It is a testament to its amazing atmosphere that so many guests fall in love with Post Ranch Inn and return year after year, such is its remarkable unique charm and setting. To start with, the views over the Pacific at sunset are outstanding, especially with cocktail in hand from your own private deck. For those wanting to stay somewhere really very special for three or four days, look no further than Post Ranch Inn - it is a Scott Dunn hot tip.
It is set within its own 100-acre estate, so by day you can wander off on hiking trails through wild heaths and redwoods, or head off to the many beaches around Big Sur. You can return for a plunge in one of the three pools, which as you can imagine all have staggering views. The food at Post Ranch Inn is somewhat legendary, blending seasonal Californian fare with French, Asian and Mediterranean inspired flavours, while the evening menus are quite extraordinary. The restaurant, Sierra Mar, offers floor to ceiling windows, making the most of its location. Of course, there is a superb spa.
There are only 39 suites and rooms that all have the perfect mix of rustic luxury, blending into the natural beauty of the location. All rooms have a private deck that look over the ocean or the mountains. They have lovely fireplaces and come with everything you would expect, except TVs, which are a welcome exclusion in a place like this. The Coastal, Cliff and Ocean Houses offer spellbinding views of the Pacific from their floor-to-ceiling windows. The tree houses are always a Scott Dunn favourite, and these do not disappoint, set within hundred year old Oaks. For those wanting mountain views then the Mountain Houses are the ones to opt for.
If you can, try and opt for one of the Treehouses or Pacific facing houses or suites. The 6 Butterfly Rooms form part of a Butterfly block separated into Lower, Middle and Upper and all offer mountain views. The 2 Mountain Houses are the next category along, forming part of a 2 bedroom block, divided into an Upper and Lower Category. There are 7 Treehouses, all with mountain views and triangular in shape. The Coastal Houses again come in a two bedroom block (5 Upper and 5 Lower). The 2 Peak Houses have a deck suspended over the cliff, whilst the 5 Ocean Houses offer staggering seaviews. There are 2 Pacific Suites (Upper and Lower) both with terraces. The 2 Cliff Houses offers the best of everything.
Unfortunately children under 18 are not allowed to stay in the resort.
Sierra Mar Restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner); Communal area with library offering TV, music and books, Wifi throughout, 1 main swimming pool (7x20m) and two basking infinity pools, Spa, Gym, Bar.
Yoga daily, Birding, Guided Nature Walks, Hiking, Local beaches, Whale Watching, Cycling, Boat Trips, Fishing, Golf, Horse Riding, Kayaking, Sailing, Diving.
Room Service, Vegetarian Menu, Guest Computer
When to travel
Big Sur is an all-year destination. For nature lovers, the coast is wonderfully wild in winter and you can go whale-watching and birding; spring sees wonderful flower displays, and there are a host of watersports to be tried at the beach in the summer; autumn brings harvest bounty and temperatures are usually still balmy. The fog is present mostly in May and June, but usually burns off by lunchtime.
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Location and directions
Big Sur, California, United States of America
Post Ranch Inn is located on the Big Sur coast off Highway 1, 30 miles south of Carmel, 150 miles south of San Francisco and 300 miles north of Los Angeles.
How to get there
11-hour 15-minute direct flight from London to San Fracisco, with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. Post Ranch Inn is a 3-hour drive from San Francisco International Airport. Alternatively, Los Angeles is a 4-hour drive from the Inn.