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  • Post Ranch Inn, California
  • Post Ranch Inn, California
  • Post Ranch Inn, California
  • Post Ranch Inn, spa
  • Post Ranch Inn, dining
  • Post Ranch Inn, accommodation

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

Designer Hotel – typically more than £400 per room per night


Short description

Post Ranch Inn is a dream destination along America’s most scenic drive.


Recommended for:
Activity adventure | Food & wine | Relaxation | Spa


A favourite retreat among Hollywood heavyweights, Post Ranch Inn is found on Big Sur, the most scenic stretch along arguably America’s most scenic drive – Highway 1 which links LA with San Francisco. The 100-acre former homestead is perched on rocks 1,200 feet above the ever-blue Pacific, about an hour’s drive from Monterey Peninsula Airport and two and half hours from San Jose. Stunning ocean and mountain views provide a fitting backdrop to the hotel’s rustic elegance, skilfully combined with its luxurious modern comforts.


A marriage of modernity and the natural world – many claim it but few deliver with the panache of Post Ranch Inn. The 39 guest rooms and two private homes are reserved for adults only and built for relaxation; none have televisions or alarm clocks for a reason. Ocean-front rooms seem to dangle in thin air, cantilevered from the mountainside and curved around old trees. Treehouses sit on nine-foot stilts and blend right into the forest. Local wines, cheeses and organic bath products are among the many free surprises that await guests inside, along with stainless steel hot tubs, wood-burning fireplaces, private decks and iPod docking stations.


The hotel restaurant, Sierra Mar, is a local favourite offering first-class dining with a wine cellar to match, containing over 14,000 bottles. Wooden beams crown enormous picture windows that showcase the views of the mountains, cliffs and ocean. Lunch is a choice of a three-course fixed-price menu or a five-course tasting menu, with or without wine pairing. Dinner ups the ante, offering four or nine courses with dishes that change daily. So if wild boar or abalone aren’t your thing, scallops, rabbit or Alaskan halibut could be just around the corner. The restaurant will even pack you a lunch to take down Highway 1 in the Lexus convertible that guests have full use of.


Nature takes centre stage here, so perhaps it’s no surprise that complimentary activities include daily yoga, guided nature hikes, stargazing and garden tours. Or, that walking sticks and binoculars can be found in every room. Two infinity-edged hot pools – kept at a constant 104 degrees – offer mesmerising views, while a heated lap pool and fitness centre offer energetic alternatives to hiking in the mountains. The spa, meanwhile, uses products made from flowers picked on the estate while treatments range from shamanic rituals to four-handed massages. 

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