Have been staying here for 15 years in many of the different cottages. The staff answers the phone "america's best hotel" and this may be true, but they are missing the "located" in their greeting. that is, you cannot argue with the location and the setting. for that it is perhaps a "best". the service at reception takes time- when it shouldn't and many of the staff seem to be training for the mid-range french hotel chain mercure- that is, unsure and with attitude.
while there is every possible type of amenity, the rooms were "re-done" several years back and every possible surface is loaded with some sort of tchotchke, including a faux chinese porcelain doll on my bedside table that had been glued down. the decor borders on b&b kitsch in some cottages. there are many hotels worldwide that are situated in prime spots and that aspire to have service, food, etc., equal the setting, but that often give up because the location (and history) will always draw and book the rooms. I hope the SYR doesn't fall any further into that category of giving up or not caring.
someone in the restaurant is convinced that darkness is the only component to ambiance. small flashlights are issued to each guest to read the menu, view the food as it is presented and, in the hands of a child, annoy anyone around.
all in all, fabulous location and grounds with historic pedigree...if only it would find its way back into the hands of a skillful handler.
- 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