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The view from Ventana

Autumn Equinox
An Ode to the Invisible Autumn of Big Sur
An Ode to the Invisible Autumn of Big Sur

When autumn rolls through the central coast of California, there’s a shift in energy– Unseen, but felt deep in the soul. The beauty of our landscape is one which doesn’t embark on a deep transformation into the fiery hues of fall. While the waves keep crashing and the redwoods remain tall, it’s the air around us that lets us know a new season has arrived.

It’s crisp. Autumn air is a kind that fills your lungs and leaves you energized with every exhale. It’s the coolness around you that makes your coffee taste better, your blankets feel cozier, and your heart feel warmer with nostalgia and comfort. It’s a sign to embrace the tranquility of the changing season with every invigorating breath.

It’s the ambience of fall that channels our inner creative to come out from the shadows. Match the moodiness of the landscape around you and feel deeply in everything you do. Wander down new paths, indulge in a seasonal menu item you might not always choose, or search for inspiration between the cliffs and the horizon. 

When your retreat to Alila Ventana happens to land in the midst of this autumnal equinox, we encourage you to embrace the fresh air and tap into the changes you may experience yourself. Perhaps you find a hidden talent for spotting owls between the branches. Or maybe you allow a creative intuition to lead you towards a new experience of art and nature. As the days grow shorter, you may find yourself preferring to move your body under a star-filled sky with night hikes, yoga or a dip in the pool.

Autumn in Big Sur is felt deeply. We welcome brisk mornings and cloudy afternoons. We create sanctuary in the changing season and invite you to experience autumn at Alila Ventana Big Sur by embracing change in yourself.


Romantic Getaways
Love Is In The Air At Big Sur
Love is in the air at big sur

We like to believe the most romantic getaways are the ones where you create deeper human connections, while simultaneously falling in love with the world around you. And love, much like nature, is brought to life through many forms. Some of us love in crashing waves, strong and sudden, all-consuming. While some of us love in rays of sun, a warm and gentle illumination.  

You’re probably familiar with The Five Love Languages, a concept created by author, Gary Chapman, to identify the different ways we each prefer to give and receive love: Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Receiving Gifts. We encourage you to tap into your love languages at Alila Ventana Big Sur and discover new ways to connect with your partner on a deeper level.

How to elevate your love language in Big Sur: (Haven’t taken the quiz? Do it here!)

 1. Words of Affirmation: Fireside Chat Under the Stars

There’s something about the glow and crackle of a fire that sets the scene for deeper conversations. You can talk about the day of adventures you shared, and how you felt when you tried something new. You can exchange notes, poems, or secrets that are only heard by you and the stars. Or maybe, you just take this time to say, “Hey, I appreciate you”. 

2. Physical Touch: Sweat Together

Get your endorphins racing with a bike tour through Big Sur, or feel the slow burn of a vinyasa flow. You can even add an element of play and trust by trying our aerial class above the coastline. Find an appreciation of your own body, as well as your partners, when you move in new ways, creating new adventures together.

3. Quality Time: A Cozy Night In Your Suite

Quality time is more than being in the same room– It’s about being present with the person you care about. Whether you’re swinging in a hammock, listening to the beat of their heart, or drawing a bath to soak in every moment together, a night-in can bring you the connection you crave.

4. Acts of Service: Wellness Day at the Spa

Yes, typically, acts of service would be done by your partner… But let us be the ones to care for you at Alila Spa. Arrange for a private couple’s massage, set among the redwood trees, or retreat to the Japanese hot baths– believed to foster emotional intimacy. 

 5. Receiving Gifts: Hand-Crafted Art, Made With Love

If you or your partner are keen on receiving gifts as a token of appreciation, try one of our immersive arts activities to make something from the heart. You can try your hand at leathercrafting, macrame, and watercolor painting. No matter which you choose, we know you’ll find inspiration creating for the one you love.


Classic Cars, Classic Highway
The Ultimate California Road Trip
The Ultimate California Road Trip

Driving along Highway 1 on the central coast of California is a full-sensory experience. Feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your skin as your car glides around every curve of the perfectly carved cliffs. Wonder at the vast, blue sea on one side and the towering redwood trees on the other. Listen to the roar of the engine powering your adventure, as it hums in harmony with the crash of waves on the shore below. Breathe in the salty air, with notes of a citrusy spice from the cypress trees. Immerse yourself in every moment of this ride because when you drive on Highway 1, it’s all about the journey.

A key element of Ventana Big Sur’s immaculate location is that our secluded sanctuary is just that– secluded. So we encourage you to embrace the scenic route, relishing in your drive between mountains and sea. Because matter where you’re traveling from, the central coast of California is the ultimate road trip adventure. directions!

Recently, car-enthusiast and writer for Road and Track, Mike Guy, took to the coast in a Maserati MC20 for a California road trip of his own. He wrote, “I have found the road, and it is the road that we all dream about, that we think we see in glossy photos on wall calendars and Instagram feeds of adventurous influencers: winding over hillocks of heather, with banked turns, off-camber surprises, deep dips, and hair-raising crests…

The Pacific Coast, up to Big Sur and Carmel and Monterey”. And like all the best road trips, Mike’s journey led him to Ventana Big Sur, “We finally reach Big Sur and the spooky canopy of redwoods, live oaks, and cottonwoods. I’m spending the night at Ventana… a resort that should be on any road-trip bucket list”. What can we say, Mike has good taste!

Now if you’re looking for a day, or a half-day, adventure on the road to discover the best of Big Sur, you don’t have to BYOV (Bring your own vehicle). Our Alila experience, Classic Cars, Classic Highway, allows you to embark on a journey of the senses and soul– and choose from a hand-selected fleet of 40 classics provided by Monterey Touring Vehicles. From vintage Porsche Spyders to classic Volkswagen vans, you can create your ideal adventure vibe with the car of your dreams, and set out to explore the beauty of the coast. 

As we head into autumn, nature will begin to transform yet again, and the roads will open up as summer travelers return home. The scene will be set for a new season of road trip adventures. And winter will follow, with Highway 1 becoming an intimate path, set along the moody, dramatic state of a cooler coast. Then, spring. Each twist and turn of the road will unlock a new sight of the earth in bloom, and if you’re lucky… An awe-inspiring glimpse of a whale in the midst of their own seasonal travels! And when summer comes to grace us with her warmth and vibrancy once again, the roads will be slower– and that’s okay. Sometimes, it’s best to pause and look at the world around you.

No matter the season, and no matter how long the journey, driving through the central coast of California is an immersive exploration of Big Sur’s unwavering beauty. 

Explore our Alila Experience and Travel Recommendations for your next cruise along the coast.

It's road trip season!
It's Road Trip season

Road trips are experiencing a resurgence for so many reasons! There’s no more romantic way to reconnect with the world and the ones you’re with, while engaging in spontaneous moments along the journey. It’s also safe, comfortable (even lavish) and irresistibly convenient, since you can travel on your own terms, at your own pace.

Ventana Big Sur’s rarified 160-acre retreat beckons most from the road, where the quintessential California road trip takes place on the famed Highway 1 drive. Cruise this beloved scenic byway, snaking along the Pacific coastline—past ancient redwood forests, over crashing surf, amid incomparable coastal views—and you may never consider the hassle of hopping on a plane again. 

Landmark enticements hit every high note: nature, culture, art and adventure. From the north, discover the charmed adobe chapel of Carmel Mission Basilica, the historic 1889 Point Sur Light Station, the iconic Bixby Bridge (one of the most photographed in the world) and the mesmerizing purple sands of Pfeiffer State Beach. From the south, explore the cliff-side 1940’s social hub of Nepenthe Big Sur, the storied palace and sandy coves of Hearst Castle and Hearst Memorial State Beach and the epic waterfall at Limekiln State Park.

To make your Big Sur road trip even more blissful, be sure to pack your camera, ample water and snacks, detour essentials like beach towels and blankets, plus curated playlists, audiobooks and your best travel-mates. If that means your pup, by all means bring your four-legged friend along for your Ventana Big Sur stay.  

Equal parts American legend and natural wonder, Big Sur is one of the most magical places on Earth. And there’s no more alluring way to experience its visual and sensual allure than by road-tripping along the edge of the continent, winding your way to your much-deserved sojourn: Ventana Big Sur.

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