Tucked away in the tranquil setting of the Santa Barbara foothills, San Ysidro Ranch is a luxury escape like no other. With 38 unique cottages set on 550 acres of a leafy ranch with citrus groves, miles of hiking trails and a running creek and waterfall, the privacy and luxury of this boutique property is one of Santa Barbara’s best kept secrets.
Perfect For: Couples | Small Weddings | Honeymoon | Anniversary | A Tranquil Escape from the City | Privacy & Exclusivity | Romantic Getaways
San Ysidro Ranch location: Located in Montecito in the foothills of Santa Barbara.
Getting There: Fly direct to Santa Barbara Airport SBA or drive 2 hours north from Los Angeles.
Vibe: As a property that doesn’t do any advertising and is focused so much on privacy, San Ysidro Ranch exudes understated exclusivity, privacy and intimacy. With just 38 individual accommodation options all with private entrances, luxury and impeccable service is the reputation that precedes San Ysidro Ranch, making it a favorite for romantic getaways, discreet city escapes and luxury stays in Santa Barbara.
Accomodations: All 38 cottages boast sunken hot tubs, large four-poster beds, an outdoor shower, indoor shower and tub, a large stone fireplace, air conditioning and three meals a day included. The luxurious nature of this property promises no hidden resort fees or parking charges, the only additional costs at check out are excursions and alcohol.
Half the cottages are standalone, and the rest share just one wall. But with private, gated entrances and enclosed gardens for each, the privacy of each cabin is never sacrificed.
Every cottage is uniquely decorated with an understated homely feel. While the patio for each cabin is intended to help guests get reacquainted with their senses as they immerse themselves in the tranquillity of nature.
If you’re looking for a slightly bigger space, the Hibiscus, Orange, Kennedy and Terrace cottages are all 2 bedroom properties. While the Ivy Cottage is a 1 bedroom suite and the Warner Cottage is a presidential suite with a private pool, jacuzzi and kitchen.
The historic Churchill Cottage is a favorite for history and book lovers as Winston Churchill once stayed there and the library decor is a stunning English history aesthetic.
As well as their own private entrance, all 38 cottages on the property come with their own parking space with electric car chargers for each. Every property is also pet-friendly.
Food & Beverage:
Head Chef, Matt Johnson, has been at San Ysidro Ranch for 18 years and his passion for food is reflected in the incredibly high standard of dining at the property.
San Ysidro boasts two restaurant options with an additional option for private dining also available.
The Stonehouse is located in the historic 19th-century citrus packing house, with creek views and a dining experience that feels as if you’ve stepped into the vineyards of Italy.
Aside from the award-winning dining experience, San Ysidro also stands out thanks to its world-renowned wine cellar which is the only property to hold a Grand Wine Award and is also the only place in the world that has two vertices of Pertruce from Bordeaux. The 12,000-bottle wine cellar houses an extremely rare collection of wine and spirits, perfect for any oenophiles.
For those in search of food offerings in nearby Santa Barbara or Montecito, Bouchon offers a spectacular menu with wine pairings. Lucky’s is also a popular option for a white linen dining experience offering a steakhouse menu with an old Hollywood feel, located on the Coast Road in Montecito.
Also located in Santa Barbara is Paradise Springs, the first bi-coastal winery in the US, offering wines from its California and Virginia locations.
The unique take on American style cuisine is award-winning and consistently voted the top dining experience in Santa Barbara. With open fires and an ocean-view terrace, this is a truly romantic dining experience.
The Plow & Angel is all about delicious comfort food, located in a cosy stone cottage with fireplaces and wooden fixtures and fittings.
Private dining is available in the Old Adobe, a historic California landmark dating back to 1825 and one of only three of its kind remaining. The Old Adobe can be rented for an evening with prices starting at $750.
Wellness: The story behind the spa at San Ysidro is a testament to the impeccable service that goes above and beyond in every sense.
The full service spa was only built during the pandemic because so many women were traveling to Montecito to see hair stylists after their usual salons in Santa Barbara were closed. The owner wanted to provide the best possible experience for the locals, so he built the full-service luxury spa which now guests can enjoy too.
From massages and facials to hair services, the salon and spa is focused on continuing the theme of tranquillity and rejuvenation.
Things to Do in San Ysidro Ranch: A stay at San Ysidro means the opportunity to build your own luxury escape, whether you’re looking for daily hikes, sunset cruises or horseback riding in the foothills.
Horseback riding with a picnic lunch or boating cruises at sunset are a favorite for couples on a romantic getaway.
And if you don’t want to leave the property, San Ysidro still offers onsite events daily, such as the Belvedere cocktails and live music 3-7pm each day or 17 miles of hiking trails with ocean views
What Sets It Apart: The first thing that should be mentioned that sets San Ysidro apart from the rest is the impeccable service. Not only are privacy and discretion constantly maintained, but the staff go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Housekeepers have just four rooms each to clean, meaning the attention to detail is of the highest standard, as well as staff turnover being incredibly low, thanks to the property’s great incentives for staff.
The owner is onsite and oversees everything, ensuring the standards remain at the absolute highest, while the guard house maintains security on the property at all times.
Morning yoga, access to the Montecito Country Club, exquisite dining and exclusive excursions are all details that the property provides that sets it apart from other luxury properties in the area.
How Much Does San Ysidro Ranch Cost? Rates start at $2495 with meals included.
Diego Travel Loves: The uniquely designed accommodation, stellar service and emphasis on privacy is what puts this in the top 5 properties I’ve ever experienced.
The owner is passionate about ensuring everything at the property is impeccable, the staff are committed to your comfort and privacy, while the dining, spa and excursion options are really the details that go above and beyond any other California luxury boutique hotel experience!
Extras You’ll Get with Diego Travel:
Book at creekside cottage to guarantee creek view rooms.
It is rare for me to feel so completely blown away by a property, but San Ysidro Ranch achieved exactly that.
Everything about the property is a special experience and you feel so catered for and cared for as a guest, from the rooms to the dining experiences and activities offered.
The property radiates exclusivity and luxury but in the most understated way, making you feel at home but also a word away in the peace and calm of this retreat into the foothills.
A stay at San Ysidro is a very special experience.