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TravelPod Member ReviewsFernwood Resort Big Sur
A place where even the most miserable, whinging Pom could not help but be merry and bright.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Fernwood Resort is an incredible nook in the middle of the forest right off of Highway 1. Stop in to eat and have a craft beer served by Mike or Dave and enjoy a joke on the side. If you can manage it, try to stop by while there's a show happening, you won't be sorry. Lights bright and a room set up for the liveliness of sounds resounding off the walls in an intimate setting make for a cozy night. ANd just when you think it couldn't get any better, a walk down the hill to the campsites below to sleep near the Big Sur River is all you need to wind down into a majestic sleep. Be careful, you might sleep in and be completely relaxed for the next day. And if oyu can pull it off, you can do it all over again and have a show on the stage in your very own campsite. YOu're in for a whirlwind of beauty if you can handle it. Best campsite of my trip and it wasn't even in a state park. Check it out!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Fernwood Resort Big Sur
Fernwood 12 yrs
There are 10-12 families that have been coming to Fernwood for 12 years as a group that started with a couple of the boys being in Cub Scouts.We have had anywhere from 32-50. Our Children wont let us change locations the oldests being 21 and the youngest 14. They make a special effort to come back from their various colleges around the U.S.. We have seen it change every year but enjoy the simplicity and casual atmosphere that many campgrounds don't have. If you want the more structured atmosphere you need to go to a State Park. So far... We have enjoyed being able to rent many campsites together and be able to arrange tables so that we can all be together and have our group fire and sometimes kid campfire in an area we enjoy. And be able to have the Talent show the kids started and now the parents have joined also. Other guests of the campground usually come over and watch. We would like to Thank Fernwood for letting us come and enjoy their campground for all these years.
Great campground, if you like camping in a parking lot.
My wife and I just returned from a wonderful trip up the coast to Big Sur, San Fran, Sea Ranch, and Mendocino.
The first two nights were for camping, and boy was Fernwood a mistake. Perhaps if you've got a huge RV and lots of little kids who love nothing more than to run around screaming, you'd enjoy it. Otherwise, for my wife and me, who were looking forward to camping amidst the legendary tranquility and majestic redwoods of Big Sur, it was a joke we didn't find all that funny.
First of all, every campsite is packed in right next to one another. So it has the feeling of camping in a parking lot before a pro football game. Our fire pit, which was more of a concrete pedestal, had dozens of cigarettes from the previous people. Gross. Then there was loud, annoying live music from the bar emanating through the place. And did I mention the packs of kids running around until long after dark? The ambiance could not have been further from rustic, relaxing or romantic.
For my wife and me, there was a bright spot. There was a site left at the nearby Ventana Campground, which we snapped up the next day and cancelled our second night at Fernwood. The difference was dramatic.
Ventana -- You first notice the soothing quiet as you drive into the grounds. Then you're surrounded by towering redwoods, and each camp site is set apart from the next. Some sites are perched on small hilltops, others are accessed by short trails (perhaps a 10 second walk) up secluded coves. And there are no RVs. The showers are sensational (you know that feeling of walking back to your site after a good, hot shower). It was exactly the Big Sur camping experience I'd dreamt of before we began our trip. And it went a long way toward erasing the Fernwood fiasco.
The only downside I could see was the noticeably bad odors surrounding the sites closest to the bathrooms. So I highly recommend you look at a campground map (or call them) and get a site that's not too close to the bathrooms.
Last thing -- Ventana was $2 less than Fernwood!
Do yourself a favor. Drive right by Fernwood and settle in for a real coastal camping experience at Ventana.
(Email me if you have questions!)
Loud! Lot's of Yahoos. Rules not enforced. A zoo!
We stayed there July 16-18 and the place was a zoo. There is NO campground host and thus quiet time is NOT enforced. A friend of an employee was sitting in his car from 11pm - 11:30pm with his car door open BLASTING his car radio in the middle of the campground waiting for his buddy to come outside. The tent cabins are not so bad, if you can get one with some privacy. Some are right next to each other, but one or two have a big tree separating them. The people in the cabin next to us were yahoos whose conversations you could hear WAY past the 10pm quiet time.
Fernwood's brochure says: 1) "No clothes lines", yet we saw some hanging. And 2) "no wood gathering" , yet we saw that too. Why the rules if none are enforced...
If we thought the tent cabins were yahoo-city, we were floored when we walked through the campground. Some sites had at least a dozen or more people, tons of cars, and kids running everywhere. If you want to get away from it all, this is not a quiet place.
Tent cabins nice, but noisy
We stayed in Fernwood's new tent cabins over the 4th of July. The cabins themselves were even nicer than we expected, and the setting of our site was beautiful (redwoods, river, deer). Our disappointments were that the sites were extremely close together - we could hear every word of our neighbors' conversations - and the sound of Hwy 1 was inescapable. That said, it was convenient to Hwy 1. We were happy overall, but if you need quiet and privacy you'll want something farther from the road.
Everything I wanted
I stayed at the campground over the July 4th weekend. It was very crowded, but it's a really neat place.
They have everything you need right there - they even have a bar that serves Newcastle Brown Ale on tap!
I would give the place 5 stars, but the campsites are REALLY close together, and small.
From what I saw of the Hotel - there's no way I would pay $89/night to stay there. They look like there were built in the 1930's, and have not been remodeled since the 1970's.
Most people were tent camping, but there are some RV sites. I Highly Recommend Fernwood for tent camping or in an RV under 30 feet.
Funky but Great
I've been staying at Fernwood off and on for 20 years. If you like a simple friendly place with a great little restaurant, wonderful food, good beer and a pleasant conversation this is it. If you want starched sheets, fancy decor and to sit in the bar by yourself, try someplace else.
The price is right, it's within walking distance of some of the best hiking on the west coast, and you'll be treated as friends, not hotel guest.
I'd never stay anyplace else in Big Sur.
Fernwood, you rock!!!
I love Fernwood. I hear the hotel's not the Ritz, but the campground is wonderful and the showers are clean. We always have a great time when we camp there. There is live music on the weekends which makes this place extra special for us and all of our musical friends. It was definitely party time and we're coming back.
I loved it! Fernwood, Im comin back!
Fernwood definetely has its "quarks". It is the kind of place that you have to appreciate to enjoy. It is mostly a camp ground with reasonable prices and plentiful camping space. The "hotel" part of the resort is not nearly quite what a luxery traveler would enjoy. If you cant afford anywhere else in the Big Sur area, this is where you will end up. Great Live shows on the weekends and lots of really nice people. Aside from the fact that it is nestled in the redwoods, it is only a short walk from Julia Pfeiffer State park, which is a must see for the area. The resteraunt has unforgettable food and the rustic quality of Fernwood will keep me coming back for years to come!
If it is High prices and Luxurious Curtains and sheets you desire, go to Ventana. Otherwise you will enjoy what you experience at fernwood.
River side campgrounds not bad
I went to Fernwood Campground for this Memorial Day week-end. I stayed at one of the river side campgrounds. I found it to be very nice. The camp sites are not that large, but the showers were clean - but all in all it was NICE. I'd recommend staying at the riverside campground #'s 51 52 53. They are right on the water..
Avoid unless nothing else is available
Because of the low room rate ($110 per night for 2 queens) I decided to give this hotel a chance. Their website doesn't provide any photos of their property. It's a roadside combo of cottages, small convenience store and restaurant/bar that usually has a live band playing at night. Our cottage consisted of the basics: a bathroom and 2 small rooms, each with a queen bed. Heating was by a practically non-functional oil-based electric radiator. Luckily there was no band playing the 1 night we were there, for I'm sure we would have gotten little sleep. As it was, the curtains, made of sheets, were too thin to block the light in our small room. Pillows and bed were not too comfy, so even though the people managing the property seemed very nice, I can't recommend this property because of lack of basic physical comfort and potential for noise. I guess they don't post pictures on their website for a good reason.
TripAdvisor Reviews Fernwood Resort Big Sur
Travel Blogs from Big Sur
... going to do the trail as well. We were not quite as fast hikers as they were but did catch up at the waterfall and visited with them. The waterfall is very beautiful and the nice news was that it was flowing quite well. There is the main waterfall and another one not so large above it. Sat and enjoyed the waterfall, redwoods, and the peaceful setting. This is a popular hike and we "took" many people's pictures ...