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Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

by Sally Bernstein

Post Ranch Inn, a symbol of ecotourism that flourishes in harmony with its environmental surroundings, allows you to sleep amongst the exquisite California redwood trees. If you are into nature, beautiful scenery, hot tubs and guest rooms with no televisions, Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur is for you.

Big Sur is located 150 miles south of San Francisco, close to Monterey, along scenic Highway 1. Actually, Big Sur refers to a 90 mile stretch of rugged and beautiful coastline between Carmel to the north and San Simeon (Hearst Castle) to the south.

Post Ranch Inn, having gained the title "a Shangri-La of the 90s." Completed in 1992 after 8 years in the planning stages, Post Ranch has been touted as California's most exclusive inn, with 40 rooms on 100 acres of land. This politically correct resort respects nature. There are no coach tours, no golfers, no noisy cocktail bars and no beach umbrellas. What you will find are rooms in the form of cottages, some on stilts as if tree houses and some cut into the side of a hill, hence you can practically sleep amongst the redwoods. The rooms are visually impressive and have a comfortable feel. A woodburning fireplace, coffeemaker, minibar with complimentary soft drinks, CD player, massage table and stone-tiled bathtub with whirlpool add to the private ambiance. In-room massages, in front of the fireplace, can be booked as late as 9 p.m.

Although the Inn has few social activities, there is a basking pool where the temperature is kept quite warm and the view is spectacular. Another pool, not nearly so convenient to the rooms, is used for swimming laps. Other activities are a guided nature hike, beach combing, picnics, wine tasting, a passive exercise class and stargazing instruction (weather permitting). Other diversions include yoga classes, a video room, a library and tarot readings by resident astrologer, April May.

The Inn's intimate restaurant, Sierra Mar, is suspended 1200 feet above the pounding Pacific surf, on top of a ridge with requisite breathtaking views. Glass walls afford excellent views and all tables face west and southwest toward the ocean. Guests need advance reservations for the restaurant and non-guests are accommodated on a space available basis. Sierra Mar is a non-smoking restaurant, as are all guest rooms.

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a spectacular view of the California coast, the award winning Sierra Mar Restaurant serves world-class cuisine in an awe-inspiring setting. This Big Sur restaurant features an innovative, four course, prix fixe menu, which changes daily and utilizes organic, seasonal fare. Sierra Mar offers wine selections from one of the most extensive collections in North America. Sierra Mar is open for lunch, late afternoon snacks and dinner. Breakfast is for inn guests only.

All this luxury does not come cheap. Room rates are $550 to $2,185 per night and include a sumptuous continental breakfast buffet served overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Complimentary wine tastings for Inn guests are held Saturday afternoons in the Sierra Mar library. There is a two night minimum stay on weekends and three to four night minimum stay during holidays.

This is the place to commune with nature!

Post Ranch Inn
Highway One
P.O. Box 219
Big Sur, CA 93920 (Monterey County)
Phone: (408) 667-2200 or (800) 527-2200; Fax: (408) 667-2824

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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