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“Perched in The Human Nest: Unique”
Review of Treebones Resort

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Treebones Resort
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 29 August 2014

I won't go into detail on the grounds, which are gorgeous, the eco approach, which is noble, the food, which is delightful (and not surprisingly on the pricey side), or the staff, who are very special, each and every one of them. The other reviews cover all that.

We stayed in the nest. It was the highlight of a week-long trip to California. The Human Nest is, first, an unreal structure build with branches in such an artful and appealing way, you just have to say "Wow."

It is a circular pod within a pine grove, raised about 8 feet above the ground and accessed by sturdy wooden ladder. The branches are woven in a way that is not water tight or wind tight so you get tons of fresh air. As for rain, there's a spot within your camp area to pitch a tent, but with this drought there doesn't seem to be too much danger of getting wet!

Bring sleeping bags to go on top of the futon. Your interior space is bigger than a King mattress area. Within the branches you can find plenty of nooks for a bottle of water, camera, etc.; tuck your glasses inside your shoes and definitely bring a flashlight or lantern for any night time potty activity - the bathrooms are farthest from the Nest (all the Yurts are closer) but we thought this was a GOOD thing!

Your view from the nest is directly out to the ocean, where whales come by blowing, tail-slapping and even breeching. Amazing. Sea lions to the north have conversations all night long. If this bothers you there are foam earplugs in a basket at checkin. We found it soothing.

We suggest bringing in wine, cheese, fruit, crackers, anything you don't have to cook. There are no real grocery options anywhere in the area. If you have food in a cooler, make sure it's VERY hard to open, or better, stow it in your car for the night. A sign reminds Nesters that raccoons are among the area's wildlife. They can unzip things, by the way. We were missing our berries and avocados from our zip-closed cooler after the first night. Lesson learned.

People mention how expensive dinner is. Our solution was ordering several appetizers. They were SO tasty and plenty of food. Also, the sushi is within the realm of reality price-wise, and some of the BEST sushi I've eaten (maybe thanks to the fresh air and spectacular sunset but also Suzanne was a primo sushi-maker and the stuff was super fresh). Only thing is, they mean it when they say first come first served. Don't imagine that you can just order early and come pick up your order. Take-aways are continually pushed to the back of the line as more people come to eat in. But eat out on the veranda. Bring a fleece or something warm as it cools down nights.

All in all, you will not want to leave the nest.

Room Tip: By Nightlife, I mean sea lions, sunsets, wind, waves and whales, as well as the delicious food and w...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank writerdj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 September 2014

We applaud your adventuresome nesting! and thank you for sharing such great tips and insights with others who might like to try the Nest....looks like you got it all dialed in and enjoyed this rare and quirky venue perfectly.. Thank you as well for highlighting the green initiatives we practice here.

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347 - 353 of 859 reviews

Reviewed 25 August 2014

I have never camped or "glamped" before, but our experience at Treebones was fantastic! We stayed in yurt 7 and had a fabulous view of the ocean. The yurt was spacious with 2 beds and a sink. The fireplace kept the room warm at night. We had a deck to sit on and gaze at the ocean with a glass of wine. We saw whales breaching, and at night the only noise were elephant seals partying in the distance. Following the path around, we found an organic garden that they use in the Wild Coast restaurant, and in the Sushi Bar.

We ate at the sushi bar, where Sarah whipped up several sushi creations. All were delicious and artistic. There was an overwhelming menu and I wanted to try everything. Just let her know what you like and she will create something! They also serve a nice breakfast, which is included. Eggs, yogurt and musili, waffles, coffee, juice, and nice assortment of tea.

The pool and hot tub are positioned next to the restaurant, so you may be dining and have a view of the "hot tubbers" (or vice versa) but it is so everyone can share the same view of the ocean, weather you are dining or relaxing in the hot tub.

They are "off the grid", have their own water supply, and wifi is only in the lodge. We found the internet to be spotty all along the coast, and maybe that made the experience even that much more enjoyable.

It is about 1 hour from the town of Big Sur in 1 direction, and about 1 hour from Hearst Castle in the other. There are several beach access points in both directions only minutes from Treebones. We found sand dollar beach and jade cove. We found it easy to get to many points from Treebones.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Alane J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014 via mobile

I would like to start by saying that I loved it here. The yurts were magical, cosy and spacious. The view was spectacular. We clearly saw a number of whales on our first day. I also had a lot of respect for what they were trying to do in terms of the environment - recycling food, generating their own electricity and not using harsh cleaning chemicals. My rating comes from comparing the price to what you get. We did the classic california road trip and stayed mainly in 4 and 5 star places. This was by far the most expensive of the lot - which isn't a problem in itself except I would expect more for the price. The first thing that was missing was a room turndown. I can cope with getting my fresh towels from reception but it would have been nice for some one to turn the bed down, dust the room, provide clean wine glasses and empty the bin. This is especially as we were greeted with a message from the person who made up our room with instructions on how to tip her! Needless to say this envelope remained empty. The next issue concerns the cleanliness of the showers. They really are quite small and grimy. I have stayed in places with a hut type set up before and the communal showers have always exceeded 4 and been much cleaner. The shop is useful but there are no prices on anything. I would have liked to have brought a bottle of wine but would have felt embarrassed to ask which ones were $40 or less (my price range!). The restaurant is really nice in that service is excellent and courses are paced. The food is fresh and nutritious but really not worthy of the price tag. For 3 courses and drinks and tip we were $200 lighter. The staff were all helpful. I would like to defend Dominic here. He was nothing but professional and helpful with us. Definitely stay here if you get the chance but save your pennies first!

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Teamporsereturns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Thank you for sharing your recent experience. So glad you saw the humpback whales and that you could sense how passionate we all are about creating a hospitality venue that is authentically environmental. It is our passion. (PS. we spoke with the housekeeping staff regarding your impressions of the restrooms).

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Reviewed 19 August 2014

We had 2 yurts here for a couple of nights and wished we could have stayed longer. The location is perfect, looking out over the sea, in perfect tranquility. We didn't manage to get a yurt with an ocean view but it really didn't matter as there are so many places on the site where you can just sit and take it all in. The resort is really well run, very comfortable and clean (and it's not at all like camping). Will definitely return here and spend more time exploring more of the amazing beaches up and down the coast.

Room Tip: Go for an ocean view if you can.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank TheDukes2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2014 via mobile

We loved treebones. We drove to it from the South and the wilderness of the landscape is impressive. The yurts are spacious and beautiful, the camp grounds are magical, and it feels the right place to stay in Big Sur. We even saw some deers just by the entrance and we could hear the birds at early morning. The staff is genuine and very friendly and it feels that everyone loves working there. The breakfast was pretty awesome too and you get to make your own pancake!! We had an ocean view yurt and totally recommend it!

However there were a couple of things we weren't impressed with. First the shared toilet is an issue as you have to walk quite a bit at night - we were expecting more toilets for such a big camping. The toilets and showers could have been cleaner, in fact the days we were there, they were only cleaned 3 times per day, there's only 3 showers so you have to queue at busy times and for $250 per night you would expect at least some bath robe so you can walk back to your yurt to get changed.

The restaurant was good but very expensive for what it was, as everything in Big Sur! It may be a good idea to bring some snacks and a bottle of wine if you are staying a couple of nights so you can enjoy your yurt patio.

Finally highway 1 is very close and you can see it and hear it during the day however it didn't bother us at all at night, all we could hear at night were natural sounds.

Overall we enjoyed our stay and trebones is definitely a unique place. Totally recommend an icean view yurt as it feels slightly more remote.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank nefeliKa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience. Glad to hear your felt the breakfast was awesome...and...you are correct...everyone loves working and living here, serving others to help bring the Big Sur experience to life for all who visit. IT's true...Treebones sits above Hwy 1 overlooking the ocean.

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Reviewed 18 August 2014 via mobile

I loved most things about this special place in the Big Sur. It's a really cool, totally doing the right thing kind of place. The yurts are lovely and comfortable. Delicious water in the tap. Comfy beds. Stunning views. So quiet during the day. The food was good. The lovely waitress couldn't have been more genuine. The place is clearly built and run by a family and staff who are passionate about what they are doing. Staying at Treebones will definitely lower your carbon footprint.

There was only one problem with our stay but sadly it coloured the whole experience. We were in yurt 1 which is right next to the lodge, the sushi bar, the loos and the reception. Both nights we went to bed after supper with our three young children and lay in bed listening to other guests enjoy themselves at the Sushi Bar. They probably weren't that loud but we were close and sound travels through canvas and we listened to different peoples' opinions, choice of sometimes colourful language and laughter until at least 10pm each night. (Quiet time starts at 9). Does Treebones break its own rules? Of course. It has a right to surely?! I hate sounding like some uptight party pooper, I wish I was in the sushi bar myself! But with young kids I was reading my book instead. Come and stay at this amazing place but don't stay in a Yurt 1. We heard the sushi bar staff packing up for the night, flip flops going up and down to the loo all night, two cars arriving after 1.30am. Sadly this isn't a peaceful place, at least if you're in #1. I did complain which made me feel crap, more than happy to have the sushi bar go on a bit but not when I can hear every word. We love camping in our tent in the UK but this would be like booking into the campsite and pitching the tent right next door to the loos and the main restaurant... Don't think so. So I will say again. Special place but avoid #1

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank jae39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MrsTreebones, Owner at Treebones Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Dear Jae39, thank you for sharing your experience . It is evident you truly appreciated many aspects of our place - the green initiatives and intentions that are evident here. You are correct, we are all very passionate and proud of the 'close to nature, and green' experience we offer. I do apologize that you experienced a noisy night from the nearby sushi bar. We have discussed your comments with our team. We try out best to close the sushi bar by 9 pm..but on a busy night when other guests may arrive late..we end up staying open a bit later to make sure everyone goes to sleep fed and satisfied...there are no other restaurants nearby for guests to eat at, and so we balance between the nearby yurts and making sure guests can dine.
But also, it's great to remind readers...our venue is 'tents'....they are not sound proof by any means...which we describe on our website too...this is not the right venue for light sleepers, or families with children that are trying to create a super quiet environment...no matter which yurt you stay in ..you will hear extraneous noise...wind, rain, voices....

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Reviewed 10 August 2014

We booked here as a stop over whilst travelling from LA to San Francisco. The minimum stop is 2 nights which isn't a problem as there's plenty to explore for a day around the Big Sur.

Our party consisted 2 adults and a teenager. We booked in and were allocated Yurt no.3. The Yurt was large - it had 2 queen sized beds. tables, chairs, a heater and a hot/cold basin. The inside was immaculately clean and well presented.

Yurt 3 is a mountain view yurt- so no views of the Ocean- this really doesn't matter very much. It is near the car park but didn't cause any issues with noise.

The facilities are all very good - the bathrooms were clean at all times with good showers and plenty of hot water.
The restaurant was good and not massively expensive considering the location. Breakfast is included and consisted of make your own waffles, coffee, tea, juices ,fruit, toast, eggs, yoghurt- more than enough to set you up for the day.
The pool and jacuzzi were great.
If you have ever been camping before this place is like Top end camping- the yurts obviously do allow sound to travel- however during our stay all the guests stuck to the quiet hours minimum noise rule. You don't really need a torch in the yurt areas as it is lit by low level lighting.

Make sure you have a jumper for the morning/evening. It was misty during our stay and got cold once the sun went down.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Telf74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Treebones Resort

Address: 71895 Highway #1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Big Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Big Sur
#2 Green Hotel in Big Sur
#5 Romantic Hotel in Big Sur
Price Range: £115 - £239 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unusual and unique eco-lodge experience with immense expansive ocean views on Big Sur's remote and rugged South Coast. Guests enjoy cozy comforts in fully furnished tent-like yurts or choose a campsite and bring all their own tents/gear to camp. Resort 'feel' in rustic setting. Two popular restaurant venues with cozy, communal atmosphere boast great service, organic, locally sustained cuisine with same great views. Massage services, hiking information, and modern book & sundries store on premises. Sustainability statement: We are dedicated to providing an honest eco-experience. We are off grid and over 50% sustained by solar power. We recycle and utilize our onsite garden and chickens to complete a composting cycle. We are also human-sustained: Meaning..we serve tourists with our hearts and our hands and there are humans behind the service here..not robots! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Treebones Resort Big Sur
Treebones Hotel Big Sur

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