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“Simply One of the Best”
Review of Post Ranch Inn

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Post Ranch Inn
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed May 4, 2011

It has taken me a long time to write this review because it is hard to know where to begin. We have been coming to Post Ranch for 10 years now and fell in love with it the first time. Over the years we have been here in all kinds of weather from searing heat waves to pea-soup thick fog to driving winter storms. Every season has its draw and we enjoy it in different ways no matter the weather. In March we were there for the whale migration, which is really a special treat. It's also been great to watch the population of California Condors grow over the years and heartening to see the community and land bounce back from the wildfires and mud slides. It was a sad day when Billy Post died, but he had to be proud of what they created here.

The magic of Post Ranch is in the combination of awe inspiring location, rooms, service and people. The one sad thing is that I don't think you ever recapture the breath-taking site when you come up to the crest of the cliff for the first time. It is still spectacular, but I will always remember that first time I saw the land drop away and heard the ocean crashing below.

At this point we have stayed in a number of room types including tree houses, ocean houses, upper coast houses, and upper pacific suites. I like all of them and do think the ocean view is worth spending the money on, particularly if this is something you will not being doing a lot. That being said, I still love the tree houses. This is the room type we book most often because there is just something about the feeling of the space and floating in the trees. Despite not having a direct ocean view many of them do actually give you nice views out that direction. All of the original rooms on the north end of the property are the same size and just differ in layout and location. The ocean houses are very private, particularly further north, and their two-sided fireplace is a great added feature. The new rooms on the south end of the property are twice as big as the old rooms and really remarkable. Our upper pacific suite was fantastic. The upgrades, especially the private outdoor soaking tub and radiant heat flooring, are major improvements over the old rooms. However, there is a big price difference you pay for this and that is not insignificant. I also feel like the new rooms will improve as the foliage grows in over the next 5 years. Right now it all feels a little too new on that end of the property, and we missed being up in the grove of trees.

The feel of the property is one of relaxed luxury, nothing over the top and nothing ostentatious. It has a hushed quiet energy and people are respectful of each others privacy but social at the same time. We have met people here and made ongoing friendships with fellow guests. People looking for an Orange County type of luxury best look elsewhere. The real luxury of the place is in the people. We have gotten to know some of the long-time staff over the years and it is amazing the details they will remember from visit to visit. Dan, the GM, has been there many years and really understands the importance of customer service. The front desk staff are always warm, helpful and kind. The housekeeping is top notch. We have never had an issue with poor housekeeping. Sometimes when we get back from dinner the fire has been started just before we get to the room and this kind of attention to detail never ceases to impress me.

The two main sommeliers in the restaurant are encyclopedic and extremely helpful. The food has improved over the years and the chef has great variety. If you stay more than 5 days sometimes things will repeat themselves on the menu, but I am not going to hold that against anyone. The breakfast buffet and made to order waffle/egg station have something for everyone. You can eat super healthy, like I did at Christmas, or you can clog you arteries with deliciousness, like I did in March.

The spa is small, but the treatments are consistently good. In good weather it is worth having the treatments in your room out on the balcony. Prices are pretty much in line with what you would pay at other hotel spas. Other amenities include a yoga yurt with complimentary morning yoga. I have not done this ever, so cannot comment on it. The one real negative I can think of has to do with the fitness facility. I can only think that management is trying to get people to be active outside. That is fine except when it is pouring rain in the winter or scorching hot in the summer. Additionally, Big Sur is beautiful but not actually great for a lot of outdoor exercise beyond hiking. Running on Highway 1, which I do when we are there, is dangerous and not always fun. Cycling is similar. So, it would be nice to have larger and newer fitness center. It has always felt like an after thought in development of the inn as the room is a small cave-like structure tucked in a redwood grove with older versions of cardio equipment (two recumbent bikes, a strange version of an elliptical trainer, and two ancient treadmills), a small variety of free weights and a cable machine. There are some stability balls, weighted balls, and weighted bars. All of this is tucked in about 400 square feet so you have to hope nobody else will be there when you go to work out.

I love the pools on the other hand. The main pool is removed from the rooms but that is okay. It is a lovely spot on a knoll behind the main coastal ridge and a nice spot to get sun. The two infinity basking pools on the cliff are my favorites. Particularly on cool mornings it is great to sit in the hot pool and watch the sun rise. The addition of the second one was great. It is rare that both will be busy and much more common that you are the only one at a given time.

In closing, I am sure it is clear how much we love this place. Nowhere is perfect, but this is about a close as it gets. We've been twice this year and are planning a third trip out this summer. Whether it is a frequent destination or a one in a life time experience, I fully encourage people to spend some time here.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank jm514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanPriano, General Manager at Post Ranch Inn, responded to this reviewResponded May 14, 2011

Dear JM,

It is a pleasure to receive such a well composed review of Post Ranch from you and appreciate the time and completeness of this review.

These types of review reinforce the dedication and passion the family of employees have for Post Ranch and how they truly love the work they do here. I am very fortunate to have the level of people and the depth of knowledge they have in their individual areas. I know you have had the opportunity to converse with most of our employee who have worked here from the beginning days of the Inn and who consider you a part of the family of friends (guests)

We have been given the opportunity from the Post Family to carry on what they began so many years ago. Even though the ranch began as a cattle ranch, it soon turned into welcoming travelers who ventured to visit the coastal wilderness in the early years. As you are aware in 1992 we began officially welcoming guests on this unique and magical property, which you have enjoyed for more than half of its existence.

We are all looking forward to welcoming you back this summer.

Warm regards,

Dan Priano, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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843 - 849 of 1,137 reviews

Reviewed May 1, 2011

Post Ranch Inn was an absolute highlight of a trip that includes numerous world class resorts and destinations.

First of all, the location. Un-bel-iev-able. Sunsets over the ocean, private suites/villas with the same view as the restaurant as the one on the website. Alpine-like scenes when you look in the other direction. A million + stars at night. I could go on and on. The absolute best location on Hwy 1. Sensational.

Then the property itself. Suites that at perfectly located and significantly sized. Absolute pirvacy and luxury. Perfect (read huge) bed with exceptional linen. Private Hot tubs. Huge balconies. Fireplace. Free mini-bar. Exceptional service.

This is quite simply one of the best hotels that I have stayed at.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank julesabc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2011

Warm, elegant, peaceful and inspiring: my best summation of the three nights at Post Ranch that my wife and I enjoyed in April.

One week later, and we’re still dizzy from the exquisiteness of our stay.

From check-in, which included a glass of champagne to toast our arrival, to our immaculately-designed room, complete with an eclectic, complimentary selection of mini-bar snacks, a wood-burning fireplace and private Jacuzzi: no detail—not one!—was overlooked.

Sierra Mar, the property's restaurant, served one of the best meals of our lives: a four-course tour de force of French-inspired cuisine anchored in Northern California ingredients, including vegetables from Post Ranch's own garden. Surrounding the property was 100 acres of redwood forests and pristine meadows, all of which were exclusive to Post Ranch visitors to explore via the numerous trails slicing through the acreage. We felt peacefully alone, walking alongside the old forest growth sans the crowds of public parks on a beautiful sunny day. Heated mediation pools peppered the grounds for quick dips in the water—day or night. An understated, cozy library was nestled among the trees for a quiet read or a turn on a board game. Oceanview tables were always available to enjoy a glass of wine or light snack.

And as if we needed more relaxation, we called for an hour-long massage, all of which are done in-room – in our case, overlooking the ocean from our back porch.

The most important factor for our wonderful stay? The courteous, calming staff that seemed to know exactly what we needed before we even asked—before we even thought it—while never making us feel that we were being doted on.

Having stayed at fine hotels around the world, hands-down, Post Ranch is the model. They provide a level of service that’s nothing short of perfection. Post Ranch is not a place to visit, it’s a state of mind that you take with you upon check out ... and one that you hold onto for dear life.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank carlos94117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2011

The resort is fabulous. Service is extraordinary! Can't beat the ocean views from the cliff-edge rooms. It should be noted that the rooms do not have televisions but there is wifi everywhere. Also, the website says, "complimentary minibar restocked daily"....which is true but there is no alcohol in the minibar - just juice, water, pop & snacks.

In regards to the resort restaurant - the Sierra Mar - be careful when ordering wine. Both nights we ordered wine, a more expensive bottle was brought to the table. We didn't catch it the first night and wondered why the bill was so high. The second night, we ordered a $100 dollar bottle of wine and they brought a $220 dollar bottle of wine to the table. Luckily, we caught it. However, the "forgot" to change the bill and we had to bring it to their attention before it was corrected.

For the prices of the resort & the restaurant, more attention to detail is expected.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank PostRanchInnReviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2011

Before I start my experience.. We went to Post Ranch inn in 23rd of March 2009 and stayed there for 1 week... so the date of stay is not correct but it was the earliest available in the options..

Thanks to one of the reviews in Trip advisor.. I choose the most private room as it was recommended by the reviewer.. It’s an Ocean House as categorized in Post Ranch inn.. The room name is "Robert" if i remember it properly.

I came from Dubai all the way to USA for our honeymoon.. We started from San Francisco airport and drive all the way to Big Sur (Highway 1) we reached at 9 p.m. and we were extremely exhausted after 16 hours flight and 4 hours after departure till we reached the ranch.. We opened the balcony in our room and can’t see anything except blanket of shining stars and hearing the strong calm waves in the background.. We woke up the next day finding our self on the top of a cliff and the ocean below us covered with clouds of fog!!! sooooooooo gorgeous. The views, food, atmosphere, weather, safety, security, and people were perfect.. We went to Monterey and Carmel Valley. But being in Post Ranch Inn was the best relaxing option.. so it’s not far from active destinations..

It was the most amazing place ever.. It’s an exceptional romantic destination.. Thanks a million Trip advisor, post Ranch Inn, and the reviewer who i can’t recall her/his name..

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nwaara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2011

I don't even know where to begin, but I just want to say this is the best hotel in the world. I have travelled a lot to some of the best rated hotels (see my other reviews) and perhaps the only one that matches Post Ranch Inn is FS Maldives LG. The views, the activities, the incredible service, you have to experience this hotel...

Check in: we were received promptly with champaign and a very nice and cozy fireplace, our bags were quickly whisked again to a Lexus that would take us to our room. You can actually borrow a Lexus at no charge from the hotel to drive down Highway 1 but we did not do this

Room: Breath taking. Do splurge for the ocean view. I cannot comment on the tree houses from the inside but one of the most beautiful aspects of the hotel is to be in your room seeing the cliff and the ocean so go for the ocean view. The rooms were rustic, there was a real fireplace (not the kind you turn on and off) a free unlimited minibar (I don't know why more hotels with this pricetag do this), fresh chocolate chip cookies, wine, an incredible Bose sound system, a jacuzzi, etc. I might add that there is no tv but I promise you don't need one.

Amenities: The Ranch is nice in that they are not breathing down your neck to do activities. Yoga at 8:30 is marvelous, there is a small gym but
I recommend the trails much more, the hot plunge pools have a view to die for.The small store is kind of hippieish but who cares! you are there to enjoy nature not shop.

Dining: The restaurant offers a price fixe dinner for 110 (excluding beverages). It was very good although don't expect Michelin star dining, it is very decent

The service: I just don't know where to begin. From the friendly hispanic gardeners that always greeted you with a smile, to the friendly and nice staff at the restaurant, to the great grandson of Mr. Post himself, this is a staff that others should learn from. We had the unfortunate luck of realizing that part of the highway had fallen to the ocean so we would not get to the airport in time. Post Ranch Inn quickly arranged for one of their staff to take us to where the road was blocked and arranged a taxi be waiting for us at the other side. They promptly returned our rental car the day after this incident and I was told by the car company that this was the best staff of any hotel he had ever dealt with. So stop saving for Burj Al Arab and do Post Ranch Inn....this is the best hotel in the world!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank MCastle83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2011

What can i say, my wife and I spent 2 nights in pure bliss. We were in a Pacific Suite and it was incredible. The views were unbeatable, the staff was friendly, courteous and punctual. We had dinner at Sierra Mar one evening and it was one of the best meals of my life. I will return to this place as often as possible.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank RandalT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Post Ranch Inn

Address: 47900 Highway 1, PO Box 219, Big Sur, CA 93920-9576
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
#1 Green Hotel in Big Sur
#4 Family Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range: $963 - $2,451 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Post Ranch Inn 5*
Number of rooms: 39
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Also Known As:
Post Ranch Hotel Big Sur
Post Hotel Big Sur
Post Big Sur

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