostess station($132.00 including tax) and then waited approximately 15 minutes to get seated for dinner. We waited a good 10 minutes before we were even acknowledged and then another 20 minutes for dinner. I had the Shrimp Scampi which was average mostly because the linguini was overcooked and my husband had the Seafood Ravioli which was great. The hot cider is really nice especially on a cool night. We were originally seated inside but moved outside on the deck near the river. Much nicer out there and they have heaters to keep you warm. Our waitress was super nice but the place was too busy for the wait staff to keep up with everyone.

We only stayed there a night and left in the morning but if you are staying a day or so, get a room facing the river. They have a nice pool, a burrito bar, a good sized yard area and supply chairs right on the river which I thought was original. We didn't do any of this because we were just passing through to San Francisco but I wanted to write this review to let others know that the room we stayed in (across the street from the restaurant) was small, expensive, no closet, no television, moldy walls in the bathroom and all around a great Big (Sur) disappointment! Luckily, we hadn't pre-booked an entire vacation here because I would have rather camped in the woods.

I know we were in the woods and should have enjoyed the nature surrounding us but gosh, can I please have a t.v.???

Wouldn't stay here again, probably wouldn't stay in Big Sur at all, but hey, I'm a city girl, what do I know anyway?? :)

Happy Traveling,

Debbie from Jupiter, Florida

7 Thank FLgirlDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2005

First, I love Big sur and was very happy to be there. Everything was beautiful and my husband and I had a great time. However, we overpaid for what we got ($130 per night). I would advise someone to check out Glen Oakes or another alternative first. The people were friendly but the rooms were very sparse. The showers are tiny. No meals were included, although we did receive a coupon for 10% off of breakfast. Also, as has been previously stated the rooms are right on the road and the traffic was loud, even with the windows closed. I was surprised and thought that even for Big Sur prices this was overpriced.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank Joanna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2005

We wanted to stay somewhere in the Big Sur for a couple of nights and this seemed the best out of poor to average reviews for accommodation in the area. I was glad that I read the reviews beforehand as I had low expectations before we got there. The accommodation is exactly as described on their website and on here. I think we stayed in room 2 on the side of the road opposite the restaurant etc.

We had taken eyemasks (to blank out any light) and earplugs as a precaution but still managed to get awoken at 2am in the morning by the couple next door making love (the walls are very thin)!! As someone else has said the traffic dies down on Highway 1 before 12 midnight and the first noisy bikes don't really start going past until 7.30am (or thereabouts) so you can get a reasonable night's sleep. It wasn't too hot when we went so we didn't need to have the windows open.

We ate at the restaurant once and although the food was great and at a reasonable price we were ignored by most of the restaurant staff, so much so that we felt uncomfortable/invisible.

The shop is great and stocks nearly everything you could want at reasonable prices.

The only real downside is that there are no facilities in your room to make your own hot drinks, you know what we English are like for our tea and it is this single thing which sticks in my mind the most! Of course, it means you have to keep purchasing at the shop (I guess that's why they don't put a coffee maker in your room!). You also have to buy ice as we couldn't see anywhere to get it for free (there are no refrigerators in the rooms).

Overall, its expensive for what you get, compared to the other four motels/lodging we stayed in on our trip (and most of them included complimentary breakfast) but that's because you're in the Big Sur and this place is right in the heart of it!

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank Claire101
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
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 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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