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“Great Spot to Get Married”
Review of Ventana Inn & Spa

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Ventana Inn & Spa
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great Spot to Get Married”
Reviewed July 12, 2009

We got married at Ventana Inn in May with a small wedding ceremony at the Wedding Site and reception in the Library. Jessica, their wedding coordinator, was great - helping us with all of our questions before the event and then ensuring that everything on the day of the event went perfectly. It far exceeded our expectations. We found the staff to be friendly & accomodating, but also respectful of our privacy in such a beautiful setting. We stayed in a Big Sur Spa Suite, which was great. We had only eaten at Cielo, so didn't know what to expect with the Bistro, but the food at the wedding was excellent. The breakfast offering is smaller than it used to be, but the cooked meals you can purchase were very good. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lars7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (263)
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English first
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2009

We had our wedding and part of our honeymoon at the Ventana. Its a beuatiful, relaxing place to stay, with Japanese gardens (heated maze like pools), regular pools, lovely rooms (ours was in a quiet corner with a balcony overlookings the forest), a great location overlooking the forest and ocean.

The staff are so friendly and helpful, they have shuttles and carts to take you around the property and even over to the restuarant at the Post Ranch Inn.

Its incredibly relaxing, people often walk around in bath robes.

The only downside is that their resturant burned down and they have a limited bistro menu. The Eggs Benedict were amazing though! I highly reccomend them!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank InSearchofTastyFood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
446 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 437 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2009

This was our third stay at Ventana and the first following the change in ownership and I must report that not all changes were for the better.

We loved the Ventana suite we were upgraded to from the Superior Fireplace Room: loved the pretty new decor, our luxurious bath, the ocean view, and the hammock on the terrace. Personally, I wish they did not include the wide screen TV. We visit places like Ventana to reconnect and reflect on our relationship, and a TV is just a noisy intrusion. But, I understand that there may be a demand and that is fine.

The Japanese baths looked a bit neglected in terms of upkeep, but that too was o.k. However, the bistro has to go!! We hated the location right in the reception area and the fact that it was literally empty both nights of our stay. Just was not a welcoming situation and we kept wondering what all the other guests knew about having dinner, and where to have it, that we did not.

The worst was the room-service lunch with a mere delivery to the room, zero service (the fellow did not bother setting our order side by side on the table or removing the metal covers), and essentially inedible panini. The meats were so tough that it was impossible to bite through and the cobb salad lacked all appeal with super pale lettuce and unimaginative prep. Unaccetable, IMO. Not for this caliber of an establishment and prices.

The new ownership also significantly raised the rates and unless one obtains a special deal, it does not make much sense to stay at Ventana when one could pay nearly the same rates at the Post Ranch Inn across the road for a truly remarkable experience. We would likely head there next time.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Anna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, CA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2009

We stayed at Ventanna for our 10th anniversary for a weekend in June. We paid for the cheapest room and were upgraded to a fireplace room. It is really almost a 5 star place.

The outstanding features: The location is the #1 thing here. The grounds are beautiful, pools are quiet and secluded, hot tobs are hot and private. The shuttle service for dinner was fast and friendly.

Minuses: For $700/night I expected the wine and cheese to be above the Costco caliber, but it was not. The room was pretty, but on the small side. Final and main gripe: we checked and and the rate sheet they gave us said it was $600/night (our reservation was for $700). But we had pre-paid and it showed an overpay. I saw a page on his computer that said "rate 700->600" However, after some confusion he said they had made a mistake and the rate was in fact $700. Honestly, I think this is ridiculous. I would have been happy to pay the $700 if they hadn't dangled a lower rate in my face, and then taken it away. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

Still, we enjoyed the stay. We have stayed at the Casa Palmero in Pebble Beach and that was much nicer except for the location, which you just can't beat in Big Sur. However, Ventanna could send their staff to Casa Palmero for a training session. They just weren't as good, a little awkward, sometimes snobby, but many were friendly and great also.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CALookingForParadise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2009

We visited Memorial Weekend and though we ordered the least expensive room we were upgraded to one of the renovated rooms with a private jacuzzi on the balcony.
Room was great - spacious, completely secluded - private balcony with a jacuzzi that is always hot and great view to the trees and the ocean (the ocean is seen from a distance though).
Bathroom was big and included a bath tub and a separate shower.
Restaurant was fabulous and one of the highlights of the visit. We dined there four times - both dinner and both lunches - because we liked the food so much. Service is super friendly. Food is fresh, from local ingredients, healthy and original. The only thing that was sub par was the cappuccino, but that's a typical American malaise, unfortunately. Wine was excellent too.
Location is great - close to several attractions in the Big Sur area and to the few restaurants / dellis in Big Sur.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NK_NYC_IL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2009

If you are looking for a get-a-way with privacy and a great location, this is one of my favorites. The location is fantastic, nestled in the hills of Big Sur. This resort provides access to a huge variety of activities: scenic drives along the PCH, hiking, and romantic walks. The service is exceptional. The recent renovation makes a big difference - the rooms and exteriors look fresh.

Positives:
+ The drive to Big Sur is one of the best drives in the US - south from San Francisco on the PCH twisting and turning along the coast line
+ Service - you are whisked from the parking area to check in by a friendly guy in a golf cart. When you check in you get glasses of wine!
+ We stayed in the Vista Hot Tub Suite - the room is large with a huge, private deck. These look out on a meadow, and you really feel like you are all alone.
+ The outside hot tub is our number one favorite feature. It is an in-ground huge hot tub. We could lounge out there all night. When we found it too hot, someone came right out and cooled it down for us... even offered to pour cold water in it so that it was comfortable!
+ Views are beautiful and the location is quiet
+ Room decor is nice and modern while retaining a country/rural feel. The shower is cool. They provide a Bose ipod ready sound system so load up some of your favorite music when you come
+ Romantic location
+ You can have dinner delivered and served in your suite. With the fireplace roaring, this was great. The food was excellent.
+ Free internet access (through an ethernet cable) in the room
+ One of the best facials and massages with great service at the spa

Negatives:
- The drive down from San Francisco takes about 2-3 hours depending on traffic. If you are flying in, try to get in around mid-day so you can enjoy your first night.
- The website may lead some to believe that this resort is by the ocean, which it really is not. The ocean is a mile away, and the resort is located in the hills. The ocean views are of a distant ocean.
- With the recent renovations, the costs went up and the minimum stay went to two days. Your cost of a visit will be high, but with the right company it will be well worth it! Worth every penny!
- The spa room was not well insulated from noise from the surrounding rooms

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank brunob00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2009

After a rude conversation with the reservations clark at the Post Ranch Inn who informed me that "I wasn't welcome to stay less than 2 nights", I decided to choose a weekend getaway at the Ventana Inn instead. And I certainly made the right choice. From the very beginning I was made to feel welcome; the check in was handled with confidence and efficiency, and I was kindly offered an upgrade to either the Big Sur suite or a Pacific Room facing the coast. The photos depicting the property and guest rooms on the website are an accurate match. My room was large and open plan with a fantastic view over the Pacific. They were tastefully decorated in cedar and ash with an open fireplace, outdoor spa and slate bathroom. The property is like the garden of eden; inviting swimming pools, lush botanical gardens bordering the rugged Ventana Wilderness state park; surrounded by tall Californian Redwoods. Meals were served in the garden - lunch and breakfast were fantastic, but I was a little disappointed with the 3 course dinner (the main was overseasoned unfortunately). Apart from that, I cannot rate this property highly enough. Everything was perfect from start to finish, and I will certainly be going back in the future.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FreqBusTraveller
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 93920-9538
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 Top resorts Hotel in Big Sur
#3 Family 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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