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Checking In: Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn Review

No wifi, no telephones, and no TVs. Just you in the beauty of nature and all the time to yourself. Imagine experiencing an entire weekend like this! If you’re in the mood for a slow and quiet trip away from the hustle and bustle of city life, then start planning a weekend getaway to Deetjen’s in Big Sur! Keep reading for my full Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn Review. 

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Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn Review

Several years ago, my husband and I planned a weekend stay in Big Sur during our return trip from Napa to Los Angeles, but unfortunately a wildfire in the area canceled our plans. Instead, we spent the weekend in San Francisco and our Big Sur weekend was postponed for several years. But we finally made it back up to Big Sur and it was simply amazing! 

We stayed at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn and it was magical! With its rustic and scenic location, calm atmosphere, and not to mention lack of wifi, it was everything I wanted and more! A place where I could truly relax because there simply isn’t anything else to do!

History of Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn has been around since the early 1930’s and thus has an interesting history.

Initially, Grandpa Helmuth Deetjen and Mrs. Helen Deetjen lived in a tent in Castro Canyon that they reconstructed into a redwood barn using timber from an old wharf on Cannery Row in Monterey. The place grew popular amongst travelers and nature enthusiasts. Then the barn was renovated into the main restaurant, which still stands there today. 

The Inn was gradually expanded and more rooms were added in the redwood Big Sur style. Grandpa and Mrs. Deetjan continued to live there, enjoying their time in solitude, drinking wine, and listening to classical music. They became known in the area as “Grandma” and “Grandpa” and the locals loved them and visited regularly. 

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn has hosted many notable guests including Henry Miller, Bob Nash, Eric Barker, Hunter S. Thompson, and more. 

The US Department of the Interior listed Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and since 1972, the Inn has been run by Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn Preservation Foundation, a non-profit, hosting guests for a relaxing stay in a rustic location – exactly how Grandpa wanted. 

Why stay at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

With its wooded location, Deetjan’s Big Sur Inn is in harmony with nature and it is a great place to connect or reconnect with your inner self or spend some romantic time with your loved ones with nobody to disturb you from the outside world. 

The food is delicious and wholesome. I would suggest you enjoy both a breakfast and a dinner at Deetjen’s Restaurant. 

But, staying at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn is not your typical luxury getaway. Instead, it is minimal. An intimate yet exquisite experience. So, if you are looking for a stay in the Big Sur woods with an authentic experience, then this is the place for you.

The Rooms at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

This gem from the past has rustic rooms set among the redwood trees in several small buildings. The whole vibe of the place with the redwood lumber, fireplaces, and rocking chairs is very vintage in a quirky way. Each room has a unique style and personality to itself. 

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn offers a variety of rooms to stay in. From hostels and houses to cabins. The room amenities vary from room to room, and some of their rooms have shared bathrooms. All rooms are non-smoking and require a minimum of a 2-night stay.

My husband and I were able to experience the unadulterated beauty of Big Sur’s nature from the cute standalone Castro Cabin situated next to Castro Creek. 

The room was comfortable and intimate and looked out into the lush redwood forest. It rained that night and we could hear the raindrops all night falling on the skylight above the bed.

As for amenities in the room, it has a double bed, a private bathroom, and a fireplace. There’s also a guest book in each room and it was fun reading some past entries including the “mind-blowing sex as usual” that Chris & Jim had back in 2012.

Amenities Offered at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn is intentionally designed to keep you away from the stress (and technology) of the outside world. The area of Big Sur has limited wifi reception, but the hotel also has no wifi, no telephones, no reception, and no televisions. But they do offer plenty of information on local hikes as well as numerous books and games.

Some other things Deetjen’s does offer include:

•      Free-Parking

•      Onsite restaurant

•      Non-smoking hotel

•      Family rooms

•      A plentiful supply of woods/logs

•      Complimentary tea/coffee

•      Lots of quiet time

Dining at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

The restaurant was firstly established in 1939 with quite a vibrant history. It was designed by Barbara Blake with keeping the traditional English decor in mind. 

The restaurant is open for home-cooked breakfasts and candle-lit dinners five days a week. Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

We had breakfast there on both days. The egg Benedict and fluffy pancakes were absolutely delicious. The best part is that they serve breakfast until 12:00 PM, so no worrying about getting up early. 

For dinner, they have an elegant menu with a great selection of wines. I ordered the herb-roasted chicken with a glass of wine which I highly recommend. The candle-lit ambiance with the creative decor in the evening is both beautiful and romantic.


Know Before You Go

Although the rooms have latches when inside to avoid people and animals from wandering into your room, there is no way you can lock them from the outside when you’re not there. Therefore, it is better not to leave any expensive belongings in your room.

Staff is available until 4 in the afternoon.

If you want materialistic luxury, this place is not for you.

You’ll need to make prior reservations for the restaurant which is open to both Inn guests and the public.

Overall, Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn is a great place for a romantic weekend, honeymoon, or some self-reflection during a solo getaway. Located amidst the redwood trees off Highway One in Big Sur, the hotel is beautiful, charming, homey, and unique. The Inn feels magical, calming, and alluring. No wonder Big Sur attracts so many travelers and nature-lovers. Overall, Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn is magical, calming, alluring, charming, and quaint, and you’ll be sure to leave with a memorable experience.

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Land Acknowledgement

Golden State Getaways wants to acknowledge that we live, operate, gather, and benefit everyday on the traditional stolen lands of several Indigenous peoples and nations including the Tongva (Gabrieleno), Kizh (Gabrieleno), Chumash, Popeloutchom (Amah Mutsun), Ohlone, Awaswas, and Fernandeño Tataviam peoples who have stewarded the lands and waterways throughout their many generations in what is now the state of California. 

I wanted to personally acknowledge these Indigenous people and nations and both their commitment and current contributions to the land with a donation to the American Indian College Fund because acknowledgment without action does not begin to address the systemic issues facing Indigenous people. If you feel as though you benefit from the land you’re living on or traveling to and you have the means, I kindly ask that you donate at least $1 to a Native-led organization such as the Native American Rights Fund or the American Indian College Fund

Deetjen’s is located in Big Sur which is on Esselen land. You can learn more about the Indigenous land you’re living on or traveling to by visiting the Native Lands website.