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Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort 4.5

Big Sur, California, United States

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This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.

Review Summary

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  • Picturesque setting with beautiful views
  • Luxurious, streamlined rooms feature flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and iPod docks
  • Slate bathrooms with separate showers and tubs
  • Large spa with extensive treatment options, two Japanese baths, a sauna, and two pools
  • Top-notch restaurant with an extensive wine list
  • Tons of freebies -- free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, free nature walks and yoga classes, and free afternoon reception


  • Daily resort fee to cover the so-called "freebies"
  • Clothing-optional pool may not be to everyone's taste
  • Overall, resort is not family-friendly

Bottom Line

Situated on more than 200 acres of picturesque oceanfront land, The Ventana Inn & Spa looks like a rustic cabin nestled in the woods -- yet it features 62 luxurious, streamlined rooms with wooden accents, refreshing pops of color, and modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. Many rooms have fireplaces, creating a cozy retreat vibe to fit with its surroundings -- though glass doors and large windows keep the rooms feeling bright and airy. Not a place for families, the overall goal of the hotel is to create a zen, holistic retreat with such offerings as yoga classes, discovery walks; afternoon wine and cheese, Japanese baths, and two pools (one of which is clothing optional). But access to these "freebies" aren't technically free -- they're included in the daily resort fee.

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Along scenic Highway 1 in Big Sur

One of the most stunning places in the world, Big Sur is defined by redwood forests and craggy cliffs plummeting into the Pacific Ocean. With beautiful landscapes and natural thermal springs, Big Sur is a place that encourages soul searching, and there are numerous hippie camps, spas, and spiritual retreats in the area to do just that. But Big Sur is not just for sitting back and putting your feet up. In fact, it's an active person's dream: Most of the area is composed of parks with more than 237 miles of hiking trails along the coast.

Big Sur's economy is based on tourism, and therefore there are numerous shops, galleries, and restaurants in the area catering to visitors. Getting around is mostly done along Highway 1, arguably the most scenic route in California, but occasional mudslides can close it down.

  • 2-hour and 30-minute drive to San Jose International Airport
  • 3-hour drive to San Francisco International Airport
  • 5-minute drive to Big Sur Village
  • 5-minute drive to Point Sur Lighthouse (plus a steep half-mile hike)
  • 5-minute drive to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, home to a waterfall and coastal hikes
  • 5-minute drive to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park's redwood trails
  • 10-minute drive to Pfeiffer Beach
  • 20-minute drive to Bixby Bridge, one of the highest single span bridges in the world with spectacular views
  • 40-minute drive to Point Lobos State Reserve, popular among sea lions and seals
  • 40-minute drive to Kirk Creek Campground, with beach access
  • 50-minute drive to Carmel
  • 50-minute drive to Jade Cove
  • 1-hour drive to Monterey
  • 1-hour drive to the Henry Miller Library, home to the artist/writer's archives and a sculpture garden, and host to musical performances

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48123 Highway One, Big Sur, California 93920-9538, United States


(831) 667-2331

Also Known As

  • Ventana Inn & Spa

Room Types

  • Big Sur Spa Suite
  • Big Sur Suite
  • Pacific House Room
  • Superior Fireplace Room
  • The Cottage
  • Ventana Fireplace Room
  • Ventana Guestroom
  • Villa
  • Vista Hot Tub Suite

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