Last time we visited Santa Ynez we stayed in Santa Barbara at the Biltmore and drove up for the day. It was just too far and we spent too much time in the car. After doing some searches, it became clear that Fess Parker was probably the only option other than motels in Solvang/Buellton, so we made a reservation.
Initial impressions were very favorable. The reception area is quite charming with staves from wine barrels used as flooring. The decoration was charming and the employee at reception was helpful and friendly.
We stayed in the addition across the street from the main lodge (we were next to the pool area). Our "spa" room was quite spacious and the space was almost oversized (e.g., in the bathroom). I did notice that the room was designed to be accessible for a disabled-person, however, and didn't see any other rooms. In other words, I don't know whether all the "spa" rooms were similarly designed or whether ours was unique for that purpose.
The room had a fireplace, a nice-sized desk, a sitting area, and a very nice king-sized bed. Linens were quite nice and the bed was very comfortable. The room was well-decorated and had attractive shutters that framed windows which looked onto a side street, presenting a peaceful and relaxing setting.
After getting settled, we did some wine tasting, and then walked to dinner at Sides. The next morning we had a good breakfast (included) at the restaurant.
My general impression of the property was very good. While I only saw our room in the addition, things were very well-maintained and clean. This is not an ultra-luxe property, but it is definitely in the tier just below (and the prices are appropriate); it is also a good fit for Los Olivos.
My only negative impression came from using the lobby bathroom. It was a bit shabby and dated. I'm surprised since its appearance was inconsistent with the rest of the property (but that is easily fixed).
We travel a lot and stay in some very nice properties. While Fess Parker is not a "five star" hotel, it is definitely a five star Tripadvisor experience. Will definitely visit again when we are back in Santa Ynez.