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“A Waste Of Your $$$$”
Review of Big Sur River Inn

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Big Sur River Inn
Ranked #2 of 2 Big Sur B&B and Inns
San Francisco
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A Waste Of Your $$$$”
Reviewed November 11, 2005

Food was terrible.....How do you screw up pork ribs......it is hard to do believe me......but not here....I am sure the fish downstream get drunk from all the alcohol spilled into the river. the owner put chairs in the river for people to drink & relax, which at first glance is pretty cool.......But then you watch people get drunk & start throwing their drinks, straws & alcohol into the river & what a waste......

Helpful?
3 Thank coastalman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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389 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Haywards Heath, West Sussex
Level Contributor
37 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2005

Visting from England and stayed one night in early October 2005. The venue does not match the over elaborate and user hostile web site. (Try printing out anything.)

The motel itself is basic, but so is anything affordable in Big Sur. Tiny room. We moved on to cabin 17 at the Ripplewood Resort. Possibly even more basic, but cheaper ($80 against $125 for a much bigger room) and not as dark and gloomy. Also a bit further from the road. (But that gets very quiet at night.) Ripplewood also does better breakfasts.

The restaurant at the River Inn is fine. Good dinner, nice wine list. But the wi-fi connection seems to be hogged by local youths. Slow and kept hanging.

Friendly people. Just not somewhere to stay more than a night or two if you want a bit of room and don't want to live out of a suitcase.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2005

I'm a local up in Monterey and during Concourso week (August 18th through 22nd), I was anxious to get down to Big Sur. I work in the hospitality industry and was sick of hearing about Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

We arrived at the River Inn, check-in was a breeze and even though our room was on the "other" side (w/ views of parking lot) I could not have had a better time.

Folks, Big Sur's draw is getting away from it all. That means getting away from TV, phones, faxes, computers, work etc. etc. If you come to the River Inn with that mindset, you'll have a blast. If you come here, but whine that there is no phone or TV, you shouldn't have come to Big Sur in the first place. Go up the road and stay in Carmel at half the charm and twice the price.

In terms of decor for the rooms, it certainly is dated. But there is a decent sized shower, comfortable bed, fantastic patio, and it is impeccably clean (hats off to the housekeeping! They earned their tip). But who wants to spend time in their room? Big Sur is god's country, go out there and explore it!

The restaurant is fantastic and we met so many great people in the bar. Nothing like sitting back after hiking and having a "Beachbum Billy" (a local drink) while chatting it up with the great bartenders.

The River Inn is what Big Sur supposed to be. You can have the Post Ranch and Ventana, I'll take this place anyday.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank LoveMinus0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamworth Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
8 Thank edwinaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Helpful?
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 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

Helpful?
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
Helpful?
5 Thank Joanna B
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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