We have been coming back to the SYR for nearly a decade. For us, it is the American equivalent of the Aman hotels in Asia; on every occasion reliably delivering a beautifully styled room, hotel and experience without being formal and stuffy. The hill-side French provincial style cottages and gardens are absolutely perfect to relax for a few days where the temperature is a little less aggressive than down on the coast or in-land. The service is flawless.
The SYR has been on the 'mountain' side amongst celebrity homes above Montecito since Victorian times. The Kennedy's honeymooned here, an ocean view cottage, which is available to guests, as is the larger Ty Warner cottage.
This time we stayed in Fig, one of a collection of 5 cottages higher on the hill, just by the pool. We don't love Fig as much as some of the other cottages but in most hotels this would be a truly exceptional room. The cottages are all individually decorated with an joyfully eclectic mixture of furniture and furnishings which you can look at on their web site. The rooms just feel like somewhere you want to live and because of this we usually stay 3 days and hardly venture out.
Something else that is unusual about this place - everything in the room works and is simple to use. No baffling mood light settings, silent fridge and air con, large closet, electric start fire,etc - all work as you would want it to.
There is an exceptional restaurant here. We have not visited it yet, preferring to eat in our cottage, but the food is great. Its expensive so you might want to consider eating off the pet menu - Salmon and rice for dogs is only $16.
Stay here. You can't go wrong
- 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