January 12, 2003
PRI sits directly across the highway from Ventana's. Where Ventana's is set on a hillside, PRI is laid along a ridge, directly above the ocean. The houses look off in two directions: either toward the mountains or the ocean. We visited in early March, which is usually wet, so we chose the Mountain House. This was the last house on the trail. It happened to snow just prior to our visit, and the white caps on the Ventana Peaks were quite visible from our room.
Post Ranch is something of an architechural and design wonder. The houses were created with an organic design and feel. The Oceanside houses are actually somewhat buried into the ridge, perched over the ocean. Their roofs all covered in moss and fern, you almost don't see the houses from the trail. On the Mountainside are several treehouses, all suspended aboveground.
Mountain House was built into the hillside. The interior was warm, artistic, and natural. The fireplace crackled, and the king bed looked past the deck toward mountains. Some of the best meditative music we'd ever heard was softly playing over sound system. The bathroom was designed using stone, wood, and glass. It was both modern and primitive. We loved bathing in the stone tub, viewing the snowy mountains beyond.
Sierre Mar was a 5-minute walk down the path. This beautiful multi-level restaurant overlooks the ocean. It's all wood and glass, and offers great, fresh, healthy cuisine, with a sensational Sunday brunch buffet.
Wonderful trails meander throughout the property--along the ridge, down into redwood groves, and into the open meadow. PRI also has two swimming pools, but IMHO, they don't stand up to Ventana's pools. One pool was next to the yurt. It seemed slightly removed and isolated from the rest of the property. There was also an edgeless pool, on top of the ridge, but it was small and just beside the restaurant.
I really liked the gift shop. Though it was sort of hidden, it had lots of neat items inside.
While there, we happened to meet Philip Johnson, the world-famous architect. He was building a home nearby, but was staying at PRI as work was being completed. He was in his 90s, still wearing his renowned, black horn-rimmed glasses . . .
I would highly recommend a visit to PRI for any special occasion. It's a hip and very romantic coastal place.
From journal Big Sur Special Spots