Three Monterey County hotels named on first-ever Michelin Key list of best lodgings in the U.S. – Monterey County Weekly

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Restaurants reach for Michelin stars to be identified as the crème de la crème of eateries. Now hotels have Michelin Keys to grasp in the first-ever list of most exceptional lodgings in the U.S.—and three Monterey County luxury hotels made the list. 

Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur was named as a Three Key hotel, the top award on the new list, announced April 24. It was only one of 11 hotels in the U.S. to achieve the distinction.

“Post Ranch Inn is blessed with one of the most extraordinary locations on the face of the earth, a place of such breathtaking beauty it’s hard to believe it’s even accessible by mere automobile-driving mortals,” the Michelin guide states.

The guide gushes about Post Ranch Inn’s architecture and its restaurant, Sierra Mar.

Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, was named a Two Key hotel. Noting that the luxury resort was founded by film writer Lawrence A. Spector using his profits from Easy Rider, the guide called Ventana an “eminently dignified and respectable face of California, a sort of middle ground, as far from New Age hippie excess as it is from the glitz and materialism of Hollywood.”

Bernardus Lodge and Spa in Carmel Valley also received two keys from Michelin. The guide called it a “gourmet’s dream” for its connection to Bernardus Winery, and its “first class” restaurant. 

Over two dozen hotels in California were awarded a single key, with most located in Southern California. 

The new key ratings came after a four-year overhaul of the hotel section of The Michelin Guide.

Key ratings were done through anonymous vetting and were based on architecture and interior design, quality and consistency of service, personality and character, value and overall guest experience in a particular setting.

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