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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Risorgimento Resort, Lecce

In Lecce we stayed at the Risorgimento Resort just off the main plaza. The hotel is very modern, in what I felt was a rather cold style. I loved the location and the staff were very good but overall I wouldn't rave and if I returned to Lecce I would probably try somewhere else. The whole place feels like it was designed to look good in the photographs rather than to feel good as a customer. Unfortunately  it was a case of  image over substance. 

I love modern design but it need to be inspired, stylish, local and  grounded, particularly when it's found in historic buildings. For example of the places we have visited recently, the Hospes Palacio Del Bailio in Cordoba balances modern style perfectly in an older building. You can see the contrast in my blogpost  here. 

Our package included dinner and we had a meal at the restaurant on the roof which was one of the least interesting of our entire trip, though to be fair we did enjoy the breakfast buffet in the morning and the wait staff cannot be faulted. One of my biggest gripes about the hotel was the absense of comfortable public space. Given that the rooftop was closed until the evening the only place to sit outdoors was the small terrace off our suite. It seems extraordinary to me that a place can call itself a resort when there are no resort-like facilities (pool, garden etc.) and nowhere to  sit outdoors during the day.

We had a garden suite and while the bathroom was lovely and the room spacious I found the decor  uninspired. As you can see in the photograph above, the sofa was not comfortable and the dark wood felt rather generic. 

These are some photos of the terrace off our suite.

I don't like to write negative reviews. The hotel is certainly adequate, and the staff were very good, but the aesthetic didn't speak to me and I can't recommend it.