Big Sur's Ventana Inn to reopen as Alila's first U.S. hotel

Guestrooms will be refreshed at the Ventana Big Sur.
Guestrooms will be refreshed at the Ventana Big Sur.

When the Ventana Inn reopens this fall, the Big Sur hotel will be Alila Hotels & Resorts' first U.S. property.

The hotel closed in February after heavy rain caused a mudslide that dislodged one of the support columns of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1. The bridge was condemned and torn down in March.

Caltrans, California's transportation department, anticipates the replacement bridge will be completed in September. The hotel, expected to reopen after the bridge opens, will be renamed Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort.

When the hotel closed, it was part of Joie de Vivre Hotels. Two Roads Hospitality owns both the Alila and Joie de Vivre brands.

Singapore-based Alila has 12 hotels and resorts in Asia, including seven in Indonesia. Two Roads acquired the luxury boutique brand in 2015. 

"As a brand that is long synonymous with opening resorts in spectacular, bucket-list destinations, it couldn't be more fitting that Alila's U.S. debut will be along the iconic Big Sur coastline," said Two Roads Hospitality CEO Jamie Sabatier.

Before reopening, the Ventana Big Sur will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation that calls for a rejuvenation of its 59 guestrooms, the addition of an infinity-edge hot tub, an outdoor event space called Ocean Meadow Lawn, and a redone and renamed restaurant -- the Sur House. The Social House will be a space for guests to connect and socialize.

The hotel will feature Japanese-style hot baths and debut 15 luxury camping tents, called Redwood Canyon Glampsites.

Guests will have access to daily guided walks, yoga, tai chi and Pilates.

Room rates will start at $675 per night. Redwood Canyon Glampsites will start at $325 per night. For an additional resort fee of $100, glampers gain access to Spa Alila, the Social House, the resort's two pools and the fitness center.

Notable for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, Ventana Inn was built in 1975 on 243 acres by Larry Spector, an entertainment producer who helped secure financing for the 1969 counterculture cinema classic "Easy Rider."

Big Sur, an approximately 90-mile coastal stretch whose midpoint is about 150 miles south of San Francisco, is known for its scenery as well as a treacherous portion of Highway 1 that straddles the cliffs high above the ocean.

When the first section of Highway 1 opened in Big Sur in the 1930s, it paved the way for tourism in the region. Since then, parts of Highway 1 have closed dozens of times because of mud and rock slides.

This year's storms were particularly damaging. In May, a massive landslide at Mud Creek buried a third-mile stretch of Highway 1 south of the Ventana Big Sur. With the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge destroyed to the north, the hotel and other businesses were cut off in both directions.

Caltrans said it could take a year to repair and reopen Highway 1 at Mud Creek.

Corrections: Alila currently has 12 properties, with seven in Indonesia; Two Roads acquired the brand in 2015. In addition, the Redwood Canyon Glampsites are brand new to the property. Incorrect information appeared in a previous version of this story.

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