IS NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF A BANK IN BEVERLY HILLS - NO SIREE, MY FELLOW VAGABONDS, IT'S IN A SAFE AT THE POST RANCH INN AT BIG SUR.
I have dedicated myself, through this blog, to the almost daily task of finding hotels and other places worthy of the nomads, vagabonds and travelers that place design at the top of their list of important attributes for places they lay their heads - not the size of the communal hot tub or how good WIFI is or the free slippers (ugh!).
I have known about the Post Ranch Inn for a number of years. It is regularly voted the No. 1 hotel in America by writers, travel bloggers and various other travel media bloviators. Of course, most of these "experts" have, more than likely, never stayed there. I mean, even Conde Naste doesn't budget for the insane prices of this "Sanctuary for The Soul"- their tagline not mine. The prices for this place several hundred feet above the Pacific start at $1,225 for a non ocean view "tree house" to an utterly usurious $2,000 for the cu de "room with a view", depending on the season. My fellow vagabonds, do the math. At those prices and an 80% occupancy rate that works out to an Average Annual Take of $17,081,600 ($1,500 Average per Night x 39 Rooms X 365 days x .8 = $17,081,600). To quote John McEnroe - YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!!!
And everybody doesn't get a warm and fuzzy after plunking down enough dough for two round trip tickets to anywhere in Europe you might want to venture for one night of heaven on the Pacific. If you don't believe me, check out the review by a less than impressed former guest.
Put Lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig!!!!!
The great bit is the location and the views. That's where it finished for me, all down hill from there.
We had booked 2 nights in an ocean view room, we were told we had to move which was not a problem. However on check in we were told the room we had booked for the second night wasn't available and they had upgraded us to a tree house, which was actually cheaper. After a short protest they found an ocean view room, and agreed to maintain the rate. When we booked I mentioned my daughter may be with us, however on check in I was told there was a $200 per evening surcharge to cover laundry and the breakfast that was included.
Ok so to the room, basically the rooms need to be completely gutted and refitted. Back in the 70's they would probably just about be acceptable. There were so many things falling to pieces, doors didn't fit, the room was so dark and cold you couldn't really stay in there and relax. An old fashioned aircon unit hung on the wall that was supposed to heat and cool, basically useless and noisy.
The beds, bedding, towels were all so worn out. The slippers there for you to use has been worn by a previous guest, disgusting.
Basically everything inside the door was old and needed to be thrown away that included all the furniture and fittings.
Dinner was an experience as well, we first had a table just inside the door where they were preparing table setting next to us, I asked to me moved. The food was average, not bad but definitely not worth $120 each without drink. There were clear favorite guests there who got all the attention.
Cold night in the room !!!!!! Heating couldn't be left on it was so noisy.
Forgot to mention there are no TVs in the rooms at all and the wifi is painfully slow.
Breakfast was a fiasco, even though I had paid $200 for my daughter to have this great breakfast. No cereal, yogurt, pastries, limited fruit and only orange juice. We walked past the kitchen to notice a chef digging his hand into a bowl of pineapple just about to be out in the fridge, again disgusting.
The next evening in the new room which was even darker and more rundown we couldn't get the heat to work at all. In the morning we woke to discover flying bugs all over my daughters bed and our luggage. Apparently this is normal according to the hotel.
Didn't bother to wait to try breakfast again just wanted to get out ASAP.
So for $2000 per night does that sound value. The hotel is always booked but I bet most don't return for second visit.
Now, in the interest of fair and balanced, there are numerous extremely positive reviews. Apparently by people who are in denial. I guess when you spend that much on a hotel, you will not, you cannot admit you blew it. We will be heading out to Big Sur soon, and we stumbled on a very cool AIRBNB for 1/10th the price with massive views of the Pacific overlooking Los Lobos Point just five minutes from Carmel, its restaurants, its galleries and all the other stuff that vagabonds dig. So there! I will tell you all about it when we get back.
So, my fellow Nomads, if you want to spend your hard earned travel dollars on a place that takes snob appeal to a whole new level (Their decent wine starts at $125 a bottle), head on out to the Post Ranch Inn. But, if you want to stay in a cool place and have enough money for more than Chitos and a Coke, stay tuned to The Nomad Architect - 'cause we're lookin' out for you.
California Dreamin' Indeed