The lure of the cooler breezes of Big Sur was strong after the 93-degree weather we were “enjoying” in Paso Robles. So, when we decided to extend our mini-honeymoon for a day, we headed back to the coast and drove north for a last minute escape to a ocean-side hotel in Ragged Point, California.
If you have been paying attention to the news, you know that Big Sur has had its share of massive rock slides over the last few months. As it turns out, there was another quite dangerous one in the hours before we arrived. Ragged Point is still open, but it is literally the last point on Highway 1 before the road closure. And while they had hoped the road would have a partial open by June, this latest slide has put those road estimates back by at least seven months. While it’s a pain in the ass for travelers, I can’t even imagine what it is like to be caught in the homes between the latest slide and the damaged bridge.
Everyone in the area is impacted, but Ragged Point Inn is doing its best to greet the visitors from the south while keeping its metaphorical fingers crossed for the eventual re-opening of the coast highway. How was our experience at Ragged Point? It was mixed, but most of my disappointments came at the hands of the weather – hardly the Inn’s fault. So, let’s start with the good stuff.
Many of the rooms at Ragged Point Inn have views of the ocean. The entire property sits just above the ocean, so if you are hoping to be close to the water, and close to attractions like Hearst Castle or points of interest in Cambria, this could be your spot. When the road opens, it gives you a great base for exploring Big Sur to the north.
There is a restaurant with an outdoor patio, a small cafe, and shops on the property. This comes in handy – you won’t need to head south just to grab dinner or coffee in the morning. Also, if it is hot, being able to indulge in some ice cream could be great. The grounds are gorgeous, and we liked the idea of having coastal access and places to roam. The shift from warm to foggy/cold prompted us to buy fleece shortly after we arrived, so we were thrilled to find a shop on the property that didn’t cost a fortune.
Our room had a lovely fireplace that must be divine when the cooler weather sets in. It also turns out to be useful when there is an unexpected fog wave and the temperature drops – we know this first hand. The rooms are clean, and the bed was very comfortable. We also really appreciated the idea behind our little balcony.
Here’s the downside of being so close to Big Sur and the ocean – fog (so much fog). We arrived at Ragged Point, and we were so excited that we paid extra for an ocean view room. We had about 10 minutes in the place before the fog rolled in and created a wall so thick that we couldn’t see the water from the property the rest of the time we were there. Major bummer! Again, not the Inn’s fault, but it was a big disappointment.
The restaurant was not having its best day when we were there. I still think it would be a beautiful place to enjoy a drink as the sun is setting, but I wasn’t all that thrilled with the food. Maybe they were impacted by the slide? No idea. Also, having coastal access seemed like a wonderful idea, but the fog was so heavy that it just didn’t seem safe to walk down those stairs into something we couldn’t really see. Something to be aware of if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
That fireplace works really, really well, but that can mean that the relatively small room can get overheated quickly. We tried turning down the thermostat (which is how it is controlled), but at one point we actually opened the windows. The room overall was very clean and nice, but the bathroom, particularly the bathtub, could use some updating.
Would we go back? Possibly, although I don’t know that I would splurge on an ocean view room. If the weather is on your side, you can easily just walk out on the property to enjoy the views. If the weather brings the wall of fog in, the upgraded room just feels like a waste of money.