In such striking surroundings, Post Ranch guests typically arrive and are not seen again until checkout (looking exceptionally healthy and relaxed, it should be noted). But there’s plenty to do outside the suites. Strolls through the Sculpture Garden, morning yoga classes, and soaks in the heated infinity pools are big here, as are visits to the spa, where scenic treatment rooms include two couples’ suites in minimalist glass structures overlooking the verdant Ventana Double Cone peaks.
Leaving the property is OK, too, if you absolutely must. Have your travel advisor arrange a wildlife tour of Andrew Molera State Park
(near mile marker 51.2 on Highway 1) to spot rare California condors with a conservation expert, or go out to Garrapata State Park Beach
(Highway 1, 18 miles north of Big Sur), farm-fresh picnic box in hand, to watch California gray whales pass close during their annual winter migration. Sea kayaking and beach biking to view otters and sea lions are other options.
Stargazing is never a mistake on clear nights. Sheltered from the Bay Area’s urban lights, Big Sur’s skies are dark enough – particularly around Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
(near mile marker 47.2 on Highway 1) – to track satellites and shooting stars for an evening rich in wishes. Or just hole up at Post Ranch, where they bring out the telescope (and complimentary wine) for a true cosmic experience.