A Trip to Ventana Resort // Big Sur, CA- An Honest Review

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Glamping has been on my bucket list for years!  Last month I was browsing places to go locally and I noticed Ventana Resort finally had an opening.  It used to be a three-year waiting list.  So exciting!  I booked right away and then went on a hunt for someone to go with me.   Fast forward a month and well it is still on my bucket list! 🤣

Why?!  A giant storm came through this week and for safety, they closed the glampsite.   Ventana Resort called the night before to let me know they would be canceling and moving my reservation over to the resort side of the property.  Since I had a child with me on the reservation they would put me in an out of the way cabin.  Ok, I thought that still sounds fun.  I planned on checking out the spa and maybe joining the morning hiking group.  Well… none of that happened either.

Ventana Resort featured by top California blog Haute Beauty Guide

Ventana Resort:

It was POURING rain.  The drive down Highway 1 South was scary.  We could barely see and several times I felt like we were going to just tip off into the ocean; the wind was that strong.  I was already kicking myself for even going.  We arrived later than I expected, it was dark, and it was still raining.  We pulled up and the valet handed us an umbrella and directed us up the stairs.  At the top was a cute clubhouse like building that had a game room, lounge, and sitting area.  It was warm and cozy inside.  We were greeted by two people a guy and a lady who immediately told us the resort had an 18+ age limit and that no kids were allowed.  W.T.F.

The glamping side allowed kids.  So we explained that we originally had a reservation to glamp and that the resort changed it due to weather.  Honestly, at this point my nerves were fried from the drive, it was late so I knew I wouldn’t be able to spa and now we couldn’t even go to the restaurant because of Olivia so my regret for even going was strong!  AND, they knew we had a kid… it was on the reservation plus the person who confirmed the night before never mentioned she wasn’t allowed.  If the storm had passed I would have got back in the car and just went home.  After a few minutes, they got it all settled, handed us a key and directed us back down the stairs.

Ventana Resort featured by top California blog Haute Beauty Guide

The room we were in was stunning, I think the view would have been amazing if the storm wasn’t so thick.  The ocean was just through the trees but with so much fog and clouds it wasn’t visible.  There was a real wood burning fireplace (more on that in a minute), a hot tub on the deck, a giant bathtub and spa shower plus a full living room + dining room and a tiny kitchen.  Ok, things were looking up!  After getting all our bags in and getting settled I set up Olivia’s crib.  She was happily unaware of her underage status.  🤣🙈

Since the spa was closed I got a bath ready and did a little facial plus hair treatment.  While my hair mask soaked in I started a fire.  It was cold and windy so it sounded like a great idea.  #TerribleIdea The first hour was great and we all cuddle up to watch Castaway in bed.  Olivia fell asleep so I popped her in the crib  as Castaway was just finishing up.  The wind REALLY started up and the lights all flicked and went out for a few.  Then the trouble started! The wind was so strong it was blowing back into the fireplace smoking us out!  The smoke alarm went off twice.  I had to open all the windows and doors to get the smoke out which woke up the baby and my husband!  After two visits from the most amazing valet ever to help with the smoke, we finally decided to just dump water on it and cart off the carcass of my cozy in theory fire.  (see the full story on instastories it was a disaster)

Ventana Resort featured by top California blog Haute Beauty Guide

Ventana Resort featured by top California blog Haute Beauty Guide

After that, I spent an hour trying to get all the smoke out,  then attempted to watch Below Deck but the TV went out from the storm.  I gave up on the stay and went to sleep.  Olivia slept great in her DreamNest and the bed was comfy so at least we all slept well!  The next morning we had croissants and coffee in the room while watching a little Mickey Mouse Club.  #MomLife right?!  Olivia fell asleep again at 9:30 for her morning nap so KP and I decided to hop in the hot tub.


The storm finally let up but the view was still blocked.  It was so nice sitting out there laughing about the night before and enjoying the space.  We had a hot tub at our last house and would spend every night catching up with our day under the stars.  So fun.  We decided to head back into town a bit early, check out at the resort is 1 pm but I was done and we left at 11 am.

Overall, I still REALLY want to go glamping but I think instead of Olivia and KP I will take a few friends.  KP could barely handle the whole fireplace situation and wanted to drive home!  Ventana Resort is lovely.  We used to go every week for lunch before I got pregnant– probably why I never noticed it was 18+!  From Monterey, it is an easy and quick night away.  The room we stayed in was the COAST HOUSE and it was lovely.  You can see the full tour of it over on my IGTV later this week plus more on our stay on Instastories.

But, honestly, I felt unwelcomed.  This is so hard for me to write.  I hate negative reviews!  I don’t know if it was because our original reservation was for glamping or because Olivia was with us.  When I called for help with the fireplace and to report the alarm no one seemed to care.  The smoke was SO bad I had to wash everything the second we got home.  Even Olivia smelled like smoke!   When I called to check out the bellman helped carry one bag!  KP and I did all the rest.  It just felt like no one wanted to help us or that we weren’t welcomed.  I think on their part they should have just canceled the glamping and either reschedule or refunded or issue a credit for a later date.  But, moving it over to the resort and then treating us like unwanted guests wasn’t the way to go.


What is the craziest thing that happened to you on vacation?

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