It has been rightfully dubbed the most beautiful hotel in America, if not the world. And once you get there, you might feel the same way. It’s small, only housing 39 rooms, but they are spectacular in their own unique way. You can enjoy a very romantic and private stay and the Post Ranch Inn, all in natural surroundings.

Here you have everything you could possibly want. The Pacific Ocean on one side, the mountains of Big Sur on another and an entire hillside covered in forest. In fact, The Inn has a series of luxurious tree houses which you can rent and spend your days among the highest of trees.

There are no alarm clocks or TVs at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, as the guests are expected and encouraged to relax and enjoy nature. They are also desired to spend time with themselves and their loved ones while here instead of focusing on day-to-day activities. Here is a detailed review of the outstanding location that is Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California.

post ranch inn side view overlooking ocean

Accommodation type: 5-star hotel

No. of Rooms & Suites: 39, including tree houses and ocean houses

Pricing: starts at $595 per room. The upper limit is $2,085. The average price per room is $1,200. Pricing depends on the type of room

High season: April to October

Nearest airport: Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY)

Suitable for: couples, honeymooners, nature lovers, food enthusiasts


  • Best Hotel in the World for Design, Favorite Overseas Holidays Hotel in the Americas and the Caribbean, and The Best of the Best Worldwide in 2016 by the Conde Nast Traveler UK
  • US Hideaway, Best Food and Wine Resort, and Best Spa Resort in 2016 by the Andrew Harper, Reader’s Choice
  • Grand Award for 2016 by the Wine Spectator
  • Number one hotel in California, Number 5 in the USA and Number 13 Worldwide in 2015 by Travel + Leisure, The World’s Best Hotels
  • World’s Top 100 Resorts in 2014 by The Robb Report
  • Best Smith Hotel in 2013 by Mr. and Mrs. Smith at the Smith Awards
  • Number 1 for top décor, Number 4 for top food, and Number 6 for Top Service in 2014 by the Zagat Guide, Sierra Mar, and many others.


The hotel has 30 rooms, divided into single rooms, cottages, and tree houses. Everything is eco-friendly and natural when it comes to the Post Ranch Inn, which allows it to blend it with the surrounding redwood forest perfectly. The amazing thing about this hotel is the fact that, no matter which type of rooms you choose, you are guaranteed fabulous vistas.

Some of them face the ocean, some the mountains, while even more face the forest itself, especially the small houses, perched high up in the trees. However, here is one thing you do need to know. Given all these natural surroundings, fog is a problem for the views. Therefore, this idea means that, if you plan to stay there for a single night, you might not even see the ocean or the mountains at all.

All the rooms are designed in a rustic-chic fashion. They have redwood walls, deep earthy tones, and stonework built into them. If you decide to splurge, they can also feature fireplaces that burn actual wood, floors with radiant heating, hot tubs and showers in the outdoors, your own private deck, and everything else you can possibly think of.

You can also rub elbows with some huge celebrities while you are at the Post Ranch Inn. The long list of stars who come to vacation or get married here is simply astonishing, and it includes names such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore or Taylor Swift. Anne Hathaway got married at Post Ranch Inn and Jack Black had his honeymoon here and then told everyone about it at the Jay Leno Show. Apart from these famous people, there are a lot more who simply like to keep it on the down low. That’s why the hotel asks you not to take pictures of them while there unless invited to.

Still, it shouldn’t really matter. Having breakfast five feet away from Anne Hathaway really is something.

post ranch inn inside of a room with ocean view


  • Outdoor showers as well as hot tubs
  • Private decks
  • Complimentary bath products and linens, all organic
  • Freebies which include a very well put together mini bar, coffee, tea, and water whenever you want
  • A private balcony in every room
  • Fireplaces both indoors and outdoors
  • Terry cloth slippers and robes
  • Walking sticks in case you want to go on a hike

As far as food goes, the Post Ranch Inn might just be home to the best restaurant in Big Sur. Therefore, you are in for a treat. Dinner, for example, is made up of five fixed menu courses which change every day. All the food is cooked using organic ingredients. Some examples include Harissa Grilled octopus, Morro Bay oysters on the half shell, as well as Lone Mountain Wagyu Steak.

Apart from the fixed menu, you can also enjoy the following.

  • A free breakfast buffet every day, all gourmet of course
  • Snacks and lunch available all day long. The snacks include caviar, oysters or artisan cheeses.
  • A fantastic wine cellar which numbers approximately 13,000 bottles.

post ranch inn view of jacuzzi in open space overlooking the pacific

Complimentary Activities

  • Stargazing
  • Nature hikes with complimentary walking sticks
  • Yoga and meditation classes, all free
  • Swimming in one of the three pools. Two are for ‘hot basking,’ and one is a lap pool
  • Whale watching
  • Enjoying the fitness and aerobic center and the Post Ranch Inn
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Vibrational resonance
  • Reiki
  • Visiting the onsite shaman to help you with your wellbeing by guiding you on the path to illumination or soul retrieval. He also organizes divination sessions as well as drum and fire ceremonies.

Travel Options

The way to get to the Post Ranch Inn is on Highway 1, and you are in luck because of that. Highway 1 is considered to be the most scenic of all routes in California. However, make sure you check before you go because there are occasional mudslides which close it down.

Considering the highway, it’s a two-hour drive to the nearest airport, which is San Jose International Airport. You can also come through the San Francisco International Airport, but then it will be a two and a half hour drive until you get to the Post Ranch Inn.

post ranch inn view of terrace on the cliff side overlooking the ocean at sunset

Main Attractions Around the Post Ranch Inn

Seeing as this is, possibly, one of the best hotels in the entire world, it is not easy to pick just one thing and call it its main attraction. In fact, everything is an attraction when you come to the Post Ranch Inn. From the fantastic food to the luxurious rooms to the activities that you can do here and the nature surrounding it.

However, the best thing about it might just be the sights. From every room of this lovely hotel, guests can see, right from their bed, the endless oceans, imposing mountains or miles after miles of redwood forest

While you are there if you also want to do a bit of visiting while relaxing, here are some of the attractions you can easily go to.

post ranch inn staircase linking treehouses

  • The Big Sur Village, which is only eight minutes away by car
  • Point Sur Lighthouse, 15 minutes by car plus hiking on a steep slope for half a mile
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park which is 15 minutes away and where you can see some coastal hikes as well as a waterfall
  • Pfeiffer Beach
  • Point Lobos State Reserve, where you can see seals and sea lions
  • Kirk Creek Campground which is 4o minutes away and which gives access to a beach
  • The Henry Miller Library is only four minutes away. You can see the writer’s sculpture gardens, his archives, as well as his musical performances.

post ranch inn treehouse on a steep slope side view

Final Words

Once you go to the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California, you will never want to go anywhere else again.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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