This experience comes from Sarah Martiniak, David Ourisman’s assistant. See below for her colorful description and photos of a very special Inn sitting on the edge of California’s Golden Coast.
We have sent a handful of clients to Post Ranch Inn. On several trips along the California Coastline, I noticed the sign for property, and was intrigued with this location along the coast in Big Sur. Being a Virtuoso property convenient for me to visit, I thought I would!
On the way to the Post Ranch Inn you are introduced to rugged beauty of the Big Sur coast, driving along the sea cliff looking down at surf crashing on giant boulders, with the infinite sea stretching to the horizon under wispy clouds and swooping condors.
Arriving at the Post Ranch, you wend your way through a bucolic terrain with a serene pond, a meadow, a redwood grove, ending at the reception structure – a graceful arched, wood, glass and steel structure nestled into the hillside – designed by the noted architect, Mickey Meunnig who designed the restaurant and many of the lodging structures.
There, you are immediately immersed in the luxurious pampering you will experience. You are warmly and promptly greeted by a staff member who transfers your belongings to one of the standard transport vehicles – a silent Lexus hybrid – whisks your car away. You check in by the wood fire, sipping a warm beverage and are introduced to the property by the friendly and informative reception staff. The property has a rich history, originally a ranch developed and operated by the Post family, pioneers in this area of California.
After check in, you are driven to your room. The lodgings are separate one or two unit structures strung along either side of the path on the crest of the ridge overlooking the ocean. The structures on the sea side overhang the ocean. Among them are the unique “Ocean” structures – dug into the hillside overlooking the ocean with a roof of turf. The “Coast” structures are two level undulating structures with balconies over the ocean. These have a lower unit dug into the hillside, and an upper unit above. On the other side of the path are the “Treehouses”, butterfly shaped structures elevated on stilts with views of both sides of the crest – ocean to the West, and the wooded valley to the East.
There are no televisions in the rooms, a conscious decision of the Ranch, favoring instead a fine stereo with a wide selection of music available in many genres to enhance, rather than distract from, your enjoyment of the setting.
The restaurant is another architectural gem, with superb cuisine and a great wine selection. There was a local astronomer with a huge 200 centimeter telescope on the outside patio of the restaurant. Between course we saw the moons of Jupiter and distant galaxies with astonishing clarity in the abundant night skies unspoiled by urban light pollution.
We walked on the various hiking paths on the property, and off the property. Across the road is a trail past the Ventana Inn and up the mountain side with still more panoramic ocean and valley views.
We enjoyed the basking and meditation hot pools, immersed in warm water and watching the ocean below us. Every detail here is perfect and these pools are no exception, one being made of curved stainless steel with slate steps, the other of tile and ocean-washed jadestone found only at Big Sur.
Sitting on the deck of our room, soaking in the afternoon sun was a sensual experience. And it was equally enchanting at night with a star filled sky above, a moon-reflecting ocean below, gentle music playing, while the fireplace crackled nearby
This place is special. Unique. The best.
Post Ranch Inn is a great alternative to the wine country for Bay Area residents. It is more of a getaway, now that the wine country has become fairly populous and built up. While remote, it is also a few steps from Ventana, another fine resort, and Nepenthe, a famous restaurant overlooking the ocean. These provide nice dining alternatives to the Sierra Mar restaurant on the Ranch.
This is a perfect escape for those who live within driving distance or for people traveling on the California Coast. It is a “hidden gem” to say the least!