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“What a great anniversary getaway!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ventana Inn & Spa

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Ventana Inn & Spa
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
Sc
Level Contributor
151 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“What a great anniversary getaway!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

Charming, beautiful, spiritually restorative. Our stay in Ventana was incredible and so memorable. The staff was courteous and amicable. They went out of their way to keep us satisfied - for instance, when we arrived late from a hike in the afternoon and missed wine/cheese, a kitchen personnel made us a plate of cheese and poured us two glasses of wine just for us. We enjoyed that outside next to the fireplace. The amenities are sumptuous with fitness/workout room, outdoor pool and jacuzzi baths, an array of amazing plants and gardens with walking paths throughout the property overlooking BIg Sur coastline. The restaurant at Ventana was excellent with a great tasting and varied menu and wine; servce was very good and personable. The guided hikes provided us with a "can't forget" type of experience. I wish we could have stayed another night or two! Would definitely recommend this place!

Room Tip: We reserved a superior room with hot tub included balcony; this room felt so warm, perfectly decorat...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank marcusaureliusSc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,053 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 (248)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
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English first
Newport KY
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

Ventna is a very special place. THe grounds are beautiful. The staff outststanding. THe restaurant serves excellent food. Breakfast, which comes with the room, is one of the best continental breakfasts we have ever experienced. Ventana is expensive but worth every penny and it is half the price of the Post Ranch Inn across the road.

Room Tip: Even the least expensive rooms are terrific.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundas, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

Thank-you to the staff at Ventana for giving us a memorable night on our honeymoon. All of our needs were taken care of and we were very much relaxed as soon as we got to our room. So many little details that add up to a wonderful experience. We had one of the best meals in the restaurant and it was such a nice walk to the restaurant through the big red woods. Thanks again. We would definitely want to come back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventana M, Front Office Manager at Ventana Inn & Spa, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Yes! Your review embodied the exact feeling we are trying to achieve at Ventana Inn & Spa! A Romantic type feeling and five star luxuries! Perfect. So glad you got to enjoy the luxury of Ventana during your Honeymoon. The attention to detail would be what we consider the keys to creating a warm, relaxing feeling. See you again soon and congratulations. Sincerely, Shane Prince, Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park
Level Contributor
39 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

My husband and I have stayed at Ventana well over a dozen times since 1990, usually in one of the higher-end rooms and always for four or more nights. The resort has been through many changes and three owners in that time frame. It has always been expensive yet value also was high and delivered. Not now, sad to say. The cost now is exorbident for what is delivered. Our most recent visit was in September 2012 for four nights.

Notable unhappy changes:
-- continental breakfast features many fewer selections
-- coffee is not high-end (and I didn't care for it)
-- fireplace rooms are provided with those waxy fake logs, not real wood (we understand there was a bad fire associated with one of the fireplace rooms that did great damage, what that has to do with the type of fuel, I'm not certain)
-- some of the furniture can be awkward in the Big Sur suite
-- in September the upper pool (with is NOT clothing optional) was too cold each of the four days we were there; this seems to be a common complaint
-- the renovated main area, now separated into an eating area and a checkin area is unattractive and much less comfortable than the former "great room" incarnation

Again, it's not so much that there's much wrong with Ventana so much as the cost has gotten entirely out of hand. The rack rate for a basic room (no fireplace, no view) is $510 weeknights and $630 weekends. And, that's not a comfortable room for anything but sleeping. I'd never stay in that basic room but use it here to illustrate the absurdity of the pricing. For that kind of money, everything ought to be pretty close to exquisite ... and it's not.

I'm exasperated.

Room Tip: Rooms with deck and hot tub are best, obviously and tres costly. The basic room is an utter rip-off...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CatalinaW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
45 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

The place to stay when in Big Sur. Quiet, chic, good food, relaxing..... a retreat in the true sense of the word. You'll love it! Note that pool area is clothing optional.
The service in the restaurant was impeccable and the food quality outstanding. You have to walk through a small forest to reach the restaurant from your room which is fun and can be romantic when all the stars are up on the night sky.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SimonSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robinson, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
199 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

Let me start with we stayed at Ventana because the Post Ranch was not available-too bad. We had just spent 5nights up in Sonoma at MacArthur Inn which was absolutely perfect. So after driving for over 4 hours & getting the last parking spot in the lot we were tired. The room they gave us overlooked the forest-although it was an end room on the upper floor so it was quiet. So the next morning for an extra $200/night we got an ocean view room but let me tell you-WE NEVER SAW THE OCEAN. Do not waste your money on a suite. The room was clean but it never got cool. The 1st room had a window box a/c that constantly run & was very noisy. The 2nd room a suite was always hot-no window box but we turned the ac down very low but it never got cool. The bed was comfortable & clean. The bathroom was clean & big. The hot tub on the deck in the suite had a good temperature but with a lot of chlorine.
Your continental breakfast is included with your stay but the servers where not friendly or helpful & definitely not ready by 730am. Be careful as breakfast is served where you check in & not at the restaurant.
As for the restaurant-they have a very limited tasting menu for dinner & the service again was not too good(note they were not crowded). Getting to the restaurant is a challenge. It is a very nice walk but not for sandals or any fancy shoes. Note you are in the woods so there are animals everywhere.
The mornings are chilly & fogged in along the ocean. We waited all day but the clouds never let you see the ocean from our room.
They serve wine & cheese from 4-5pm. Way too early.
This is a nice place to stay for 1 night but not more than 2. It is a nice stop over if you are going to Hearst Castle. One of the reasons we stayed was because they do not let children stay but the night we ate at the restaurant- loud babies arrived. My advise stay at post ranch(our 2nd room was just as expensive) or continue onto Monterey.

Room Tip: If you choose to stay here only stay 1-2nights.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank susan c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
85 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We have been retracing our honeymoon road trip up the California coast on Highway 1 along the Pacific for the last week and spent an evening the Ventana Inn (which was our splurge spot on our initial trip many years ago). It is still quite an exclusive laid back, quiet and peaceful resort and we enjoyed our short stay this go around.

The rooms are clustered throughout the property and we opted for one with a fireplace. Reception was friendly and service was very good. There is one clothing optional hot tub and sauna area that we chose to avoid. The exercise room is very dated and not equipped the way we are now accustomed to expect. Dinner at the Ventana Inn Restaurant was accented by delicious food, sometimes spotty service, and an excellent wine list with numerous half bottles so a couple could experience a multitude of the area wines that are excellent values. Kudos to the Wine Director!

In summary, the resort does show its age and could use some sprucing up but our memories, both of the original trip and this repeat are pleasant.

Room Tip: Views may be fogged in or just of the surrounding woods. Opt for a fireplace and enjoy the coziness...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kentkt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventana M, Front Office Manager at Ventana Inn & Spa, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Thank you for taking your valuable time to write your thoughtful comments on your recent stay. We’re sorry to hear we fell short of meeting or even exceeding your expectations.

As you know, we are located on the coast in a micro climate. While there are many wonderful things you can do on a sunny clear day, there are equally nice things to experience when the weather is in climate.

Thank you for noting the rustic luxury of Ventana. Or property is meant to have a certain weathered look to it from the outside, while being completely luxurious on the inside.

I am sorry that our fitness room did not meet your expectations however it was designed to give you everything you need to get a great workout while on getaway, along with understanding that the majority of our guests utilize the amazing outdoor options of the area.

Thank you for mentioning the impeccable customer service you received. Ultimately this is our goal and I’m glad you were not disappointed. Sincerely, Shane Prince, Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ventana Inn & Spa

Property: Ventana Inn & Spa
Address: 48123 Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920-9538
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
#3 Family Hotel in Big Sur
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ventana Inn & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ventana Inn & Spa is a luxurious resort nestled in the mountains above California’s central coast. Situated on 243 acres of wooded hillside, 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean on the Big Sur coast, Ventana Inn & Spa is quiet, secluded and beautiful. The Inn provides a peaceful and soothing atmosphere enhanced by its proximity to the area’s natural wonders. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ventana Inn And Spa
Ventana Hotel Big Sur
Ventana Resort Big Sur
Ventana Inn Big Sur

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