questions abt Big Sur and Post Ranch Inn

Oct 12th, 2007, 04:27 PM
  #1  
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questions abt Big Sur and Post Ranch Inn

We've enjoyed some of the beauty of Big Sur a few times, but not in the last decade or so. Very much looking forward to a return trip. We'll be visiting relatives in the San Francisco area and have the choice of going in June or July. Question: Is one of those two months better for doing Big Sur? Weather-wise? Crowd-wise?
Also: The other few times we were there, we stayed at Big Sur Lodge and once at Ventana (which we liked very much; even liked Big Sur Lodge). Question: Is Post Ranch all that more spectacular than Ventana? This will be a special occasion visit, and I'm thinkng of maybe splurging on a 2-3 night Post Ranch stay-- but every time I think about the enormous cost, I back-pedal. Is that place really worth all that money? (I know this is a very subjective question-- or answer.)
So: If folks think that Post Ranch really is worth breaking the bank for, the question is which accmmodation to choose? Do people have particular favorites?
Thanks for all feedback. I wonder,too, how early it's necessary to get reservations made. Thanks!
poss is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 05:02 PM
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Hi poss,

I've been to Post Ranch Inn several times and we try to return every 2 or 3 years for a two or three night stay. We usually stay in either the Butterfly Rooms or the Tree Houses. I really like staying in the upper Butterfly rooms. They are private and have a nice deck looking towards the mountains.

I've never been to Ventana so I can't compare the two, but my partner has been and he says that Post Ranch Inn's location and design are very different and for the most part superior to Ventana.

The one thing to know before going in is that the rooms while very nice are not luxurious in the Four Seasons sense at all and this puts some people off, especially at the prices they charge. We call the rooms "Opulent Zen". Lots of slate, concrete cast fireplace, minimalist flower arrangements, and custom furniture that is a blend between arts/ crats and modern. I think the rooms are a perfect match for the location.

Some of the comments on tripadvisor on PRI remind me of some of comments on Caneel Bay, which I know you are familiar with. The value of PRI lies in more than just the rooms. The property that the inn is built on is gorgeous and views of the Pacific are breathtaking.

They have recently added 3 new room categories and from the pictures they look very similar in asethetic appeal to the older rooms.

It is a very special and unique place that is hard to describe to one that has not been there. There is a "feeling" that one gets when there.

Here are some photos of our last trip:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slidesho...Uy=f03p9u&Ux=1

Hope this helps.
iamq is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 10:13 PM
  #3  
meo
 
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The Post Ranch Inn is our absolute favorite place to stay in California. We stay in one of the Coast units (I think the name is Post, but I'm not positive about that). The coast rooms overlook the ocean and everything is unbelievable - architecture, serenity, quality of service, etc., etc. The Sierra Mar restaurant is excellent. I have a feeling June might be foggier than July. The reservationist should be able to help you with that, and I would recommend making your reservations soon.
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Oct 13th, 2007, 10:41 AM
  #4  
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Hi Bill, hi Meo-- thanks for your comments.

Actually, we've been on the PRI property-- had dinner at the restaurant when we were last in the area. No question about it-- that setting is incomparable. We thought that the meal, by the way, was fine, but not a truly memorable one (again, except for the setting).
The reason we stay at Caneel is that the main thing we go to St John for is the snorkeling-- and Caneel beats anywhere else hands down for covenience; plus we think the grounds are terrific. When we go to Big Sur, the main thing we'll be interested in is the hiking and of course imbibing the all-around gorgeousness. Since (unlike the situation at Caneel) one has to go off grounds for varied hiking anyway, I keep wondering whether it's worth paying those very steep rates at PR for the view alone (or mainly for the view; I'm sure the rooms are very handsome). I.e. if we hang out at Nepenthe a bit, and do some of those awesome walks with views to die for, I wonder if plunking down $600-700 for a room (or whatever it is, I haven't checked) is truly worth it. I know, I know "worth it" can only be answered by the person her/himself.
Thanks again! I will ponder (and drool).
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Oct 13th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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If by "view" you mean an ocean view - I think PRI will be quite a bit more than $600-$700. Their cheapest rooms may be in that range - but I'm pretty sure most ocean view rooms will be over $1000.
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Oct 13th, 2007, 05:11 PM
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janis is right. The ocean view rooms start at around $1100.00 and go up to $2100 a night.
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Oct 13th, 2007, 05:28 PM
  #7  
GerdaFaust
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I was at Ventana about 5 years ago, and at PRI this past April. No question about it, PRI wins hands-down. I really think you should do it at least once in your life. I had the Mountain Room, and loved every minute of my time there.
 
Oct 13th, 2007, 08:09 PM
  #8  
 
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jamq, wow. Great pictures! I'd love to stay at the Post Ranch Inn but the prices are a bit out of my budget. Your photos really bring out the beauty and feel for the area though.
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Oct 13th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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TahitiTams
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Bill's photos of Post Ranch Inn are stunning and the property looks so gorgeous..
Here is a website for Big Sur and hit the link for lodging..
Best..

bigsurcalifornia.org
 
Oct 13th, 2007, 08:44 PM
  #10  
TahitiTams
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webcam at Nepenthe

nepenthebigsur.com/images/b.jpg
 
Oct 13th, 2007, 09:26 PM
  #11  
meo
 
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I'd say if you have the money, it's worth staying at the Post Ranch Inn in the best room you can afford (they are all fabulous). If you don't have the money, it wouldn't be worth going into debt (well, maybe briefly in debt...but not so you can't sleep at night!).

Is Ventana a lot less? If they are close in price, I'd go with Post Ranch Inn.
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Oct 13th, 2007, 10:53 PM
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July is the foggiest month on N. Cal. coast. We can't keep sparklers lit on the 4th of July.
Carmel and Big Sur are busy every month of the year. You could manage the crowds if you stayed at the Post Ranch. The room is for two, why leave?
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Oct 14th, 2007, 06:36 AM
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I love looking at those photographs too! We need to get back there. Those photos were taken in mid February. The weather was amazing. For returning guests they offer a 2 night, mid week deal for $850 in a Butterfly House room and $1000 for a Tree House from November through April. This is what we usually do. They used to throw in two massages in the deal, but alas you have to pay for those now.
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Oct 14th, 2007, 12:39 PM
  #14  
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Yipes! Talk about sticker shock!!
Clearly, if we ever do make our way up into that rarefied air, we'll have to make do with "slumming it," (!) in one of the 3 less expensive accommodations. I'm wondering whether folks think that the "order" of rooms, cost-wise, pretty much reflects the desirability of each kind of room. Does it step up, degree by degree, mainly on the awesomeness of the view, or are the rooms themselves quite different from each other, in size and comfort, e.g.? No doubt privacy is better as one goes up in price, but are any of the less expensive options also nice and private? Would one ever hear neighbors, for instance? Can people walk around in the altogether without having to draw drapes?
Both my husband and myself (now in our 70's) much loved our careers as teachers-- but those careers sure didn't facilitate stays at places like PR.
Thanks once again.
poss is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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Post Ranch Inn is an amazing place. June is less foggy than July. There will be more tourists on our beautiful Highway 1 in June, too.

iamq - thanks for sharing the pix. Loved the infinity/basking pool...paradise.
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Oct 14th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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From what I've seen, the most private rooms are the ocean rooms and they do indeed have the best views and are the most expensive. They are stand alone units. The other rooms that are stand alone units are the Tree House rooms. These are all built among groves of Coast Redwood trees. This is the room in my photos. They are nice and are private, but ours had a very small deck that we never used. The decks in the upper Buttefly rooms are large and have great views of the trees with glimpses of the mountain through the trees. Privacy in the upper Butterfly unit we always try to get is conducive to "altogetherness", as is all the rooms we've stayed in. LOL! No need to draw the drapes and we never hear anyone, even though there are three units on top of each other in each "wing" of the butterfly. The whole place is really quiet. It almost always feels like you have the place to yourself. We went in June one year and the weather was spectacular. Temps in the low 70's and not a cloud in the sky. I kept muttering, "This is unbelievable..." I'd go as early in June as you can.
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Oct 14th, 2007, 03:28 PM
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Poss,
I'd go the first week of June, the earlier the better, before "summer vacation" people come out to play. As Tess and others have said, July is generally foggier. If you can, go during the week for a more serene experience. The height of summer is the busiest time in Big Sur.
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Oct 14th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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Oops! I meant to say there would be less tourists in June than July. LOL! Well, that's typical anywhere, right?
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Oct 14th, 2007, 03:34 PM
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Post Ranch Inn is my favorite place on earth. I've been there 3x.. and have always stayed in a butterfly room-- it's all I can afford. The rooms are great and the beds are heavenly.... so is the bathroom. I think it's worth every penny.
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Oct 14th, 2007, 03:35 PM
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Hey, Tess, hope you're all doing ok now after the spraying. Heard they had a court order to stop the 2nd one. Yay!
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