Opened during the Great Depression after Highway 1 was constructed and listed in the National Register of Historic Places (in 1990), Deetjen's Inn is a rustic way-station for travelers who enjoy solitude, a memorable meal in their award-winning restaurant, a walk in the famous Deetjen's gardens or going to sleep to the lyrical sound of the nearby Castro Canyon waterfall.
The Inn was constructed and run by Helmuth Deetjen and his wife, Helen, after they bought four acres in Big Sur they enjoyed on hikes. The Inn is now operated by a non-profit association.
Deetjen's is the type of inn you'd expect to find in the woods after a day's horse ride from Monterey - Helen walks out as you arrive because the dog is barking and a stable hand leads your horse to food and drink while you enter the inn and sit by the fire. Nothing's changed.
Mr. Deetjen spent nearly 30 years building out the inn, adding rooms, cognizant of the architecture of Norway, where he was from, creating a European feel to the inn that enchanted visitors from the beginning. The rooms were small and quiet and even today are not equipped with phones or televisions.
The restaurant, lit by candles, won an award for "Best Place for Breakfast" in Monterey County and with four intimate dining rooms, is a wonderful and memorable place for the occasion you want to last a lifetime.
New York Times Review Serving hearty breakfasts and solid dinners in a cozy candle-and-firelit space, this restaurant has an unpretentious but efficient and friendly feel that seems the epitome of Big Sur at its best. The gut-busting breakfast includes fresh pancakes, sausage and strong coffee. A roaring fire in the low-ceilinged, comfortably crowded space of stone, wood and plaster takes the winter chill off the night air.
Frommer's Review With the feel of an English farmhouse -- white-painted wood walls, wood-burning stove, dimly lit old-fashioned lamps, country antiques -- this cozy country setting is the perfect venue for delicious comfort food and friendly service. Mornings start with a cup of strong coffee and breakfast: omelets and eggs Benedict piled high with potatoes, pancakes, and granola. Dinner might include grilled chicken with mushrooms and a garlic Marsala sauce; roasted rack of lamb with a panko crust; prime New York steak with macadamia nut risotto; and roast duckling with brandy, peppercorn, and molasses sauce.
Sunset Review Each of the very rustic cottages, which are grouped around a redwood-shaded ravine on a gorgeously untamed coastline, has a name—Grandpa’s, Faraway—and each contains a journal in which visitors have bared their souls, sometimes happily, sometimes not. But when the rains lash the redwoods, there’s no better place to snuggle and listen to the crackling of a fire in the woodstove.
A lovely story... Today’s Wild Love is inspired by one of the most beautiful places in the country, Big Sur, and the couple who helped define its style: Helmuth Deetjen and Helen Haight Deetjen. In the late 1920s, carpenter Helmuth Deetjen fled Norway and eventually settled in beautiful Big Sur, California. He met and married Helen Haight, who came from an important family of wealthy and prominent political figures in California. She settled with Helmuth, trading a house in Carmel for a tent on four acres that she owned in Big Sur’s Castro Canyon. Using reclaimed wood from canneries in Monterey, Deetjen built a redwood barn on the property. As people like Henry Miller and the Beat poets started coming through Big Sur, word spread about the Deetjens’ barn, which they opened up for weeks to travelers looking to write, hike the Castro Canyon or just unwind. Read more...