Thursday, August 1, 2013


You know when you walk into a place, gasp, and think, this is perfection? Welcome to San Ysidro Ranch.  I was perfectly happy at the Four Seasons (I would have to be daft not to be) but had always wanted to see this place for myself.  It was seven minutes up the road from the Four Seasons Biltmore.

                                        Eucalyptus trees line the driveway leading to the property

You may know the history of San Ysidro Ranch--Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier stayed here as did Jack and Jackie Kennedy for their honeymoon. It is a gem of a hideaway.

The pretty reservation office with the nicest staff who didn't mind me roaming around with camera in hand.

This lobby is my idea of a perfect family room--wood floors, white walls, lots of pillows and comfy seating.  Which is why I am now thinking to paint most of my interior walls a soft white (goodbye Golden Gate, you've served me well).

Let's drive back to the guest cottages

Even the parking slips are enchanting

Climbing roses are in abundance

Star jasmine climb the posts and clematis covers the pergola

Another guest cottage

Hydrangeas galore

Herbs planted between the paving stones that lead us through an arbor

So much lavender and rosemary.  The fragrance, colors, texture work so beautifully together that when I returned home I planted a bunch around my pool.

This is the Stonehouse restaurant.  Very swanky dining on the property. 

Vegetable gardens for guest dining (you know, in the restaurants, not for munching away in the garden)

Hydrangeas along the stone steps 

I did grab the opportunity to tour the Laurel cottage. I didn't take any pics but it was what you would imagine.  Four poster bed, stone fireplace, wood floors, comfortable seating area, indoor and outdoor shower. The darling bellman told me everything in the minibar was gratis for guests (which seems only right given the nightly rates start at $600).

Time to leave.  But, I'm telling you, someday I'm going to splurge and stay here for a few nights. Oh, yes.


  1. What a heavenly place. It looks like a place Jackie Kennedy would visit.

  2. San Ysidro is just as beautiful as you describe it (your photos prove it.) I visited there 20 years ago and have been promising myself I would go back to Santa Barbara soon. Well, a trip down to California is overdue and so is a stay at the ranch.

  3. Beautiful and your pictures are amazing!

  4. Nancy: Yes!

    Jill: You would immediately make friends with the head gardener.

    Mary: I would love to hear your comparison between now and 20 years past. Probably just more gorgeous flowers and taller trees!

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  6. Kim, your photos are gorgeous! What kind of a camera do you use? I also love the San Ysidro, one of the most special places in California!

  7. Sunday: Thank you! For this trip, I used a Canon S100. I love this camera and it is small so it is easy to travel with.

  8. We have stayed at many hotels throughout the world and have yet t find a place that tops SYR. We got married here 7 yrs ago and return every year f our anniversary. Love, love, love this place!!!!