To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Post Ranch Inn is the most environmentally conscious resort. Their eco-efficiency standards combined with ultimate green luxury sets the bar for competition. Guests are treated to a unique  experience… and some take home facts which will help protect their health and the environment.


“From the minute we stepped out of our Prius our hands were free. Every detail from the unloading of your luggage to the personal hybrid transportation to your room, the discovery of its contents and amenities, to the flow of the water, the feel of the organic sheets, the nine course (delectable small portions) gourmet dinner served at Sierra Mar’s award winning restaurant… I could go on and on describing how special and unique this experience is… but the most precious part of our stay was we got see a Smith Blue Butterfly.” Nancy and James Chuda founders of LuxEcoLiving.

And thanks to the environmental efforts at The Post Ranch you will be lucky to see one too. For the Smith’s blue butterfly, Post Ranch maintains existing areas that support seacliff buckwheat and restore California sagebrush scrub.

Big Surs magnetic attraction, the coastline with its stunning geology and naturally formed architecture highlights a vast expanse of blue-grey sea that undulates in monumental strides. The waters edge, barely visible from Highway 1, welcomes a continual flow of humanity, hugging the road in automobiles, on bikes and on foot… all craving the unadulterated gifts of nature.
To feel greatly, and
express greatly, the natural
Beauty, is the sole business of poetry.
The rest’s diversion: those holy or noble sentiments, the intricate ideas,
The love, lust, longing: reasons, but not the reason.—Robinson Jeffers was a Big Sur poet.Featured image:PR

Photo credit-Nancy Chuda

The 100-acre Post Ranch has evolved from a homestead and working ranch to one of the most acclaimed luxury resorts.

Photo credit-Kodiak Greenwood

 You enter the property knowing that you are about to experience the luxury of privacy, serenity, and an inner connection to one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world.

The Jade Pool beckons guests to enjoy warm healing waters. It is distinguished by smooth jade stones found only in the Big Sur coastal area, each carefully placed by hand, which showcase the area’s natural resources and add beauty. (Be sure to visit Jade Beach while you are here).Photo credit-Kodiak Greenwood

Far above the Pacific Ocean’s southern shores sits a monumental habitat of guest suites crafted from native woods and local stone. The Post Ranch Inn’s history runs deep. Beginning with its visionary founder William Brainard Post who was an explorer, adventurer, and entrepreneur who staked one of Big Sur’s first homesteads and thus gave birth to the family’s connection and commitment to the land.

Kodiak Greenwood


The Post Ranch is considered one of the greenest hotels in the world.

With 39 architecturally innovative guest rooms and suites placed along the private ridge that parallels the blue Pacific, each guest accommodation offers a unique and luxurious experience with views of ocean or mountain scenery.

Room designs use earth tones with an emphasis on natural and sustainable materials, with custom furniture by the hotel’s master craftsman, rugs hand-woven by indigenous weavers and reclaimed wood, including old- growth redwood from wine casks, re-milled to create rich wood wall panels. The organic hues, textures, and extensive collection of original art inside the rooms merge with the scenic beauty of the outdoors.


“We no longer can build without taking the natural environment into consideration. Mankind must reduce its footprint on the environment. When the early settlers appeared on the eastern coast of America they felt no one was here. This was not true. The indigenous native Americans had no footprint, where in fact, there may have been hundreds of thousands. The Post Ranch Inn has created one of the best examples of how mankind can connect with nature in a balanced and beautiful way.” James Chuda Architect

Man is inseparable from his environment. James Chuda sculpture

The inn’s organic architecture embraces the striking beauty of the coastline. Each structure on the 100-acre property reflects dramatic lines and contemporary styling yet blends easily with the landscape. In addition to their distinctive look, the dwellings themselves represent an innovative green building approach, featuring bio-structure architecture and using natural materials of glass, wood, stone and COR-TEN steel, and, when possible, passive solar.

The architects’ design was intended so onlookers feel a part of nature, not just observers of it.

Every environmental aspect was carefully considered: for example, the earth-sheltered guesthouses capture passive heating and cooling, and the small footprint of the stilts which support the tree houses protects the fragile roots of the ancient redwood and oak trees.

The Post Ranch Inn has the highest eco-efficiency standards for sustainability. They reduce, recycle and reuse materials. Here are some of things we discovered while on the property.


Water is conserved in guest rooms by low-flow shower heads and toilets. Guest rooms are stocked at turndown each evening with refillable glass bottles used in lieu of plastic. Also in-room are stainless steel bottles that guests can use at the inn or take home. No off gassing. They use low and zero-VOC paints. Not to worry about exposure to toxins in the environment.  No chemical pesticides or herbicides are used on property. Pests are controlled by cedar-based, pump-spray products and natural predators such as bats that live in the area. Not that you are going to replace your cat for a bat but nonetheless cedar products are best for closets and drawers. They use low-voltage lighting and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs, CVUs and LEDs). In addition, down lighting is used where appropriate outdoors to minimize light pollution.

This part was great. Guests are provided fresh water in glasses and ceramic mugs to minimize use of paper cups. AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. Biodegradable soaps, shampoos and lotions are provided in larger containers that are refillable and minimize the waste of small plastic bottles.

Every guest is treated to the ultimate of green luxury. Sheets and towels are made from 100% certified organic cotton, with no artificial dyes. Flower-based guest soaps are hand-made in nearby Santa Cruz; other in-room guest amenities are earth-friendly.

Oh! It’s so wonderful to be staying in a place where you can trust the intelligence and support their honesty. And just because it looks expensive doesn’t mean its unaffordable.

Check out their rates and you will be surprised. Wouldn’t you rather treat yourself to something that supports your good health and the environment?

 A Taste of  Sierra Mar


“Dining at Sierra Mar brought back many reminiscent Michelin experiences. Chef John Cox is an artist. He’s a forager for the finest edibles…. he hunts them down.. even mushrooms. I was taken by his presentations. Each course, there were close to 9, were minute samples, culinary treasures… and some were ancient. I had a chance to interview John after a very long days work of preparation and cooking. I was fascinated by the preparation for a wild  button-capped white mushroom which was served in one of the courses.”


“My goal was to create a menu that was directly inspired by the Post Ranch Inn’s dramatic surroundings, while using as many ingredients sourced from the property as possible.”

You can follow John Cox on his blog and learn more.

“In preparing for this menu, I did extensive research into the Native Californian culture and unearthed some interesting stories in the process.  One I found most fascinating was practiced by the Ohlone tribe.  They would collect miner’s lettuce and other wild greens and pile them on ant hills while they foraged.  The ants would then season the greens with a faint trail of formic acid.  I have often heard about cultures from Central America to Southeast Asia incorporating ants into their diet, but had never heard of this approach.”


Hollywoods History in Big Sur


Some of Hollywoods history remains in Big Sur. Its beauty and untamed wildness attracted celebrities who wanted anonymity. Orson Welles and his wife at the time, Rita Hayworth, bought a Big Sur cabin on impulse during a trip down the coast in 1944. They never spent a single night there, and the property is now the location of a popular restaurant, Nepenthe.

It’s literary history is known throughout the world.

Known as a literary haven, in the early to mid-twentieth century, Big Sur’s relative isolation and natural beauty began to attract writers and artists, including Robinson Jeffers, Henry Miller, Edward Weston, Richard Brautigan, Hunter S. Thompson, Emile Norman, and Jack Kerouac. Jeffers was among the first of these.Beginning in the 1920s, his poetry introduced the romantic idea of Big Sur’s wild, untamed spaces to a national audience, which encouraged many of the later visitors.

Author Henry Miller lived in Big Sur from 1944-1962.

Our history in Big Sur

Jim and I were fortunate to have known Margaret Owings. We were lucky to have visited her several times in the home which inspired her lifelong dedication to protecting the environment.

What comes to mind are her words that best describe its hidden beauty, fragility, and impatience with mankind. Margaret Wentworth Owings was a longtime resident of Big Sur. She lived atop one of its most prominent points. Her legendary home WildBird was designed by architect husband Nat Owings of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

WildBird designed by Nat Owings for his wife Margaret Wentworth Owings

For over 40 years, she lived in her beloved tree lined property which she named, WildBird. There, throughout her life she listened to what she referred to as  voices from the sea. Her friends of the noble Pacific were sea otters and seals. She fought hard to protect their habitats. She communicated best in life through her writing, poetry and art. Her thoughtful diaries contained many concerns for the environment she so dearly loved. Here is an excerpt.


The fabric of existence weaves itself whole, but now we are no longer sure of its interwoven balance. Do we understand the pattern of this fabric, its warp and its woof, its fragile weaving? For man is cutting the threads of this fabric with no thought of the consequences.
— Margaret Owings (a founder of the Environmental Defense Fund)

Editor’s Notes:

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