On California’s Highway 1, tucked away in an idyllic redwood setting, Glen Oaks’ eco-modern lodge is a haven for nature and luxury lovers alike. Our stay at Glen Oaks’ Redwood River Suite Cabin, in the midst of the majestic Redwoods right by the rushing Big Sur River, had us basking in the romance of the outdoors while enjoying the comforts of home.

fireplace Cabin Big Sur Hotel

Photo: Onyx & Ash

Big Sur is known best for its iconic coastline – sweeping views of California’s Santa Lucia Mountains rise from the ocean, rugged cliffs and turquoise waters. Though for those looking for rustic luxury – a stay at a sleek, modern cabin, nestled in a lush Redwood Grove of Big Sur – now that’s a must-try experience!

Away from the busy Big Sur ‘stop and click’ tourist spots and hotels, when my husband and I stepped into our retreat, we were mesmerized by the sounds of the forest and the flowing river. And with our bare feet on the heated floors of the bathroom, we knew this was no camping destination. Glen Oaks’ friendly team, flawless location, and attention to detail, made for a splendid and indulgent getaway. A divine detox!

Redwood Grove

Redwood Grove in Big Sur Photo: Onyx & Ash

Cabin or Lodge?

Glen Oaks’ mix of cabins, cottages and lodge rooms offer a great variety of spaces and amenities. On the highway, sits a 1950s-era motor lodge, artistically renovated with recycled materials, rustic, modern and bright. Some of the rooms have a private yard and outdoor seating area, others offer a community fire pit. A great way to meet your neighbors, share stories and a drink by the fireside.

Glen Oaks Big Sur Hotel

Photo: Onyx & Ash

Across the road, down a gated wooded lane leading to the edge of the river, you’ll find a variety of cabins and cottages in the shade of majestic Redwoods.

We stayed at the one bedroom river suite, that rests at the edge of the forest, by the Big Sur river. The cabin comes rigged with a large inviting porch and a fireplace to roast those marshmallows along with a fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Brightly decorated in vibrant hues of orange and blues, this intimate sanctuary offered us a perfect lazy day snuggling up by the fire with some wine, and watching the river making its way through the lush forest.

Glen Oaks Big Sur

Photo: Onyx & Ash

The stand alone cabins are spread out in the woods to ensure privacy. And waking up to that view – now that’s the dream!

Cabin in the woods

GlenOaks-River suite cabin. Photo: Mitali Mahajani

Also in the Redwood Grove, the Big Sur Cabin is a one bedroom cabin with two wood burning fire pits, a private courtyard off the bedroom with a pair of clawfoot soaking tubs. And a few steps away from the river, we fell in love with the Little Sur cabin – that dream tiny house rigged with a compact kitchenette, a private patio and fire pit that will make you swoon. Perfect for a cozy romantic getaway.

 Outdoors Fireplace and Soaking Tub

Rustic Luxury. Photo: Onyx & Ash

Some of the units feature a thermostatically controlled two-way gas fireplace. All cabins have wireless internet service and telephones. But no TV preserves the tranquility and means more time for connecting with nature and yourself!

A Redwood Adventure

In Glen Oaks, you can hike by the Big Sur River – on the path right outside your cabin. With Adirondack chairs peppered down this trail, by the river and in the thick of the grove – take a moment to unwind and admire the views. On a short hike down the Riverside path, we came upon the towering Grandmother Pfeiffer tree – the second largest Redwood in Big Sur, right here on the on the Glen Oaks property! Under the magical redwoods, sitting by the river on Adirondack chairs, it didn’t take us long to be swept up by majesty of the setting and adventure of Glen Oaks.

Relaxing by the River

Relaxing by the Big Sur River. Photo: Mitali Mahajani

Under two miles from Glen Oaks, you’ll find hiking trails with views of the valley and the River gorge in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and the unmissable beautiful purple sand Pfeiffer Beach. If you’re up for some thrills – take the Old Coast Road from Andrew Molera State Park, which is great for mountain bike riding.

Riverside Big Sur

Zen in the Woods. Photo: Onyx & Ash

Those looking to explore can make their way down to California’s iconic Mcway Falls, 10 miles south of Glen Oaks. And no trip to the Big Sur is complete without a visit to the charming coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Big Sur

Bixby Bridge Big sur. Photo: reverie_rambler via Flickr

Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur

Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur Photo: Janusz Sobolewski via Flickr


A few steps from the Glen Oaks Lodge on Rt 1, you’ll find the Big Sur Roadhouse. This stylish hangout offers a delicious variety of dishes prepared using locally grown ingredients. Our Taco platter was perfection!

With two alfresco patios and fire pits, lounging on a couch with a drink, surrounded by the Big Sur forest, makes for idyllic meal. And the sandwiches are delish!

Mitali Mahajani

At the Big Sur Roadhouse. Photo: Mitali Mahajani

Roadhouse Diner

Big Sur Roadhouse. Photo: Onyx & Ash

Green Cred

The owners, Tracy and Basil Sanborn, purchased the 16-room motel from a family friend in 2006, upgraded the property, while preserving its historic Monterey Post/Adobe style. Adobe is an ancient from-the-earth building material, known for keeping the hot sun out and the warmth in. The vibrant interior designs use recycled and renewable stone, wood, bamboo, resin, wool carpets and organic cotton for a healthy and natural environment and were created by local carpenters and craftspeople.

Tiny House in the Woods

Little Sur cabin. Photo: Mitali Mahajani

With compact and energy efficient accommodations, low flow toilets and showerheads, sourcing locally and using as natural cleaners – Glen Oaks has a strong green ethos.


From sound machines to heated bathroom floors, yoga mats to board games – Glen Oaks has thought of everything! Whether you’re looking to connect with nature, have the great California adventure or want a laidback pampering getaway – they’ve got you covered. Fix your own meal in the kitchen or get some takeout, laze by your private fire place, open up a bottle of wine and let the charms of Glen Oaks Big Sur wash over you.

Find out more about this gorgeous Big Sur retreat here. 

Also Read: 

Ultimate California National Park Adventures for your Bucket List

9 Incredible Bike Paths in North America You Won’t Want to Miss