A drive along California’s Big Sur on famed Highway One affords a view of Mother Nature seamlessly engaged in an endless display of her finest features. Windswept cliffs melt into the undulating, foamy surf below; the towering redwood trees and rolling hills are dotted with grazing cattle and hovering seabirds. Twelve hundred feet above the Pacific Ocean awaits the iconic Post Ranch Inn, a sanctuary for the palate and the soul.
The location is ideal for pretty much whatever you choose; from romance. to simple relaxation, rejuvenation or the cultivation of inner peace without interruption from the cacophony of everyday life.
These 39 rooms provide rustic elegance, comfort and privacy with an unparalleled 360-degree panoramic view of the dazzling ocean and majestic mountains.
There is plenty of history here. Members of the Post family were among the first western pioneers to explore Big Sur in the mid-1800s. Under the family stewardship, the 100-acre Post Ranch has evolved from a homestead and working ranch, to one of the most acclaimed luxury resorts in the world.
This secluded property could not exist anywhere else, as the coast-side rooms seem to be built into the mountain, and houses curve around old-growth trees. Some structures are built on 9-foot stilts to protect the delicate root balls below. The choice of materials — reclaimed wood, glass, steel and stone — reinforce a sense of harmony with nature at this very special resort.
The architectural visionary was C.K. (Mickey) Muennig, who studied and worked with Bruce Goff at The University of Oklahoma. Captivated by the wild beauty of Big Sur during a visit in 1971, it was here that he was drawn to the principles of “organic architecture.” He decided to stay and became the area’s leading architect.
Muennig’s vision for Post Ranch Inn embraced luxury, sustainability and the natural beauty of the site itself. His work is on display at museums in the U.S. and Europe, and he is featured in numerous international publications.
After visitors enjoy the guest rooms, spa and site architecture, the fresh sea breeze will awaken the palate, and there is a perfect gem to satisfy it. Her name is chef Elizabeth Murray.
The Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant is the showcase where Murray creates a stunning fine dining menu that changes daily.
Diners on the open-air patio atop the cliffs can keep a lookout for whales on the ocean surface below while enjoying Murray’s daily salad of heirloom tomato and lettuce mix; a garden harvest arranged with micro greens and edible flowers that reflect a stunning array of culinary color.
The second course is a gift from the sea that combines local fennel-grilled prawn with quinoa, avocado, roasted bell pepper and red onion, and is accented with fresh herbs, all supporting local purveyors. Another elegant and artfully plated dish is the eggplant cannelloni with white beans, Alfonso olives, garden-cultivated mushrooms and fresh basil.
After the big “fini,” visitors may retire to lavish eco-friendly guest rooms or hike through the many nature trails. A dip in the infinity pool overlooking the ocean is another great choice that will leave guests refreshed in both body and mind.
Post Ranch Inn is truly a Big Sur treasure, a place that has kept tradition alive while combining luxurious modernity, where nature and nurture are one and the same.