If you love rustic luxury combined with an eco-friendly philosophy, you’ll love Post Ranch Inn. This rustic hideaway is away in beautiful, remote Big Sur overlooking the stunning Pacific coast and ocean beyond. You arrive at this magic world via a winding road after checking in at the gatehouse. At reception, they’ll park your car and whisk you away to your accommodation in one of their hybrid Lexus SUVs. You won’t need your car while here. You can walk or the accommodating drivers will pick you up and take you where you need to go on grounds. All you need to do is pick out the phone and call the front desk.
The 39 rooms and suites and two houses offer a range of accommodations. All accommodations feature a tasteful blend of modern and rustic furnishings befitting the ruggedness of Big Sur. All rooms have king-size beds; mattress, linens and bath products are all organic. Terry cloth robes and cozy slippers are tucked in the closet. There are stereo sound systems with docking stations. Refrigerators are stocked with complimentary snacks including delicious mixed nuts, California goat cheese, crackers, seasonal fruit candy bars (including an organic, fair-trade chocolate one) wine and soft drinks. Of course, there’s coffee and tea and a bonus; delicious home-baked cookies sitting in a glass jar. The inn, committed to a sustainable philosophy, supplies filtered well water in glass bottles stored in the fridge. They also supply stainless steel bottles to fill and take around with you during your stay and take home as a reminder of your time at the inn. To go with the serene and pristine environment, there are no TVs or alarm clocks in rooms. The attention to detail here is amazing. It is clear that whatever you need, all you have to do is ask; if they can do it they will and they’ll do it graciously. Their mission is to create a space where you can unwind and feel pampered and protected from the stresses of the outside world. Caveat: if you’re a fan of plush carpets, drapes and over-the-top décor, this is not the hotel for you.
If you’ve ever dreamed about sleeping in the trees; opt for the Tree Houses. These magical rooms sitting on stilts, nine feet above the forest floor, will enchant you. Compact as a ship’s cabin, each offers a fireplace, a tree view and the majesty of the night sky viewed through the skylight above the bed.
The circular Coast and Mountain Houses offer curved rooms with either ocean or mountain views depending on which accommodation you choose.
The Butterfly House, shaped like its namesake, offers six rooms, on three levels, tucked under the creatures spread out wings.
The Ocean House has panoramic Pacific views from large windows. The roof is planted with grass and wildflowers both for natural insulation and to help the building blend into the landscape. The two-sided fireplaces in the rooms here can be enjoyed from the bedroom or the bath.
All the one-bedroom, 960 square foot, suites offer panoramic views of either the mountains or the ocean through soaring glass walls. They feature custom-built furniture and radiant floor heat. Each offers luxury bathrooms with large soaking tubs set in the window to take advantage of the expansive vistas. Or enjoy the views from the terraces equipped with stainless steel infinity soaking tubs.
The ranch also has two houses you can book. Post House boasts three bedrooms (one a master) and 2.5 baths. South Coast House has two master bedrooms and two baths. Both houses are designed to take advantage of the incredible views and have living areas for entertaining, fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces and outdoor areas with hot tub.
Room rates include breakfast. You can opt for the lavish buffet at the inn’s restaurant, Sierra Mar, or choose to have it delivered to your room. Start the day with perfectly ripe fresh fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice and delicious fresh-brewed coffee. There are pastries, a fresh-cooked-to-order egg station, breakfast meats and a bounty of other breakfast foods. The dining room hangs on a cliff over the Pacific; every window providing a spectacular ocean view. What a great way to begin your day. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner to both inn guests and the general public. Dinner, offering a four-course pre-fixe menu, changes daily based on what is fresh and available; you can also order a la carte. The wine list is stellar, befitting a restaurant of this caliber.
Post Ranch Inn is a place where you come to relax and decompress from the outside world. The activities they offer reflect that. You can enjoy morning yoga, take a swim in the infinity pool, join a guided hike or star gaze on your own or at the evening star-gazing sessions with the inn’s telescope. Their tranquil spa offers a tempting menu of rejuvenating treatments, or arrange an in-room massage.
If you want to leave this idyllic paradise, you can arrange to borrow one of the hotels two Lexus convertibles and sail up (or down) the Pacific Coast Highway with the wind in your hair. The views are breathtaking. Stop at one of the many beaches in the area for a walk or a picnic lunch (the inn will pack one for you) or check out nearby McWay Falls. They also have two Lexus hybrid sedans for guest use. If you want to do something more ambitious, the hotel can arrange for a variety of off-site activities for you.
Big Sur is off the beaten path and only accessible via the curving, cliff-hugging Pacific Coast Highway. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, Post Ranch Inn is perfect for you.
Authors note: We were guest of Post Ranch Inn in April, 2010. Their generous hospitality has not influenced this post in any way.