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“Unexpected excellence” 5 of 5 stars
Review of San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property

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San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   900 San Ysidro Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93108   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Megeve, France
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Unexpected excellence”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

We stayed in Santa Barbara overnight, but didn't know about S. Ysidro ranch. We discovered it unexpectedly. Only after our driver told us about it.

This is a place to see! The beautiful gardens, with little bungalows hidden in the blooming trees is somewhat an unusual landscape for this area, adding even more enjoyment to the experience. Everything is perfectly polished, creating the best first impression possible!

The reception staff was very friendly and highly efficient, encouraging us to explore the property, by giving us a map and pointing out interesting places. The interiors of the lobby and the stone house, where we went for drinks were very homely and thought of.

If we ever happen to arrive to Santa Barbara again, there's a strong possibility that we'll eventually take up S.Ysidro as accommodation.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanysidroranch, General Manager at San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thank you for the kind remarks! We'd be delighted to welcome you back to The Ranch for a memorable stay and hope to have the opportunity to do so!

On behalf of the San Ysidro Ranch Team-

Seamus McManus
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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302 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Manhattan Beach, CA
Level Contributor
55 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We had a bad experience with dinner at the restaurant recently. The 3 of us who ordered the special of the night were all very disappointed to have a bland dish that wasn't really worth bothering with, much less worth the $60 they charged. Another in our party had the seafood fettucini which was also lackluster. And to top it off, when we all met for breakfast the next morning, 3 others in our party had vomited in the night. So all in all, it was not a great dining experience for 7 different people in our party.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanysidroranch, General Manager at San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
I was most concerned to read of your recent visit to our restaurant. We take great care in each guests’ experience to include ambiance, food and service and found your impressions unusual and difficult to understand. If you would take care to call me directly at 805-565-1777, I would like the opportunity to discuss your experience further.

Regards,

Seamus McManus
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
49 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Our cottage felt very private, and we enjoyed the jacuzzi that was part of our patio. The bathroom was nearly as large as the bedroom and well-designed. The decorating style probably can best be described as french country (with odd little Asian accents). The TV was the same limited non-HD cable menu you get in nearly all hotels. The grounds were beautifully landscaped but limited in scope - we were disappointed that there weren't more walking paths on the property (instead, we walked along the San Ysidro Creek trail nearby and around the adjoining neighborhood and into the Montecito South downtown). The service was impressive but hardly flawless (it seemed to be a function of who was at the front desk - Thursday person great, Friday and Saturday people more prone to confusion). The two on-site restaurants were lovely and the food (coming from one kitchen) averaged out at very good with mixed service (again, Thursday being superior to Friday). (Perhaps the facility gets strained as people come in for the weekend and more of the LA crowd shows up just to eat.) Given the price of the rooms (see other reviews), I'm not sure we'd ever return. We enjoyed the Spanish flavor and grounds of the nearby Four Seasons more (same owner) - and if we're really talking about the best hotel in the US - I would rank several places in Hawaii above this. Another word to the wise - we had a couple days where the sun did not shine (spring and early summer can mean a lot of overcast weather in Santa Barbara).

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanysidroranch, Manager at San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts on your recent stay at San Ysidro Ranch. We are pleased to learn you enjoyed the privacy of your cottage and the beautiful surrounding gardens. It is the shared goal of the entire San Ysidro Ranch team to deliver a special and memorable experience throughout each and every stay. We appreciate your views on consistency and would like to assure you they have been received and addressed. Thank you again for choosing to travel to The Ranch this spring. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back for an even more enjoyable stay in the future.

On behalf of the San Ysidro Ranch team

Seamus McManus
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
120 reviews
83 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

We came here with my husband's parents for a one night getaway. The property is breathtaking, and the cottages were beautiful. We were touched by the care they took in preparing for us. Our names are on the door and there was stationary with our names printed on them in the room. The continental breakfast was lovely.

But the service was grossly lacking and completely incommensurate for a hotel of this caliber (and price). When we checked in and we told them we didn't need help with our bags, they left us on our own to find our cottages on a property that is difficult at first to figure out. When we went to the pool, there was no one there to take drink orders, and when staff came by to serve one guest, they bypassed everyone else without a word (in general, staff on the property tended to not even bother to greet you when they were passing by). If you asked for something, they were good about responding, but you had to ask first. The last straw was when we'd forgotten a piece of our luggage there. When we called them the evening after we checked out, the response we got was, "Oh yes, we realized that you forgot that here." And they didn't bother to call us?

The resort is beautiful and it would be an ideal getaway that we would've liked to have come back to if the service had been better.

Another minus -- the pool is tiny. We were there on a weekday when the resort was probably only about half full. Even then, every lounge chair was occupied.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanysidroranch, The San Ysidro Ranch Team at San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property, responded to this review, April 25, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts on your recent stay at San Ysidro Ranch. Likewise, thank you for the kind words with respect to our gardens and beautifully appointed cottages. We very much appreciate your views on service and have made certain to share them internally. We are pleased you and your family were able to join us this spring and hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back for an even more enjoyable getaway in the future.

Sincerely,
The San Ysidro Ranch Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Great experience.
The best please.
Great bar and Restaurant. This has been epic.
We love the rooms and the environment.
Best hotel in the US.
Fantastic value and service.
That river side is one of the best places with unviable trees and landscape.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanysidroranch, The San Ysidro Ranch Team at San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property, responded to this review, April 25, 2013
We are so pleased to learn of your recent experience at San Ysidro Ranch. We appreciate the kind words and hope that you are able to join us again soon.

Regards,

The San Ysidro Ranch Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

First of all, it's an incredibly lovely property. The grounds are spectacular, if a bit dull (read: everything in order, everything in its place). The hiking trails are amazing. But for a hotel that bills itself as "the best hotel in the world" (apparently a moniker bestowed upon them by Forbes or Fodor's or some such at one point) it's left hopelessly wanting. For the price of our insanely expensive cottage ($1200 a night), here's what we got: the cottage is TINY. That's okay if you're in a big city, but in Montecito there's plenty of room. No reason for it to be so small we have to look at our luggage and figure out creative ways to put everything away. Not at that price. You could hear noise from the cottage next door - an absolute deal-killer for what is supposed to be a five star hotel at five star prices. There's no wi-fi and in general everything's a bit old-fashioned - in some ways charmingly so, in some ways just annoyingly so. They made a big deal of asking us at check in which newspaper we desired to have delivered in the morning, and then it wasn't even there - I had to call and ask again so we'd have the paper to read with our breakfast. (The Airport Marriot gets this right - surely the insanely expensive San Ysidro Ranch could do the same). The restaurant (The Stonehouse) was okay - very heavy food, a very old-fashioned menu (on the dessert menu, between the Crepes Suzette, the Baked Alaska, the Cherries Jubilee, the Bananas Foster and the Soufle, I literally felt as if I were dining at the finest establishment in New York - in 1958). And ABSURDLY EXPENSIVE. I want to be clear: I don't mind expense. I stay at five star hotels frequently and am used to paying top dollar for things. It's simply that in this case the expense was in no way justified by the experience. It's a lovely place, if you don't mind putting up with a few anachronisms. It should just cost literally half of what it costs, and then I'd give it five stars - and probably return. As it is - forget it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanysidroranch, The San Ysidro Ranch Team at San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide information on your recent stay at San Ysidro Ranch. We realize there are many great destinations in California and are delighted that you chose The Ranch. Likewise, thank you for the kind words on our beautiful property and gardens. While we pride ourselves on being voted America’s Best Hotel we understand the importance of upholding such an award as well as the ability to adjust with the needs and desires of all our guests. It is the shared goal of the entire San Ysidro Ranch team to deliver a special and memorable stay to each and every guest. We appreciate your views on privacy, value and size and would like to assure you they have been heard and noted. Happily, our Stonehouse Restaurant is esteemed by a very discerning clientele and most are appreciative of the menu selections. Thank you again for choosing to travel to San Ysidro Ranch this spring. We do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back for an even more enjoyable stay in the future.

Sincerely,

The San Ysidro Ranch Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

My husband and I came for a two day get away without the kids. We had wanted to come for a decade or more and were very excited to stay at a place that boasts winning best hotel in the world, etc... awards. It is a beautiful, special place, with clean little cabins. At $1200. per night, our cabin was nestled between two others. It was "creekside" and while we could hear the creek, the neighboring cabin blocked any view of it. We could hear our neighbors coming and going in the cabin next to us and did not feel a ton of privacy. There was always a cleaning person around and we could here plenty of people talking most of the time. The cabin was tiny, with very little space to unpack. We have stayed at 5 star hotels in Asia and in New York where we encountered this but I expected more here, a bit more perfection I guess. When we checked in they asked us what choice of newspapers we'd like delivered in the morning (what a treat!) only to find that they forgot to deliver our papers! A request for steamed milk with our coffee from room service resulted in cold un-steamed milk. These things would not have bothered me but I expected more from this place I had dreamed about. The restaurant was absurdly priced and not locally sourced food (why does the butter need to come from France when there we are in California and have wonderful local food?) The food was heavy and we wish we'd eaten at the Plow and Angel instead of the Stonehouse. There is no recycling in the room, it felt very 1990's to me - no WiFi, and no way to turn on the very bright porch light that kept me up half the night before I went outside and unscrewed the bulb. (The front desk said this was for safety and I understand, but our bed was right next to the window and the shades did not block the light). This all said, the staff was wonderful, the service excellent, the grounds just beautiful. Really a stunning property. There is no spa, but we had massages in our rooms (very cramped but they managed to get two tables set up), and some peppermint oil spilled onto the pillow where my face rested and burned my skin so badly that I now have a dark mark on my face next to my eye two days later (it looks like a burn mark). The massage was great but I didn't expect to come home with scars from it. We thought this would replace our favorite hotel (Bardessono in St Helena, Napa Valley) but sadly I felt like it was expensive just because it always has been. Like East Hampton, Cape Cod, or Martha's Vinyard is expensive but rustic. But "Best Resort in the World"? No. I can check it off my bucket list for travel destinations but will not feel a real urge to do more than stroll the grounds again. Staying the night was not really that special.

Room Tip: If money is no object maybe go for the biggest cabin you can. Perhaps they will be nicer than our e...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanysidroranch, The San Ysidro Ranch Team at San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide information on your recent stay at San Ysidro Ranch. We realize there are many great destinations in California and are delighted that you chose to spend your weekend away at The Ranch. Likewise, thank you for the kind words where our staff and gardens are concerned. It is the shared goal of the entire San Ysidro Ranch team to deliver a special and memorable stay to each and every guest. While we pride ourselves on being voted America’s Best Hotel we understand the importance of upholding such an award as well as the ability to adjust with the needs and desires of all our guests. We appreciate your views on privacy, value, etc. and would like to assure you they have been heard and noted. Thank you again for choosing to travel to San Ysidro Ranch this spring. We do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back for an even more enjoyable stay in the future.

Sincerely,

The San Ysidro Ranch Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property

Address: 900 San Ysidro Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#2 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#3 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
#3 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#19 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property 5*
Number of rooms: 41
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Also Known As:
San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property Hotel Santa Barbara
San Ysidro Inn

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