Post Ranch Inn
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Big Sur, California 93920
Simply put, we know of no finer place in the U.S. to propose, honeymoon, or slip away with your sweetheart than Post Ranch Inn. It's a bold statement, to be sure, but one we'd bet the house on. The sublime experience here is unmatched and worth every single penny. It delivers the spectacularly rugged Big Sur coastline from an elegant and architecturally stunning perchright off scenic Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Monterey, and 30 miles south of Carmel, California. (The nearest(+) More
Simply put, we know of no finer place in the U.S. to propose, honeymoon, or slip away with your sweetheart than Post Ranch Inn. It's a bold statement, to be sure, but one we'd bet the house on. The sublime experience here is unmatched and worth every single penny. It delivers the spectacularly rugged Big Sur coastline from an elegant and architecturally stunning perchright off scenic Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Monterey, and 30 miles south of Carmel, California. (The nearest airport is an hour away, in Monterey.)
Along with panoramic Pacific vistas and aromatic forests, you'll find polished redwood, outdoor heated pools, and floor-to-ceiling windows (with jaw-dropping views) that bring you within a pinecone's breath of the unspoiled wilderness. This level of harmonious convergence between nature and luxury is a rare thing indeed.
Undeniably intimate and romantic, the inn's 40 guestrooms and two houses offer rustic-chic comfort and cozy touches like wood-burning fireplaces, indoor and outdoor spa tubs perched on the hillside's edge, and private decks. While there are no TVs (why bother here?), there are state-of-the-art add-ons like wall-controlled shades. Many units are built right into the hillside with earthen roofs; other treehouse-like structures were built so as not to disturb the roots during construction.
In truth, the accommodations are so well conceived that it will be hard to leave your room. But when you do, more unforgettable treasures await. A steel- and infinity-edged soaking tub, set like a blue marble where the earth meets the distant horizon, is so meditative that you may have to be dragged out. The green jade pool also drops off the cliff face, creating an absolutely magical effect.
Simply walking the grounds is enough to make you shake your head in wonder while admiring expert craftsmanship, ancient redwoods and oaks, and the distant Ventana mountains. There are plenty of daily complimentary activitiesfrom morning yoga to nature walks to stargazing with the resident astronomer. Or do nothing. Or indulge at the perennially award-winning Post Ranch Spa. Or, better yet, retire to your room and have a masseuse come to your private deck. Or do nothing.
The remote location, rustically elegant rooms, and sheer artistry of the place make the Post Ranch Inn a potent once-in-a-lifetime experience. And, to be expected, the unparalleled setting of Sierra Mar Restaurant also matches the inn in its quality and richness, from the kingly all-you-can-eat breakfast spread to dinner featuring the very best ingredients and artful presentations.
Kim Grant has been writing about the best places to stay in North America since the day after graduating college in 1984. Since then she has written over 35 guidebooks and for countless websites and print publications. She is also the editorial director of a forthcoming website on the best places to stay and the travel acquisitions editor for Countryman Press.(-) Close
Expert Review of Post Ranch Inn
Romance Review of Post Ranch Inn
- Book a dinner for two at Sierra Mar, the ranch's sublimely romantic restaurant that's well worth the splurge. The wine cellar has more than 13,000 bottles.
- Guided nature hikes, morning yoga, and stargazing are among the inn's complimentary activities a couple can enjoy together.