Big Sur Hotels: Where to Stay in Big Sur – Hotels, Campgrounds, Glamping

Where to stay in Big Sur: hotels, camping, glamping, cabins, affordable, budget and luxury hotels

Big Sur Hotels, Campgrounds, Glamping and Cabins

There are so many Big Sur hotels to choose from! Well, I’m here to help you narrow down and decide where to stay during your trip to Big Sur.

Big Sur, California, is one of my favorite places on earth. I had the most amazing time exploring the area last year, and I am already dreaming of the day I can return. You can read about my latest Big Sur adventure here.

If you’re like me, you prefer to do a bit of research before you plan a trip, and finding the right accommodation to suit your tastes and budget is paramount to having a stress-free vacation. Plus, it’s always a good idea to book hotels and campgrounds well in advance.

There are so many great places to stay along the 100-mile (160-kilometer) cliff-hugging stretch of the Big Sur coastline between Carmel and San Simeon – everything from luxury hotels and resorts, to cost-effective motels, to glamping and public campgrounds. No matter your budget, there’s an accommodation to suit your needs.

Read on to discover my recommendations of where to stay during your Big Sur trip!

Big Sur Hotels: Luxury Accommodations

Carmel Valley Ranch

One Old Ranch Road, Carmel, CA

Carmel Valley Ranch, Big Sur
Carmel Valley Ranch, Big Sur

This Carmel Valley resort is stunning and elegant with an abundance of Northern California natural beauty. Carmel Valley Ranch offers intuitive service and memorable experiences in a truly memorable venue. Guests can savor incomparable comfort, breathtaking vistas, and a delightful array of activities at Carmel Valley Ranch.


  • Spa
  • Pool
  • Pet-friendly
  • Some rooms have outdoor bathtub with a view
  • Room service
  • Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
  • Bar, Lounge & Restaurant
  • Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
  • Family rooms and suite rooms

Prices starting at $380/night.


Ventana Big Sur, An Alila Resort

48123 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA


Ventana Big Sur is a five-star resort located on the Pacific coast amid 160 forested acres. The word ‘Ventana’ is Spanish for window, which is a good name for this beautiful resort with the most beautiful views.

You can choose to stay in a variety of accommodations from guestrooms and suites to the Cottage House or the Coast House.

They even have luxury camping opportunities, see description for Ventana Campground below, under ‘Big Sur Glamping’. This is one of the most beautiful Big Sur hotels you can stay in!

Features Include:

  • Guest fitness facility
  • Space for meetings, weddings and celebrations.
  • Custom in-house catering.
  • Spa Alila
  • The Sur House restaurant
  • Two heated outdoor swimming pools, one with an infinity-edge hot tub
  • Japanese hot baths
  • High-speed wireless Internet access
  • For another $50 you can have the Ventana experience:
    • Flora and Fauna Hike
    • Organic Garden Tour
    • Meditation, tai chi and yoga classes

Prices start at $950.


Hyatt Carmel Highlands

120 Highlands Drive, Carmel

Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Big Sur
Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Big Sur

Only four miles from downtown Carmel, the Highlands Inn offers incredible views of the Pacific Ocean. Since 1917, it has been a haven for discerning travelers and artists. It features 11 suites, 32 ocean view rooms and five rooms with a garden view.

Featured Amenities:

    • Restaurant on-site
    • Free Internet access
    • Natural wood-burning fireplaces
    • Free parking
    • Concierge
    • Fitness Centre
    • Complimentary mountain bikes
    • Swimming pool / three outdoor Jacuzzis
    • Babysitting services
    • Room Service Meeting Facilities

Prices starting at $469.


Post Ranch Inn

47900 CA-1, Big Sur, CA

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

Post Ranch Inn is a magnificent five-star hotel with luxurious guest rooms and private bungalows and houses for adults only. You must be 18 years of age or older to stay here. The atmosphere is elegant and romantic … a perfect getaway for those who want to connect with nature and the beauty of the Big Sur in an environment of opulence and privacy.

Cliff House

The Cliff House is a gorgeous free-standing structure with a deck suspended over the cliffs. Guests enter through an enclosed garden courtyard. The glass-walled bedroom features a wood-burning fireplace and radiant-heated floors.


  • Daily gourmet buffet breakfast
  • Mini-bar offering snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Valet parking
  • Use of Lexus vehicles
  • Daily yoga
  • Guided nature hikes
  • Stargazing
  • Garden tours
  • Access to the infinity swimming pool

Prices start at $1,265 per night.


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Big Sur Hotels: Affordable and Budget

Big Sur River Inn

46800 Highway One, Big Sur, CA

Big Sur River Inn
Big Sur River Inn

Built on the banks of the Big Sur River by one of the area’s first homesteaders, the inn celebrated its 80thanniversary this year. It was originally named the Apple Pie Inn, because back in 1934, the owner opened her living and dining rooms and served hot apple pie to guests. It was renamed the River Inn in 1943. Extensive renovations were completed in 1988. This is one of the most affordable Big Sur Hotels.


  • Restaurant with dining room and outside deck
  • General store with burrito & pizza bar
  • Outdoor pool
  • On-site gas station
  • Free wireless Internet in common areas
  • Rooms are non-smoking
  • Pets are not allowed

Prices from $150 USD.


Gorda Springs Resort

72801 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

Gorda Springs Resort, Big Sur
Gorda Springs Resort, Big Sur

Located on the gorgeous south coastline of the Big Sur, Gorda Springs Resort is similar to a little village. You can stay in individual cottages or houses as they call them. And while there you can dine out, get gas, shop at the general store and gift shop and enjoy the deli & espresso bar. The hotel is just 200 feet from the ocean, overlooking a deep water channel, which means you have a fantastic chance of seeing humpback whales!

I’ve personally eaten breakfast at the on-site Whalewatch Cafe, and the food was great – but the views were absolutely insane! Such an amazing place to watch for humpback whales, right along the Big Sur coastal road – not tucked into the trees like many other hotels.


  • on-site dining, gas, a general store, gift shop, deli and espresso bar
  • views of the rugged coastline and mountains
  • 200 feet from the ocean, overlooking a deep water channel

Prices from $225 USD.


Edgemere Cottages

San Antonio Avenue 4 SE of 13th St, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Edgemere Cottages, Big Sur
Edgemere Cottages, Big Sur

Built in the early 1920s, blending European-style architecture with the beauty of its natural surroundings, Edgemere is a quaint Bed & Breakfast and features three private cottages – Piccadilly, Rosemont and Devon. They are pet friendly and contain all the modern conveniences you would expect.


  • A breakfast basket in provided in your cottage filled with a variety of fruit, oatmeal, yogurt and homemade sweet bread
  • Each cottage has its own bathroom
  • Close to shopping area, restaurants and golf courses
  • Only one block from the beach

Prices start at $239 USD


Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

48865 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

Feel like you are stepping back in time when you visit Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn. Nestled in Castro Canyon on the edge of the redwood forest, it was built by Norwegian immigrants Helmuth and Helen Deetjen in the ‘30s, and in 1990, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Each room is uniquely designed and the entire inn has an old-world European feel.


  • Award-winning Deetjen’s Restaurant
  • Linen sheets and duvet covers
  • No TV, Internet access or telephones
  • Five rooms share two bathrooms
  • Other rooms have private bath
  • No pets
  • Two-night stay minimum

Price starting at $250 USD for double occupancy room with queen bed.


Lucia Lodge

62400 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

Lucia Lodge, Big Sur
Lucia Lodge, Big Sur

Built on the ocean cliffs in the 1930s, and nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountains, Lucia Lodge boasts spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean where you can watch the whales.


  • Continental breakfast
  • Down comforters
  • Satellite Internet
  • No telephones or TVs
  • Country store
  • Indoor/outdoor dining
  • Satellite Internet

Prices starting at $275 USD.


Glen Oaks Big Sur

47080 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

Glen Oaks, Big Sur
Glen Oaks, Big Sur

Glen Oaks Big Sur is a vast property situated on 20 acres, which offers a variety of accommodations ranging from the more affordable Adobe Motor Lodge for about $375 per night to the luxurious Bridge House for a minimum two-night stay at $3,600 US.

Bridge House is Glen Oaks Big Sur’s largest accommodation. To get there, you have to cross a 150-foot suspension footbridge over the Big Sur River – but it’s worth it. The house is gorgeous with floor to ceiling windows, two master bedrooms with king beds, private baths and walk-in showers. There’s also a huge fully-stocked kitchen. And if you need more room for your party, there are two additional detached sleeping quarters nestled in the redwoods just a few feet away from the main house.


  • Big Sur Roadhouse restaurant.
  • Features vary depending on the cabin you are staying in.
  • Kitchenettes to fully-stocked kitchens with stove, fridge and dishwasher.
  • Heated floors and walk-in showers.
  • Patios or decks, fire pits, firewood and a fire starter.
  • All cabins have wireless Internet service and telephone.
  • No TVs, no smoking and no pets.

Prices start at $375 USD.


Big Sur Camping: Public Campgrounds in Big Sur

Camping in Big Sur includes everything from tenting to RV camping – even glamping!

Be sure to check the Parks website ahead of time to ensure the area hasn’t been closed due to flood damage or other adverse conditions. And you’ll want to make advance reservations – some campgrounds are booking six months ahead. Online reservations can be made at Reserve California or you can call tollfree: 1-800-444-7275.

The Big Sur Chamber of Commerce provides a good overview of camping in the area, and they do a great job of updating the information. For instance, I found out that Bottchers Gap Campground is now closed until further notice.

Sadly, due to dry weather, California has lately been a high-risk area for wildfires. As a result, many campgrounds have fire restrictions. You can check with the U.S. Forest Service here before heading out on your camping adventure.

Here are some of the Big Sur campgrounds I recommend:

Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground

Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground is a favourite area for RV camping and tent sites. Each campsite includes a parking area for at least one car, a fire pit with half-grill and a picnic table. No hookups are provided at any site. Fresh water, hot showers and toilets are a short walk away.

Camping fee is $35 USD/night for a standard site or $50/night for a premium riverfront site at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and $40/night at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.


Big Sur Campground & Cabins

47000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

Big Sur Campground & Cabins is definitely family friendly and offers everything from tenting and RV camping on the forest floor to staying in a cabin, which can be rustic or fully equipped depending on your preference. To check availability, call ahead to 831-667-2322.

Rates are:

$185 per night for a cabin plus $20 a night for a third person during the regular season.

$70 a night or $80 for a river campsite for the regular season.

$80/night or $90 for a riverside RV site during the regular season.


Other Campgrounds in Big Sur:

Alder Creek Camp

Limekiln State Park

Riverside Campground & Cabins

Fernwood Resort & Campground

Kirk Creek Campground

Nacimiento Campground

Ponderosa Campground

Plaskett Creek Campground

Get great hotel discounts in Big Sur using Expedia:

Big Sur Glamping

Glamping has revolutionized camping for people who aren’t keen on roughing it. So, if you are someone who wants to experience the magnificence of nature, but also wants the luxury of creature comforts, glamping might be right for you!

Here are some of the best places to try glamping in Big Sur:

Treebones Resort & Campground

71895 Highway 1, South Big Sur, CA

Described as a premier glamping experience, Treebones offers unique lodging and dining on California’s breathtaking Big Sur Coast. You can stay in tent-like yurts that are fully furnished, or you can choose a campsite and bring your own tents and gear. If you decide on a yurt, which is a circular fabric structure with a wood lattice frame, you can expect a queen-sized bed with fresh linens and cozy comforters, heat, electricity, a hot & cold sink vanity, pine wood floors and French doors that open to a redwood deck with incredible coastal views.

Treebones Resort Big Sur
Treebones Resort, Big Sur


  • Pool and hot tub
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Massages
  • Yoga & yoga retreat
  • Restrooms and showers a short walk away
  • Hiking and beachcombing
Treebones Resort Big Sur
Treebones Resort, Big Sur

Note: due to the risk of wildfires, there are fire restrictions in Los Padres National Forest. Check on the status here.

Prices start at $300 USD for two nights (two-person limit) and includes a gourmet breakfast, plus another $225 USD for meals and drinks.


Ventana Campground

48123 Highway One, Big Sur, CA

Ventana, Big Sur
Ventana, Big Sur

Ventana’s Redwood and Canyon Glampsites offer the pleasures of outdoor living with what they describe as world-class amenities. Each site is pet friendly and includes a parking spot, campfire rig and grill, a picnic table and space for one or two tents. Restrooms and showers are available and there is a general store. There is also a nearby restaurant at the Ventana Inn if you don’t feel like eating camp food.


  • Daily housekeeping
  • Morning coffee & tea
  • Custom-curated picnic baskets
  • Wood-burning fire pits with a propane fire pit on the deck
  • Hot & cold potable water with sink
  • Three modern bath houses
  • Heated blankets, electric lamps and USB outlets
  • A basket with s’mores kit, mugs, tea, cutting board, cheese knife, bottle opener and wine glasses
  • Walking sticks for hiking
  • And for $50 extra you can get a Sommelier Wine & Cheese Hour, and
  • Yoga, meditation & Tai Chi classes
  • Hikes and Garden Tours


Price starts at $850 USD per night, excluding taxes & fees.

Fernwood Campground & Resort

47200 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

Fernwood Big Sur
Fernwood Big Sur

Adventure Tents at Fernwood Campground & Resort are luxury tent cabins with a queen bed for a maximum of two people.


  • Fresh bed linens & towels
  • Electric tent heater
  • Public washrooms with unisex showers
  • Picnic table and fire pit
  • Restaurant & bar
  • General store
  • Local hiking trains & state parks

Prices start at $170 USD per night and there is a two-night minimum.


Bixby Bridge, Big Sur at sunset

Big Sur is a road trip MUST to experience at least once in your life. However, if you’re like me, you’ll become obsessed and end up revisiting again and again to continue to explore its ruggedly gorgeous and wild coastline.

If you haven’t yet read my complete travel guide to Big Sur, make sure to give it a read!

Have questions for me about Big Sur, Carmel and area? Have feedback on this blog post? Please feel free to shoot me a comment below! I would love to hear from you!

Disclaimer: There’s a chance that this blog post includes affiliate product links. At absolutely no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission for any purchase made through these links. Any commissions received are very much appreciated, as they help me to be able to continue posting travel blog content free of charge to my lovely readers. However, all recommendations are completely unbiased. I will always only recommend products and services that I truly believe in. Thank you for your support!


Where to stay in Big Sur: hotels, camping, glamping, cabins, affordable, budget and luxury hotels




Big Sur Hotels: Where to Stay in Big Sur – Hotels, Campgrounds, Glamping

I’m Jenn, a photographer, travel writer, and content creator based out of the beautiful Canadian Rockies. I’m glad you’re here – now let’s explore!

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