Looking for the best boutique hotels in Big Sur, California? I’ve got you covered.
I love cozying into a boutique Big Sur cabin for the weekend as a base to enjoy it’s scenic undeveloped coastline, natural hot springs and unparalleled natural beauty.
Choose from the best places to stay in Big Sur based on your accommodation needs, such as Pfeiffer Beach, presenting awe-inspiring backdrop views of the Santa Lucia Mountains.
This area has a small but mighty collection of unique places to stay in Big Sur’s inspiring location, making it a famous sightseeing and photographing spot along a Central Coast road trip or a weekend away from the big city.
Alright, let’s dive into this handpicked Big Sur boutique hotel and cabin guide.
My Favorite Boutique Hotels in Big Sur
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Where to Stay in Big Sur, California
For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, or even those open to exploring, head to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park during your stay in Big Sur.
An enchanting location on the West Coast, Pfeiffer Beach is the heart of Big Sur. It is notorious for its eclectic rock formations, many of which are highly photographed, such as the Keyhole Arch.
Slates Hot Springs
Home to some of America’s most beloved hot springs, Slates Hot Springs is speckled along the rugged Pacific Ocean and California coastline.
There are many top-notch natural geothermal spas in Slates Hot Springs, making it the best place to stay in Big Sur for individuals looking to soak, relax, and rejuvenate during their vacation.
Once a human settlement that has since been abandoned, Notleys Landing has become a scenic favorite of Big Sur. The area is not far from Palo Colorado Canyon’s mouth, about 11 miles south of Carmel River.
This is one of the top attractions in Big Sur, adored for its towering ancient redwood tree groves. For even better access to the redwoods try one of these Northern California Coast hotels to explore the giants.
A prestigious community in Big Sur, the Coastlands community is a private area full of stunning scenic opportunities. A stay in the Coastlands community can be an intimate stay full of desirable solitude, perfect for a replenishing retreat.
12 Best Boutique Hotels in Big Sur, California
Whether you’d like a solo retreat in a cozy cabin in Big Sur or a luxury couples getaway in a high-end adults-only resort, there’s a Big Sur hotel on the California central coast on this list suited especially for you.
Big Sur Resorts, Lodges & Inns
1. Alila Ventana Big Sur Adults Only
Big Sur Area | Pfeiffer Beach
✓ Rating: 9.4 / 10 | Reviews: 40+ | View on Booking.com
Best For | Adults-only, honeymooners, nature enthusiasts, sightseeing, pet-friendly.
Location | One of the most sought-out luxury hotels in Big Sur, California, Alila Ventana presents an ideal setting with a view of the Pacific Ocean.
Right off the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, this adults-only luxury hotel is only half a mile from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, where guests can go hiking along Pfeiffer State Beach.
Features & Facilities | This adults-only boutique hotel is also one of the best dog-friendly hotels in Big Sur, where guests can savor quiet with man’s best friend and spend the day at Pfeiffer Beach on the sand.
One of the best hotels in Big Sur for couples, Alila Ventana’s Spa Alila offers unparalleled couples treatments in its new outdoor cabanas for a private, intimate experience.
Afterward, sit down for a meal at the Sur House, exclusively reserved for Alila Ventana overnight guests. All meals are included with their stay!
Rooms | Tranquilly nestled in the redwood California forest, Alila Ventana’s Big Sur accommodations exude a cozy warmth surrounded by nature, perfect for a retreat. Every accommodation provides guests with plush robes and slippers, blackout curtains for a good night’s rest, individually-controlled air conditioning and heat, and branded bath toiletries.
For the ultimate retreat and utmost privacy, reserve one of Alila Ventana’s glampsites, like the Redwood Glampsite.
This accommodation is nestled in the Redwood Forest in a safari-style canvas tent paired with a custom-designed mattress, handheld lanterns, walking sticks for hiking, and a basket filled with goodies like s’mores, wine, and tea.
2. Fernwood Resort
Big Sur Area | Big Sur River
✓ Rating: 7.8 / 10 | Reviews: 530+ | View on Booking.com
Best For | Retreats, nature enthusiasts.
Location | Out of the unique stays in Big Sur, Fernwood Resort is one of the most well-loved. The campground and resort are quaintly located on the banks of the Big Sur River, its cabins and motel surrounded by redwood trees.
Less than a mile from Fernwood Resort is Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for adventuring, and about four miles away is Pfeiffer Beach.
Features & Facilities | One of the cool places to stay in Big Sur, Fernwood Resort includes a general store & espresso bar, forest, and meadow view cabins, a 12-unit motel, a tavern, a camping supply store, a 60-unit campground, and the Redwood Bar & Grill.
Safe to say, Fernwood Resort has the facilities to supply various needs!
Grab a bite at Fernwood Resort’s bar and grill for indoor or patio dining with the coastal redwoods sprawling out before you while sipping on delectable specialty cocktails.
Rooms | This accommodation near Big Sur is truly one of a kind, one of the best hotels in Big Sur, California, and a magnificent step into the enchanting nature of Big Sur’s outdoors.
Go glamping in one of Fernwood Resort’s Adventure Tents. These luxury tent cabins shaded underneath towering redwood trees are paired with an electric tent heater, firepit, picnic table, and bed made with fresh linen.
Reserve one of the Forest & Meadow View Cabins bordering Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. These scenic cabins can fit up to six people per cabin, with desirable amenities such as a fully equipped kitchen, living room, and bathrooms for a stay in the beautiful redwood forest with opportunities to catch sight of wild deer at dusk and dawn.
3. Big Sur Lodge
Big Sur Area | Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
✓ Rating: 7.7 / 10 | Reviews: 590+ | View on Booking.com
Best For | Sightseeing, short stays, retreats, pet-friendly, family-friendly.
Location | Big Sur Lodge is one of the best places to stay Big Sur, situated in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park right off Highway 1.
The cabins of Big Sur Lodge are less than four miles from Pfeiffer Beach for a day of adventure spent in the sun on the sand.
Features & Facilities | The best hotel in Big Sur for a rejuvenating retreat, this quaint Big Sur hotel is also excellent for sightseeing local attractions such as the renowned Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, nicknamed the “mini Yosemite.”
At Big Sur Lodge, guests receive complimentary parking, access to hiking trails, and a seasonal outdoor pool for a refreshing swim.
Down your daily dosage of caffeine at the Espresso House, serving specialty tea and coffee drinks, tasty deli sandwiches, and hand-dipped ice cream.
Savor fresh, delectable meals at the Big Sur Lodge’s Homestead Restaurant with outdoor patio seating overlooking the beauty of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
Rooms | With 62 cottage-style rooms, all nestled in the heart of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Big Sur Lodge’s accommodations have a captivating appeal and easy access to adventures through this famous park.
One of the pet-friendly hotels in Big Sur, Big Sur Lodge, requires advance notice for guests planning on bringing a pet. All cottages at the lodge have kitchenettes, a fireplace, and an outdoor deck for basking in the natural wonders of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park right outside your door.
4. Big Sur River Inn
Big Sur Area | Big Sur River
✓ Rating: 8 / 10 | Reviews: 235+ | View on Booking.com
Best For | Retreats, honeymooners, family-friendly.
Location | A pick of many top hotels in the Big Sur area, Big Sur River Inn is named after the Big Sur River, which the hotel overlooks for a picturesque stay.
The historic buildings of Big Sur River Inn date back to the 1930s, conveniently located only six miles from big attractions in the area, including California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Point Sur State Historic Park, and Pfeiffer Beach.
Features & Facilities | One of the Big Sur unique places to stay, Big Sur River Inn continues a long-running tradition of seasonal Sunday afternoon live music with savory BBQ on the smoker during the summer months.
Relish in freshly cooked meals at the Restaurant at Big Sur River Inn. The full-service bar and restaurant cooks lunch and dinner served on the scenic outdoor decks, on the lawn, or even on the Big Sur River’s bank, where guests can savor the cool rush of the water on their feet.
Rooms | For a scenic stay, choose Big Sur River Inn’s Riverside Suites, which present breathtaking panoramas of Big Sur River, the redwood forest, and the long stretch of grassy lawn.
This scenic selection features king-size beds, coffee makers, televisions, and trundle-style beds available in the living rooms.
The Motel Style Rooms are off the historic Highway One, near the main lodge. This accommodation is furnished with one or two queen-size beds and a television.
Big Sur Cabins & Homes
5. Beautiful Big Sur House with Pool & Spa
Big Sur Area | Coastlands
✓ Rating: 9.6 / 10 | Reviews: 75+ | View on VRBO.com
Best For | Retreats, luxury lovers, friends trip, family-friendly
Location | Rivaling the luxury hotels in Big Sur, Beautiful Big Sur Home is a spectacular private stay in the prestigious Coastlands neighborhood.
It features a home and guest house rented together within walking distance of freshly baked goods at Big Sur Bakery and fine dining at Nepenthe.
Features & Facilities | Big Sur Home presents outrageously rewarding viewpoints of the south coast and the redwood forest surrounding the private property of five acres.
With a stay at Big Sur Home, guests can adventure nature on accessible hiking trails, offering gorgeous views of Big Sur throughout the journey.
Then, cool off in the heated swimming pool and laze on the outdoor furniture in the sun while basking in the coastal sights as food cooks on the grill.
Rooms | Located in one of the most scenic places to stay in Big Sur, CA, Big Sur Home is an exceptionally scenic stay with luxurious accommodations.
Of the four bedrooms to pick from, all present outstanding panoramic scenery of the south coast and redwood forest Big Sur is notorious for. Big Sur Home has a spacious setting of three full baths, five beds that can sleep nine, a kitchen, a living room, and an outdoor deck.
6. Big Sur Cabin
Big Sur Area | Clear Ridge
✓ Rating: 10 / 10 | Reviews: 5+ | View on VRBO.com
Best For | First-time visitors, luxury lovers, nature enthusiasts, honeymooners
Location | A refreshing Big Sur California accommodation, the On a Clear Ridge House is nestled into Clear Ridge, facing stunning ocean vistas.
One of the best hotels in Big Sur on the beach, a ten-minute walk from the stay will have you sinking your toes in the Pfeiffer Beach’s sands as the waves gently crash against the shoreline.
Features & Facilities | Guests can access a fully stocked kitchen to make breakfast or dinner and pour a glass of wine as a nightcap.
The dining room boasts a 270-degree panorama of the ocean and mountain for a glorious sunset and sunrise perspectives.
The open living room features a fireplace designed with built-in Bancos. The spacious living room in the On a Clear Ridge House is perfect for cozying up on a cool summer’s evening. Sky lighting allows natural lighting to fill the accommodation and connect guests to Big Sur’s encompassing and rejuvenating elements.
The redwood deck and stone terrace allow for private and healing sunbathing spent in the replenishing outdoors.
Rooms | This lodging in Big Sur is one you’ll never forget with its luxurious accommodations and unique scenic setting.
Each room in the On a Clear Ridge House features spectacularly fantastic scenery of the waving ocean, the rugged mountain, and the thriving redwood forest.
On a Clear Ridge House has three bedrooms, a lounge area, 2 ½ baths, and an office with a desk for those working on vacation.
The Master Bedroom has the most favorable amenities, including an indoor and outdoor shower, a built-in reading seat, a skylight, and a writing desk.
7. Inspiring Oceanfront Home
Big Sur Area | Notleys Landing
✓ Rating: 4.9 / 5 | Reviews: 10+ | View on VRBO.com
Best For | Sightseeing, friends trip.
Location | Settled near Notleys Landing, this Big Sur oceanfront home paints a breathtaking picture of the Big Sur coastline perched above a private ridge over the Pacific Ocean.
The stay is comfortably located at a midway point between Big Sur and Carmel for quick access to local attractions.
Features & Facilities | At this oceanfront Big Sur stay, guests can access a fully functional kitchen, a living room, a patio, and a small gym. Burn off some excess calories or energy at the small gym with views of the ocean sprawling out before you!
Plan a meal to be enjoyed outside on the deck, surrounded by luscious greenery and oceanfront views. Or start the morning with a fresh cup of coffee sitting on the bench facing the eye-catching blues of the Pacific Ocean.
Rooms | This coastline getaway has three bedrooms and sleeps six, with two full baths and a half bath.
Picking this destination is perfect for a friend’s trip to sightsee fun local attractions in Big Sur and Carmel while relishing the wondrous scenery from this Big Sur oceanfront stay.
From the bedrooms, guests can step outside to be met by the salty breeze of the ocean and the encompassing blue of the ocean as it sways with the tide.
8. Cabin Nestled in Forested Canyon
Big Sur Area | Notleys Landing
✓ Rating: 10 / 10 | View on VRBO.com
Best For | Retreats, sightseeing.
Location | Set in the best place to stay in Big Sur, this precious 1930s cabin nestled in a forest canyon is in Notleys Landing of Big Sur.
Notleys Landing was once home to a small community but has since been abandoned, quickly becoming a popular photography and sightseeing destination where cattle often graze.
Features & Facilities | A historic stay established in a 1930s building, this charming cabin boasts replenishing natural lighting through skylight windows speckled throughout the stay.
The stone-tiled fireplace is prepped for lighting a fire to warm and laze on the cozy furniture. Blankets are available for getting comfortable in front of the fireplace or setting up outside on the patio with a cup of warm joe.
It’s important to note that cell service is pretty much nonexistent during this stay, and the Wi-Fi is slow, so working remotely at the cabin is not ideal.
Rooms | This scenic stay in Notleys Landing, Big Sur, has two bedrooms but fits four.
Rooms feature plush mattresses lined with fresh-cleaned linens held up by rustic wood frames. Stylish art and furnishings decorate the rooms and the interior of the stay, exuding a welcoming, cozy charm.
The Master bedroom is incredibly spacious, featuring skylights that open up natural lighting during the day and a star-speckled sky in the evening.
Access to the outdoor patio is available straight from the Master bedroom to bask in the rural magnetism of this outstanding stay.
9. Forest Cottage in Big Sur
Big Sur Area | Heart Circle Mountain
✓ Rating: 9.8 / 10 | Reviews: 10+ | View on VRBO.com
Best For | Adults-only, nature enthusiasts, sightseeing.
Location | One of the best places to stay in Big Sur, California, this accommodation is magnificently nestled in a quaint oasis on Heart Circle Mountain surrounded by a redwood forest and oak glen.
Featuring a sunny and unique microclimate, Heart Circle Mountain is a great sightseeing spot for nature enthusiasts to observe wildlife like foxes, birds, and deer in their natural habitat.
Features & Facilities | Heart Circle Mountain is a prized accommodation in Big Sur, the private property opening up panoramic coastal views.
During a stay at Heart Circle Mountain, guests have access to two on-site hiking trails right outside the stay. These scenic hiking trails have charming lounging areas with full-sized hammocks, tables, and chairs, located creekside to relax or oceanside to relish in the vistas.
The Zen Trail maneuvers up the Garrapata Ridge, with awe-inspiring vistas of the valley, ocean, and mountains from above. You might see a fox who has made its den under the trail if you’re lucky!
Next, the Waterfall Trail winds through the redwood forest through the stay’s private section of Palo Colorado Creek. The Forest Glen is at the trail’s halfway point, which features an old-growth redwood fairy ring and a 20-foot waterfall.
Rooms | This two-story historic 1930s cottage has been lovingly renovated to feature art glass lighting, Venetian plaster walls, and tumbled marble for a luxurious stay in Heart Circle Mountain.
In the upstairs section of the cottage are two skylights perfect for stargazing at night and filling the space with natural lighting during the day.
A queen sleigh bed is located upstairs, fitted with a Tempur-Pedic mattress, the highest quality linens, and a down duvet. A spacious sitting area is furnished with a love seat, desk, armchairs, and a Smart TV for streaming upstairs.
10. Big Sur Dream House
Big Sur Area | Notleys Landing
✓ Rating: 9.8 / 10 | Reviews: 95+ | View on VRBO.com
Best For | Nature enthusiasts, retreats.
Location | One of the Big Sur unique stays you should not pass on during your vacation, Big Sur Dream Home is conveniently located in Notley’s Landing area of Big Sur.
The scenic property was featured on Urban Outfitters most recently and is only a ten-minute drive to Garrapata Beach.
Features & Facilities | Big Sur Dream Home’s setting features refreshing and awe-inspiring panoramic views of oak ridges and redwood forests.
Perfect privacy at this stay establishes an intimate luxury where solitude is a blessing, surrounded by Big Sur’s glorious natural wonders.
High-speed internet, Wi-Fi, satellite, telephone, and Sono speaker access are provided.
There is a barbecue grill for grilling out while enjoying the great outdoors by the outdoor adobe fireplace. Activity guides, hiking books, and maps are provided for guests wishing to experience the full adventure of Big Sur during their stay!
Rooms | A quaint stay perfect for one or two people, Big Sur Dream Home’s accommodations include a queen-size bed in the home loft and the spacious yurt.
There is an outdoor bath for soaking in the relaxing warm water and the rejuvenating atmosphere surrounded by the thriving redwood forest. The short journey to the outdoor guest bath makes for a pleasant one as the flower and plant-speckled garden patio lines the path.
11. Breathtaking Secluded Retreat
Big Sur Area | Carmel
✓ Rating: 9.8 / 10 | Reviews: 10+ | View on VRBO.com
Best For | Adults-only, retreats.
Location | If you’re searching for hotels around Big Sur, consider this unique stay!
Set in one of the best places to stay near Big Sur, Sea Swept, this breathtaking retreat, is mere minutes south of Carmel, with inspiring views of the Pacific Ocean in sight.
There are famous attractions such as Cannery Row, Big Sur, and Point Lobos State Park, less than a half-hour away from this stay.
Features & Facilities | One of the best hotels near Big Sur, CA, this third-generation artist home presents a unique charisma that serves as the ultimate getaway and retreat from the hustle and bustle of life.
Sea Swept rests atop cliffs that tower perilously over the ocean to present rewarding views with its high-up location.
Throughout the house are newly installed large windows to better display more eye-catching viewpoints of the scenery from the perspective of Sea Swept.
There is a wood stove for cooking, a coffee and espresso maker for caffeine drinkers, and large flat-screen televisions for entertainment.
Rooms | There are two bedrooms and two full bathrooms available at Sea Swept. Each bedroom features a king and a twin bed to sleep six people. Fresh linens and towels are provided throughout the stay for maximum cleanliness and comfort.
Simmer and soak in the hot tub while basking in the intimate vibes of this charming and scenic stay.
12. Oceanfront Luxury Home
Big Sur Area | Slates Hot Springs
✓ Rating: 9.6 / 10 | Reviews: 80+ | View on VRBO.com
Best For | Friends trip, honeymooners, luxury-lovers.
Location | One of the best places to stay at Big Sur, this oceanfront luxury stay empowers motivating Pacific Ocean viewpoints from its scenic property.
A short drive from this stay is fresh baked goods from Big Sur Bakery, decadent eats from Lucia Lodge Restaurant, and Post Ranch Inn’s award-winning restaurant, Sierra Mar.
Features & Facilities | This luxurious oceanfront retreat presents numerous favorable features and facilities.
The outdoor yoga area is perfect for beginning the day with a relaxing meditative session within view of the Pacific Ocean as the waves crash against the shoreline.
Additionally, this yoga area has outdoor showers, a dry sauna, and Jack and Jill copper soaking tubs for maximum comfort and convenience.
Outside the oceanfront luxury retreat are an amphitheater and a fire ring with outdoor furniture within the perfect placement of the best panoramic viewpoints.
Rooms | Offering the most extravagant and desirable Big Sur accommodations, this oceanfront luxury retreat features 3000 square feet of space. The elegant modern home features three bedrooms, four beds, 2½ baths, and a studio with a king bed, ¾ bath, and breakfast nook.
Savor a full night’s rest in the master bedroom or take a cat nap on the lounge chair in the sun in front of the expansive windows offering scenic viewpoints of the Pacific Ocean at this luxurious stay.
Boutique Hotels in Big Sur Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best Big Sur hotels on the beach?
One of the best hotels in Big Sur on the beach is the Big Sur Cabin – On a Clear Ridge House. It’s just a ten-minute walk from Pfeiffer Beach, where you can dip your toes and feel the gentle waves just minutes away from your staycation.
What is the best boutique hotel in Big Sur for couples?
Alila Ventana Big Sur is the perfect boutique hotel in Big Sur for couples. This romantic hotel offers couples treatment in its outdoor cabanas for a private and intimate experience.
What is the best boutique hotel in Big Sur for hikers?
Hikers have access to two on-site hiking trails right outside Forest Cottage in Big Sur. The Zen Trail and Waterfall Trail offer some pretty astonishing views around Big Sur, California.
What are the most luxurious boutique hotels in Big Sur?
Oceanfront Luxury Home is the most luxurious boutique hotel Big Sur has to offer. This facility has its own outdoor yoga area, amphitheater, and a fire ring that has awesome panoramic views of the surroundings.
What is the best Big Sur boutique hotel for families?
Big Sur Lodge is one of the best boutique hotels for families. This facility offers guests access to hiking trails and a seasonal outdoor pool. It also has its Espresso House offering delicious sandwiches, refreshing tea and coffee drinks and hand-dipped ice cream perfect for kids and kids at heart.
What is the best pet-friendly Big Sur boutique hotel?
Alila Ventana is an adults-only boutique hotel that is one of the best pet-friendly hotels in Big Sur. It’s just minutes away from Pfeiffer Beach where you and your furbaby can relax and just feel the sun and wind on the beach.
What is the most unique place to stay in Big Sur, CA?
Big Sur River Inn is one of Big Sur’s unique places to stay in. This property continues to offer a long-running tradition of seasonal Sunday afternoon live music with delicious barbecues during the summer.
Best Boutique Hotels in Big Sur Conclusion
If you’re searching for the best place to stay in Big Sur, this list will impress you with the appealing accommodations and amenities paired with unrivaled scenic settings!
Big Sur is an outdoor enthusiasts’ paradise, intertwining redwood forests and the Pacific Ocean for the ultimate magnetic coastal appeal.
Take your pick from the best unique places to stay in Big Sur for an experience you’ll never forget, glamping in the forest or staying in a retreat on the cliffside looking over the ocean with these Big Sur stays!