Author Topic: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)  (Read 6050 times)

Offline shiframeir

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Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« on: May 19, 2021, 10:58:31 PM »
Trying to do this on Tapatalk...

We had done a little hike in Big Sur on our way down the pch a few years ago and always wanted to come back and stay at the uber expensive Post Ranch Inn. When we both got vaccinated and then had a personal tragedy combined with way too much work, we decided we needed to get away for a few days and really relax/imbibe some nature.

Part 1 Flights

I found 20k saver fares on business class flights (on on aa jfk to SFO A321 three class plane that I jumped on, using a bunch I had held onto for a few years and having a friend transfer the rest through marriott points. This flight was a 7:30 morning flight so we had to get up early but having the comfy bed (fabric and plush throughout, and imho better than the leather delta one flatbed and the mint bed which is hard in the wrong places) was key to pick up 2-3 hours of sleep so we could last the west coast day. We grabbed some kosher goodies at the aa lounge and hopped on at final call. Iím a bubby so I took extra chobani and bagels just in case. The kosher breakfast was decent and overall the service was excellent, I even got a bourbon to bring to the hotel.














On the way back I booked the latest mint flight Thursday night leaving at midnight for about $500 a ticket with points on my Amex plats (so I get 35% of my points back). About a week after I booked the price doubled and never came back down so I was happy I grabbed em. All the suites were available but my wonderful wife preferred we sit together so alas I gave up on that value (this is the old mint suite anyway, not such a novelty).
Unlike my previous redeye JetBlue mint experience, this one was a bit bumpy. Though the tuft and needle stuff were nice, I felt the seat was pretty uncomfortable for sleeping and had hard parts at places where u place lots of weight (shoulder etc if on your side, and u canít sleep on your back if you are fat like me bc itís right). I still got my 2-3 hours but not as great as aa.
Service was also weak, didnít get headphones til up in the air for a while, no drinks for a while and they forgot to even give us their drink menu at first, and a Pesach meal!! I did eat some gefilte joining the mile chai club, and the raspberry roll was fine too as a Pesach shlishi tribute, but itís kinda crazy they are still serving these on mint. The raspberry gelato at the end (had to be glidini) was delicious though, and the flight arrived over 20 Minutes early.
on the bright side, i grabbed a small bulleit bourbon for shabbos, and their takeaway am snack bag was all kosher, but that green juice was pretty nasty...


















Next we can talk about the actual stops on the way to ventana, an alila (and hyatt) resort.

In the interest of time, if anyone is interested the food from Chabad of monterey supplied by the hotel for a $100 total surcharge for the whole stay was delicious and plentiful, and I highly recommend this for anyone that enjoys the outdoors.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2021, 11:28:11 PM by shiframeir »

Offline zow

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2021, 11:07:26 PM »
Great start.  We have been pre-contemplating a drive up the coast and a stay in Ventana.   Great to hear that the Chabad food option is viable and not priced exorbitantly. Did you use Hyatt points?
Looking forward to the rest...

Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2021, 11:29:13 PM »
Great start.  We have been pre-contemplating a drive up the coast and a stay in Ventana.   Great to hear that the Chabad food option is viable and not priced exorbitantly. Did you use Hyatt points?
Looking forward to the rest...
yes all hyatt points, we splurged 60k per night for the vista hot tub suite (which has the most privacy, a large outdoor space really all to ourselves).

Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2021, 01:33:08 AM »
Review of Ventana here with some pics, may supplement as I go through. Still want to post on stops/hikes we did at some point. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g240329-d143905-r789273289-Ventana_Big_Sur_An_Alila_Resort-Big_Sur_California.html?m=19905

Offline Dan

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 01:25:46 PM »
Nice TR.
Any room or food pics?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2021, 01:33:31 PM »
Nice TR.
Any room or food pics?
food pics below (first day milchigs/salmon werenít great, shwarma was excellent with all the fillings provided (note itís not on menu but she told me she would have the week I was there so always contact rebetzin binie before u go to see options). Chicken on bone and marinated chicken were good but not shwarma level. Soups for lunch generally were never heated hot enough to enjoy, and didnít like the mushroom barley though I liked the butternut squash (wife thought too sweet). bourekas heated for lunch were good and a smart inclusion. egg salad and tuna were also good for lunch (tuna was a bit more israeli-tuna tasting) and they all came with delicious pretzel buns, and lunch and dinner came with great salads. we really could have both lived off of one portion each meal if needed.

room pics are in the TripAdvisor review I can repost later.























« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 01:38:14 PM by shiframeir »

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2021, 06:17:12 PM »
(fabric and plush throughout, and imho better than the leather delta one flatbed and the mint bed which is hard in the wrong places
Underrated problem, the B6 seat is very uncomfortable. I do prefer DL for the 1-2-1 config though.
״וזה כלל גדול: שישנא אדם כל דבר שקר. וכל מה שיוסיף שנאה לדרכי השקר Ė יוסיף אהבה לתורה.״ - אורחות צדיקים

Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2021, 12:55:32 AM »
Some more pics/details for trip from sfo down to Big Sur via silicon valley





From sfo we went for lunch at the Jcc in Palo Alto which (in addition to housing a fitness center, a kollel, a nondenominational daycare and a beis yaakov,  had great (I mean really great) sushi but u must order in advance bc itís basically one guy and an order can take a half hour. But really fresh and high quality fish and inventive combos. Note I didnít try spicy stuff.
We also stopped by the kosher Krispy Kreme to grab some stuff as we didnít realize the Chabad of Monterey food would turn out as well as it did.

Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2021, 01:01:53 AM »
Pics of the ventana entrance etc. u obviously need a car here and we got a convertible which we enjoyed a lot. U park a few flights down from the resort and go up stairs, valet was great with just text messaging before we would show up. They roast marshmallows by the big fire pit at night, but I didnít see any hechsherim so we just chilled there for a bit and they gave us complimentary beers which was nice.
The room (the vista hot tub suite) is huge and awesome; we loved the soaking tub with sea salts, and the fireplace too. There was also a decent mini fridge with drinks inside which werenít replenished during our stay but we filled it with leftovers. At each meal u can order Perrier or other drinks, including lattes (when u order premium stuff like lattes I think there was a tip requested).










Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2021, 01:09:12 AM »
I shlepped binoculars on my trip only to find each room has their own almost as good, so remember no need for that. The porch was wonderfully secluded at the vista hot tub suite so much that my wife wasnít too worried about absolute tznius requirements. The room looks over a bluff with parking further down, and though we saw rabbits and other small animals, no people. The hot tub was excellent, but too hot for me since we were trying to conceive :) so for the mrs to allow me to use it I had to get the temp lowered (which the hotel did quickly and easily through the front of the cabin).
There is no hammock in this room, but the big couch was great to lounge on and the hammock rooms all looked to have less privacy.











Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2021, 01:16:36 AM »
As noted we love the mustang convertible for 2 person trips, itís a great ride and has appleplay/easy cruise control and a cooling seat (not just heated) which is key for a long drive. I wish other companyís copied that from Ford (esp for the Honda Odyssey).
The tech at the hotel is good,  but their tablet is clunky and they give u a rotary phone with no speakerphone, and the front desk is #0 so I rarely used it, instead I just texted regularly with front desk which was really great (when there are less than 60 rooms there is real great attention).
The key to this hotel is the redwood forest, I will load some more pics but just the sound and smell of sitting deep in the hotel forest areas is so meditative and relaxing.











Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2021, 12:12:58 AM »
As I noted earlier the food from Chabad of monterey was amazing and made this trip so much more comfortable than it could have been (and getting all meals for free was awesome, though I recommend giving a nice donation if you are happy).
Everything was packaged nicely and safely (this was may 2021, so covid still around though we vaxxed), I found the milchig ziti and salmon to be meh, but the 2 other nights fleishig options, esp the shawarma, was great. Breakfasts had nice pastries and cereal and fresh fruits (wife went nuts over the kosher fresh raspberries she couldnít remember having before) and every lunch had a soup (but it was hard to really enjoy with the limited hotel reheating skills on double wrapped soup cups) and every lunch and dinner had a great salad and there was so much we saved some to cover the final day of departure lunch. The Caesar dressing was great (even added it to the tuna and egg salad to spice up a bit), and the pretzel rolls were delish. I just messaged when I wanted them brought to my room, usually with drinks we chose and they were always on time.










Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2021, 12:20:29 AM »
Hikes/views:










Offline shiframeir

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2021, 12:25:38 AM »









Offline bens613

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2022, 11:22:51 PM »
Great review.  I'm going there next week and they said the chabad food is $150 per GUEST. Being that I'm there 2 nights,  300 bucks for glorified airplane food sounds alot.  At 100 bucks total it would be a no brainer.  Also did they make you fill out your food requests in advance?

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2022, 11:28:04 PM »
Great review.  I'm going there next week and they said the chabad food is $150 per GUEST. Being that I'm there 2 nights,  300 bucks for glorified airplane food sounds alot.  At 100 bucks total it would be a no brainer.  Also did they make you fill out your food requests in advance?
we were supposed to tell them at least 24 hours in advance on choices, I suggest reaching out directly bc hotel menu wasnít as up to date as what the rebetzin told me she had (including shwarma which was great).
This was WAY better than airplane food, but not sure if you will find it worthwhile. For us as a real escape we needed we probably would have paid. Note they ended up not charging us for this, unclear if they are makpid at the hotel now.

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2022, 12:17:18 AM »
we were supposed to tell them at least 24 hours in advance on choices, I suggest reaching out directly bc hotel menu wasnít as up to date as what the rebetzin told me she had (including shwarma which was great).
This was WAY better than airplane food, but not sure if you will find it worthwhile. For us as a real escape we needed we probably would have paid. Note they ended up not charging us for this, unclear if they are makpid at the hotel now.

They seem to be makpid on this 150 per guest fee for the kosher food.  I was anyways bringing pizza maker for lunches. Do you think the hotel will have a problem with me bbqing on their property with a charcoal grill?

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2022, 12:19:00 AM »
They seem to be makpid on this 150 per guest fee for the kosher food.  I was anyways bringing pizza maker for lunches. Do you think the hotel will have a problem with me bbqing on their property with a charcoal grill?
yea definitely. Very small intimate place and workers going around all the time. Maybe if u so on your porch neighbors wonít notice/tattle but I wouldnít bet on it

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Re: Ventana Big Sur Getaway (upper Pacific Coast)
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2022, 11:39:55 AM »
Great review.  I'm going there next week and they said the chabad food is $150 per GUEST. Being that I'm there 2 nights,  300 bucks for glorified airplane food sounds alot.  At 100 bucks total it would be a no brainer.  Also did they make you fill out your food requests in advance?
Don't know if you saw my review. We were never actually charged