This cliff hanger luxury hotel - it literally does hang over the cliffs - is one of the few places to stay along the Big Sur (of this standard anyway), meaning guests can explore uninterrupted to their hearts content.

Modernist architect Mickey Muennig designed California's stunning Post Ranch Inn, and we think it is pretty darn cool. The hotel consists of a number of different building designs with two or three rooms in each, each intended to blend in with its particular surroundings, such as the tree houses hidden among the giant redwoods and the glass-fronted cliff top ocean rooms and their grass-covered roofs.

There are 39 rooms, all unobtrusive from the outside and peaceful on the inside. More cozy than just small, the rooms are decked out in wood and natural materials, with bold colours and amazing art and sculpture dotted around the place. Some have private jacuzzi's overlooking the ocean and we definitely recommend opting for one with an ocean view (Jacuzzi optional) as the views are simply breathtaking - the property is perched on top of a cliff, with the ocean and rugged coast line below.

Away from the rooms, the hotel restaurant - Sierra Mar - is one of the best anywhere in California, so even if you don't stay at the Post Ranch (and you'd be missing out not to) you should definitely sample the food, and of course the excellent wine list. Another reason to stay here rather than drive afterwards.

There is a small spa with four treatment rooms (reservations highly recommended); a wonderful library which has the only telly on the property; a fitness centre; three swimming pools, including one lap pool and two infinity pools (one of the heated to 104 degrees); a hammock area; herb garden and an outstanding restaurant.

Activity wise there are hiking trails and complimentary morning yoga and tai chi classe. Away from the hotel, there are a few national reserves a short drive from the hotel.

Other Places to Stay in Highway One, the California Coast Road Trip

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Ollie is our 'Post Ranch Inn' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.