Hiding Away at a Fairy-Tale Cottage in Big Sur, California
The quintessential Big Sur lodge, there’s no place like Deetjens Big Sur Inn, a vintage-1930s compound of rough-hewn redwood lodges listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The peaceful spot was the labor of love of Helmuth Deetjen, a Norwegian immigrant who donated the property to a nonprofit foundation that has preserved the wild, natural spirit of the place. Covered with flowering vines and surrounded by towering trees, they look like fairy-tale cottages, each one an odd shape and size, and furnished with mismatched carved wooden antiques, rag-wool rugs, and antique curios. The "Chateau Fiasco" room feels like a treehouse—indeed, you have to duck beneath a twisting tree trunk to reach the door. Fussy travelers, stay away: there are no locks on the doors, maids come every other day, and bathrooms are strictly utilitarian, with separate hot-and-cold taps and fiberglass shower stalls. Book one of the eleven fireplace rooms for maximum romance, especially in wintertime.