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“A gem”
Review of Big Sur River Inn

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Big Sur River Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Big Sur B&B and Inns
Switzerland
Level Contributor
74 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A gem”
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Seeing the reviews here I had worries about our reservation, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Yes, having to cross the road to your room is a hassle (look both ways). Yes, the rooms seem a bit old (but we found them very comfortable). But we found the staff very friendly and helpful. The "chair in the river" is wonderful - buy a burrito and a smoothie at the general store next door (the burrito bar is amazing) and enjoy it with your feet in the water. The dinner was delicious (we had ribs, brisket and pasta), but the portions were too large for us. The pub nearby (Maiden Publick House) was perfect for a drink. Two miles down the road is a state park with a mile long trail that leads to a great beach. We could easily have stayed here for a few days.

Room Tip: Someone complained about noise in room 10. We had that same room, but experienced no machinery nois...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jimpulcrano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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386 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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English first
Warwick, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2014 via mobile

Stayed here on 13th June. One night.

We had the unfortunate "luck" to get room 10. Checked in at about 5pm and awful smell of urine ion the room.

We had no choice to stick with it as the room was paid for up front and no other rooms free. Had to sleep all night with windows fully open and it was very chilly. I reported this to the staff the next morning but their attitude was not that helpful to be frank, and I told the young lady on reception that the room should not have been presented in that way. She agreed but I had the felling nothing would be done. I was honest and said I would give a negative rating on trip advisor but that didn't have any impact either!

Very disappointing considering we had booked our rooms and paid up front over 6 months ago.

Its a shame as the restaurant and bar here are great. Don't stay, but enjoy the food en route is my suggestion.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank Ianjburnett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Big Sur hotels

warsaw
Level Contributor
185 reviews
115 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

We came in late and managed to get the last room which was aparment.
Ok, the motel is older one and room decor wasnt that modern but I wouldn't say we left with bad feelings - very reasonable one night stay.

+ nice yard & small river, beautiful nature around
+ small shop next to
+ new TV in the room
+ comfy bed
+ clean

- shower... well... took a minute to find out.. and once it was on you'll definately hear it. Also you'll hear when your neighbor takes a shower
- no extras in the room

Summa summarum ok one night stop!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank mokoma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redwood City, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Overall this is a fun, family friendly place to stay. The pool is clean, there is a fun creek that kids can play in, and there are a couple of restaurants within walking distance. If you can, stay in a room that overlooks the creek. We stayed across the street, where the room was spartan. It was hot in the early evening, and there was too much road noise to sleep with the windows open. While the hotel is overpriced, you won't find a cheaper alternative in Big Sur.

Room Tip: Rooms with view of Creek
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank red26777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
75 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014

I won't recommend this hotel unless you need a stop over from a long drive. There are not many options in the Big Sur area that would fit your budget, yet decent for a family with a kid.

The rooms are right across the road. Very small with minimum amenities. There is a gas station and convenience store which is like a silver lining when traveling with kids.

Overall - Just about average to spend 1 night at a reasonable price.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ashwin_Kalra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Gatos, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

As a child I spent many summers at this place. It was warm, inviting, and full of families and people enjoying the beautiful scenery this place has to offer. This is exactly why I chose to take my boyfriend here to celebrate his birthday but as we pulled up on Friday afternoon I couldn't believe what I saw... The place was empty. No one was in the gift shop and the river area seemed deserted but it wouldn't be long until I realized why. Our hotel room was across the busy highway and right in front of passing traffic. Probably not something they wanted to advertise online so I probably just missed the "fine print." We opened our hotel room and I was overwhelmed by a musty smell. It was a very small room that was dark and not particularly inviting. Everything was dusty and very outdated. I laid down on the bed to try out the mattress and it was extremely uncomfortable. Had I really paid over $200 a night for this??? It looked so different online. Honestly, I've seen rooms at motel 6 that were nicer then this. Regardless, I wanted to make the best out of the situation so we headed down to check out the river. At the entrance, I notice sign in the middle of the entrance that says the grass area is only open to hotel guests. Really?? It's a river!!! Are you really trying to tell the locals and visitors that they can't enjoy something that should be shared with everyone?? Reading the other yelp reviews it seems that is exactly what the management of the River Inn are saying. One yelper writes, "Historically a wonderful place to pass the time under big sur sun by the river on the grass along with other travelers & local families. However, this past sunday (September 2nd) there was a hotel manager/food nazi patrolling the campus clearing out/kicking out patrons who had any additional water/drinks/snacks, were playing any sports (croquet/frisbee/catch) unless they were staying in the lodge. Result was an empty lifeless riverfront with a completely killed mood on a potentially lovely Labor Day."

Despite our disappointment we decided to have dinner at the restaurant. Where do you think we asked to sit at the River Inn Restaurant?? By the river... Were we sat there? No, and were told its because its too far for them to walk to so they close it for dinner...Huh? The lower deck was a mere three steps down and on top of that the whole restaurant was empty! What's the point of having a hotel along the river when you won't even allow your guests to enjoy it? Despite this we decided to eat there anyway and had a mediocre meal that cost over $100.

We spent the next day up the road and that night decided to give the River Inn Restaurant another try. I figured last night had to have been a misunderstanding but I was terribly mistaken... after asking to sit by the river, we were referred to a host who obviously had no authority. She then passed us on to a manager and no sooner had I begun talking, when he responded that using gestures when talking is extraordinarily rude. Well isn't that the best way to talk to a customer who is disappointed in where they are seated. Interrupt them to say using hand gestures are rude... Clearly this is the reason they have no guests here. They did nothing to help us. In fact another staff member told us that we were miserable people. So we just left without ever getting to eat dinner by the river.

The next morning we checked out and I asked one last time to speak to the general manager but was told he was not there. I decided to give up. We packed up our stuff and got ready to leave. As we were backing out of the parking lot someone knocks on our window. My boyfriend rolled down his window and the man said "my name is Rick... someone wanted to speak with me?" It was the general manager. The one who supposedly wasn't around? The one I wanted to speak to in a private professional manner was now chasing down our car banging on our window. I thought to myself wow he wants to apologize or ask how he could fix our terrible stay. Again I was wrong... why did he chase us down and bang on our window you ask? To tell me that I thought I was entitled and I "deserved the way I was treated." I told him this is probably why no one is here anymore and his response was "no you are the reason." Hmmm that makes sense. I now realize this has to be the same miserable old bald man who was kicking families out of the creek on labor day weekend. It is clear from all these terrible reviews that the management here has lost touch with reality and the times. Yes, people are entitled to good service, that's what any reasonable person expects when they pay you for something. It is sad to think, that a place so irrevocably endeared in my childhood memories, is so poorly managed.

Room Tip: Don't come here. Stay at one of the many other beautiful hotels in big sur
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank Tiffany G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
White Plains, New York
1 review
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We only stayed for two nights but found this little motel very pleasant and clean. It's conveniently located to all the beautiful sites Big Sur has to offer and the food was delicious. It was however a little pricey but overall a great place to stay!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EricaAshley
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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