Hotel

Facilities and Grounds at the Ventana Big Sur

I have written about the Ventana, where I stayed for two nights in October 2020, seven times at length, and this the final entry highlights the facilities of the hotel. This experience is unlike the modern and sophisticated big city hotels, but the tasteful buildings that exists in the relaxing space created by the fusion with nature made for a very photogenic hotel that is picturesque no matter where you look.

It is a pity that multiple facilities could not be used due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Glass House Gallery is right next to The Sur House main dining area. This is the place I stopped in the summer of 2019 and decided that I wanted to stay at this hotel someday.

Ventana Glass House Gallery

I didn’t notice it last time, but the Glass House Gallery was made from a shipping container. I couldn’t go inside, but I took a picture from the entrance door.

Ventana Glass House Gallery

Below is the mountain pool, the smaller of the two pools at the resort. It was about 2 minutes on foot from the cottage house where I stayed.

Ventana Mountain Pool

There is a fitness center and Japanese hot bath right next to the mountain pool, but only the pool was open.

Ventana Mountain Pool

Pictured below is the space used to serve social hours drinks and evening s’mores. The atmosphere is completely different during the day, evening and night. By the way, the fireplace in the center is gas, so it seems prohibited to roast marshmallows.

It was possible to make s’more in this space right next to the gas pit, and this fire pit uses real fire.

It wasn’t open so we couldn’t visit, but this is the Spa Alila building.

Ventana Spa Alila

The direction from Spa Alila to the sea is picturesque.

There was also an Infinity hot tub on the other side of the main pool (Meadow pool), but it too was closed.

Ventana Meadow Pool
Ventana Infinity Hot Tub

Next to the Meadow Pool was a sun deck.

Ventana Sun Deck

My personal favorite is the Ocean Meadow in front of the Meadow Pool and sun deck. It was a luxurious time to zone out while looking at the sea.

Ventana Ocean Meadow

I participated in the Blue Moon Yoga held at Ocean Meadow for free on the night of the second day of my stay. Yoga in the moonlight was interesting. During yoga, I was able to see the sun deck and Meadow Pool.

Ventana Meadow Pool & Sun Deck

Down the hill from the Ocean Meadow, you will find an organic garden. There were also vegetables, herbs and chicken used by the chef.

Ventana Organic Garden
Ventana Organic Garden

Further down from the organic garden, there is a walking trail that surrounds the hotel grounds. It was perfect for a little exercise.

Ventana Walking Trail

Redwood Cathedral along the path from the Japanese Hot Bath to The Sur House.

Ventana Redwood Cathedral

The appearance of the cottage house where I stayed. It is a separate building surrounded by trees and was very private.

Ventana The Cottage House
Ventana The Cottage House

No matter where you go, likely you will be walking on a slope. On the left is the Sycamore House. There are 4 rooms in this building.

Ventana Sycamore House

At dusk at Madron House, between Sycamore House and The Cottage House. The left side contains 2 rooms, and the room on the right is a mystery because the room number is not specified on the map. Is likely a staff residence because it seems to be in use.

Ventana Madrone House

Eco-conscious water stations are installed in several places on the site. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen it at the hotel I stayed at since Grand Hyatt Kauai.

Ventana Water Stations

It was a very satisfying and full stay, but there were some concerns about the service.

When I ordered lunch with room service, the staff forgot the sparkling water we ordered. When I called to remind them, I received still water, and eventually I received sparkling water after some effort. There was a touch panel communication system in the room, but I couldn’t use it because it was programmed with a different guest name. The staff came and told me they would send someone to fix it, but in the end no one came. When I asked if I could buy my favorite grape juice at Beverage Social Hour, it seemed to be available at The Sur House bar and I asked for the price at dinner. Our server didn’t know the price, but assured me he would leave a note with the bar and we’d have the information at breakfast. Nobody at breakfast was able to answer the question.

I think that the service skills of each staff member are high, but I feel that the cooperation between staff members is not good enough. That said, I’m really grateful that during the coronavirus pandemic I was able to refresh while maintaining a social distance with other guests and staff.

It seems that there are 59 guest rooms in total, but only about 50 rooms were in operation in October 2020 when I stayed. Guests usually come from all over the world and all over the United States. The guests seem to be divided into two extremes: young couples before having a family or empty nest couples. There were quite a lot of young couples bringing their dogs. Also, because the bay area is near, I got the impression that there are many young silicon valley executives among the guests.

During my stay, there were some confusing parts with price notation and no notation on the menu, but it seemed that the reason was that there was a mixture of all-inclusive and non-all-inclusive guests depending on the reservation type. Actually, I was staying during the 25% point return campaign, so it was even better because I usually needed 60,000 Hyatt points for 2 nights, but instead it only took 45,000 Hyatt points per night. During standard time in the US, dinner will need to be around 5:30 pm if you want to enjoy sunset during dinner. If I come back, I would like to come to Daylight Saving Time to enjoy the sunset during dinner a little later in the evening.

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