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“The Perfect Escape to Relaxation”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Ventana Inn & Spa

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Ventana Inn & Spa
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“The Perfect Escape to Relaxation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2008

Ventana Inn is just beautiful, from the moment we arrived we were treated like first class guests, we were given wine and cheese and shown to our Suite (highly recommend suite 10) We had our own jacuzzi and hammock on the balcony which overlooked the redwood forest. The room had a fireplace a bathtub which was massive and an amazing shower with a window looking out onto the redwood forest, our balcony/ windows were not overlooked by anyone. The fourposter bed was very comfortable. The next morning, we had an amazing breakfast, we were spoilt for choice and the quality was lovely. We sat outside to eat the breakfast with amazing views to entertain us. It is also great for wildlife also!! Definitely recommend it!!

  • Liked — The Suite itself
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SurreyLady14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,168 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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sierra madre, ca
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Ventana Inn over Memorial Day. We hesitated to stay at the Ventana because we stayed there many years ago and were not that impressed with the service, but to be fair, it was during a terrible storm! Several co-workers insisted we retry Ventana...so we did. (Just in case, we booked the Post Ranch for three nights after our Ventana stay;-))

Once we arrived, there was a problem with our room, a big problem for us considering we were spending $1250 a night, and we were quick to assume that all the negatives we experienced and read on trip advisor in the past were still true!

But once we took our issue to the manager, Deone Dempcy, our experience completely changed. He could not have been more accommodating and understanding. Deone immediately took care of the issue quickly and changed our room to our complete satisfaction. We would also see Deone every morning at breakfast and he was great with the other guests as well. Very impressive.

Loved the grounds, the restaurant Cielo (our waiter Richard was excellent) and the food was top notch.

The weekend was wonderful!! We LOVED the Ventana. We moved over to Post Ranch after our two nights at Ventana and we were sorry to go!!!

I am writing a review on Post Ranch as well.

BTW, we loved them both, and it is hard to compare and don’t think you can go wrong with either. In our opinion, if we had to pick what we liked the best … this is what we came up with. The rooms are bigger, nicer and loved the outdoor spa at the Ventana (Bay House room) and the view was spectacular at the Post (Ocean House lower room). We both liked the quaint breakfast atmosphere better at the Ventana and the dinner atmosphere at Sierra Mar (how could you beat that view?). As far as food, our breakfasts at Sierra Mar breakfast were delicous and Cielo food, as well as service, was outstanding.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Orangecrush2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2008

If you want to stay in a little oasis of pleasure and indulgence this is it! I booked my stay online after hearing about the Ventana from a friend. They were so happy with there experience I had to try it myself - and boy were they right! Comfortable rooms, great meals, and the staff was so sincere and professional!

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
Thank lgpynk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
155 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2008

I had no expectations about Ventana - knowing nothing but what I had read here and on the resort's website. After a 2.5 hour drive down from San Francisco, it was a pleasant surprise that we arrived at the start of their complementary evening wine and cheese shin-dig. Fabulous wines followed by complementary chair massages completely eased the stress of driving all that way and put us in a great, relaxed mood.

At the time of our visit, the resort was undergoing a huge renovation, but they smartly timed construction, restricting it to days when they completely closed down the resort. So, aside from some fenced off areas - there was not a sign in sight that anything was going on. No drills, no hammers, no saws.

Although the resort was supposedly fully booked, we rarely ran into many people outside of the free morning breakfast in the lobby (really yummy and more than I expected) and the resort restaurant, Cielo. Desserts were top notch and the wait-staff was very attentive.

As for the rooms - the bed was great! The view was relaxing. Just the right blend of luxury and rustic charm. There was a design board in the lobby showing the new furnishing and fabrics. I believe we were in a room that had yet to be updated (room 121) It was identical to the room of our friends who stayed above us in room 124 - except that their second story room had a vaulted ceiling.

Two bad points about the room. There was a music CD in the room with some great mood music (great!) - however, the only way to play it was through the flat-panel TV (not so great!). The big bright CD interface on the TV screen couldn't be turned off without killing the music. So it wasn't much a romantic mood enhancer.

Secondly - while the bathroom was functional - the tub/shower was not luxurious. Although it was clean and slightly updated, it was terribly outdated for a luxury resort.

The whole complex that our room was located in was also a bit creaky. Hoping they update the baths, CD player and stability of the structure during the remodel.

As I mentioned earlier, breakfast was good. Berries, yogurt, granola, pastries, two warm egg dishes, breads, coffee, teas. Plenty to get you started. And beverages and cold water were always available throughout the day - so you can stock up on water as you head out for your Big Sur hiking.

While I didn't take advantage of the Japanese soaking pool or the regular pool (it was a bit cold the weekend we were there) - I was told that they were both excellent by those in our party who did.

We hiked for lunch one afternoon to Post House, just across the highway. It's actually a pretty strenuous 25-30 minute walk. I can see why Post House is considered the crown jewel of the area - it truly has spectacular views from the rooms. The restaurant was nice - though for a top notch resort, it was a bit absurd that our server delivered us the bill from another table (it certainly wasn't that busy).

All in all I would heartily recommend Ventana. Though less dramatic than Post House - it was just the right mix of luxury and down-home relaxation. Not stuffy at all - but supplying a good mix of quality and excellent food and wine.

  • Liked — Lots of included perks! Needs always met!
  • Disliked — Bathrooms need upgrading (at least in our room)
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank sfimporter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2008

This is the best place for the price to stay! From the moment we walked into our room, I fell in love. There is nothing I have to say bad about this place. If you heading through Big Sur The Ventana is the place to stay! And Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places I have ever traveled to!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kryst13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2008

What an enjoyable stay after an absence of several years. We were regulars many years ago when we lived in San Jose (relatively short drive), but have not returned as often after moving to the Napa Valley. We stayed for four days and regretted coming home (even to the Napa Valley!). The room was exceptional, service superb and excellent dining at Cielo. Nothing seems to have dropped off with the recent change in ownership - a seamless transition. We parked our car when we checked in and never got in it for four days. I wanted to try Sierra Mar at Post Ranch for dinner on one of our nights, but my wife was content to stay put and why not? The food was superb at Cielo. We stopped at Post Ranch Inn on our way out and both of us were put off by the pretentious vibe. They definitely have a great location and we should reserve judgment until we have stayed there, but it will be very difficult for us to stay elsewhere. Ventana Inn is nirvana and we never saw anyone at Post Ranch walking around in their robes! Ventana, don't ever change, we love you just as you are and we have vowed to become more frequent guests!

  • Liked — Size and views.
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed March 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nvnight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
48 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2008

Ventana Inn is reputed to be one of the top places to stay in Big Sur, and I concur. The hotel is very good and comfortable - hot baths open till 11pm; nice, quiet, clean rooms; excellent service. Should you wish to explore nature there are trails leading from the hotel into the forest which are well signposted and there are timed tours organised by the hotel itself. The only thing is that the whole experience doesn't quite feel special enough. somehow.

The restaurant is not that brilliant either. I ordered a seared foie gras course - bog standard stuff in any decent french restaurant - and they botched it by burning it. They were decent enough to offer a replacement and my partner's starter on the house, so plus points for that,

  • Liked — Beautiful setting, good facilities
  • Disliked — doesn't feel really special
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stinkaroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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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