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“Pure bliss and relaxation.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ventana Inn & Spa

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Ventana Inn & Spa
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
169 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Pure bliss and relaxation.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2012

Refreshed, revived, now back to the real world, but it was such fun while it lasted.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AlanR27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,165 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (263)
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Long Beach
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

This place is so beautiful and relaxing. I don't think I've ever been quite so sad to leave a resort. It sort of creeps up on you slowly, from the staff that is friendly and always accommodating to all the little luxuries that you start noticing. The rooms are much prettier and nicer than they appear in the photos, and they're beautifully designed and kept immaculately clean. The bathrooms are gorgeous. The rooms with woodburning fireplaces are extra nice, and if you pick up the phone, the staff is there ready with new packages of wood in five minutes. The wine and cheese tasting in the afternoon is a delight. The wines are good, and the assortment of cheeses is amazing. The breakfast provided in the morning is equally as impressive. The property is so quiet. You rarely see the other guests except in community areas. We had people in the rooms next to us and hardly ever heard them. The rooms are super insulated. And the beauty of the place is magnificent. We experienced the grazing mule deer and wild turkeys gobbling outside our room. The spa areas are quiet and very clean.
The only minuses that we discovered are the way the staff would often drive around in golf carts a little too fast and almost hit us as we were walking on the paths. We finally complained to the desk staff about it, and we noticed that they did slow down after that. We also found dinner at the restaurant to be a little disappointing due to the prices and quality of the food, but we only ate there once, so perhaps it was an off night. We were a little disappointed in the weather at that point, so that may have influenced our mood.
I would say don't book with Expedia and lock yourselves into their no cancellation discount. You can find other web discounts if you book through Perfectescapes.com or the Joie de Vivre club on the Ventana website that are much better than Expedia's price, plus they give you benefits such as room upgrades and spending credit. Unfortunately, we didn't spot this until later.
I hope to be able to get a return customer discount and to vacation again at Ventana one day. It was one of those special vacations that I'll always remember and feel it was totally worth the cost.

Room Tip: Getting a fireplace room for the cooler months is a must. It's very romantic. Wish we could ha...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Happywanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Gatos
Level Contributor
93 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2012

I stayed here by myself on March 24. Sometimes you just want to get away and relax by yourself and do what YOU want to do. And is this ever the place to do it! I had a King Fireplace room and it was fabulous. The bed was comfortable and the pillows some of the best I've ever had in a hotel. There is a great tub with a shell filled with bath salts that were heavenly to use. I've been coming to Ventana for 20 years to eat lunch and dinner and have never had a bad meal. Everyone that works here that I came in contact with were very friendly and helpful. The hotel will give you a ride to the other restaurants to eat if you wish. I always go to the Phoenix shop at Nepenthe and didn't want to bother them with the drive over as I didn't know how long I would stay. Reception told me the parking lot might be full and I should take the ride. I ended up taking my car and the person at the check-in lot said he would save me a place for my car which was wonderful! I had room service for dinner and it came on time and was just fine. Breakfast comes with the room, and it is very very good. You can have it delivered to your room for $10 which I did. You tell them what you want and they deliver it. You have to have their granola for your yogurt! You can even buy some in the shop to take with you. They give you bags of wood to put in the fireplace and I used them all up as it was a very stormy night. Wonderful! What I loved is that on the balcony they had a Phantom screen so you could keep the bugs out on nice days when you wanted the breeze to come into the room, but not the bugs. Loved that. The only downside because now I am spoiled by my stay at the Luxe on Rodeo Drive is that the cups for the coffee weren't warmed up ahead of time. That would be wonderful if all hotels did that! Anyway, I will definitely stay here again and not just make Big Sur a day trip!!!!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank carmelwish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2012

We had tried to get a reservation at the Post Ranch Inn but all that was left was $1800 suites so we reserved a Pacific House room at the Ventana Inn and are we ever glad we did! The room was fantastic, the staff the nicest I've ever seen and the restaurant superb. From the check-in where you get to sit down and have a glass of wine while checking in to the continental breakfast they will bring to your room for a small fee everything was superb. We had a family of 5 deer that came past our patio every afternoon. The fireplace burned real wood (not gas) and the shower was huge. The big screen LCD TV had more channels then I have ever seen in a hotel/Inn. I was rendered speechless when I was told that the Post Ranch rooms have no TV! For what they are charging I would have been furious if we had gotten a room there. We also thought the restaurant was the best in town. The only place we've ever stayed that was in the same class is the St. Regis in Monarch Bay.

Room Tip: Pacific House rooms are superb.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kettering, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2012

This was the 2nd time we had stayed at the Ventana Inn , the previous occaision about 20 years ago and we have been anxious to get back. We booked a suite with an ocean view and it was everything that could have been expected. The hotel is not cheap room rate was $600 including continental breakfast for 2. The facilities are great and everything that you might want for a romantic night or two including a couples massage ($340 extra) which we did not try as 'her indoors' thought it might get a bit naughty and she doesn't like that sort of thing. Also she is not a big fan of the clothing optional facilities but these were duplicated in a textle zone. I quite like them. Anyway we managed to amuse ourselves.
The one let down was the restaurant, again not inexpensive, and for the price charged we thought the service could have been more professional and the food shown more flair and imagination. Breakfast was also more limited than we thought it would be.The dood is the reason I have given 4 and not 5 stars.
Our stay was all too short, we just love the Ventana Inn even if the bank manager will have kittens when he sees my credit card.

Room Tip: There are some very nice and less expensive restaurants down the road.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Christopher S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
california
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2012

My husband and I went to the Ventana Inn & Spa for his 50th birthday. It definitely lives up to the word-of-mouth reviews I'd heard: beautiful, tranquil, peaceful, luxurious. The people who work at Ventana go out of their way to make your stay perfect. Our room was splendid. It looked into the forest -- honestly making you feel like you're the only people on earth. We took advantage of the most wonderful spa treatments, went on the guided hike (awesome), went to the festive wine and cheese offering in the evening, and enjoyed the continental breakfast at the hotel (when they say continental breakfast it is actually much more: think the most delicious fruit and homemade pastries. omg!) I cannot recommend Ventana highly enough. We can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: We really like the forest-view rooms. And if you can get one of the rooms with the jacuzzi on the d...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank girlfromca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2012

We had three beautiful nights in a Big Sur Suite in early October 2011. We thought the room was amazing, and California/cozy/rustic/luxurious in all the right ways. We really enjoyed the great choices for lamps and other furniture pieces in the room. And the floors are just amazing. We've never seen anything like that beautiful wood. We thought the staff was incredibly pleasant and accommodating. They were not inflexible about the happy hour schedule, for example, when we initially arrived at the property just a few minutes past the closedown of that amenity, and after they had clearly begun dismantling the table: we had lots of wine and cheese anyway, and weren't made to feel disaccommodating. We thought the breakfast was delicious and appropriate to the mood of the place -- in that environment I was very much not looking for Eggs Benedict. (I am annoyed by commentors who wanted something more. They clearly don't get it -- literally and figuratively.)

In the room the bed was super comfy, the fireplace was great and the bathroom amenities were ridiculously fabulous. Plus we had a lovely, very private lanai, with seating areas and a hammock that was clean and comfortable.

We enjoyed the Japanese baths and sunning by the gorgeous pools. I mean, how cannot one be relaxed near hundreds of beautiful hummingbirds flitting about the fragrant hedges?

We are not nudists, but nevertheless relaxed and very much enjoyed the casualness and freedom of the clothing-optional pool area. It was an adventure at first, but after a few minutes, it felt great to be able to feel so free -- from sundeck to pool and back again, with all those hummingbirds whirling around. A singular life experience.

Go, go, go here! Do Not go to that Post Ranch place accross the street. It is incredibly uptight and twice as pricey. We had a terrible lunch there. And the architecture (I ADORE SUPER MODERN STUFF) is just not right for the setting.

Room Tip: Ask for a lower level room up near the library
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Meemur
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
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Family Hotel in Big Sur
#3 Top resorts 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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