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“One of the best destinations for a Get-A-Way”
Review of Ventana Big Sur

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Ventana Big Sur
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
USA
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“One of the best destinations for a Get-A-Way”
Reviewed 13 June 2009

If you are looking for a get-a-way with privacy and a great location, this is one of my favorites. The location is fantastic, nestled in the hills of Big Sur. This resort provides access to a huge variety of activities: scenic drives along the PCH, hiking, and romantic walks. The service is exceptional. The recent renovation makes a big difference - the rooms and exteriors look fresh.

Positives:
+ The drive to Big Sur is one of the best drives in the US - south from San Francisco on the PCH twisting and turning along the coast line
+ Service - you are whisked from the parking area to check in by a friendly guy in a golf cart. When you check in you get glasses of wine!
+ We stayed in the Vista Hot Tub Suite - the room is large with a huge, private deck. These look out on a meadow, and you really feel like you are all alone.
+ The outside hot tub is our number one favorite feature. It is an in-ground huge hot tub. We could lounge out there all night. When we found it too hot, someone came right out and cooled it down for us... even offered to pour cold water in it so that it was comfortable!
+ Views are beautiful and the location is quiet
+ Room decor is nice and modern while retaining a country/rural feel. The shower is cool. They provide a Bose ipod ready sound system so load up some of your favorite music when you come
+ Romantic location
+ You can have dinner delivered and served in your suite. With the fireplace roaring, this was great. The food was excellent.
+ Free internet access (through an ethernet cable) in the room
+ One of the best facials and massages with great service at the spa

Negatives:
- The drive down from San Francisco takes about 2-3 hours depending on traffic. If you are flying in, try to get in around mid-day so you can enjoy your first night.
- The website may lead some to believe that this resort is by the ocean, which it really is not. The ocean is a mile away, and the resort is located in the hills. The ocean views are of a distant ocean.
- With the recent renovations, the costs went up and the minimum stay went to two days. Your cost of a visit will be high, but with the right company it will be well worth it! Worth every penny!
- The spa room was not well insulated from noise from the surrounding rooms

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank brunob00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (263)
Date | Rating
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2009

After a rude conversation with the reservations clark at the Post Ranch Inn who informed me that "I wasn't welcome to stay less than 2 nights", I decided to choose a weekend getaway at the Ventana Inn instead. And I certainly made the right choice. From the very beginning I was made to feel welcome; the check in was handled with confidence and efficiency, and I was kindly offered an upgrade to either the Big Sur suite or a Pacific Room facing the coast. The photos depicting the property and guest rooms on the website are an accurate match. My room was large and open plan with a fantastic view over the Pacific. They were tastefully decorated in cedar and ash with an open fireplace, outdoor spa and slate bathroom. The property is like the garden of eden; inviting swimming pools, lush botanical gardens bordering the rugged Ventana Wilderness state park; surrounded by tall Californian Redwoods. Meals were served in the garden - lunch and breakfast were fantastic, but I was a little disappointed with the 3 course dinner (the main was overseasoned unfortunately). Apart from that, I cannot rate this property highly enough. Everything was perfect from start to finish, and I will certainly be going back in the future.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank FreqBusTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2009

This place should have got 5 out of 5 but there were a couple of points dropped it to a four.

The resort is beautiful and the facilities (apart from the bistro) are great. Good spa, two pools, lovely surroundings and very friendly staff. Our room was fantastic with a view of the forest behind. It had a great bath tub and shower, and lovely fire place in the room.

The downside was the bistro. Their restaurant burnt down about a year ago, which must have been devastating for them. In its place, until they reconstruct, is the bistro next to reception, where breakfast is served. The staff were really friendly (apart from the host whose thoughts were obviously elsewhere) but they weren't particularly accomplished. It was if they'd let the buggy drivers who take your luggage up the hill to the room loose in the bistro. Breakfast was a bit limited considering you are miles from any alternatives. It was a shame that these two points dropped my overall impression of an otherwise fantastic place.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank londonneil71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lodi, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2009

We stayed 2 nights over Easter weekend. The large staff is wonderful. The room was large, had a fireplace and small deck area overlooking a meadow. Beautiful bathroom with large shower and separate bathtub. We enjoyed the Japanese hot tub both days. We took the morning walk with the tour guide who was very knowledgeable. Ventana is a breathtaking spot, huge grounds. Continental breakfast and evening wine and cheese was very tasty. We would return again.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OnTheGo2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2009

Our annual trip up and always fantastic. Can't say enough nice things about Ventana. To Theresa our yoga gal to Tyson the chair massuese, the bell hops (the heart and soul of Ventana) staff as usual makes the difference. New rooms with built in jacuzzis on patio lack nothing. So well thought out. Bravo Ventana, you get older and better with time! Also a word of thanks to Dona and Bob for helping me fine my way and Paul and Karen for teenager advice...cheers!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank californialovesu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manhattan, ks
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2009

My wife and I stayed two nights on a package deal. I've read most of the reviews posted for Ventana and I agree with the positive things I've read.

Positives:
The rooms are very large and very nice; we stayed in Room 55, which has a balcony with hammock & hot tub and distant ocean views. We had booked a smaller, less pricey room but were upgraded to this room at check-in.

Wine & cheese hour. We stopped by the library each day for complimentary wine and cheese. We usually don't bother with these events, but enjoyed the experience at Ventana.

Private hike with Bill from Big Sur Guides: We booked a package that included the hike, so we took it and I'd recommend giving the hike a shot. Its pricey, so if it wasn't included in our package, we wouldn't have done it, but if its included, why not?

Breakfast / Dinner. Both very good, although dinner in the Bistro area seemed a bit.....crowded. Food was excellent, though.



Negatives:

The spa. I guess I expected more from a "world class" facility. The treatments I received--a deep tissue massage and the Jade Ilex foot treatment--were actually quite nice and the therapist quite good. The downside: noise. Its hard to relax during a message/treatment when you can hear every word spoken in the spa, every noise from outside, and every noise from inside. There is unfortunately a bathroom located quite close to the treatment rooms, and I heard a woman using the facility. Not all that pleasant. (I do have exceptional hearing).

Check-out. I've read a few posts whose authors did not know about the $25 / day resort fee. This is a clearly posted fee on their website. I forgot to include the occupancy taxes (and tax in general) for my stay. With pricey rooms, tax can add up quickly. We booked the "Girlfriend's Getaway" package. The website shows what the package includes and seems to be "per person." (Hence, the plural "s" on girlfriends). However, at checkout, we discovered Ventana believes that people booking packages should stay in separate rooms. For this reason, they'd charged us once for everything we did--a hike was inlcuded in the package, so we went on a hike. They charged us once for the hike. Two spa treatments were included in the package per person, so we each had two treatments. They charged us for two treatments. We questioned the charges, the front desk manager (who agreed with our perception) argued with the management, and after 30 minutes or so, they removed the charges. Just beware to clarify EXACTLY what is included in a package, as their ideas and a normal person's ideas seem a bit different. We had talked to several employees via email and telephone and still didn't understand what was included.

In all, a nice stay; I'd visit again.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank CC05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2009

We stayed here as part of our honeymoon. We hadn't booked anywhere in the Big Sur as we wanted to check the area out and see what took our fancy. This hotel took our breath away - my only regret is that we could only stay one night.

We arrived at around 5pm and Jessica at reception offered to let us see a variety of rooms and explained the different rates. As I work in the travel industry it was great to have a nose around and see the rooms - I would have loved to stay in the suite with it's own outdoor hot tub but alas our budget wouldn't stretch to it.
We opted for room 20 which was lovely - it was so nice that we only had a quick (but very nice) dinner in the restuarant so that we could go back to the room and light the fire!

I loved everything about the hotel - the glass of wine we were given when checking in, Jessica on reception was a star, the late check out, the complimentary morning walk....

I had spent a lot of time planning our honeymoon - researching hotels before booking them and making sure they were what we wanted. There were only two destinations which we did not plan at all - Monterey and Big Sur. On both occasions we were lucky - our hotel (the Intercontinental) in Monterey was nice but the Ventana was the handsdown winner of the trip for a luxury hotel. One of the only hotels that I didn't plan turned out to be a lucky find.

I rarely want to return to a location - but do hope to someday to go back and stay longer. It's a great place to unwind or have a romantic get away.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelmadgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ventana Big Sur

Property: Ventana Big Sur
Address: 48123 Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920-9538 (Formerly Ventana Inn & Spa)
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 Top resorts Hotel in Big Sur
#2 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
#3 Family Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ventana Big Sur 4.5*
Number of rooms: 59
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Even when you're inside, you'll always be connected to the outdoors at Ventana Big Sur – our luxurious, rustic and inviting guestrooms are tucked among the meadows and redwoods. Ventana's 59 rooms and suites are arranged around our 160-acre property in secluded groupings, offering the utmost in privacy and serenity. Constructed of sun-bleached cedar, the buildings blend harmoniously into the natural surroundings, with interiors featuring rich leathers and woods that provide a soothing, sophisticated retreat. ... 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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