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HERO California Post Ranch Inn

LOCATION

A speck of luxury amid the rumpled grandeur of Big Sur, Post Ranch Inn sits on a prime spot on this famous stretch of coast. The views take in the peaks of the Ventana Mountains while the Pacific’s azure expanse dominates the property’s frontal perspective.

With no television or alarm clocks, you’ll be awoken in your king-size bed by birdsong and the crash of the waves on the cliffs below. Two private houses on the property offer the possibility of even more splendid isolation (although with plenty of room for entertaining).

Whether sipping wine on the dark wood decking, warming your legs by the fire, or enjoying the private outdoor hot tubs and indoor spa tubs, the design directs you to take full advantage of the ocean views. If it’s just a room or a suite you’re after, you’ll have ample room with king-size beds and modern furnishings while the vibe is just as elegantly rustic.

WHAT MAKES THIS HOTEL UNIQUE?

If you’re wondering if there can possibly be a better view of Big Sur, try one of the treehouses. Nine feet up on stilts, you climb off the aromatic forest floor to sleep among the trees. No flashbacks to childhood here, however: the treehouses are as luxurious as the suites (and there’s room service).

You might step down out of our leafy abode to visit the Sierra Mar restaurant with its tables that seem to float out over the ocean. Select from its award-winning wine list paired with exquisite four-course dinners featuring fresh, coastline-foraged ingredients.

As you’d expect of a resort that lives in the trees, the Post Ranch Inn has a strong conservation focus. Elements of this include energy drawn from its solar array, biodegradable cleaning systems, and grounds that act as a habitat for numerous creatures including the California condor.