The best hotels in Big Sur, CA

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Written By David Em

David Em is the founder of Nola & Luna Travel, the destination for travel advice and inspiration.

Big Sur is a scenic stretch on California’s coast between Carmel and San Simeon. Find out what the best hotels are as you enjoy the views.

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1. Post Ranch Inn

Big Sur view from a balcony at Post Ranch Inn.
Photo courtesy of Post Ranch Inn.

Address: 47900 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Post Ranch Inn is one of the most beautiful adults-only hotels that you’ll stay at. It’s luxurious, romantic, and you’ll see gorgeous views of Big Sur.

The inn is nestled 1,200 feet high above the cliffs with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. At Post Ranch Inn, you’ll be surrounded by redwoods and the majestic mountains of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

There are 40 rooms and private houses that you can stay in. You also have the choice of an ocean or mountain view accommodation. The sunsets from the ocean view rooms and homes are absolutely stunning.

Make a reservation at Post Ranch Inn.

2. Ventana Big Sur

Exterior of a villa at Ventana Big Sur surrounded by trees.
Photo courtesy of Ventana Big Sur.

Address: 48123 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

If you’re looking for a woodsy, outdoor, and rustic adults-only resort, Ventana Big Sur is where you need to stay. It’s a 5-star Alila property owned by Hyatt. The luxurious resort gives you the privacy to recharge and enjoy the serene views.

Ventana Big Sur has 59 rooms and suites that are set on 160 acres. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, you’ll feel harmony with nature.

The resort is surrounded by redwoods and meadows, with views of the mountains. In the distance, you can also catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

Make a reservation at Ventana Big Sur via Booking.com.

3. Cypress Inn

Guestroom at Cypress Inn.
Photo courtesy of Cypress Inn.

Address: Lincoln St & 7 Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921

Cypress Inn is an excellent place to stay if you’re not looking for a luxurious 5-star hotel or resort. It offers a classic 1920s vibe while the 44 guestrooms are decorated with Mediterranean colors and textures. Plus, it’s been a Carmel-by-the-Sea’s landmark boutique hotel since 1929.

It’s also in a great location, as Cypress Inn is a few blocks away from Carmel Beach and right next to downtown Carmel. Another great aspect is that it’s pet-friendly, which means you can bring your furry friend along with you.

If you choose to stay at Cypress Inn, be sure to check out Terry’s Lounge. It’s on-site and is one of the most popular places to dine in Carmel. Terry’s Lounge is known for its tapas and cocktails. Make sure you grab a bit there.

Make a reservation at Cypress Inn via Hotels.com.

4. L’Auberge Carmel

Car parked in front of the L’Auberge Carmel hotel.
Photo courtesy of L’Auberge Carmel.

Address: Monte Verde St &, 7th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

L’Auberge Carmel is a small, upscale, and romantic hotel. It’s charming, has European styling, and is located within walking distance of Carmel Beach. You’ll be in downtown Carmel, close to many restaurants, art galleries, and shops.

The hotel has 20 rooms with views of the courtyard or the ocean. Each room has an older elegant feel, and the bathrooms have heated floors. You can request in-room spa treatments and room service, as well.

During your stay, have dinner at Aubergine. It’s an award-winning restaurant that serves New American fare. The dining experience is intimate and romantic.

Make a reservation at L’Auberge Carmel via Booking.com.

5. Tickle Pink Inn

Exterior of Tickle Pink Inn during sunset.
Photo courtesy of Tickle Pink Inn.

Address: 155 Highlands Dr, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Tickle Pink Inn is a romantic hotel set above the coastline of Big Sur. Being in the Carmel Highlands, you’ll have beautiful ocean views, and the sunsets are hard to beat.

The rooms and suites are spacious and clean. It has an elegant vibe with European furnishings. Some rooms even have a spa and wood-burning fireplace built-in.

During your stay, you’ll get a complimentary bottle of champagne on ice, evening wine and cheese, free movie rentals, continental breakfast, and fresh-baked pastries.

Make a reservation at Tickle Pink Inn via Tripadvisor.

6. Treebones Resort

Yurts surrounded by trees at Treebones Resort.
Photo courtesy of Treebones Resort.

Address: 71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Treebones resort is unique, and you’ll have a fun glamping experience. Instead of a hotel room, you’ll stay in a yurt or campsite. It’s great for enjoying the expansive views of the ocean in a secluded natural setting.

The yurts are upscale, as they have wood floors and decks that wrap around them. Each yurt has a sink with hot and cold water. However, the bathrooms are shared, and they’re a 2-minute walk away.

While you’re there, you can eat at Wild Coast Restaurant or The Sushi Bar. Every morning, there’s a free continental breakfast and yoga classes that you can attend.

Make a reservation at Treebones Resort.

7. Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

Exterior of Deetjen's Big Sur Inn.
Photo courtesy of Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn.

Address: 48865 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn is rustic and was built in the 1930s. It’ll feel like you’re staying in a cabin in the woods, as it’s surrounded by nature.

If you’re looking for a place to stay for one or two nights, this is a great pick. The room doesn’t have a TV or phones. Also, you likely won’t have cell phone service. If you want to get away and disconnect, it’s a solid place to stay.

It’s close to Henry Miller Memorial Library and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn also offers simple American meals at the on-site restaurant.

Make a reservation at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn.

8. Big Sur River Inn

Guestroom with wood walls at Big Sur River Inn.
Photo courtesy of Big Sur River Inn.

Address: 46800 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Big Sur River Inn overlooks the river, and it’s right off of Highway 1. It’s a cozy lodge with friendly staff. You’ll feel welcomed right away.

You can stay in a motel-style room or a riverside suite. For dining, there’s an on-site restaurant that’s open from 9 AM to 9 PM daily.

One of the things that it’s known for is the chairs in the river. You can sit in the wood lawn chairs that are literally in the river.

Make a reservation at Big Sur River Inn via Booking.com.

9. Big Sur Lodge

Exterior of Big Sur Lodge surrounded by trees.
Photo courtesy of Big Sur Lodge.

Address: 47225 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Big Sur Lodge is a rustic place to stay in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The main focus is nature, as you’ll be surrounded by beautiful trees and have access to many outdoor activities nearby.

There are 62 cottage-style rooms with outdoor decks. Big Sur Lodge has different types of rooms depending on the number of people you’re traveling with and what you need.

The lodge is a great fit if you’re planning to disconnect from technology and focus on spending time in nature. While there’s Wi-Fi, it can be spotty and unavailable at times.

Make a reservation at Big Sur Lodge via Booking.com.

Conclusion

There are several great hotels and resorts that you can stay at for your Big Sur trip. If you want a luxurious and upscale location, visit Ventana Big Sur or Post Ranch Inn. For something low-key and romantic, check out L’Auberge Carmel. If you want to get out into nature and stay in a yurt, Treebones Resort is your best bet.

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Featured image courtesy of Canva.

About the author: David Em is the founder of Nola & Luna Travel, the destination for travel advice and inspiration. He launched Nola & Luna Travel to share expert advice, useful tips, unbiased reviews, and inspiration about destinations across the globe.

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