An elegant hideaway in the American Riviera
Situated against the backdrop of the Santa Inez Mountains and with a magnificent panorama of the Pacific Ocean, San Ysidro Ranch occupies a unique setting on the American Riviera. Every aspect is conducive to just soaking up and reveling in the breathtaking surroundings.
Originally a 500-acre Spanish land grant, the ranch has been a hideaway for those seeking privacy and relaxation for more than a century. Hallmarks of the ranch include the luxuriant environs and charming private cottages. The ambiance of casual elegance is complemented by an attentive and accommodating staff and an eye for detail. This is where guests come not to be seen.
Whether it be a weekend getaway or romantic escape — Winston Churchill and honeymooners John and Jackie Kennedy are among the famous past guests — the ranch is designed for discretion.
Dedicated to accommodate every creature comfort, San Ysidro Ranch provides an impressive list of services and amenities, including several palate-pleasing dining options with menus that offer classic favorites as well as inspired seasonal cuisine.
Our Inspector’s Highlights
• Relish the art of doing nothing surrounded by hundreds of acres of natural beauty. Meander and explore the spectacular grounds accentuated by lovely water features, inviting sitting areas and dramatic views.
• Partake of world-class cuisine and wine in legendary settings. Casual or more formal, fireside or alfresco, the atmosphere is congenial and relaxed.
• Choose from 17 miles of hiking trails, the pool, the spa or nearby golf and beaches as well as the many other attractions in Santa Barbara, including historic downtown, the Urban Wine Trail, Montecito Village and the Funk Zone.
• Stonehouse is in an elite group of restaurants around the world to be honored with the Wine Spectator Grand Award. It boasts an impressive wine cellar of 2,100 labels and 12,000 bottles.
• Be spoiled and pampered with an outstanding selection of amenities and personal attention in the comfort of your secluded bungalow sanctuary.
Things to Know
• San Ysidro Ranch caters to guests in a secluded and intimate atmosphere. The ambiance is low key and understated.
• The professional staff provides guest services and room service 24/7 to address and indulge your every wish and whim.
• Make selections from an extensive menu of tempting services in the charming spa with its whimsical trompe l’oeil birds on sky blue walls. Packages and in-cottage treatments, including couples massages, are available.
• Pampered pets are welcome in freestanding cottages. They even have their own guest book and bed, a bone with their name in peanut butter, and can get a pet massage.
• There’s a two-night minimum on weekend stays, which have to include Saturday.
• Pick from 41 upscale private bungalow-style cottages that feature vaulted ceilings, four-poster beds and fireplaces. Each cottage is individually furnished with handsome antiques and decorated with artworks collected from around the world.
• Complimentary parking is conveniently located adjacent to the private entrance of your cottage. A nice personal touch is having your name displayed on a plaque welcoming you to your bungalow.
• Your furnished private patio, deck or verandah is surrounded by lush landscaping with ocean or canyon views. Enjoy the outdoor rain shower or soaking in the sunken hot tub.
• Luxury amenities include Rivolta Italian linen bedding, Bulgari toiletries, complimentary gourmet snacks, twice daily housekeeping and turndown service.
• Special occasion options include in-cottage meals served on your patio, a romantic rose petal and/or candlelight turndown (with truffles, of course).
• The historic 19th-century Stonehouse Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week with a champagne brunch on Sunday. Dine on the terrace while enjoying scenic garden and stunning ocean views.
• The farm-to-table menu at Stonehouse is influenced by what is seasonal and can be sourced from local farmer’s markets, local fresh seafood and the chef’s organic herb and vegetable garden. The delicious bacon and fresh breads and pastas are also all made onsite.
• During lunch at Stonehouse, try the grilled angus burger or the yellowtail fish tacos. At dinner, you can’t go wrong with the classic steak Diane, pan-seared Santa Barbara abalone, housemade fettuccine with speck ham or miso-glazed Channel Island black cod. But save room for dessert: Both the Meyer lemon tart with infused lavender and orange blossom honey cream, and the chocolate mint ice cream made from fresh mint are a must.
• Head to Plow & Angel, a cozy, informal pub, for the tortilla soup, mac and cheese, and the braised beef short ribs.
• The warm and convivial character of both the historical landmark 1825 Old Adobe Cottage as well as the Wine Cellar make them ideal options for more private, intimate dinners and special occasions.
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DETAILS - Insider Information About This Hotel
On November 11, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: