I'm planning trips for 2012, and while reflecting on where I visited in 2011, San Ysidro Ranch comes to mind. It's easy to see why Travel + Leisure Magazine listed it as the #1 US location in its annual "World's Best Awards" issue. The setting is gorgeous among the foothills above Montecito, overlooking the Pacific in the distance. There is an aroma of fresh eucalyptus.. orange.. lavendar.. depending on which of the charming, meandering paths you take to go from your cottage to the pool, restaurant, or main reception house. Each living area offers complete privacy, even if you are right next to other guests. Enclosed terraces, with lovely landscaping make you feel like it's been created with you in mind. The cottage suites are lovely, with a hacienda-like feel to them, and throw in a little bit of a western feel.. plus a splash of Southern California glamour. Comfortable beds - ours was four poster - lovely bathroom. Loved the breakfast table and looking out the window while dining on fresh fruit, coffee, croissants in the daily morning room service. We were celebrating a birthday, and a bottle of chilled wine and some snacks were delivered to the room upon our arrival. The Stone House restaurant offered incredible food. We sat outside on the patio, under a blanket of twinkling lights woven through the arbor overhead. Service was impeccable and helpful. Take your time and order cocktails before dinner because this is an experience not to be rushed. I visited the pool, took a dip, and relaxed on the comfortable and ample chaise lounges. The gym is small, but functional. They probably figure guests will take advantage of the miles of hiking trails around the property, which I did. The hikes were invigorating, and the views stunning. Best of all was seeing the smiles on the faces of all the employees. It's clear they enjoy working in this environment. Hey.. who wouldn't like living and working in this corner of paradise? We'll be back for a family gathering to celebrate Mom's birthday. She picked the spot. I can understand why.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in the Montecito foothills of Southern California’s wine country, San Ysidro Ranch has provided a tranquil vacation destination for discriminating travelers for over a century. Guests are drawn to the Santa Barbara hideaway for its blend of natural beauty, romantic heritage and classic luxury. Myth and history mingle in the lush garden where Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier exchanged vows; in the setting of John and Jackie Kennedy’s honeymoon retreat. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property Hotel Santa Barbara
- San Ysidro Inn