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Post Ranch Inn is blessed with one of the most extraordinary locations on the face of the earth, a place of such breathtaking beauty it’s hard to believe it’s even accessible by mere automobile-driving mortals. Big Sur is the most scenic destination along California’s most scenic drive, Highway 1, which links Los Angeles with San Francisco and features such curiosities as Hearst Castle and Steinbeck’s Monterey along the way.
Of course what Highway 1 mostly features is natural beauty, and some of the last unspoiled places in America. It would be difficult for any man-made structure to compete with these cliffside views of the Pacific, or the majesty of the redwood forests; but this strange and decadent little hotel holds its own.
Modernist architect Mickey Muennig settled in Big Sur in 1971, and has been responsible for most of its notable buildings ever since. Post Ranch Inn is his only hotel design, and indeed it’s hard to imagine it translating into some kind of movable hotel template, comprising as it does a number of discreet house designs, each uniquely suited to its location.
The Tree Houses, for example, are almost exactly as advertised, built on nine-foot stilts and camouflaged amongst (if not actually nailed to the branches of) the redwood trees. Ocean rooms, on the other hand, are close to the cliff’s edge, nearly all glass to take in the view, and blend into the hillside, with grasses and wildflowers covering the sloping roofs.
More traditional is the cuisine, another of Post Ranch Inn’s big draws. Sierra Mar, is a local favorite, a first-rate restaurant (with a first-rate wine list) that is either delightfully incongruous with or else perfectly matched to its location, depending on your point of view.
There are no televisions and no cell phone service here—peace and quiet carry the day. This place is built for relaxation, from the oversized spa tubs and the massage tables in the guest rooms to the infinity pool a thousand feet above the Pacific. Possibly the best place in California to leave it all behind.
Please note: All guests must be at least 18 years old.
How to get there: Post Ranch Inn is approximately a 1 hour drive from Monterey Peninsula Airport and between 2 and 2.5 hours from San Jose Airport.
- 39 Rooms
- Style: Contemporary Classic
- Atmosphere: Secluded
- 9 Guest Reviews
- Post Ranch Inn
- 47900 Highway 1
- Big Sur, CA, USA
Hotel amenities and services
- Free parking
- Free wi-fi