One of the perks of having a brother who works in the boutique hotel industry is access to fabulous accommodations. I've sampled quite a few properties and my hands-down favorite is from this week's stay at the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur, California.

What more could one ask from a stay then close encounters with deer, wild turkey, quail and blue jays by the dozen. Mexican sage and lavender are abundant and fill the air like lace - soft and intermittent. The morning and evening fog is matched in beauty by the spotlight-type light breaking through to the forest floor. Your vehicles for viewing pleasure are hammocks, rocking chairs in the middle of redwoods or wooden lounge chairs overlooking a vanishing bluff.

Truffle-infused pumpkin-ravioli from Chef Matt Scherer keep you at the resort while a leek tart from Big Sur Bakery tempts you away.

Ventana, and Big Sur in general, is truly befitting of the late Elliott Smith's refrain, "some beautiful place to get lost".