Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
Travel Blogs from Big Sur
We spent the second day in Santa Cruz dodging the rain-showers, going to the Mall, the bank, buying a replacement bicycle for Theodora, and lunching down on the front at the Crow's Nest.
In the late afternoon, we eventually said our goodbyes to Theodora's housemates, dragged ourselves away from her home for the year, and headed into the …
We were definitely not expecting California to be this beautiful. The journey seriously reminded us of some of our trips in Australia.
Big Sur has many national parks and great long walks. We were lucky to find space at Deetjens Inn, this place had so much character and a log fire in our room. The strangest thing about this place was that …
... Like a tent for example. So I woke up in the middle of the night, curled up in the front passenger seat to the call of nature. Stepping out of the car, those unpolluted lights of the sky struck me with amazement. So huge, I likened them to the unblemished zits of the night sky.
A very fresh wake-up forced us to get moving quickly so we ventured up the honey coloured hillside a mile or so to gain a magnificent view of the merging layers of fog, sunshine ...
... still pretty big. There was a fair bit of jousting going on between some young bulls on the beach and in the surf. They also were a bit smelly.
As we continued the drive south I was somewhat surprised to see about a dozen zebras in a field at the side of the road.
The hotel in Santa Maria is just off the freeway so was easy to find.
Went to the cinema after tea to watch The Heat, which was daft but really made all 3 of us laugh out ...
... on a map. Every car park along the whole stretch of the coast has a sign strictly forbidding overnight parking, but we found a spot where the signage was a little ambiguous and gave it a try. We cooked our favourite peanut butter toasties for dinner and went to bed early hoping we wouldn’t get a knock on our window in the middle of the night, which can apparently be quite a common thing along the Pacific Highway. We ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
We were recommended by friends who'd stayed at Deetjen's and were not disappointed.
Arrived and departed in heavy rain/overcast so didn't see at it's best but still walked up the trail behind to try to get a glimpse of the view.
Staff friendly and helpful, food awesome. Atmosphere amazing and although there is electric lighting it all feels like it's candle-lit.
The bedroom walls are (as it warns) thin. Be entertained!... But I didn't notice as we built up the log-burner fire and slipped off to sleep to the reflected sight of the flames glimmering around the room.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
TravelPod Member ReviewsDeetjen's Big Sur Inn
Historical Traveler Reviews Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
We stayed here on our first trip to California in 1991 and, as it happened, stayed in three different rooms in 4 days, so got a good feel for the place. We loved it here so much that we've spent a few nights at Deetjens, almost every year since.
Rustic and Romantic ... Just what we needed
We stayed in the Chateau Fiasco, which has a queen bed, attached bath, small balcony, on the second floor. Yes, the walls are thin, yes, there is no TV, radio, or distractions. The beauty of this place lies in the its history, its rustic charm, and the surrounding landscape. It was the perfect getaway for our first anniversary. I can't wait to go back. The staff is extremely helpful and curteous. Sheets were high quality and crisp, and lots of thirsty towels in the bathroom. Fresh flowers and soaps a nice addition. If you like simple and ecclectic, this is the place for you.
It's RUSTIC, people! That's R-U-S-T-I-C!
What an experience
We absolutely loved it here. It was by far and away the best place that we stayed on the entire trip. The room may not have been five star, but it was gorgeous and charming and cosy with amazing views out over a big creek. I loved the real fire place in the room with two chairs in front of it to snuggle down in and while away the hours. We ate at the restaurant there both nights and the food was fantastic. The staff were always friendly and made us feel totally at home.
I stayed here in May, 2003, having heard so much about Big Sur. The cottages are quaint, but absolutely not worth the more than $200 per night they get away with charging, and apparently the business is a non-profit! Not to mention the extremely snooty reservations clerks, which I found to be the norm when calling hotels in Big Sur. The area's only highway is next to the collection of non-insulated cabins, so expect to wake up early. There are very few places to stay in Big Sur, so gouging is the order of the day. The beaches are outstanding and not to be missed, but I suggest staying someplace either north or south of Big Sur, or camping. We spent a night at Ragged Point and loved it.
Exactly as I Pictured It
Sure it's a little pricey, but what isn't in Big Sur. (eg: a glass of wine and a beer at Nepenthe put us back $20). The website described the place perfectly. It is rustic, eclectic, and very laid-back. We especially looked forward to brakfast every morning and suggestions from the staff as to where our daily hike should take place. We loved it.
Charming is charming, but...
You either love it, or you hate it. We...didn't love it.It wouldn't have been a bad place if it had been half the cost. For the money, though, you didn't get much value. The walls were paper thin, the toilet private but across the hall, sheets and blankets clean but with holes. Our room had a fireplace which would have been cozy in the winter. We didn't light a fire but suffered from the smokey fireplace anyway. The first few times a car drove over the small bridge next to our cabin, my kids thought it was thundering.Although there was no TV or telephone, we were entertained by comments left by previous guests in the guestbooks. Our favorite entry was: "charming is charming, but dirty is dirty."
Return to Simpler Times - for a night
My husband and I stayed at Deetjen's and loved it. After checking in to the cozy, organic (and "historic") room with "nooks and crannies" to lounge in (it's like playing in an "adult" tree house) - we ambled over to the dining area (restaurant with a slightly sloping floor) and enjoyed a sumptuous, home-cooked meal. We loved the informality and homey nature of the inn -- and wished we could have stayed longer!
Deetjen's is for people who want to sample the bohemian literary atmosphere of old Big Sur--the type of people who would like to visit the Henry Miller library just up the road. If, wherever you are, you want to stay in the same newly constructed, state-of-the-art-amenities Marriott--this is not the place for you. You'll likely find the rooms old and small, the walls thin, the extras few, and the heating inadequate, particularly for the prices (which seem high until you compare them to the other atmospheric Big Sur Inns, Post Ranch and Ventana, which are much, much higher.) And I would not bring children here. But if you are a single or a couple and want a memorable, unique experience appropriate to this area and its distinctive atmosphere and history, this is the spot to stay in Big Sur. The inn is, literally, a non-profit foundation preserving a piece of time and place which otherwise might have disappeared. Our room was old and small, true, but charming and romantic, with roughhewn walls, a beautiful stained glass window on one side and the other opening onto a tiny private garden dominated by a Buddha. The bed was exceptionally comfortable. And the journals of people who have stayed here in the past were worth the price of the room. There is something about the place that has made people pour out the crises of their lives and their relationships as they've inhabited the room--their doubts, their hopes, their fears, their joys, the sources of their devotion to their mate, even (frequently) details of their lovemaking. Some people recount coming back after many years, or repeatedly over many years, to renew romantic moments or critical crossroads experienced here. The type of people who love Deetjen's, or being in love at Deetjen's, can really write. This inn is not for everyone--but if it's for you, it's a rare and wonderful find.A note on the other user review--by all means, I agree that you should not miss the incomparable view from the outside bar at Nepenthe down the road, but come back to Deetjen's for dinner. I find Nepenthe's food to be run of the mill and woefully overpriced, and it is too often noisy and overrun with tourists. Deetjen's restaurant, especially romantic at night when the redwood-walled, antique-filled rooms are lit almost entirely by candlelight, has excellent food and service by any standard and would be thoroughly enjoyed, I think, even by many who would not find the inn to be the place for them. And the stuffed french toast I had there in the morning may have been the most delicious breakfast entree I've ever had.
Romantic rustic retreat
A collection of small cabins set in a gorge amidst huge redwoods. The place is rustic (rough hewn walls) with basic bathrooms. But it is very comfortable and intimate. We stayed at in a room on the second floor with large private balcony. It was lovely, like staying in a treehouse. Fresh breezes, swaying trees, babbling brook -- very peaceful. Be sure to go to Nepenthe for sunset drinks on veranda overlooking craggy coastline, and then dinner. Very nice package.