Big Sur, which encompasses around 90 miles of stunning California coastline between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Hearst Castle, has a high demand for accommodations.
Big Sur is distinguished by state parks and the meandering Highway 1, rather than a city core or main streets, in a location where the craggy Santa Lucia Mountains abruptly meet the sea. With such spectacular vistas, Big Sur hotels are few and few between, yet they deliver on coastal beauty.
Many of the hotels along the Big Sur coast are located near the world-famous Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Pfeiffer Beach. On this stretch of the Big Sur coast, hotels range from adults-only five-star resorts to family cabins with fire pits.
A few resorts now offer luxurious glamping alternatives, with canvas yurts and safari-style tents, for a quick connection to the nature of the Big Sur coast.
Big Sur, which is lined with gorgeous roadside attractions, is a favourite route for a road trip along the coast. To bookend the drive, both the north and south ends of the Big Sur coast provide excellent accommodation alternatives. Driving from Carmel-by-the-Sea and Cambria on either side of the Big Sur coast can take all day.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, located to the north, provides magnificent resorts amid the city’s mountains, valleys, and vibrant downtown sector. Further north, in the bayside city of Monterey, boutique hotels and five-star resorts may be found, with some offering gas fireplaces in ocean view suites.
To the south, Cambria hotels provide easy access to Ragged Point and the remainder of the Big Sur Coast, as well as a short drive to famous Hearst Castle.
1.Post Ranch Inn
This five-star hotel goes beyond refinement and style with its ocean and mountain-facing accommodations for the most opulent hotel experience in Big Sur. Every part of staying at the Post Ranch Inn is ideally tailored to relishing the Big Sur coast, from rich décor to unusual luxuries like outdoor infinity tubs overlooking the ocean.
The Post Ranch Inn also serves meals from the Chef’s Garden and has an astronomer on staff with a high-powered telescope.
The Post Ranch Inn offers spa treatments, as well as morning yoga classes and guided nature hikes. Guests at the Post Ranch Inn don’t have to leave the property to enjoy the Big Sur coast to the fullest, and the hotel’s cliffside Sierra Mar restaurant serves superb cuisine with a locally based menu.
The Post Ranch Inn, a favourite place to commemorate a special event, provides honeymoon packages ranging from two to five days.
Location: 47900 CA-1, Big Sur, California
The exquisite lodgings at Ventana Big Sur, an adults-only, 5-star resort in the centre of the Big Sur coastline, geared to a romantic encounter. Ventana’s guest suites include individual terraces with views of the ocean or the lush forest and are located on a 160-acre site densely forested with old-growth redwood trees.
There are fire pits directly outside the door of several rooms. There is lots of land to explore on the property, and the expansive Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is only four miles distant.
Big Sur, California is located at 48123 CA-1.
The Big Sur River Inn, which has a lodge and guest rooms on either side of Highway 1, is popular with families seeking for an extended stay near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
The Big Sur River Inn, one of Big Sur’s oldest hotels and restaurants, has been welcoming tourists for over 80 years. In that period, memorable stays have been honed, and in addition to pleasant furniture and common areas, the hotel boasts a sun-drenched pool with a lounge deck.
The hotel also places a pair of Adirondack chairs in the gently flowing Big Sur River close to the hotel for the ultimate way to cool off during the day.
The nearby Big Sur Restaurant provides breakfast, lunch, and supper while overlooking the river. Weather permitting, the hotel hosts spectacular outdoor music concerts on Sundays, and it is also a popular location for big group meetings such as weddings and reunions.
Big Sur, California is located at 46800 CA-1.
The Big Sur Lodge is located in the middle of the Big Sur coast, surrounded by a tranquil redwood forest. The Big Sur Lodge’s rooms range from simple family cottages to fireplace suites with kitchenettes, and each has a separate furnished porch.
Big Sur Lodge’s Homestead Restaurant provides breakfast, lunch, and supper, while the hotel’s Espresso House sells hot drinks all day.
The motel is popular for family holidays in Big Sur and is a short drive from numerous neighbouring natural wonders such as Pfeiffer Beach.
Location: 47225 CA-1, Big Sur, California
Fernwood Resort, located just north of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, offers contemporary cabins and hotel rooms nestled in a serene redwood forest. Fernwood Resort’s cabins provide fully furnished kitchens, separate living spaces, and a bunk bed set, as well as convenient access to the adjoining state park.
Fernwood Resort also has motel rooms with one or two beds, as well as unique accommodations with private hot tubs.
Location: 47200 CA-1, Big Sur, California
Bernardus Lodge & Spa, located in the green Carmel Valley, inland from Carmel-by-the-Sea and 15 miles north of the end of the Big Sur coast, is one of those places you never want to leave. This four-star resort is set on 28 acres and bordered by vine-covered meadows and orchards. It offers magnificent guest rooms, villas, and suites. Some accommodations have romantic outdoor private spas in addition to luxury furniture and gas heaters.
Bernardus Lodge & Spa provides easy access to the whole Big Sur coastline. With on-site excellent restaurants and a variety of attractions such as a heated pool, guided walks, and spa treatments, a full holiday can be had without leaving the resort.
Other lavish amenities include outdoor lighting tennis courts and free yoga on weekends. The Bernardus Lodge & Spa is a popular wedding destination, and the hotel provides unique packages to assist in the planning of a memorable occasion.
Carmel Valley, California (415 W Carmel Valley Road)
L’Auberge Carmel is a full-service hotel and restaurant located in the picturesque community of Carmel-by-the-Sea, a few miles north of the Big Sur coastline.
The hotel, which was built in 1929, nevertheless exudes old-world European elegance, as do the 20 freshly restored guest rooms. In addition to sumptuous canopy beds and pillow-top mattresses, the guest rooms contain unique characteristics such as authentic antiques and French windows.
With only nine tables accessible, the hotel’s five-star, award-winning Aubergine restaurant gives an extremely intimate experience. Other romantic pleasures at this upscale hotel include a 90-minute couple’s massage and in-room spa services.
The hotel offers special packages such as a sailing adventure package and a Big Sur picnic and hiking package.
Monte Verde Street and 7th Avenue, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
The 48 magnificent guest rooms at this four-star hotel in the Carmel Highlands, near the northern Big Sur border, offer visitors sleeping close to the ocean.
The Hyatt Residence Club Carmel offers ocean-view accommodations and contemporary suites, as well as sumptuous communal areas, including a stunning lobby. The Highlands Inn’s grounds include a heated outdoor pool area with fire pits and lounge chairs.
The California Market at Pacific’s Edge is an award-winning hotel restaurant with seasonal dishes and coastal views. The Sunset Lounge in the hotel also boasts fantastic views of the ocean and is a terrific spot to meet new people or reconnect with old ones. The hotel is close to the Big Sur coast and four minutes from downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, 120 Highlands Drive
This resort is nestled on 500 acres in Carmel Valley and is a tranquil vacation. It is about three miles from the hiking and biking trails at Garland Ranch Regional Park and a 15-minute drive from the beach.
The Carmel Valley Ranch is a Hyatt property in the elite Unbound Collection. The four-star hotel offers only suite accommodations. Suites range in size, but all include private, furnished balconies and fireplaces.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, try out the treetop vineyard oak apartment, which has an outdoor deep soaking tub and lavender aromatherapy bath amenities.
The hotel also has the only Pete Dye-designed bentgrass golf course in Northern California. The par 70 course offers something for all skill levels as well as stunning views. A restaurant, spa with a comprehensive menu of services, a fitness facility, and a kids’ club are all available on the premises. If you’re travelling with a pet, the hotel welcomes them.
Carmel, California is located at 1 Old Ranch Road.
This beautiful four-star hotel, just steps from Cannery Row and set above a coastal cliff, is the best hotel in Monterey. Many of the Monterey Plaza Hotel’s magnificent guest rooms and sumptuous suites feature sweeping views of the ocean or the bay, and some include in-room fireplaces.
The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is less than a 30-minute drive from Garrapata State Park on the Big Sur coast’s northern end, while other central Big Sur attractions, such as Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, are an hour distant.
The Monterey Plaza Hotel has a variety of attractions to keep guests entertained, including a day spa that is available to the public and offers massages, facials, and full-body wraps. The spa sits on the hotel’s top level, with breathtaking ocean views and two calming whirlpools that share the same dramatic outlook.
The hotel’s Tidal Coffee serves fresh pastries and hot drinks on Cannery Row, while the in-house Schooners Coastal Kitchen is an award-winning dining with ocean views.
400 Cannery Row, Monterey, California.
This magnificent resort and spa, located in the centre of Cannery Row near the Monterey Bay Aquarium, has all you need to enjoy a California coastal vacation. Rooms at the InterContinental give a comfortable spot to unwind in between exploring the coast, with breathtaking views of Monterey Bay and the ocean.
The InterContinental Spa offers a variety of revitalising treatments, including a specialist natural skincare approach.
When driving south on Highway 1 along the Big Sur coastline, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is less than 10 miles distant and an excellent first stop.
If you’ve spent the day travelling around Big Sur and arrive at the InterContinental, the historic Cannery Row surrounding the hotel is full with local eateries where you can get a quick bite to eat.
750 Cannery Row, Monterey, California.