Big Sur is a beautiful stretch of coast in central California between Monterey Bay and San Simeon. Its greater area covers 90 miles of stunning landscapes and breathtaking views and is the most scenic part of the Pacific Coast Highway.
There are many hotel hideaways that are true gems dotted along the stretch of Big Sur’s exclusive location.
The Best Boutique Hotels in Big Sur
Alila Ventana Big Sur
Price: From $2,025
A chic adults-only hotel in the beautiful redwood forest, the Alila Ventana Big Sur is a huge draw for visitors looking to enjoy central California’s amazing landscapes and sights. The resort is full of activities and accommodation options, from cozy, elegant guest rooms to sprawling luxurious suites.
Larger parties can enjoy the private delights of the Coast House or Cottage House. These options provide a more secluded and exclusive experience, surrounded by nature and the many features at the Ventana Big Sur.
All of Ventana Big Sur’s rooms are designed for comfort and include luxury amenities such as premium signature Ventana bedding, a private balcony or patio, a Chromecast for the flat-screen TV, a Bose sound system, and a fully-stocked minibar.
There are also aromatherapy designer bathroom products, a separate walk-in shower, and a soaking tub. All rooms have views either of the forest, canyon, ocean, or meadow.
Hot Tip: Check out our in-depth review of Ventana Big Sur, detailing its top-notch service, an all-inclusive meal plan, and easy access to picturesque hiking trails.
Bernardus Lodge & Spa
Price: From $335
A Carmel Valley wellness retreat, the Bernardus Lodge & Spa is a hideaway nestled between gardens and vineyards. The Bernardus Lodge & Spa offers guests the chance to explore Big Sur and then immerse themselves in peace, serenity, and the stunning landscape all around.
The accommodations include premium and luxury guest room options, along with suites and even separate villas for further privacy. The design is inspired by European elegance but redefined to provide as much modern comfort as possible.
All rooms at the Bernardus Lodge & Spa include a soaking tub fit for 2, cozy fireplace, dining area, and highly-comfortable bathrobes to feel even more pampered. Italian linens add to the quality of the king-sized featherbeds with warm comforters made from the best goose down.
Private patios or balconies are available to allow the enjoyment of nature from all accommodation options.
Big Sur Lodge
Price: From $194
Located in Big Sur’s Pfeiffer State Park, the Big Sur Lodge is a rustic-chic hidden gem that provides an unforgettable accommodation experience to those exploring the area. It is a perfect place to unwind because the hotel does not include any alarm clocks, TVs, or radios, and guests are encouraged to turn their phones off and forget about them during their stay.
The cottage-style accommodations are charming and can include a fully-equipped kitchenette or fireplace. The seasonal on-site pool is a great place to relax while enjoying the view of the redwoods. Other amenities in each room include a coffee maker, a furnished deck with either mountain or forest views, comfortable beds and a sofa, and a seating area.
Guests can follow hiking trails right from the premises and can also enjoy the gift shop, complimentary parking, and creek.
Big Sur River Inn
Price: From $325
Located in the redwood forest, the Big Sur River Inn bears the honor of being Big Sur’s first hotel and restaurant. The hotel is a draw for locals and visitors alike, preserving its tradition and reputation for high-quality accommodation in the area.
The 1930s origin of the Big Sur River Inn is palpable in the stylish design accents, but they are now enhanced by modern functionality. The Big Sur River Inn’s guest room and suite options offer plenty of amenities, such as comfortable beds, riverside views, coffee makers, and TVs.
A full-service restaurant and general store are available on-site for anything guests might need during their stay. There is also a gas station, an outdoor pool, and a sprawling lawn next to the river. This is a great way to have an authentic local Big Sur experience.
Blue Dolphin Inn
Price: From $144
Located only steps away from the beach, the Blue Dolphin Inn provides an unforgettable experience to guests looking to discover the Big Sur area. Specialty rooms include breathtaking maritime influences and design accents.
Rooms on the upper and lower floors both feature ocean views and some of them have patio access. Guests with electric or hybrid vehicles are in luck, as charging stations are available on-site.
Amenities include a fireplace in every room, deluxe bathroom amenities from Tarocco, a Keurig coffee maker, a Samsung flat-screen TV, a Tivoli radio, Beyond Nature pillows, and Simmons Felicity pillow-top mattresses.
Some rooms get to enjoy Sanijet bathrooms, while all guests have access to complimentary parking and a free DVD library. Pet-friendly rooms are available, but they are limited, so guests should make sure to book in advance if planning to travel with a furry friend.
Hyatt Carmel Highlands
Price: From $465
Located on the hillside, the Hyatt Carmel Highlands features stunning views over Big Sur and the Pacific Ocean. Luxury and sophistication meet in this hotel that is specifically designed for creative and discerning minds.
There are many guest room and suite options, most of them including fireplaces and garden or ocean views. The signature Hyatt Grand Beds provide luxurious comfort and premium designer bathroom amenities.
Each suites includes a fully-equipped stainless steel kitchen, dining area, and extra-large marble tub. In addition, there is an iPod docking station and an iHome stereo system. Complimentary high-speed internet is available to guests.
Some of the rooms have access to private balconies, but all guests can open the windows and let the sounds of the ocean waves lull them into a state of relaxation at any time during their stay.
Price: From $315
A luxurious Relais & Châteaux location, L’Auberge Carmel is the perfect romantic hideaway just north of Big Sur. Found in a stunning European-style building dating back to 1929, L’Auberge’s historic elegance and modern comforts are a draw to guests from everywhere.
All guest rooms include floor heating in the bathrooms, stylish canopied or tufted beds, valet parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, and room service. There is a Forbes 5-star restaurant on the premises, and a signature gourmet breakfast is provided daily.
The rooms include creative designs and original antiques from as far back as the 18th century. A music system and recessed lighting are available in the separate walk-in shower and tub. Each guest room features an independent design.
Deluxe bath toiletries are provided by Penhaligon. French windows, antique brass doorknobs, and coved plaster walls add to the Old World charm.
La Playa Carmel
Price: From $275
A Carmel-by-the-Sea luxury boutique hotel, La Playa Carmel offers an exclusive experience to those seeking to witness the beautiful sights of Big Sur. The hotel is only a few steps away from the beach and 5 miles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
La Playa Carmel treats its guests to sumptuous gourmet buffets and Champagne brunches. Located in a historic building that has been home to many artists, the hotel has plenty of inspiration and elegance in every corner.
Accommodations include premium and standard ocean view guest rooms, garden patio options, and suites. There is also a poolside casita for those looking for a more private experience.
Room amenities feature silky-soft linens, highly comfortable platform beds, a flat-screen TV with cable and StayCast media streaming, and cozy cotton robes. Nightly turndown service is available by request.
Post Ranch Inn
Price: From $1,408
Perched on a cliffside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Post Ranch Inn is a rustic-chic upscale lodging experience that allows guests to immerse themselves in stunning nature.
Those staying at the Post Ranch Inn can enjoy the many nature activities on offer, from outdoor morning yoga sessions to guided walks and forest meditations. Edible tours of the chef’s garden on the premises are also available.
Lexus vehicles and shuttles are at the guests’ disposal during their stay if needed for transportation. In addition, guided tours of the artwork installations around the property include complimentary Champagne.
Various accommodation options are available, from private houses offering an intimate experience to ocean view guest rooms or suites. None of the options include TVs or alarm clocks, allowing guests to unwind fully and enjoy the beauty in the area.
Sea Otter Inn
Price: From $144
The Sea Otter Inn is right across from Moonstone Beach in Cambria, a beautiful location with a charming design that is ideal for romantic getaways or intimate experiences for guests wishing to discover the Big Sur area.
Room amenities at the Sea Otter Inn include a morning delivery of breakfast picnic baskets, spacious options with fireplaces, breathtaking ocean views, and access to a heated outdoor pool and hot tub.
Outdoor fire pits offer a great way to socialize while enjoying the fresh ocean breeze, and freshly-baked cookies are available every day in the lobby. This is a high-quality catered home away from home.
Accommodation options include garden view, garden patio, and ocean view guest rooms, along with a sprawling suite. The suite includes separate living and sleeping spaces, a fireplace, and a private patio.
Price: From $212
A refined and luxurious hotel, Tradewinds offers stylish accommodations to guests looking to explore Big Sur. Located in the picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea, the hotel is within walking distance of Carmel Bay and 5 miles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Housed in a building dating back to 1959, each room at Tradewinds includes beautiful design accents from Japan, Bali, and China. Outdoor serenity can be found in the courtyard, the meditation garden, or around the firepit.
Accommodation options include king, queen, double, and partial or full ocean view options. The Poet suite and the Serenity suite offer even more luxury features with premium amenities such as a cozy fireplace, spa-grade tub, and Japanese tansu wet bar.
Kimono robes are provided to guests to ensure their comfort and immersion into the visual appeal of Tradewinds.
The beauty of Big Sur, bordered by mountains and the Pacific Ocean, has led to the appearance of independent art galleries, wellness retreats, and boutique hotels along the length of it. One of the biggest draws is the constant feeling of seclusion and privacy that visitors can have while exploring the area.