The Best Inns and Hotels in Big Sur, California

The rugged coastline of Big Sur, where towering redwood forests meet dramatic oceanside cliffs, is one of the worlds most impressive natural wonders
The rugged coastline of Big Sur, where towering redwood forests meet dramatic oceanside cliffs, is one of the world's most impressive natural wonders | © Ethan Dow / Unsplash
Mandi Keighran

Cameras at the ready: this rugged stretch of California coastline is known for towering redwood forests that give way to dramatic oceanside cliffs. Travelers, artists and writers come here for a reason – find inspiration yourself by staying in one of the best inns and hotels in Big Sur.

1. Post Ranch Inn

Resort, Inn, Hotel, Treehouse

Post Ranch Inn Treehouse lounge | Courtesy of Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
Courtesy of Post Ranch Inn
Perched 1,200 feet (366m) above the Pacific Ocean, on the cliffs of Big Sur, this luxury resort is a true escape from the everyday. The 39 rooms embrace rustic elegance and offer either sweeping ocean vistas or picture-perfect mountain views. Watch the sun melt into the ocean in the evening from its award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant, where you can enjoy a daily four-course fixed menu and an acclaimed wine list with over 15,000 bottles. Elsewhere, the spa offers a range of signature treatments, including astrology readings and gemstone therapy.

2. Ventana Big Sur

Resort, Eco Hotel

The outdoor pool with sunbeds, lined with plants and greenery, at Ventana Big Sur
Courtesy of Ventana Big Sur / Expedia

There are vast accommodation options at Ventana Big Sur – some rooms have forest showers, some boast hot tubs, while others are built around wood-burning fireplaces. But to really connect with nature and indulge in a glamping experience, spend the night in one of the safari-style tent cabins – each tent offers expansive views over a 20-acre (8ha) canyon and comes equipped with a luxurious bed, a firepit, cooler and s’mores ingredients to bring the camping experience to life. Venturing out for the day? Pick up one of the gourmet picnic kits or hiker’s lunches on offer.

3. Big Sur Lodge

Lodge

Big Sur Lodge
Courtesy of Big Sur Lodge / Expedia

Follow in the footsteps of generations of travelers, artists and writers, and surround yourself with the majesty of Big Sur’s ancient redwoods of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, which is also called “mini-Yosemite” thanks to its natural beauty. Accommodation options at Big Sur Lodge span from cosy rooms to cottages that sleep up to four and feature convenient kitchenettes, making it an ideal family getaway. A dip in its pool and a trip to its restaurant, overlooking a picturesque creek, should be on the agenda.

4. Glen Oaks

Lodge

This collection of retro-inspired cottages and cabins is set in the heart of Big Sur, with rooms ranging from cabins in the motor lodge to cosy one-bedroom cottages with decks and fireplaces and outdoor soaking tubs. The most impressive? A private two-bedroom house, Bridge House, hidden in the redwoods and accessible only by a 150-foot (46m) suspension bridge over the Big Sur River. Pay a visit to the Big Sur Roadhouse for delicious Californian cuisine with a focus on seasonal, local ingredients – it’s fitted out with artworks by San Francisco designer Steve Justrich to foster “homegrown modernism” vibes.

5. Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

Inn, Hotel

Located on the edge of the redwood forest, Deetjen’s has been welcoming guests since the 1930s. Rooms at the inn, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, are a celebration of simple luxury, and there is a beautiful garden complete with a waterfall splashing into a creek. If you want to gain insight into the history of the place, sign up for a tour of the inn, which takes place every Tuesday through to Saturday at 10am.

6. Treebones

Resort, Hotel

Get back to nature in this yurt village – a completely off-the-grid eco-glamping resort with a mission to protect the natural environment of Big Sur. The plush yurts have comfy beds, tables and chairs, running water and redwood decks with ocean views. For something a bit fancier, book the Autonomous tent, which boasts more than 500 square feet (46 square meters) of living space, a gas fireplace and a clawfoot bathtub. For a truly unique experience, go for the “human nest,” a timber nest structure created by Big Sur artist Jayson Fann that lets you camp under the open skies.

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