© 2012-2018 HighCamp Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

My Life's A Trip

Luxury Without Snobbery*

Back to Posts

California Pet Friendly Road Trip: A Night at San Ysidro Ranch- An American Luxury Classic

San Ysidro Ranch

Meanwhile, back at the San Ysidro Ranch… the reception area is in this bougainvillla covered cottage.

On my recent California Pet Friendly Road trip, Scarlet felt most at home the night we spent at the The San Ysidro Ranch. The SYR is extremely familiar with 1% pets, they even have a separate pet register to sign upon check in, and nice details like a dog bowl filled with water in the reception cottage.

The San Ysidro Ranch is perhaps a bit lesser known than the nearby ocean front Four Seasons Biltmore, it’s location is no less desirable. The Ranch is on a piece of property in the foothills of the Santa Barbara mountains, with 17 miles of hiking trails accessible by foot right at the edge of the property, making it perfect for dogs and their humans.

The San Ysidro Ranch takes their furry guests seriously. Behold: a pet register at the reception desk.

Located just outside of Santa Barbara in the bucolic enclave of Montecito, Ty Warner’s San Ysidro Ranch has long been a favorite of among the most discerning travelers. It winds up on list after list of top hotels in the world, it would actually be boring to name which lists. But the Ty Warner portfolio is a best of the best list that also counts the Four Seasons New York and Cabo’s Las Ventanas among it’s properties, as well as the Four Seasons Biltmore).

It’s here at the San Ysidro Ranch that President John F Kennedy honeymooned with his lovely young bride, Jackie Bouvier Kennedy. If you’re too young to find JFK significant, Coldplay’s Chris Martin also spent his wedding night here after eloping with Gwyneth. Rock stars and presidents all keep coming back to the property year after year for good reason… it’s an enduring luxury classic.

San Ysidro Registration Sign

The gorgeous gardens and the Santa Barbara mountains behind the San Ysidro Ranch

San Ysidro Ranch

The gorgeous Santa Barbara Mountains behind the wedding lawn at the San Ysidro Ranch.

San Ysidro Plants

Flora and fauna at the San Ysidro Ranch

San Ysidro Ranch

The San Ysdiro’s Stonehouse Restaurant

San Ysidro Ranch

Plow and Angel

If you prefer more casual dining options, the Plow & Angel in the basement of the Stonehouse is a laid back rathskeller.

The Door

The details at the San Ysidro Ranch are all thoughtful, like this soft, non clinking Do Not Disturb pillow.

The San Ysidro Ranch, unlike so many properties that are resting on past laurels, consistently stays on top of the game by keeping the property above and beyond 5 star standards. You don’t realize how well service can be done until you spend a night here. I even slept in late, the bed was so comfortable.

And while The San Ysidro Ranch appeals to the below-the-radar jetset, it’s charm is obvious. The property has curb appeal to dogs (and their human owners). There are 17 miles of hiking trails right on the ranch property, and the room service menu has special items just for pets. Plus, rather than being relegated to to fringe room that has yet-to-be-refurbished, showing up with a dog (or two) in tow is celebrated at the Ranch. Scarlet even had a welcome sign hanging outside the Lotus bungalow to greet her upon check in.

Welcome Sign

A welcome sign for Scarlet outside the Lotus bungalow

The Lotus cottage is one of the French Lavender cottages on the property, which average around 1,150 Sq. Ft and come complete with Bulgari amenities and indoor/outdoor showers and a hot tub.

Scarlet on her best behavior does a property inspection and checks out the Lotus bungalow… and approves.

The swoonworthy bathroom in Lotus cottage had a modern day claw foot tub, Bvlgari amenities, an enormous glass shower, and extremely comfy and soft sage green robes, as well as dual sinks. We didn’t even turn on the 42″ plasma television.

The reception cottage at the San Ysidro Ranch

Charming Flowers

The swoonworthy bathroom was cozy and modern at once.

The claw foot Bathtub

The claw foot Bathtub

It’s nice to stay at a hotel where the mini-bar (except for alcohol) is included. It’s an appreciated touch when there are fresh baked dog biscuits for your pet. Our welcome packet at the San Ysidro ranch had an interesting edit of goodies. Keeping with tradition, there was custom stationary with my name printed on it announcing I was in residence at Lotus Cottage. There was also brochure with Ten Activities for Pampered Pets, which had been approved by members of the veterinary field, with listings for pet massage ($75 for a thirty minutes, which is a reasonable rate for such a service) as well as pet-friendly beaches and a local groomer and doggy day care.

The local health code prevents pets from joining their humans in the hotel restaurant, room service at the San Ysidro Ranch is fantastic. Just dial up room service and another round of delicious margaritas will appear, and it’s a little known secret the San Ysidro Ranch has the best huevos rancheros I’ve ever eaten on the planet, and I’ve sampled more than a few.

If you don’t have a chance to stay at the ranch, by all means treat yourself to a meal at the Stonehouse restaurant, which will be the subject of the next post in this series.

Macarons were a welcome amenity

Macarons were a welcome amenity.

The canopied king bed in Lotus cottage, a framed set of prints were some of decorating details I love about the ranch.

Ceramic Rabbit

The inspired decor of the Lotus Cottage featured hit ceramic bunny on the mantle.

Scarlet made herself right at home on the bed, and enjoyed the special dog bed, dog treats, and pet bowls provided at the San Ysidro Ranch.

Scarlet wanted to keep the huge, walk-in glass shower. I probably wanted to keep it a little too.

The Lotus Cottage had a lovely outdoor patio, will lounge chairs and a hot tub. We left the cover on the hot tub, as Scarlet is a big fan of them and at the SYR, pets aren’t allowed in the hot tub.