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“I'm mystified...”
Review of Treebones Resort

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Treebones Resort
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed September 17, 2012

We stayed at Treebones because of all the amazing Tripadvisor reviews, which I have found to be generally reliable. I was really anticipating our one night stay as we drove up the coast this summer.(I was wanting to stay 2 nights, but I couldn't get the booking). I could tell almost instantly that Treebones wasn't going to work for me, from the tacky "Treebones" sign as we entered, to the cluster of equipment and machinery as we drove up to the main building, to the loudly rumbling generator. It continued: asphalt trails(so the golf carts can drive on them)connect the yurts to each other, plastic abounds: cheap plastic chairs poolside, plastic tarps on the yurts. Not attractive and rustic, unless you define rustic as a lack of amenities.
And the no-frills experience is expensive. We couldn't get the family yurt and I was dying to come (based on all the amazing reviews) so our family of 4 was compelled to rent 2 yurts (they wouldn't let us squeeze into 1 yurt, even if we wanted to). That cost a lot! Plus the expensive meals that are the only option because there really isn't anything else around, and it didn't feel safe to go driving around in the fog, on those twisty roads looking for dinner. It ended up being one of the most expensive stays of our two week trip!
The term "resort" is a misnomer. This is not a resort. There is nothing to do but swim in their tiny pool, sit in the hot tub, eat or play those board games that people talk about. And if the weather's bad, it's just food and board games! Anything else you might want to do is a hair raising car ride away. There is no place to walk to, unless you like driveways and parking lots.
People talk about the view, but be warned: it is very foggy in Big Sur, so even if you wanted to sit in a plastic chair and gaze at the view, ofttimes there's no view to be seen!
I think the people who love this place are unaccustomed to truly roughing it, so they think they're communing with nature, but they're really not.
However, the sushi bar was really, really good! And I thought the breakfast was simple and great, and FREE! I nearly fell out of my chair. The first amenity I experienced at Treebones, right before check out.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank daphneNewYorkCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2012

The yurt roofs are made of a sturdy rainproof vinyl, not plastic; more information about these unique structures can be found on the homepage of Pacific Yurts, the company that builds them.
Treebones is a unique but remote and rugged venue. If you are not prepared to drive long twisty roads to get here, sleep in a tent -like structure, experience the unpredictability of nature (wild animals, wind, fog, mist, cold, sun, heat, bugs, rain) and accept the uncontrollable imperfections that are intrinsic with sustaining a vacation community in a natural setting on the edge of this vast and isolated coastline, then it is NOT for you.
On the other hand, if you love dipping into the natural world, you are willing to be flexible (walk to the restroom in the middle of a cold dark but ...quite possibly star littered or moon lit night) and you can take a chance at roughing it a bit in the face of an ever-changing climate while at the same time being offered some simple comforts (like delicious sushi and other meals, hot coffee and complimentary breakfast, fire lit lodge with nice music, warm hot tub to soak in that looks over the expansive ocean, and the helpful hands and hearts of some genuinely nice folks who live, work and love where they are and what they do.....then try us.

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458 - 464 of 826 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2012

The location at the top of a mountain so near the coast makes for dome wild wheather... We pitched a tent there and the wind was so strong we had to put giant rocks inside to keep it from blowing away !!!! In august !!! The service was excellent except when we first arrived it was 2:15 and they made us sit and wait til 3 to check in...they serve lunch til 2 but they wouldn't feed us at 2:15 not even a bowl of soup we were starving !

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank cowgirlinthesand20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2012

Thank you for giving us a try and for sharing your experience with wind...it may help another camper remember to bring their sturdy tent pegs....yes! at the edge of the continent you can expect wind...sometimes at the most unexpected times!

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Reviewed September 6, 2012

we stayed in yurt 16 and had a great view of the ocean. The food inc sushi is amazing and well worth the money. I would advise you dont read all the reviews to save yourself the surprise of the magical experience of treebones. Take binoculars if you are going in whale season and ENJOY!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Julia7249
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2012

Thank you for visiting...all the way from London! Your sentiments echo the hundreds of wonderful comments written in our Guest Book at the check- out desk. We hope you can visit again ...and yes! bring your binoculars...gray whales migrate past Treebones December through March.

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Reviewed September 5, 2012

We went to the Treebones Resort just for the restaurant. It was absolutely fantastic! The food was spectacular and the service was amazing. Oh and the view was awesome! Definitely would recommend it to anyone in that neck of the woods!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank rebecca k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

We stayed 3 nights, Thurday through Sunday in Yurt #9. Roomy attactive yurt with gas heater/fireplace, abundant hot/cold water, comfortable bed, soft towels, incredible view, ocean and seal sounds, quiet, fog, sun, very good food, and very friendly, pleasant employees that seem to genuinely like working at Treebones... and good hikes in the neighborhood. The communal bathrooms and showers were close, not crowded and clean.

Treebones was a delight for us but it might not be for everyone. A yurt is a tent, a very luxurious, very roomy tent, but a tent. Sounds outside... are sounds inside. Most tents don't have their own bathrooms, these don't either. And distance, Treebones is a long way from just about anywhere. When you are there you need to enjoy what there.

Dining was a pleasure, we had the lamb shank for two Friday night. Very, very good. The chef only does a couple of these a day so if you want it, tell somebody or come early. I had pasta in a pesto sauce, also excellent. So good in fact I had it on two different nights. Salads made with ingredients from their organic garden were delicious. We had a tomato and buffalo cheese salad that was absolutely delicious. As I write this I realize that we also had that salad twice. The menu has many excellent selections but we enjoyed our meal so much the first night that we ended up ordering the same items the third night.

Breakfast is included and is very nice. Not extravagant- scrambled eggs, yogurt, granola, berries, cereals and waffles, coffee, tea and juice.

Wi-Fi in the dining room area (which is a sitting room when not being used for dining).

Sushi- Sushi Chef Carlos is talented and friendly.

We also had the pleasure of meeting 4 members of the Handy family, daughter Camille is a very charming young lady that worked the dining room two of the 3 dinners we were there. Her brother Michael seemed to be just as nice taking care of other guests. Mr. and Mrs. Handy chatted with us outside one evening on their way out for a evening of movies at the public library. Very nice, warm people. It seems that Treebones is an extension of the family.

Room Tip: Look at the site map, we recommend yurt #9 but all yurts have awesome views.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Abhandly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2012

I was lucky enough to get two nights at this fantastic location. I'm not an experienced camper, and this was the perfect fit to bridge the gap between roughing it and a hotel stay.
We stayed in the Sibley tent which is the furthest from the main Lodge, but your things can be transported there by golf cart and really the walk isn't that bad...I did get some good exercise going back and forth!
There is a water spigot near the campsite, and it was easy to cook our meals and keep the campsite clean. The location and views are absolutely unparalleled. This is a very private serene place without tons of other campers around you, or screaming kids running around, but that's what I wanted; an ADULT camping trip. Feeling like I was in the middle of nowhere, but still enjoying a hot shower, blow drying my hair, and having wine by the fireplace in the lodge is exactly what I needed to be renewed and refreshed. Everyone was friendly and helpful; there was a feeling of community with other guests.
The things I would do next time:
Bring warmer clothing for cold nights
Plan my trip budget a little better; it's expensive, and we prepared our own meals except for breakfast, which was great!
Stay in a yurt. The yurts are in different locations and sizes around the property, and all much closer to the lodge (and bathrooms!)
PS: we stayed in a nice hotel on the way home from our trip. It was clean, comfortable, and there was a fireplace in the room. BUT, I did not sleep well. I missed the sounds of the seals and the ocean at night, and the moonlight streaming into the little tent, and the cold quiet air that settled over the campsite.
It changed me. No, camping, or even yurting ( is that a word?) is NOT for everyone, but being open to this experience gave me a new perspective!

  • Stayed: August 2012
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6  Thank CaLiberty1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2012

Thank you for sharing your campsite experience. Most reviews are for the yurts...so it is great for readers to know more about our campsites (you bring your own tent etc) Thank you for pointing out that this is an 'adult' camping experience ..in fact, we limit the occupancy in the campsites to two guests in order to help create the experience of serenity you had. You are right! the views are unparalleled! We hope you will find your way back to visit again in the future.

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Reviewed August 30, 2012

treebones was a great weekend getaway! we didn't really know what to expect, as it was our first time yurting, but the yurts were warm, clean, cozy, and comfortable. we played scrabble and drank wine, went hiking (there are some great trails nearby!), sat in the hot tub, ate delicious food, and really enjoyed being unplugged for a few days.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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8  Thank speedwagon13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2012

Thank you for choosing Treebones for your special get away, we are glad you enjoyed yourself...you must have been a quiet, under the radar...group.
While your commentary title was "great girls getaway" I would like readers to note that Treebones is not the right place for "groupie' visits, small parties...etc...that is because the yurt walls are tent-like in nature and lack soundproofing. If you are reading this review...and considering a small group or party get-away...choose another venue. Treebones is NOT the place for your party.....and we will definitely let you know it if your noise level is bothering your yurt neighbors! PS We have been known to ask disruptive guests to leave.

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Additional Information about Treebones Resort

Address: 71895 Highway #1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Big Sur
#2 Family Hotel in Big Sur
#2 Green Hotel in Big Sur
#5 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range: $159 - $329 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unusual and unique eco-lodge experience with immense expansive ocean views on Big Sur's remote and rugged South Coast. Guests enjoy cozy comforts in fully furnished tent-like yurts or choose a campsite and bring all their own tents/gear to camp. Resort 'feel' in rustic setting. Two popular restaurant venues with cozy, communal atmosphere boast great service, organic, locally sustained cuisine with same great views. Massage services, hiking information, and modern book & sundries store on premises. Sustainability statement: We are dedicated to providing an honest eco-experience. We are off grid and over 50% sustained by solar power. We recycle and utilize our onsite garden and chickens to complete a composting cycle. We are also human-sustained: Meaning..we serve tourists with our hearts and our hands and there are humans behind the service here..not robots! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Treebones Resort Big Sur
Treebones Hotel Big Sur

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