As other reviewers have noted, Alisal is a family place, with multi-generational families that come back year after year. My husband and I were first introduced to Alisal in the early 1980s, when we were in grad school, by such a family (the parents had basically been coming there since the place opened). Lucky us, we were their guests! Time moved on and when our daughter was age 8-18, we came to the Alisal every Labor Day and spent time with that family and other families that come every Labor Day-- always felt like a fun, big group reunion! After our 10 or so years of Labor Day at Alisal, we had to take a 3 year break, because our college age daughter's schedule didn't work for time off for Labor Day. But she's now graduated! And the Ranch called with an opening and we booked it! We are sooo excited to return! We want to continue going every year, we love it!
I wanted to post, given some of the snarky comments I read from people who clearly just don't "get" what the Alisal is. For those people, please, by all means just go to a Four Seasons. Yes, the Alisal is rustic, hence its charm, and I think people lose sight of the fact that the room rate includes a wonderful breakfast and dinner. I admit its still pricey, but to us-- priceless!
P.S. We owned horses for 12 years (in our back 40) and rode and jumped (English), and the Alisal trail rides and the wranglers are great! We came once early for the Wednesday rodeo--great fun!