How far they have fallen!
This was our second trip to Treebones. It’s amazing how much they went downhill in the ensuing 5 years. Maybe success spoiled them.
Treebones, like every other business on the Big Sur coast, has been over-hyping the “Big Sur experience”. The problem is, only one third of the yurts give you this experience. And all this hype has led to a marked decline in service, which in turn ruined the experience for me.
On the plus side, the location is as beautiful as ever. And dinner, while pricey, is excellent, which is very important since any other good dining is miles of bad road away. Finally, there are a lot of great things you can do as day trips: wine tasting, hiking, going to the ocean, Hearst castle, etc.
Now, about the problems I had. As I mentioned, only a third of the yurts give you the experience they are hyping. Another third, those with a ‘partial ocean view’ are OK; that’s what we stayed in last time. The other third are just very overpriced tents with nothing in their favor and a lot wrong with them. Here’s what you need to know. Yurts 1 and 2 are located at the communal bathrooms, on the same wooden walkway, so they are very noisy and have absolutely no privacy. Yurts 3 and 5 are located on top of the parking lot with no real view or privacy. Yurt 4 is slightly better, still on top of the parking lot, but a little farther back. These are all horrible locations, and for only a 20% discount over the view yurts, they are a gigantic overpriced rip-off.
Unfortunately, I was stuck in yurt 3, the very worst yurt, for four long nights. When I checked in, I said to myself ‘maybe this won’t be so bad’. It was even worse than I feared. And it was due to the staff.
I know that good help is hard to get, and I imagine it is worse out in the middle of nowhere, but the quality of service has really suffered in the last 5 years. Some of the staff are a good as can be, but a number of them are just punching the clock and doing the least they can do. For example, the sushi chef is just amazing and the sushi was some of the best I have ever had. But she is maybe 30 and had to play her style of music during dinner. And when a song she really loved came on, she turned up the music so loud I couldn’t talk to my wife and then her and the waiter stopped working to rock out to the song.
The main problems I had all stem from the lack of soundproofing inherent in yurts. There are supposed to be rules to protect you from excess noise, but they don’t do any good if the staff ignores them. On my second night, somebody drove up in a noise old truck at 10 PM. They turned the radio up and several people spent the next hour and a half talking loudly in the parking lot. When I went down to ask them to be quiet, I almost got bitten by someone’s large, scary wolf dog. They did call off the dog at the last minute, but never turned down the music.
The next night was even worse. At 2 AM, one of the employees pulled up in their car with the stereo going so loud that it rattled the doors to my yurt. Then they sat there for the next 3 minutes to hear the end of the song. When they got out, they were loud and drunk (high?). But it didn’t end there; they were waiting for the rest of their friends to show up. So, over the next 45 minutes, three more cars of loud, drunk people arrived, with the whole group hanging out in the parking lot until everyone was there.
I would like to have reported this to management, but unfortunately, they were nowhere to be found. I didn’t think that talking to the regular staff would help. However, in two days of trying, I could never get the owner/manager’s attention.
I have limited funds and time for vacationing. For the amount of money they charge, I feel I should get a resort experience. Quiet, privacy and an attentive staff are all I ask for. I couldn’t get a full night’s sleep on two of the four nights I was there. And the whole time I couldn’t fully relax because of the noise. Because of this, I feel cheated and ripped off. I do not trust Treebones to deliver on the promise they hype and I don’t trust their staff to follow Treebone’s rules of behavior. Therefore, I will never again entrust them with my scarce time and money, and I certainly will not entrust my peace and relaxation to them.
If you do choose to go, just remember that the only good yurts are those with full ocean views. If they try and stick you in a yurt with a ‘mountain view’ (that is, yurts 1-5), run, don’t walk, away and go find a nice Hotel 6 to stay at!
Luxury camping in Big Sur!
Treebones Resort offers a unique lodging experience on California's breathtaking Big Sur coast and is our favorite place to stay in Big Sur. They overlook the Pacific Ocean with spectacular panoramic views in all directions. We stayed in a yurt, which is like the best combination of a cabin, a tent and a luxury resort! You get the benefits of a beautiful room and comfortable beds while feeling close to nature since the sides and top of the structure are made of tent material. We stayed at a few different places in Big Sur and this is by far the best!
Our Yurt had two beds, a heater, a sink, and a ping pong table in it! The bathrooms are at the main lodge, where there is also a restaurant, pool and deck.
Unique Quality: Wonderful experience, beautiful views, great location, luxury camping, close to many hiking trails, yummy breakfast buffet in the morning where you can make your own waffles!
Nearby Treebones Resort
Nearby HotelsSee all 15
Gorda Springs Resort 0.4 miles away
Plaskett Creek Campground 3.5 miles away
New Camaldoli Hermitage 8.2 miles away
Ragged Point Inn 9.8 miles away
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Treebones Resort Big Sur
- Treebones Hotel Big Sur
Address: 71895 Highway #1, Big Sur, California, 93920, United States
Amenities at Treebones Resort
- Continental Breakfast
- Swimming Pool
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Bar / Lounge
- Free Parking
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