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Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 February 2011

So - I wondered how this (and other places on TripAdvisor) could have such disparate reviews - and I kinda get it now. Your experience at Deetjen's is going to depend a lot on your expectations - and your overall temperament I think. So - what do I mean by that?
Expectations: Our room was $220 a night. Maybe not a lot for some - but a lot for us. I decided to pay the extra as I expected a certain level of - for lack of a better term - luxury.

Well - there are many words to describe Deetjen's - but rest assured "luxury" is not one of them. Does that make it bad? No. It is "quaint" (read: old-style construction, décor, etc. Nice place to relax and meditate. Really lovely to look at). It is rustic (read: you will definitely feel you have "gotten away from it all" if you are a city person). I mean that in a good way. However - for $220 a night, a LOCK on the door would've been nice (sorry; city guy. Woulda liked to lock my door with my valuables inside). Ok - even a door that SEALS and latches wouldn've helped (they're made of planks).

Wi-Fi (I admit - I knew going in that they didn't have it - but really? It IS 2011). No cell access either, BTW.

LIGHTS! Deetjen's is situated deep in amongst the redwoods - which is very cool. But even during the day, it can be quite dark. There are, of course, lights in the room; but they are inadequate. A few extra lamps would help.

A fridge. The restaurants in Big Sur are very pricey; I'd've loved to been able to refrigerate my left-overs, or have a late night snack.

Coffee maker (yes - there is complimentary coffee available in the dining room - but not until 8:00 am).

And if you like to eavesdrop - this place is for you. Walls are made of planks. No insulation (i.e. keep your voice down if you're discussing state secrets!)
Am I being nitpicky? Not trying to be - I just want folks to know what to EXPECT.

As for temperament - what I mean by that is: new-agey, nature loving, really get-away-from-it-all,Thoreau types will love this place. Modern, addicted to iPhone, looking-for-a-luxurious-weekend-away people may not.

Personally - I'd've loved it for $140 a night.
Oh - and breakfast, though pricey - was really delicious…

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank daveb444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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307 - 313 of 438 reviews

Reviewed 31 January 2011

It is true you either love it or you hate it. We LOVED IT. Their web site does a good job of illustrating the vibe: rustic lodge style, bordering on ramshackle, but oh so romantic. The meals, breakfast and dinner, are created masterfully into culinary works of edible art! Healthy and fulfilling! Breakfast for 2 $30 and dinner, average $125 for 2. The atmosphere is so relaxing and quaint. This is just the restaurant, the Inn is special as well.

There are no telephones, TVs, or even door keys. The true charm of Big Sur and it's unique history shines through the Inn and the Foundation that over sees the operation of the Nationally Registered Historic Place. I have loved coming here for close to 15 years now. I will drive to the Bay area and take the extra 3 hours drive just to eat at the Inn's restaurant. Oh so romantic, it just depends on you and an open mind!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CJamz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2011

The owners could try to make the rooms warmer. Now the rooms have visible holes in the walls, the fireplace stove leaks smoke into the cabin and the rooms are not cleaned for dust. Also to keep the room at mid 60s temperature you will need approximately 3 logs an hour every hour or the wood will burn out. Sleep wise this means that you will need to get every hour or so. I know that ther is a certain atmosphere that the owners want to preserve however fixing the leaky walls, stove and dust would not change any of this. They way I see it is that the owners just want to rip visitors off since fixing all of these issues would cost at the high end $2000 a room, with their rates this would mean around 4-5% annual room turnover for one year. Also they would save on firewood and heating if this was done.

I have to say that the atmosphere was nice though. Food is good and home made, but a bit on the pricy side.

Over all I would dine at Deetjens but would not stay there before there are some basic fixes done.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Plostyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2011

So I've been to Big Sur twice, but this last time we stayed at the River Inn which was nice, but i said next time we need to stay here. We literally ate here about 6 times, the best food, wonderful servers, upscale food, and we came in one night for an early romantic dinner, with an infant, ha ha. And they set us up in the little dining room usually saved for larger parties. It completely calmed our nerves having a baby in a nice reastaurant. They always treated my son with such kindness, getting him books and snacks. We love this place so much!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank raylovt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2011

Nothing like this place, and we have searched the US for something comparable. historic vibes, up-to-date sensibilities. very rustic but very clean. nice linens, wood stove, fresh air. you get the sense that the people who work here really love what they do and realize they are living and working in a magical place. world class day trips and hikes in the area. restaurant food and service are top notch. i dream of their eggs benedict with turkey and avocado, and the creme brulee. a stay at deetjen's is inspiring, restorative. we come back here again and again, and have been for years. not all rooms are sound proof, so be forewarned. this is not for you if you want a spa experience or if you do not like the feel of things that are old. it's for people who want the feeling of sleeping in a redwood forest, and who want a glimpse of what it might have been like for the pioneers who passed through Big Sur years ago.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RiversideLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2011

If you have one artistic bone in your body... GO. If you're not into Thomas Kincaid paintings or detest Kraft Mac & Cheese... GO. Deetjen's is for you. It's for one who wants calm and solace. It's for the soulful person with a free spirit. This place is heavensent. It's breathtaking and brought me to tears upon entering the cabin. I don't want to ruin the experience for you with details. Just go. Stay in Stokes, Castro or Faraway (which is where we stayed) and you won't have to worry about the noise. Walk up the hill that says "private road" for the most amazing, intimate view of Big Sur. Breathe in the air and relax. Taste the incrediable food. Your time has come.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Loveya1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2011

The joy of traveling is in large part having brand new experiences. Staying in familiar rooms more or less like other rooms in other places is not nearly as fun as taking the chance to stay somewhere amazing. Deetjen's is amazing. Yes, the rooms are not necessarily as spiff as they could be. But the romance in the walls cannot be duplicated anywhere. When you stay in one of these hand built somewhat arcane rooms, you can feel the aura of the guests who have come before you. They have been poets, gypsies, wanderers, troubadours. Their music echoes and their shadows dance. When I saw some other place in Big Sur listed on this website as among the most romantic places to stay in the west, I did wonder if the reviewer had ever gotten a chance to stay here.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tikiznbamboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Deetjen's Big Sur Inn

Address: 48865 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9512
Region: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Big Sur
#4 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
#6 Family Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range: £83 - £148 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 19
Also Known As:
Deetjen`s Big Sur Hotel Big Sur
Deetjens Big Sur Hotel
Deetjens Big Sur Inn

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