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“"america's best hotel" by location only?”

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San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property
Ranked #4 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
West Hollywood, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“"america's best hotel" by location only?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

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.

Room Tip: if money is no object (and it better not be), then choose a cottage.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SAKSAK123
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, September 5, 2013
The extensive renovation that was undertaken several years ago was to reestablish the Ranch as an important part of American Hospitality culture, retain its character and reflect on its heritage. The magic of San Ysidro Ranch is happily understood and appreciated by its public. We do recognize that design, as well as sense of place, is in the eye of the beholder and appreciate your reflections. We hope to see you many more times in the next 15 years!

On behalf of the San Ysidro Ranch team,

Seamus McManus
Managing Director
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438 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
Date | Rating
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English first
Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

My husband stayed at the San Ysidro Ranch for the second time. The first time was in 2011. The second time was in August 2013. We noticed a significant drop off in service. The property is beautiful and the ground meticulously maintained. The cottages are quaint and well appointed. The issue we have is with overall service. We have stayed at many 5-star resorts and this one falls far short. The biggest complaint I have is with the pool and exercise room. There is no one attending to the guests. The equipment in the exercise room was dirty, the sanitizer was empty and the "water bucket" had 2 bottles of warm water in it. The pool was a major disappointment too. Half of the chaise lounge chairs had dirty towels on them and some even had left over food and drink cups laying on them. I sat by the pool for one hour and did not see anyone take care of the mess. Another day, my husband and I went to the pool and wanted to have drinks and lunch. We couldn't figure out how to order food. We searched around and found a menu. After another 5 minutes, we found a phone to order the food. There was not sign or information about how to order drinks or food. After we figured it out, it look over 30 minutes to get one drink served. In my opinion, both the exercise and the pool area are worthy of maybe 2 stars. For the price we paid for our cottage, which was $2,500 per night, this was unacceptable to us. There is no spa. You can have a massage in your room, but no place to get nails or hair done. Overall, we were very disappointed and will not return.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Cub01
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, September 4, 2013
I am concerned to read of your experience at our pool and would like to apologize and find out more details (date, time, etc.). If your time permits I would appreciate a call at (805) 565-1777 or, if you email me with your phone number (smcmanus@sanysidroranch.com) I will call you.

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.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013 via mobile

Let's start with the pool, a color that said warning. If this was mine, I would not allow my kids nor even a neighbor I disliked to put a toe in it. Then to the service. We had a hard working young person minding a task meant for at least two people. Woeful is the only description. All this was punctuated by sink drains in our bathroom that did not drain. Bringing this to the attention of management brought no more than a yawn. Can someone here press the "we care button". This place is so un-deserving of its rates.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
11 Thank Michael F
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, September 2, 2013
We appreciate your remarks and regret that you did not have a more enjoyable stay with us. While we did experience some water clarity challenges, we’d like to assure you the pool was at all times safe and was promptly returned to optimum condition. We very much value our guests and take great care in the level of experience had by each. We have addressed your concerns internally and strive for immediate improvement. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to The Ranch for a 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.
Aberdeen, Scotland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

Beautiful rooms, majestic grounds - super restaurant and a cut above most US hotels. Complete silence at night leaves you wonderfully refreshed in morning - definitely a place to go to recharge. Service is generally excellent as well

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ian-Mc-SOR
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, September 3, 2013
We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us at the San Ysidro Ranch. Rest and relaxation are always at the forefront of the Ranch experience.

On behalf of the San Ysidro Ranch Team,

Seamus McManus
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
122 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013

Reading through recent reviews of San Ysidrow, i feel like i stayed at a different hotel but when i looked further back in the year, there are others with the same issues as us, i am also amazed that where management respond to complaits,mthey totally ignore the negative points and just focus on the positive. Just so you know that we are not being fussy..... This is the bathroom we were given in what they call a Romantic Garden Suite but as you can see there was nowhere to store anything despite advertising a dual vanity and chandelier which led me to expect a good sized bathroom. I actually think,that the hair dryer (at the left of my photo) and placed there by housekeeping is nothing short of dangerous!
There were four shelves in my wardrobe with a high shelf that held the spare bedding and my husband had no shelves other than one very high shelf Mathew who checked us in was less than gracious. First he admonished me for pushing ahead of some other guests one of whom was looking at the garden and the other was standing by the boutique! Then he curtly told me that we were expected at dinner 30 minutes previously at 6.30pm!! How it is listed as No 1 hotel in America I am not too sure as it really does not provide the amenities and service provided by others. I think that it is resting on past laurels whereas the hotel,industry has moved on so far now. However the setting is spectacularly pretty and we had a really excellent meal at the Stonehouse We arrived at 7.00pm and checked out before lunch the following day and into the fabulous El Encanto where they seemed genuinely pleased to have us.

Room Tip: Do not go for the romantic garden suite I think that you need to go for a higher category suite an...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank 761Anonymous
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, September 2, 2013
We are very sorry we did not meet your needs. We are diligent in communicating accurate room descriptions and will double our efforts to ensure further clarity is provided. We trust you had an enjoyable visit to Santa Barbara and wish you a safe journey home.

Seamus McManus
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2013

The SYR offers private cottages with wonderful outdoor showers and hot tubs. The grounds are beautiful with citrus trees and gardens set agains mountains with challenging hiking trails. The on property restaurants are very good dining options, and the location near Montecito and the Central Coast wine region is superb.

Room Tip: All the cottages are private and quiet. Citrus and Tangerine cottages offer a front porch with a vie...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pamela S
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, August 27, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful description of our treasured property!

On behalf of the San Ysidro Ranch Team

Seamus McManus
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2013

One of the most amazing hotels I've ever visited. My fiancee and I stayed in the Tangerine cottage which offers an amazing view of the ocean from the breakfast nook. The hotel and its clearly took pride in offering an intimate and serene experience. The king size bed was neither too soft nor too hard. The bathroom offers a deep soaking tub perfect for my fiancee. Despite being located adjacent to another cottage, the foliage surrounding the cottage offers complete privacy for us to take dips in the outdoor Jacuzzi. The service was impeccable even though the front desk mistakenly charged us for an extra in-room massage session and rose petals. I'd recommend hiking in the trails behind the property; the panoramic view from the peak is breathtaking. Wifi and in room snacks are complimentary.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ckn2001
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, August 27, 2013
We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay in Tangerine Cottage and were able to relax in comfort. We are fully committed to offering an unparalleled experience and always do our utmost to ensure customer satisfaction in every way.

On behalf of the San Ysidro Ranch Team

Seamus McManus
Managing Director
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

Property: San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property
Address: 900 San Ysidro Ln, Santa Barbara, CA 93108-1325
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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#2 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#3 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
#3 Luxury 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
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

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