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Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur, California

Imagine the cool beauty of a morning on the sea, the crisp salt-tinged air invigorating your senses as the sun rises over the lush hills of Central California, and you will picture the fabulous Ventana Inn & Spa. Perched on a hillside overlooking the Pacific, on 213 verdant acres in Big Sur, the rustic elegance of this stunning resort allows it to blend harmoniously with its surroundings, creating a sense of true tranquility and relaxation. Bright and charming rooms are a wonderful blend of sleek modern luxury and the charm of a country cabin, with a breezy open design that allows a seamless transition from indoors to out. Gorgeous tiled or hardwood floors lead past plush beds and picture windows, out to your own private deck with sweeping views of the coast. Complete with an elegant bathroom and deep soaking tub, as well as wonderful and friendly service, your stay at Ventana Inn & Spa will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated, and at complete peace.

On your first day, wake to the gentle sounds of the coast, and take part in a yoga or pilates class before heading out for a fabulous day. Enjoy a guided hike through the redwood forest and gaze upon shimmering waterfalls and breathtaking ocean views, then return to the resort for a relaxing afternoon wine and cheese reception. Venture out to Pfeffer Big Sur State park or Andrew Molera State Park for a day of hiking, or mountain bike along the Big Sur River and miles of gorgeous trails. Later, take a casual stroll through the many wonderful art galleries in Big Sur, and shop for international and local works at the Hawthorne Gallery, Big Sur Arts Center, or the Cast Gallery Big Sur. That afternoon, after a wonderful day in the mountains, stretch out next to one of the two pools, one of which is clothing-optional, and soak in the delicious sunlight before evening falls. Before dinner, pamper yourself with a trip to the Spa at Ventana where you will melt under the practiced hands of a masseuse. With the stars shining brilliantly over the coast sit down to a fabulous meal, featuring gourmet international cuisine with hints of both mountain fare and the Pacific-rim, and relax away the night in the serene embrace of Ventana Inn & Spa.

Location of Ventana Inn & Spa

Ventana Inn & Spa
48123 Highway One
Big Sur, California

Nearest Airport: MRY

Amenities for Ventana Inn & Spa

  • General Information
  • 60 Guest Rooms and Suites
  • Adults Only
  • Ecologically Sustainable Practices
  • Handicap Accessible Rooms
  • Pets Not Permitted
  • Dining
  • Private Dining
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service
  • Organic Cuisine
  • Picnics
  • On-Site Amenities
  • Concierge
  • Shuttle Service
  • Spa on Property
  • Complimentary Newspaper
  • Housekeeping Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Library
  • Walking Trails
  • Fitness Room
  • WiFi
  • Sauna
  • High-Speed Internet Access
  • Terrace
  • Art Collection
  • Boutique
  • In-Room Spa Services
  • Sun Deck
  • Outdoor Spa Treatments
  • Jogging Path
  • 2 Outdoor Heated Pools
  • In-Room Amenities
  • Private Patios or Balconies
  • Turndown Service
  • Direct Dial Telephones
  • DVD Players
  • Fireplaces
  • Hair Dryers
  • In-Room Safes
  • Mini Bar
  • iPod Docks
  • Iron/Ironing Boards
  • Flat-Screen Televisions
  • Luxury Linens
  • Coffee & Tea Facilities
  • Luxury Bath Amenities
  • Hammocks
  • Private Decks
  • Bathrobes & Slippers
  • Activities
  • Bicycling
  • Cooking Classes
  • Hiking
  • Wine Tasting
  • Mountain Biking
  • Nature Walks
  • Yoga
  • Whale Watching
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Nature Hikes
  • Business
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Nearby
  • Shopping
  • Wineries
  • Art Galleries
  • Museums
  • Golf
  • Beaches
  • Parks
  • Vineyards
  • Interests
  • Eco Friendly Luxury Vacations
  • Honeymoons & Romance
  • Spa & Wellness

Reviews for Ventana Inn & Spa

Now featuring traveler reviews from:


TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 9 hours ago

My wife and I stayed here 6 years ago. Within the past couple of years, the property was purchased and renovated by Alila Hotels and Resorts. We like the updates. This is one of our favorite places in the world for relaxing and sightseeing. There is now a game room and wine tasting/tea and coffee area adjacent to Reception. There is a dry sauna and small infinity hot tub. The hot baths have been moved by the (heated) Mountain Pool; that area is now the clothing optional area. There is an organic garden by the meadow area. There is a yoga studio and gift shop (Glass House Gallery). There is a control gate just past the turnoff to the restaurant, The Sur House. The hotel provides transportation to The Sur House and nearby restaurants. The staff was friendly and helpful. The hotel is dog friendly. Our room #18 was in the Valley House and faced the woods behind the property. The room was spacious. There was a soaking tub with large windows that opened to the bedroom. The bed was comfortable. There were pump bottles in the shower for good quality shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel. There was a balcony outside for enjoying the views. There were walking sticks by the front door. We liked dining at the spacious outdoor patio at The Sur House with fabulous views of the coast and Big Sur. There was good variety on the menu, and the food was tasty. Each afternoon (between 4-5 pm, as I recall), the Ventana Big Sur hosted a wine tasting. There would be 1 white wine and 1 red wine from a California winery, and 1 wine from abroad (at a similar latitude to California). The two days I stayed at the hotel, the local wines were from Sonoma County and Mendocino County. The international wines were from Argentina and Italy. The Chef at The Sur House selected two cheeses (and crackers and garnishes) to pair with the wines. The pairings were very good. I enjoyed sipping on the wines in the comfortable rocking chairs while sitting outside and viewing the coast. We loved walking the trail around the property, less than 2 miles. It was a serene, blissful experience. Just past the Meadow Pool area, you come to a circle of magnificent redwood trees, perfect for reflection and contemplation. The property is up on a hillside, so you get wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean and Big Sur area as you walk along the Organic Garden area. The hotel is not far from Andrew Molera State Park and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Some of the trails are still closed, so check before you go. We were able to get to the beach at Andrew Molera SP, and to an overlook for the waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP. One of the hotel staff told me about a handy app called Maplets ($2.99 US) to which you can download maps of the nearby state parks. This is a Virtuoso property. So, it is worthwhile booking through a Virtuoso travel agent. Among the benefits we received were a $100 hotel credit, and $90 off of each breakfast. We also got a room upgrade on arrival, because the upgrade was available. There was a problem with the accounting system, and I had to point out that the breakfast credits were not properly applied when I checked the final bill. The correct credits were applied on the spot.

jandc8491 - Wilmington, Delaware

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 5 days ago

This is the first time I have ever written a 1 Star review on TripAdvisor. Do not spend your money here. And, do not take your dog or service animal to this hotel. Read this review to the end so you fully understand why we are telling you to avoid this hotel! Please do not be fooled by this hotel being dog friendly despite their false advertising on their website. From the moment we stepped into this hotel with our dog, we felt that the same courtesy did not extend to guests who had dogs. The only places you can eat or have a cocktail with your dog are in your hotel room or at the hotel restaurant’s outdoor terrace. This would be fine except the terrace is closed from 6pm because it gets too cold (we did not know this and had actually made dinner reservations on the terrace to sit with our dog - only to be told on arrival the terrace was actually closed for dinner throughout our visit). So - as a dog owner, you are relegated to eating room service in your room for dinner (from a more limited menu). Room service takes a long time to arrive and the standard of food is not great. Furthermore, when you show up to the restaurant terrace for breakfast or lunch with your dog, you are shown to a separate section for dog owners where you can enjoy an inferior view as well as metal chairs and tables (whilst all other guests enjoy ocean views and cushioned chairs). This struck us as very odd given it is an outdoor space and no food is prepared outdoors - there is therefore No reason that dog owners should be separated on the terrace. When we looked puzzled by this, we were asked if our dog was a service dog (it isn't legal to ask) and when we informed them that she was, they asked us whether she was a medical service dog for a specific condition (also not legal to ask). Already we were feeling incredibly uncomfortable being there with our dog as the general tone was unwelcoming - despite the huge price tag and additional cost you pay to have your dog there with you. We had in fact mentioned that we were traveling to the hotel with our service animal prior to the trip because we must have had an inkling that something was wrong here. All of this we would have tolerated as we’re not ones to complain and we wanted to make the best out of our stay...except on our last night at the hotel our dog got violently ill and we had to rush her to the emergency clinic an hour away where she almost lost her life. She had come into contact with something toxic or poisonous and so began our biggest nightmare imaginable. Having almost lost her the first night in the emergency clinic, she was then admitted to hospital for the following few days while we waited to see if she would pull through. We hadn’t left the hotel grounds at all the day she got sick - we did no hiking, she wasn't off her leash and was sitting near us the entire time. In our opinion, she was exposed to a toxic substance on the hotel grounds which almost ended her life. almost $6,000 hotel bill and another $7,000 in vet bills later...but feeling incredibly grateful and relieved that our dog was alive. Our first thought when we got our dog home safely was to call the hotel and inform them of what had transpired and ask them to review with their gardeners and staff what kind of plants, flowers, pesticides, fertilizers, rat poisons etc. they could potentially have on the property that would be toxic to dogs. We even called the hotel separately to speak to the gardener - and our call wasn’t returned. Our major concern was that no other dogs could be harmed and that we did all we could to protect any other dog owners from the nightmare we had endured. The general manager and management could not have been less concerned or ruder. We were flabbergasted! Zero concern for our concern for customer service…and zero concern for trying to figure out what had actually happened to make sure no other hotel guests would go through the trauma we had. All the general manager could do was argue aggressively with us and tell us there were no harmful substances on property or in the area (apparently she knows everything). But in the next sentence, she informed us that she did not actually know what was on the property. She shut down any requests from us to try to find out what was on the hotel grounds that could be harmful. She then decided to ignore our calls (have front desk tell us she was unavailable) and avoid dealing with the situation. We will never be able to get to the bottom of what is on the property which (in our opinion) made our dog so sick - because they don’t care enough to cooperate with us and figure it out. They basically told us “tough luck” and it was probably our own fault….which is horrifying to hear when you have endured your worst nightmare. We love our dog more than anything and are incredibly careful with her and have our eyes on her at all times. It was beyond insulting to be spoken to in such a manner. They could have shown they cared by simply conducting an investigation and letting us know what kinds of flowers/plants, pesticides, fertilizers, rat traps, rat poisons, etc. they use on property (in fact, our vets were asking us to get this information for them when they were treating our dog). By the way - when we first checked in - we specifically asked what was on the hotel grounds or in the big sur area that could be toxic to dogs. We were told the only thing to watch out for was poison oak - which isn’t harmful to dogs. This is laughable…at the vet clinic we discovered there are quite a few things in the area that are toxic to dogs. We also asked management to look into this information so they could properly inform guests checking in with dogs what hazards to look out for. Again - the General Manager got aggressive with us and basically told us we were being ridiculous to even bring this up. This hotel could not care less about its customers (evident by the rude and aggressive manner in which the general manager and manager spoke to us). And it definitely could not care less about your dog or the safety of your dog. They will however gladly take tons of your money and then insult you if you dare raise any questions or criticism. The most horrifying customer service we have ever dealt with. If you want to treat yourself for a special occasion (as we were doing for a 40th birthday)….take your money elsewhere to the other luxury hotels in beautiful locations. And if you are a dog owner - go to the Napa hotels (Bardessono, North Block) or Carmel hotels with your furry baby as they truly are dog friendly and care about your experience with your animal on their hotel property. You won’t be shown into special outdoor ‘dog areas’ or be asked continuously if your dog is a service dog. Hands down one of the worst weekends of our lives. And a huge bill at the end of it. But so thankful our dog is alive despite it all. All we can do now is to tell everyone else to be careful and avoid taking your dog to this hotel!! Don’t do it! Oh - and if you’re not a dog owner….we would still tell you to avoid spending your money here. It is truly not worth the extortionate price tag. Not worth it based on the standard of room quality, the general standard of service or food or the level of customer service you receive. Our room was never cleaned well….bath salts weren’t replaced…towels looked dirty….and room service took over an hour to arrive with the wrong food items. Staff is generally uninformed of any questions you may have….and actually seem disinterested in guest services. You will have a much better experience at other luxury hotels that charge a fraction of the price. They are getting away with this price tag solely based on the beauty of the surrounding area and the fact that they will ignore the complaints or concerns of paying guests. If you scroll through the reviews and read the ones where guests have come into contact with management….you will see a definite theme and pattern on how this hotel deals with any sort of conflict. Avoid at all costs.

E P - London

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 5 days ago

My husband and i stayed for 3 nights last November for the first time and have already booked a return trip for later this year. The resort is rustic and luxurious Pacific room with private hot tub on our deck looking at the meadow in the most magical place(BIG SUR) motivates me to continue working hard so we can return every year!!!! Cant wait for our return.

Shannon Y

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 6 days ago

When you're spending top dollar for a resort, you expect to be treated like a valued guest. While Ventana is a nice physical property, the level of service was very much not up to par.... not just of a destination in this category, but even when compared to much more pedestrian brands. At first glance all seemed great. We received a welcome and preference-request email a few days before our arrival, the staff at the gatehouse asked us our name and callled it up to the front desk, and all seemed well-arranged. Then, when we arrived to the lobby the very first question was

3triple9 - Toronto, Ontario

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 6 days ago

While we felt the grounds & staff were wonderful, I think we wouldn't come back. There is a serious lack of food options at the resort- and in the area in general. And considering this, when you are paying $1400+ a night, I would expect this resort to have anything & everything you could possibly need.

JJM789 - Santa Rosa, California

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