My husband and I spent this past weekend at San Ysidro Ranch. We decided to go with a junior suite, and it was perfect for us. The room was nice with a comfortable bed and pillows, a fireplace, a flat screen TV which was inset into the wall, and a DVD player. It also had a refrigerator with complimentary drinks and snacks. On day 2, we asked for more drinks, which they brought us immediately. My husband thought the drinks/snacks should be replenished without us having to ask, considering the daily rate of the room, but I didn't mind.
The best part was the bathroom and patio. There was a glass enclosed shower in the bathroom, with a door that led to an outside shower. My husband loved the outside rain shower . And on the patio, there was a hot tub with jets, which we used quite a lot. Of course, there was a bathtub in the bathroom as well, but we didn't use it. I only wished the room had a chest of drawers somewhere. I like to unpack my clothes, and though there was a closet with some shelf space, it wasn't the same as having a dresser.
The grounds are beautiful. I loved the vegetable and herb garden (what they call the chef's garden) and the flower garden. The terraced effect is quite nice. We used their fitness center one day. It's not much. The equipment could stand to be updated. The pool looked nice and inviting. You could see the steam rising off of it, but we used our hot tub instead. One day, we went on a hike, and they provided us with a backpack, waters and a trail map. That was nice. The cookies by the front desk are good. And we enjoyed the wine and cheese reception they had. We didn't eat at either of the restaurants, so I can't comment on that.
We asked to take a look at a cottage for future reference, but they said that they were all booked. We agreed that if we were going to go again, we would probably save some money and stay in the junior suite again. We're the type of people who are out and about during the day, so we don't really need extra living space. But the pictures of the cottage did look nice.
We also liked the fact that everyone has their own parking space. Getting your car in and out of valet is kind of a pain, so it's nice not to have to bother with that. There was one night when we came back and our spot had been taken by another car. Guest Services took care of it immediately. They had us park at the reception area, drove us to our room in a golf cart, had us leave our car keys with them, and then returned our keys once it was sorted out. It was an inconvenience, but they handled it well.
Now, for some negatives. These things didn't lessen our enjoyment, but I thought I should mention them. The hot tub light and the light on the back patio didn't work. That was fine because there was enough light from the room to light the patio. Also, the heated floors in the bathroom never worked. They brag about that a bit, so it was kind of funny that they didn't work. We told them these things when we checked out. We told them that we weren't complaining, but that we thought they should know. It wasn't important enough for us to have them fixed when we were there. We did have someone come and fix our AC. It was blowing out air but not cooling the room. We called them as we were leaving for dinner. By the time, we came back, it had been fixed.
The other thing that we didn't mention but did strike us as inconsistent with the level of the resort was the housekeeping. On our first day, we came back from dinner at about 8:30 pm. They hadn't done the turn down. The front desk called us at 8:45 pm asking us if we wanted it, but we were settled in, watching a movie by that time, so we said forget it. The next day, they came by at 5:30 pm. We were getting ready to leave for dinner, so they said they would come back in an hour. We came back from dinner at 9 pm, and housekeeping hadn't been there. We called and asked for turn down service and for more drinks. They came then. I just thought it was odd for a hotel of this level to be inconsistent about it - maybe they were short-staffed? It wasn't a big deal, but we definitely noticed it.
Oh, and one other change I would make. There is a door from the back patio of the suite to the outside. There's no lock on that door. That made me a bit nervous because I was a bit concerned that someone would walk in when I was using the outside shower which faced the door. All the doors on the outside look the same, so it wasn't inconceivable. It wasn't a big deal, but it would be nice for peace of mind. Plus, we often used that door to go to reception, which was recommended by the guy who showed us our room because it is a shorter route. However, that means that we have to leave the bathroom doors leading to the patio unlocked because we can't lock them from the outside. I guess I'm just paranoid, but I didn't like that idea, especially since there is a public path that goes through the resort.
As some other reviewer said, we thought the whole guard by the gate was kind of funny. The funny thing is that by the restaurant is a street where there is no gate. And in fact, there's a sign saying it's a public trail. So anyone can enter from the other side of the resort, which makes the front guard thing a bit unnecessary, in my opinion.
Unlike some of the other reviewers, we didn't have any problems with the staff. Everyone was quite nice and friendly. We also didn't have any problems with construction noise. We did see that up by the pool they were doing construction, but because we were at the bottom of the resort, we weren't affected at all.
All in all, we had a great, relaxing time. We would definitely go again. It's pricey, but it's a nice getaway, and close enough to Santa Barbara to be convenient.
- 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