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Ventana Big Sur- Alila - REVIEW MASTER THREAD

Ventana Big Sur- Alila - REVIEW MASTER THREAD

Old Nov 2, 19, 11:08 pm
  #1  
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Ventana Big Sur- Alila - REVIEW MASTER THREAD

I didn't find a review thread so I am starting one.

The upshot: Great points redemption, great Globalist recognition and breakfast. Exclusive, upscale rustic accomodations in beautiful environs. Questionble value of cash rate. Bucket list for sure.

Booking:
Booked two nights via Globalist concierge. One with 30k pts and one with 1-7 cert. There is limited points availability and I had to hunt for a convenient date.

Check-In
Guest reception is in the Social House. It is rustic but very stylish. Was thanked for my loyalty. Was upgraded to a villa as a Globalist, which is one of the premium accomodations. Very friendly staff. Informed that the property had just eliminated single use plastic water bottles and had water stations installed throughout the property.


The Social House


Accomodations:
Ventana seemed an upscale version of my childhood spent at summer and winter camps in Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. The wood constructed buildings spread throughout property blend nicely into the natural surroundings. The whole property went through an extensive renovation and it seemed new.

The inside of our villa was comfortable and understated luxury. It was two stories and had a lower level living room with breakfast nook. The upper level housed the bedroom and an open bathroom. Firm bed. The AC and heater was not central but rather a large built in unit.

We were there celebrating an anniversary and the resort provided chocolates and champagne.


Rear view of villa


Lower level

Upper level bedroom

One of my favorite things about the the room were the house branded toilteries. They were all high quality and smelled amazing. The milled bar soap had a wonderful scent and some gentle natural exfoiliants.


Milled soap. Very nice.

The Property:
The property is nested in the forests of Big Sur on the eastern side of Highway 1. Across the way is the cliffs edge competitor Post Ranch Inn.

There is flora and fauna throughout the property and beautiful vistas throughout. Many bright stars at night. Felt they were so close.

Gravel covered trails lead to the property's ameneties such as the gym, pools, and the Sur House restaurant.

You are definately paying a steep price for exclusivity here. Its a wonderful place but at a base rate of 1k usd per night. I would rather use points.

The view just outside our front door.

Views like this are everywhere



Wild turkeys. Reminded me of the feral roosters in Kauai






Food and Beverage:
Breakfasts at the Sur House was a highlight. There is an incredible ocean view and the food is delicious. As a globalist, I was just told to order and sign the bill. All charges were removed. I ate the crab benedict twice and my wife loved the egg white frittata and chia seed pudding fruit bowl. Food was fresh and flavorful.


Chia acai bowl

The salad and potatos were very yummy

Egg white frittata with grilled veggies

We also ate at the recently open Big Sur Smokehouse, which is at entrance of the resort. The bbq was legit. I highly recommend.

There is a wine and cheese hour from 4pm and 5pm at the social house. They feature wines from a different region of California. All of good quality and highly drinkable. Cheese and crackers are set out on individual plates. There was also a bowl of olives. I had many glasses and a few plates of cheese.



We also went across the way to the Post Ranch Inn for drinks. You need reservations to get in. The staff there were kind of rude and we were asked if we had reservations three differe times. I mean we just went through your gated security check point. We didnt hike through the woods into your restaurant. WHATEVER. The cliffside restaurant has killer views. The property is very different from Ventana. Not as natural. More modern.



Front of a room at Post Ranch Inn


If you go, be sure spend time driving up and down the coast and visting a state park. I leave you with a vista off of highway 1. Fun and safe travels everyone.

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Old Nov 7, 19, 7:39 pm
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I forgot to upload the resort map. Final note. Resort staff told me that occupancy has been up since Hyatt integration. Many WOH and non-WOH guests also just show up and want a room. I thought that sounded crazy for a place that charges $1k a night, but one night while in the Social House getting tea overheard a young couple that just drove up looking for a room. Amazing.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:02 am
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Thank you for the wonderful pics and review.
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Old Nov 9, 19, 9:05 am
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Stayed there last month for one night on a Cat 7 cert and received 2k points back for staying at first Alila property. They recognized my Globalist status and upgraded me to a Vista Hot Tub Suite, which appears to be the most expensive room (rate is ~$2,500). Room wasn't grand but there were hot tubs inside and outside (the deck was very private). Had breakfast and dinner at the Sur House and both were excellent. Late check out is based on availability so had to call morning of but was granted 4pm checkout.
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Old Nov 10, 19, 1:50 pm
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When I stayed here years ago, I remember it being quite tricky to find the entrance to the property from the main road that more or less goes along the coast. Maybe this was part of it being an exclusive hideaway, but be warned, although maybe the signage has been improved. You probably want to look at a detailed local map in advance and use GPS to prepare for this.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 12:34 am
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Have you seen any people bring kids?
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Old Nov 12, 19, 12:56 am
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Pretty sure it says it is adults only.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 6:33 am
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Originally Posted by mebluemouse View Post
Have you seen any people bring kids?
It's an adults only resort
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Old Nov 12, 19, 10:36 pm
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Originally Posted by mebluemouse View Post
Have you seen any people bring kids?
I saw one child during breakfast. Overheard they made an exception for the family.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 11:23 pm
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Originally Posted by ewrp12 View Post
I saw one child during breakfast. Overheard they made an exception for the family.
That's very disappointing if it's supposed to be an adults only resort.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 9:30 pm
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I have a question -

Since this property is in the middle of nowhere how do you guys all get there? (The main ways if you donít live in SoCal)

The closest airport looks to be San Jose which is 2 hours away otherwise thereís Santa Barbara at 3.5. Iíd like to go to Ventana just wondering how most people get there.

Last edited by Matt4200; Nov 13, 19 at 9:48 pm
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Old Nov 13, 19, 10:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Matt4200 View Post
I have a question -

Since this property is in the middle of nowhere how do you guys all get there? (The main ways if you donít live in SoCal)

The closest airport looks to be San Jose which is 2 hours away otherwise thereís Santa Barbara at 3.5. Iíd like to go to Ventana just wondering how most people get there.
Monterey airport
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Old Nov 14, 19, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by Matt4200 View Post
I have a question -

Since this property is in the middle of nowhere how do you guys all get there? (The main ways if you donít live in SoCal)

The closest airport looks to be San Jose which is 2 hours away otherwise thereís Santa Barbara at 3.5. Iíd like to go to Ventana just wondering how most people get there.
Google Maps is telling me 4 hours from SB, and I suspect that's actually optimistic.

It's really easier to get to from the SF area than LA.

But that's part of Big Sur's appeal - it's remote.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 8:59 am
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Fly into San Jose (or even SFO, but there will be heavy traffic in the Bay Area), rent a car, and drive down.

The drive up from Santa Barbara is also generally very nice, but it's long and Santa Barbara isn't a major airport. If you have time to add a day or more in each direction, you could do a lot of things along the coast, such as visiting wineries and Hearst Castle.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Matt4200 View Post
I have a question -

Since this property is in the middle of nowhere how do you guys all get there? (The main ways if you donít live in SoCal)

The closest airport looks to be San Jose which is 2 hours away otherwise thereís Santa Barbara at 3.5. Iíd like to go to Ventana just wondering how most people get there.
Another option might be SLO Airport. I know United operates flights into San Luis Obispo airport; you'd likely have to connect through San Francisco or Los Angeles to get there, and then could be at Ventana in about 2 hours once you get your rental car. Not too sure if that would be faster than simply getting a car in San Jose and battling traffic on 17 or 101 S to get there, but it would likely be a much more enjoyable, traffic-free drive.
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