A stay at Ventana Big Sur is pure serenity from the moment you’re ushered through the wooden doors of the resort’s reimagined Social House, where the smell of cedar immediately fills the air. Nestled in the heart of Big Sur, this 59-room resort is unlike anything in the area. Back in early 2017 when landslides hit Highway 1 and damaged the only bridge into the town, Ventana became completely inaccessible. During that closure, the resort underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation and reopened in the fall of 2017 as the luxury destination it is today.
The sprawling 160 acre property invites guests to explore the natural beauty of the area, while keeping the essentials close. Each room is artfully designed with a hint of Japanese influence and rustic glamour complete with stunning mountain and ocean views. Begin your mornings with yoga overlooking golden mountains followed by a guided hike through the property’s breathtaking surroundings. The sacred wooded area known as “the circle of redwoods” is the perfect site for peaceful meditative reflection–or a fantastic photo opp. Ventana’s robe-friendly policy allows guests to walk to the picturesque grounds, spa, and Social House wrapped in comfort at all times. Around 4pm each day, the Social House hosts a complimentary wine and cheese pairing, the perfect teaser for your palate prior to dinner.
As the sun begins to set, travel the winding pebble coated path to Big Sur’s newest hot spot, Ventana’s Sur House. Guests can enjoy an artfully crafted meal or cocktail in the Sur House’s new outdoor destination bar while gazing at an incomparable view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. After a magical evening, follow the lit path back to your room, or have the hostess call for one of Ventana’s many luxurious Range Rovers to shuttle you back to your room.
If you’re craving an adventurous post-dinner dip, experience the clothing optional Japanese pools. Heated to 84 degrees and open 24 hours a day, the wood paneled pools have private male and female sides and a co-ed central pool. With an open ceiling, it’s the perfect place to catch a glimpse of Big Sur’s star lit sky.
Below, Executive Chef Paul Corsentino, who was an integral part of designing Ventana’s Sur House, walks us through the most frequented room at Ventana Big Sur.
What’s the most requested room?
The Big Sur Suite.
What makes it so special?
It offers the best of both worlds with beautiful Pacific Ocean and canyon forest views. There’s a hammock on the wooden deck and inside are the gorgeous wood block floors from the original Ventana that opened in 1975. It’s inviting and cozy with a wood-burning fireplace, black-and-white photography, and a stone-tiled bathroom with a deep soaking tub that looks like something right out of a spa.
What is the rate?
The Big Sur Suite starts at $950 per night.
What room is your personal favorite?
With 12 room types for 59 rooms, picking just one is tough. I would have to say Suite 14, a Big Sur Suite that comes with an outdoor shower and hammock on the deck, all set against these incredible mountain and forest views with towering redwoods. You feel worlds away from everything. I’ve been lucky enough to stay here a few times. It’s magical.
Any fun facts about the hotel or rooms?
We owe a lot to Hollywood and the legendary film, “Easy Rider,” as producer Lawrence A. Spector built the original Ventana Inn back in the ‘70s with money he earned from the film. It quickly became a haven for big movie stars like Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw.