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“Just what we needed”
Review of Post Ranch Inn

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Post Ranch Inn
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 21 February 2014

My son and i were on our way from Boston to San Francisco to University of San Diego, on a mother and son bonding trip, before dropping him off at grad school. We are both January babies. And I thought it would be a nice pitstop to stay at the Post Ranch Inn. I was right! As soon as we arrived we were welcomed with a glass or two of champagne( or wine or juice or water and fresh fruit.) Perfect! Then a ride up to the treehouse in an electric lexus, only to find freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, more beverages and a stocked mini refrigeraor. Playing in the room soothing music. Oh i was in love with the moment. My son snickered at the bathropes but before too long we were both wearing them on our way to the infinity pool. Outstanding views! I left my son talking to a college girl while i snuck away to sit in "the nest". So unique, so medatative! Loved it! We then met for dinner. Dinner I thought was just ok. We often dine at 5 star restaurants but this meal looked better than how it actually tasted. Too rich, too salty, too something. I can't say it was fabulous. Just ok...service was great. But I think I may dine for dinner somewhere else. After dinner, stargazing was excellent with an actual person sharing his knowledge of the stars and scope to us all. Awesome. In the morning, yoga and breakfast buffet...Yummy. Even my son had a blast and was impressed as i overheard him speaking to his college buddies. Thanks for making our birthdays a memorable one! Kuddos to the staff everywhere on the Ranch!

Room Tip: The rooms on the Pacific looked so romantic. But when traveling with your adult son, it was not an...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank sue t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 February 2014

*The half staying at Post Ranch Inn without the amazing view

This was our third visit to Post Ranch Inn, and our first without the stunning view from an Upper Coast House. We stayed in a Treehouse this time, which is a gorgeous unique little structure. However, if I’m honest, I think what makes Post Ranch Inn so amazing is that view of the Pacific from the room. Without it, my trip was a little bit empty. Sure there are still plenty of opportunities to ogle the view – from breakfast, from benches, from the hot tub – but it isn’t the same as sitting on your own balcony or tub and watching the view change throughout the day.

Now, there are a couple of Treehouses that offer almost the same view of the Pacific from certain parts of the treehouse, but I wasn’t staying in one of them. In our winter returning guest deal, a complimentary upgrade is offered if available on check in, and this time around I was told one wasn’t available. I’m not sure I actually believed this – given it was a Monday during the quiet season I very much doubt that every upper and lower coast house was taken. Still, I was upgraded twice previously and I think the powers that be simply decided it was about time I got what I was paying for!

So my advice is to spring for the view – a lower coast house at minimum, and upper coast if you can. If you choose a treehouse, make sure you ask for one of the two that have a view of the ocean. Also be aware that Post Ranch Inn isn’t your typical 5 star sanitized hotel experience. It’s Big Sur, it’s isolated, and it is a family business. The service is remarkable and I really like the cabins, but the cabins aren’t Egyptian cotton sheets and marble hallways.

I will always return to Big Sur, and most likely to the Post Ranch Inn, but having visited three times in the last three years, I think after this non-view experience I’m ready to leave it a few years while before returning.

Room Tip: Upper coast if you can - the view from the room really makes a difference to the overall stay.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank atacoatemybaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2014

Post Ranch Inn is one the most beautiful places I have ever been. The whole concept of your stay is to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy the magnificent scenery. My first two visits were flawless.
This visit was marred by a terrible dinner in the restaurant and one subpar breakfast. In a secluded resort, there is no recourse when served an inedible dinner. Additionally, we had difficulty with a guest who was taking photos of every course with a full size camera with a flash that blinded us 8 times over half the dinner. We understand people want to take photos, and suggested the staff seat those people facing away from other guests. The staff claimed they spoke to the couple but they did not. The restaurant was painfully dark, which made eating unpleasant and the flash of a camera even more blinding. Our dinners were over seasoned, the risotto was greasy and too rich and my fish was extremely overcooked. We had had a lovely dinner in the room the night before, a lovely chicken and roasted vegetables, fresh salad and dessert. Gorgeous. In the restaurant, the choice of food did not match the aura of the resort: the choices were heavy, the food was over complicated and NOT farm fresh or healthy, and the service was painfully slow.

So while most of our visit was lovely, the massages great, the room perfect, I had to give it a poor rating. It was beside the point that they comped the inedible dinner, and added another deduction to our over all bill. We could not believe the same cook was in the kitchen both Sunday and Monday nights, although we were assured that was so. And finally, we had ordered a box lunch, part of our package, to be delivered to the room at 11:30 a.m. We returned after hiking and found no lunch, so I called. At first they were confused, then they claimed they found our ticket and promised delivery. Then we received a call and the person claimed they had tried to deliver before but "you weren't home." People are in and out of the rooms all the time and we were never told that we needed to be there to receive a bagged lunch. The defensive tone of the caller was rude and totally unprofessional. We had not complained at all, just were looking for the lunch, but ended up with bad feelings from the exchange.

So the bottom line is something is not right at Post Ranch Inn, and something is wrong with the staff and management. And something is very very wrong in the kitchen (although that chicken dinner was perfection). Perhaps others are right, that they are willing to sell out to fast money and that they no longer care about returning guests. Whatever it is, it is a terrible shame, as the facilities and the setting, the stars in the sky, the sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous. Would I return? Perhaps, as I love this place, but I might just order chicken in the room for dinner each night! I would not, however, bring a group here as we have done in the past. Simply not reliable.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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14  Thank f00lme0nce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DanPriano, General Manager at Post Ranch Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 11 February 2014

Dear friend,

It was a pleasure to welcome you back to the Ranch for your most recent visit. Thank you for your glowing reviews about your ‘great’ spa treatments, ‘lovely’ in-room dining experience and ‘perfect’ accommodations. Although you mention most of your stay overall was of your liking, certainly some shortcomings occurred during your stay, and for that we sincerely apologize. We thank you for your constructive comments about the lighting in the dining room as well as your very specific critique of our dinner offerings during your stay. Such insights are being evaluated by our executive Chef John Cox and his team in order to improve our dining experience for future guests. We believe our guests have an understanding of the romantic and sensitive ambiance our dining room perceives even before they reserve a table. We also enforce a policy regarding lack of cell phone and flash usage. Although we cannot control the initial actions of other guests, we can assure you we addressed the situation in a courteous and prompt manner to avoid any more disturbance.

Regarding the confusion on your picnic lunches; It was not our intention to sound anything less of courteous and professional when you called. It is also important to note we prepped an entire new picnic lunch for you given the fact you were not able to enjoy the first one in a timely manner. We try to make sure our product is as fresh and delicious as possible for our guests.

We strive to be a perfect property which is why we are swift to address any guest issue immediately. We felt we had addressed your concerns even before you departed in the form of the complimentary dinner and additional resort credit at check out. As a result we assure you your closing words do not coincide with the reputation we have garnered over these two decades and the reputation we aim to maintain as we move forward. We value each and every one of our return guests and would never engage in such practice. It is our hope we can further discuss the details of your stay personally as we will try to reach out to you or you may reach out to me directly at dan@postranchinn.com or 831 667 7900

With warm regards,

Dan Priano

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2014

Set in a beautiful wooded setting, overlooking the Pacific Ocean with spectacular sunset views, this resort delivers a mixture of beauty, luxury and ecological friendliness. The accommodations are in timber cabins that have been allowed to weather to the point where they blend into the landscape. The resort is dotted with beautiful sculptures and other art works, plunge pools, rest areas, a library etc. The resort has done much to minimise its environmental footprint. There is an excellent restaurant that serves modern Californian cuisine - perhaps at times a little too complicated - but nevertheless very good food in a magnificent glassed setting looking out across the water. The accommodations themselves vary. All are extremely well appointed, thoughtfully furnished and generously supplied. Perhaps the only two small criticisms that can be made of the accommodations are firstly, that the lighting is a little dim and would benefit from being enhanced and, secondly, our shower was located within quite a deep bath - not a problem for us but perhaps for some who have more limited mobility. The staff everywhere within this resort are extremely friendly and obliging, with many being long timers who obviously love working at this magnificent place.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank J F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2014

One of the best trips of my life. There is no comparison to The Post Ranch. Surreal cliffside location, starry nights, nature walks. The definition of zen. Expensive but worth it. Will change your paradigm.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank 312-415-212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2014

The location is excellent, privacy and views are amazing. We thought the rustic rooms were "okay" for the price. The spa itself isn't anything special, but our massages were excellent. We dined at the restaurant and wasn't that impressed (we live in Manhattan and eat fine dining often). We expected it to be memorable for the price. The breakfast however was excellent - sit outside to enjoy the view. We also thought the gym was adequte and really liked the Yoga Yurt. We'd pick another spot to splurge because the overall experience didn't live up to the high price.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank DSMTravel91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2014

This is the kind of place you hesitate to recommend because you want to keep it to yourself.
But the experience is so unique and the execution saw flawless that this hotel deserves to be recommended far and wide and, as far as I can see, it is.

I'm not sure I can write a review worthy of this place, but I'll try.

The setting is stunningly beautiful and serenely quiet.

The organic architecture is beautiful, discrete, geometrically interesting and yet blends with the natural environment.

The interiors are the most sustained and complete piece of design of any hotel I've ever stayed in. The attention to detail is astounding. The warmth, elegance, subtlety, tactility of the elements is perfect.

The staff are delightful, helpful, expert and go the extra mile.

The food is great - delicate, interestingly sourced, sophisticated but not fussy.

If you're considering it, go. You won't be disappointed, and your sense of quite how perfect a hotel can be may well be adjusted. Yes, it's expensive. But it's not like anywhere else I've stayed, and I've been around...

It's not a big hotel. It's a family-owned business. So it feels intimate and personal. Perfect for when you want to retreat and find calm, rather than when you want to be entertained.

This place is up there in my handful of very top favourites. It may well be number one.

I've only been for one night, but if at all possible, I'll be back regularly and indefinitely.

Room Tip: I think a sea-view makes a big difference, though the treehouses do look lovely.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank BLJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Post Ranch Inn

Address: 47900 Highway 1, PO Box 219, Big Sur, CA 93920-9576
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
#1 Green Hotel in Big Sur
#4 Family Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range: £693 - £1,809 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Post Ranch Inn 5*
Number of rooms: 39
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Also Known As:
Post Ranch Hotel Big Sur
Post Hotel Big Sur
Post Big Sur

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