Driving along Highway 1 in the dark last Friday night, I headed to Glen Oaks Motel in Big Sur. Though I couldn’t see the beautiful coast line along the way, the night sky was light up with a million stars. This being my first trip to Big Sur, I was told by many friends and co-workers that I would be amazed by its beauty. I should’ve been excited about seeing this beautiful place but my mind was more focused on the arrival at our very chic and modern, nature inspired motel. Maybe I was just tired.
Upon arriving at our room, we were greeted by a patio big enough to fit 10 people comfortably and an already burning fire (gas). Walking through the opaque glass, wooden trimmed door, we entered a comfortable and cozy (yet spacious) retro-modern room. The oversized table lamps next to the bed were not the only source of light in the room. The same fireplace outside was also glowing brightly inside at the end of our King Size bed. Bamboo floors, hand-woven wool blankets and reclaimed wooden furniture really pulled this room together. Painted white oversize block walls were the perfect canvas for the orange and yellow accent pillows and hunter green leather couch. A truly eco-friendly, nature inspired modern motel room.
Though the main room was great, the best part was the bathroom. The first thing I noticed after opening the sliding frosted door was the flooring – not because of the rock shaped tiles but because of the heat radiating from under my toes. Radiant heat lined the entire bathroom floor and I nearly wanted to lie down on it. A simple square shaped, bamboo veneer vanity with a large vessel sink & polished chrome Cifial faucet flanked one end of the bathroom while the other end was a walk-in shower big enough for two. The vanity lighting fixture was an eclectic twist to the mostly modern bathroom. The oversized glass shower doors made the shower the perfect place to practice your singing voice – great acoustics in there. And the simple polished chrome basket with soap & shampoo dispensers allowed the space to stay clean and without clutter. The pebble-shaped tiles on the shower floor and bathroom floor were surprisingly pleasant to stand on. However, there were two downsides to the shower. One being the 1/2″ gap between the shower door and the fixed glass panel – lots of water seemed to get through here. (If only they had a plastic gasket like the Bath Simple shower doors!) The second being the odd showerhead – a rainshower would have been a much better option here, than a multi-spray showerhead, with really useless spray options. (I especially didn’t get the purpose of the ‘mist’ option.) Outside the shower was the Toto toilet with the nice soft-close seat, preventing a loud bang when putting the seat down. Downside of visiting hotels you fall in love with: going home to your bathroom you dislike!
Too many hotels and resorts located in woodsy parts of the world lack the sophistication and modernism of design. They constantly jump to the typical bear and moose lampshades, paw print blankets and evergreen tree wallpaper borders. Glen Oaks Big Sur is a true testament that nature and the surrounding environment can be brought into your home (or hotel room) with modern furniture and fixtures and still be nature-inspired. Modern. Chic. Natural.