Post Ranch Inn

The Post family was among Big Sur’s first pioneers. This inspiring landscape – with its cliffs, mountains, and panoramic ocean views – has been entwined with the Post family for generations. Under the Post family’s stewardship for generations, the 100-acre Post Ranch has evolved from a homestead and working ranch to one of the most acclaimed luxury resorts in the world.

Our Story Information:


The Post Ranch Inn opened its doors in 1992 but its foundation lies in the coastal wilds of Big Sur more than a century and a half before.

An explorer, adventurer and entrepreneur, William Brainard Post staked one of Big Sur’s first homesteads, beginning the family’s connection and commitment to the land. He married Anselma Onesimo of Costanoan Indian heritage and the couple had two sons. The red New England-style house W.B. and his sons built is a registered landmark and still stands on Highway 1 across from the entrance to Post Ranch Inn.

Joe Post, W.B. and Anselma’s youngest son, married a neighbor, Elizabeth Gilkey, and eventually merged the two families’ claims, accumulating nearly 1,500 acres, including the wild seascape of the Post Ranch Inn.

Their son Bill continued working the land as cowboy and rancher. He also carried the mail from Monterey to Big Sur. On one such journey, he gave a ride to a vacationing city girl, Irene Fredricks. The couple married, then opened Rancho Sierra Mar, a small resort and café near the Post family home. They ran the businesses with the help of their two children, Bill and Mary.

After serving in the Marine Corps during World War II, Bill came home to run the ranch. While raising two young daughters on his own, Bill met and married Luci, the love of his life.

Over the years, traditional ranching fell into decline. In the early 1980s, a close friend and neighbor approached Bill and Luci with the idea of turning the property into an inn that would preserve the integrity and history of the Post family’s property. They sealed the deal with a shot of Jack Daniel’s, which has since become the inn’s unofficial drink.

Bill Post ran the tractor to excavate and grade the inn’s construction. Luci designated the ranch’s cattle brand as the inn logo. Each guest room and facility is named in honor of the Post family and Big Sur pioneers. The award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant is dedicated to the memory of Bill’s sister, Mary Post Fleenor.

Bill Post passed away in 2009, just short of his 89th birthday. His love of the land and gentle, genial hospitality remain an inspiration to all who knew him.

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Architecture & Design

Post Ranch Inn could not exist anywhere else. The coast-side rooms seem to soar, cantilevered off the mountain. The mountain-side houses curve around old-growth trees. Some are built on nine-foot stilts to protect the delicate root balls below. The structures’ materials – reclaimed wood, glass, steel and stone – further enhance the sense of harmony with nature in this extraordinary site.

Original Architect and Visionary
A native of Joplin, Missouri, G.K. (Mickey) Muennig studied and worked with Bruce Goff at the University of Oklahoma, where he was drawn to the principles of “organic architecture.” Muennig was captivated by the wild beauty of Big Sur during a visit in 1971. He decided to stay and became the area’s leading architect.

Muennig’s vision for Post Ranch Inn embraced luxury, sustainability and the natural beauty of the site itself. His dramatic structures eschew the straight line, mirror the coastline, encircle the trees and maximize the views. Muennig´s work has been shown in museums in the U.S. and Europe, and featured in numerous international publications.

Expansion Rooms Architect
Vladimir Frank, a native of the Czech Republic, studied at the University of Applied Arts in Prague and the Royal College of Arts in London. He practiced architecture in Prague, London and Athens before coming to America over 20 years ago.

Dedication to design quality, environmental responsibility and sustainable architecture are the guiding principles of Frank’s work. Environmentally friendly, his architecture strives to enhance the experience of connecting the inside and outside.

Interior Designer
Born in Illinois, polished in California, Janet Gay Freed attended Parkland College and Western Design Institute. She does both residential and commercial design in the San Francisco Bay Area, Big Sur, Fiji and Bhutan. Her innovative vision and work have been featured in numerous magazines, including Travel+Leisure, Metropolitan Home, Vogue, California Home, To the Trade, Fine Woodworking and Islands.

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Sister Resorts

Post Ranch Inn is a member of the Passports Resorts family. Each is acclaimed for its unique and soulful guest experience, stunning location, innovative and sustainable design, and environmental and community efforts.

Passport Resorts include:

Sausalito, California (888) 651-2003

At the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, Cavallo Point is close to everything but away from it all. The lodge, located in national parklands near San Francisco’s urban center, offers 68 historic and 74 contemporary guest rooms and suites. Many have iconic Golden Gate Bridge or San Francisco Bay views.

Cavallo Point also features dining at Murray Circle, the world-class Healing Arts Center & Spa, the Cooking School and diverse meeting spaces. From the Bay Area’s best vantage point, Cavallo Point is a great place to stay for couples, individuals, families, groups and weddings.

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