This Memorial Day Weekend Luke and I decided to head north to Santa Barbara with Maui in tow. Neither of us had ever been before and I was so excited to take Luke to one of my bucket list hotels, San Ysidro Ranch. Working in social media myself, I often come across amazing properties through Instagram but I was actually introduced to San Ysidro by my friend Amy. She showed me pictures at lunch one Sunday afternoon at Cora’s Coffee in Santa Monica. I was immediately obsessed.
This hideaway, which is nestled in the Montecito foothills of Southern California’s wine country, will take your breath away. It’s blend of pristine nature (almost 500 acres of it), romantic heritage (it’s the setting of John and Jackie Kennedy’s honeymoon retreat) and luxurious accommodations had me wide-eyed and smiling from the moment we pulled into their drive.
The origin of the Ranch’s name is embodied in the legend surrounding its namesake, Saint Isidore. San Ysidro (Spanish for Saint Isidore) was born into poverty in Madrid in 1070. He worked as a farm laborer in the fields of a wealthy nobleman. According to legend, because Isidore spent much of his time tending to the sick and needy, the Lord sent an angel to help him plow the fields. Hence, San Ysidro, the patron saint of farmers, is always shown surrounded by a plow, oxen, and an angel. A retablo depicting the legend of Saint Isidore hangs above the fireplace in the Plow & Angel restaurant, honoring our namesake, Saint Isidore.
They have two restaurants on sight, The Stonehouse, open daily for brunch or dinner and Plow & Angel, open for dinner only.
Upon arrival we quickly found a bench just below their rose garden and took in the amazing landscape. Luke knew I was in heaven!
Guests have their own private cottage with names like Churchill Cottage, Daisy Cottage or Lavender Cottage. The cottages decor is a clean and fresh take on what you might expect in an old English countryside manor.
“Built in classic bungalow style, all are individually decorated, all with fireplaces or stoves, decks giving way to sweeping vistas and outdoor hot tubs. Here, every guest and privileged pet receives a warm welcome. Relaxation and refuge are premium, enhanced by the discreet personal service and flawless attention to detail that are Ranch hallmarks.”
I could have cuddled up next to this lily pond and read all afternoon.
The Ranch is dog friendly with a small pet fee. I love hotels that don’t sacrifice luxury for pet accommodations. It’s a rare coupling but when you find it, I assure you (if you are a dog-mom) it will be a hotel you continue to return to. Two of my other favorite pet-friendly hotels, The Hay-Adams in Washington, D.C. and XV Beacon Hotel in Boston.
Luke is so sweet to come along on these adventures with me. Some men might not enjoy strolls through rose gardens but Luke’s nickname, given to him BEFORE me, was Luxury Luke. I am in good company. 🙂
Within the first few moments of arriving at San Ysidro I knew I was in love and then the above happened. We found their organic vegetable garden, each row perfectly placed and categorized so we could know what exactly we were looking at.
“The ranch provides several premier dining settings, each featuring a palate of herbs and vegetables grown right here in our organic gardens.”
Luke enjoying a game of putt putt golf.
^ Please take a moment to look at Maui! She looks as happy as her mom did that day.
Just above the pool area is this stunning green courtyard with views of The Pacific past the ranch below.
Looking to check in? Follow the pink!
If you are looking for a unique escape moments outside of Santa Barbara, CA, I cannot suggest San Ysidro Ranch enough.
We love you SYR.