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“Don't go there: so much potential, so little delivery”
Review of Big Sur River Inn

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Big Sur River Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Big Sur B&B and Inns
Reviewed 24 October 2007

My $17 "pan-fried trout with creamy dill sauce" came about a millimetre thick, dried out, with some kind of spicy salsa, after about a 45-minute wait in which we watched others who came later than us get served first. I only got a different sauce because I got up to check the menu to see if I remembered my order right and the waitress asked me if something was wrong. Otherwise there was NO quality control at all.

Also, had asked for extra "sauteed seasonal vegetables" instead of rice. What I got was a bunch of steamed carrots and green beans which appeared to be poured from a freezer bag.

My hot tea was lukewarm and pretty much thrown on the table. There was no opportunity to ask for more hot water as the waitress and servers basically ignored us.

SO disappointing because it's an incredible location and building.

Thank GreenTeaCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 October 2007

Do not stay here under any circumstance, even if we are under attack. Our room, a shack of sheetrock, was literally on the road. After the noise of the traffic died down, we were entertained with the acrobatics of the couple in the room next door, which soon gave way to snoring. It sounded as if they were in the bed with us, the walls are that thin. The charming photos from the website are criminally misleading. That they get away with charging money for this place truly is highway robbery.

  • Stayed: October 2007
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3  Thank lvcoolbg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2007

My wife and I stopped at the Big Sur River Inn in Big Sur for a late lunch and were very pleased with the setting and the meal. The variety of food choices was very nice and the prices are very reasonable. We had the ribs and the 'famous Big Sur River Inn sirloin burger' and they were both excellent. The setting was lovely with several patio levels and a lovely little river and grounds to stroll around on, plus a store with a variety of art and general store merchandise. You can even sit right in the river on many relaxing chairs.

Thank cpmcd52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2007

We booked a room for $155 at this motel thinking that the website was quite wonderful. We expected a more secluded setting but instead what we was a room in a strip motel right on Hwy One with terrible traffic noise. The buildings and room were run down and not very attractive and our only window opened on to the parking lot and Hwy One. We were very disillusioned. I will never return to this motel. I went back to look at the website and realized why I chose this Inn but I feel that the ad was totally misleading.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank BSHL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2007

I recently stayed at this hotel with three friends. We were only there for one night, as we were taking a couple of days to drive up from LA to SF and this just one stop along the way. We knew when we were making the reservation, the place would be very basic and like a motel. And it was just that, which was fine. Definitely not a five-star hotel, but like I said we weren't expecting that. The beds were very comfortable-maybe I was exhausted so I didn't notice, but the beds were actually really comfortable and we had nice down comforters. The bathroom was a small, and actually the shower was TINY, but tolerable. We had enough towels and I was actually pleasantly surprised that even tho the hotel was right off the PCH, it was actually not that noisy at night. It's amazing there are virtually no cars on the road once it gets dark. I was concerned that maybe being so close to the road it would be noisy, but that ended up being a non-issue. One thing was really nice was that in the shower and on the sink, they offered a complimentary shower gel, hand soap, conditioner and shampoo. Of course, hotel-sized small containers of the stuff is expected. I was pleasantly surprised of the products they offered in those containers--they actually had some nice high end au naturel stuff! I know I've seen those products at my local Whole Foods. So it was really nice to have a sweet-smelling grapefruity minty shower gel first thing in the morning. (hey, it's the little things that count, right?). The products were dispensed on a big thing on the wall, so it wasn't packaged in a little set of shampoos etc like normal, but who cares? On a completely different note, I will say, and I have to agree with another posting that I saw, the actual restaurant across the street is overpriced. it's very cozy and homey and lovely with the fire right when you walk in. but for the price of the food and what you got, it was overpriced, the food was just not that great. Despite that, though, my friends and I did get dessert, and dessert was actually pretty incredible so our shoddy dinner was overlooked by the yummy desserts. We got take out breakfast burritos the next day at both the the restaurant and the general store and both were good. I do like the general store-it looks like a place frequented a lot by campers and such. The smoothie I had in the general store was really good. So all in all, a good stay. Bare bones and cheap. Not as rustic shall we say as camping, but pretty close. I'd recommend it to someone who's low maintenance and easy-going. Just as along as you're expecting the bare bones, you'll be fine.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with friends
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Thank DLee1209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2007

Despite many negative reviews, I went against my better judgment and booked a room here for a romantic getaway weekend with my boyfriend. Since the trip was spur of the moment and it was Easter weekend, most other accommodations in Big Sur were booked out. It should have been a sign to us that this place still had availability. We stayed in one of the motel style rooms on the east side of Highway 1. Maybe the rooms in the main lodge are nicer, but for $150/night, our room was a disaster. The walls were paper thin, the mattress was completely lumpy, the two towels were thin, stained and shredded, the shower was moldy. I will admit that the atmosphere of the dining room in the main lodge is pleasant (although the food classifies as overpriced mediocrity) and the deck as well as the chairs in the river are relaxing places to hang out. If I had paid $50/night, I might be able to give this inn 2 stars. I know that Big Sur in general is overpriced. However, for $150, this place still classifies as highway robbery.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ZenziSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2007

Our 'quick' evening meal went as follows....

7:45 arrive
7:50 get seated
7:55 asked what we would like to drink
8:15 asked what we'd like to eat....but where are our drinks? Not even any water had arrived............
8:20 Finally got drinks....still no water
8:25....Water!! Yippee!
8:40...Food arrived, but as predicted they got the order wrong...back it goes..
8:45 correct food arrived.....ONE HOUR after arriving

As the previous writer wrote, the place wasn't even half full and they couldn't cope, it was as if we were not there, there were very few apologies and they seemed to accept that this was the normal level or service. No attempt was made to rectify our disatisfaction, with either free drinks or a heartfelt apology....we shall not be returning, I suggest you stear clear as well...

PS Food was average to poor considering the price, setting was good, liked the furniture in the 'waiting lounge', can't think of anything else nice to say...sorry

1  Thank sjbuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Big Sur River Inn

Address: 46840 Highway 1, Highway 1 at Pheneger Creek, Big Sur, CA 93920-9507
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Big Sur
Price Range: £104 - £328 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Big Sur River Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A quaint stream-side inn. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Big Sur River Hotel Big Sur

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