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“Total splurge! Worth it though...”
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
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
40 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Total splurge! Worth it though...”
Reviewed 25 February 2014

I surprised my wife and took her to California for our anniversary and her birthday. She had never been to CA so I wanted to make it a special trip.

After soul searching and trying to decide if the price of admission was acceptable, I pulled the trigger and booked our stay at the Post Ranch Inn. And let me tell you, it far exceeded our expectations, and then some.

There are some hotels that claim to have excellent customer service... and then there ARE some that redefine it. Post Ranch falls into the latter category.

From the moment you are greeted at the main gate and park your vehicle at the base of the property, you are treated with a level of refinement rarely seen. A Lexus SUV immediately arrives to take your luggage and bring you to the reception building about mid way up the hill. You are then welcomed with such sincerity it is almost suspicious. They politely prod you with questions so that they can tailor your experience... which we discovered later on.

Because they knew it was a special occasion for us and that we were gluten-free guests... once we were shuttled up to our gorgeous room overlooking the Pacific, with completely unobstructed views of the ocean, we noticed that every hand-made treat was gluten-free, and make for us. Nice touch. And let me tell you, the chocolate chip cookies were AMAZING!

Breathtaking views doesn't really capture this incredibly overwhelming feeling you have when you first step out onto the deck. You have to experience it to know what I mean.

Wondering the property was a worthwhile venture! There are many acres to hike and explore.... there are a couple of infinity hot tubs perched on the cliffs overlooking the ocean and sunset. The main pool is tucked away and just beyond the organic gardens that produce much of what you eat at the gourmet restaurant.

I wish I could describe this better... but it is something you just have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate it. It's not cheap, by any stretch. Likely the most expensive hotel we have stayed at (and we've stayed at some nice places!), but this is a once-in-a-lifetime kinda place. I wish everyone could experience it once in their lives.

If you can afford it... just do it.

The restaurant was an interesting experience. Our server was an amazing lady with an abundance of patience. Since this was an ultra gourmet dining experience for us - we need to have several things 'translated' for us. ;-) She did so with kindness and without judgement.
If I had to change one thing about the trip though... I would drive into town and eat at one of the local eateries instead of spending $400 (with no alcohol) on super deluxe fancy food. But we're more casual than most of the patrons...

The history of the property is fascinating too.... and the fact that they go above and beyond on the green things (environmental elements) is part of why we chose to stay here.

One final note on the exceptional service. When they were prodding about our trip to date and future stops... there was a reason. Upon our check out, not only did they have a gluten-free anniversary desert waiting for us, they had two chilled bottles of water in the car AND they programmed the GPS for our next stop. You tell me, is that not exceptional service?! We think so.

Hope this helps! Enjoy if you go!

David & Mandy
Ottawa, Canada

Room Tip: Splurge and go for the ocean view rooms...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank davidmandy1941
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 review, 27 May 2014
Dear Friends,

Thank you so very much for your overwhelmingly positive, in-depth feedback. It gives me great pleasure to read such nice comments. It sounds like both your anniversary and birthday celebrations went extremely well and I’m happy that you chose Post Ranch as the place to celebrate. I’m glad we were able to accommodate your dietary needs and that you appreciated our attention to detail. We take quite a bit of pride in ensuring that each of our guests’ needs and expectations are not just met, but exceeded. And thank you for your comments about our commitment to the environment. We make every effort to be good stewards of the land on which we reside and do our best to respect and care for it. Thank you again for your kind comments and for making Post Ranch your destination of choice on your trip from Ottawa. We hope to see you again soon.

With warm regards,
Dan Priano
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English first
Greater London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014

I have had an amazing time and experience at this property.

All began at the reception, the greeting, the service, the property, the food to die for and the rooms with breathtaking views from wherever you are looking out from.

All friendly and helpfull staff.

Overall only amazing and pleasant things to say about Post Ranch inn. Looking forward to get to go again soon.

Well done you all.

Fernando.

Room Tip: I have stayed at the Tree house and it was incredible, especially when it was raining at night...jus...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ferdi1982
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 review, 27 May 2014
Dear Friend,

Thank you very much. It brings me great pleasure to hear that you had such a nice stay with us. There’s no better place to be in the rain than in a Tree House. It’s truly a memorable experience. I very much hope you’re able to visit us again sometime in the future.

With warm regards,
Dan Priano
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014

I stayed at Post Ranch Inn to break up my road trip from San Francisco and Los Angeles....I was so pleased I did. I am well travelled it is by far one of the best resorts I have ever stayed in; everything was just perfect.

Nestled high in the mountains, The Post Ranch Inn is a great place for couples and families who want to experience a bit of luxury and pampering away from the city. Its location also offers opportunities to visit the surrounding areas of Big Sur as well as as Carmel and Monterey.

The property itself offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and because you are so high up in the mountains, you are literally above the clouds - which is an experience itself! The hotel is also surrounded by natural beauty, an idyllic setting reminiscent of a Keats Poem. Explore the area by taking one of the recommended walking tours, which I found to be both romantic and therapeutic.

Breakfast was awesome with a great selection of healthy and indulgent delights including freshly made eggs and pancakes. The four-course dinner at the restaurant offered a great selection of dishes to suit all tastes. You can dine out in the deck for breakfast or dinner whilst you search for whales across the ocean.

The spa menu offers a vast range of treatments. I had the Therapeutic massage and my masseuse was highly experienced and used techniques I had not encountered before. I felt fantastic after the massage and prepared me for my long drive to Los Angeles.

I stayed in a ocean room where I could see the sunrise over the Pacific in the morning. The room had all modern amenities whilst retaining its rustic charm. I loved being able to set the fireplace, soak in the japanese style bathtub for hours and could sleep in comfortable king size bed for days. There is no TV in any of the rooms....and quite rightly so because you will not need it!

All the hotel staff were attentive, polite and hospitable; they genuinely did everything they can to make my stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. I would highly recommend this property to anyone and everyone!

Room Tip: Chose either an ocean facing room or an upper level treehouse.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Irritatatedeasily
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 review, 27 May 2014
Dear Friend,

I am so glad to hear you had such a nice stay with us. Thank you for your comments and for choosing to pay us a visit. I’ve always found our guided nature walk to be one of the more underrated guest experiences, as it’s a great way to explore the property and learn more about the history of the Ranch. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it as well. It sounds as though you enjoyed Sierra Mar to its fullest at both breakfast and dinner. And thank you for your generous words about our wonderful staff. I will be sure to pass your words on to each of them. Thank you again for staying with us and we hope to see you again soon.

With warm regards,
Dan Priano
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hull, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
1 Thank sue t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
5 Thank atacoatemybaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
139 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
13 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 review, 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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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
2 Thank J F
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

Property: Post Ranch Inn
Address: 47900 Highway 1, PO Box 219, Big Sur, CA 93920-9576
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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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