In some ways, Post Ranch Inn, balanced atop the cliffs of Big Sur south of Monterey, is the prototypical California lodge. Farm-to-table restaurant with award-winning wine list? Check. Sweeping Pacific vistas that make you feel both insignificant yet connected to greater rhythms of the universe, or whatever? Check again. An undercurrent of wellness that permeates the entire operation, from its morning yoga classes to onsite spa? But of course.
Yet few resorts can compete with Post Ranch’s attention to detail—from the clean, modern lines and organic warmth of its architecture to the little touches that go a long way, such as heated floors in the rooms, edible tours of the inn’s garden with chef John Cox, and complimentary use of a fleet of Lexus hybrid vehicles.
If you’ve got the coin to spare, book the 960-square-foot freestanding "Cliff House," with a king bed, wood burning fireplace, and an ocean-facing deck with a stainless steel hot tub. Not that there’s a dud of a room in the place. The "Mountain House" duplexes, for their part, overlook the Santa Lucia Peaks and feature a circular design inspired by the area’s legendary redwoods.
Topping off all this rustic pampering is the resort’s commitment to the environment. Each structure on the property was built with sustainable materials, while solar panels help offset its energy use.
The Details: Post Ranch Inn is located 150 miles south of San Francisco. Room rates vary.