Post Ranch Inn
A secluded, adults-only nature retreat in California’s Big Sur, Post Ranch Inn revels in its enviable setting between the mountains and the sea, offering staggering views of both from its clifftop perch. This boutique bolthole embraces nature while providing guests with luxuries from beginning to end, including fine food, wellness experiences, plunge pools, inclusive activities and beautifully designed rooms. All these attributes, and more, have led Post Ranch Inn to be considered one of the best hotels in California, if not the USA more widely.
Post Ranch Inn is an environmentally conscious hotel in Big Sur, hewn from wood and slate, powered by solar panels, and with Lexus hybrids as the vehicle of choice. The attractive exterior (and interiors, for that matter) were designed in harmony with its pristine surroundings, and the result is a tasteful, if not breathtaking place that makes you feel instantly relaxed and at one with nature. Here, 150 miles south of San Francisco on Highway One (or 300 miles north of Los Angeles), you are enveloped by a hundred acres of Redwood forest, and rugged heathland spilling down to the sea 1,200ft below. The Pacific Ocean is so wonderfully close, framed at every opportunity via large glass windows or open terraces; you can even see whales breaching from here.
It’s no coincidence then that Post Ranch Inn’s 39 rooms and suites are expertly crafted refuges, set in the forest or facing the open ocean to ensure each visitor has something very beautiful to look at. Inside, wood-burning fireplaces create a cosy atmosphere, complemented by locally made throws, leather armchairs and redwood finishes. What’s more, there are no TVs or alarm clocks to be found anywhere, encouraging you to unwind, get comfy and surrender to the soothing Big Sur surroundings. Slip into a fluffy bathrobe, grab something from the complimentary minibar and look through a pair of binoculars to catch sight of birds and whales – if staying in the Peak House, soak in your al fresco hot tub as you do so.
When you’re ready to leave your treehouse sanctuary, take your pick from morning yoga or meditation sessions, Tai Chi classes, spa treatments, guided nature walks and evening stargazing with an expert (Post Ranch Inn has its own telescopes). There are countless hiking trails in Big Sur and beyond, art galleries (although again, the hotel has its own too), but if you’re looking for something a little bit different, why not meet a shaman, try crystal therapy or take part in a fire ceremony? Finally, succumb to the warm waters of Post Ranch Inn’s two ocean-facing pools, or go for a swim in the lap pool, lined with sun loungers.
In keeping with its eco credentials, Post Ranch Inn aims to use as many organic ingredients as possible in its one and only restaurant, Sierra Mar, with its own kitchen garden supplying much of this. Chef Craig von Foerster is at the helm here, dreaming up a fixed menu every day that draws on seasonal produce, transforming into dishes inspired by Californian, Asian and European cuisine. The view is maximised through huge glass windows, and a terrace outside that’s perfect for sundowners. Choose from a 2,600-strong wine menu or opt for a handcrafted cocktail, as you drink in the sight of the ocean and, with a bit of luck, a breaching whale in the distance.
Post Ranch Inn Facilities
39 rustic-chic guestrooms enjoy either ocean or mountain views, a terrace, some with a private plunge pool or outdoor Jacuzzi too.
Post Ranch Inn is 150 miles south of San Francisco on Highway One (or 300 miles north of Los Angeles), enveloped by 100 acres of Redwood forest and sea below.