Montecito is a community whose history runs deep. One of the most historically-relevant properties in our community is the San Ysidro Ranch. For over 129 years, it has welcomed sophisticated travelers and cultural and Hollywood icons to experience its romantic, serene estate.
Named by Franciscan monks, who first inhabited the land in the 1700s, as an homage to Saint Isidore, San Ysidro Ranch stands as the longest-running luxury resort in our community. During the pandemic, a time when the hospitality industry was significantly impacted, San Ysidro Ranch made adjustments to streamline travel, encouraging guests to stay on the property and enjoy the resort’s amenities. As a result, each stay includes a complimentary dining experience.
Encompassing roughly 550 acres of land, 38, bungalow-style cottages lay tucked into the ornate foliage of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Through the years, the resort has been frequented by an array of star-studded celebrities, most notably John and Jacqueline Kennedy. The resort’s tagline, “where the seen come to be unseen,” provides a reputation of anonymity that mirrors our Montecito community.
San Ysidro Ranch was recently rated the #1 resort in California by Travel + Leisure. In addition, they are the only Forbes five-star resort in Santa Barbara, the only Wine Spectator Grand Award winner on California’s Central Coast, and they are consistently recognized among the top hotels in the world, including in the coveted Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure Readers’ Choice Awards. Most recently, San Ysidro Ranch was named the #1 Best Boutique Resort in the world at the Boutique Hotel Awards 2022.
While most of our readers may be familiar with the resort, here are a few little-known facts you may not have heard.
- San Ysidro Ranch initially opened in 1893 under the ownership of film star Ronald Colman. It was later acquired in 2000 by local billionaire businessman and toy manufacturer Ty Warner.
- Like many of our historical properties, the resort was previously a working citrus ranch. The sandstone packing house was built in 1889. Today, we know it as the Michelin-touted Stonehouse restaurant featuring citrus and other ingredients grown in their on-site organic gardens and used by Executive Chef Matt Johnson.
- Local familiarity with the Kennedy’s San Ysidro stay is strong, though other noted guests include: Vivien Leigh, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx, and Winston Churchill, among others. And, of course, numerous current Hollywood stars – those of whom you can read about in the tabloids while waiting in line at our local grocery stores.
To learn more or to book your next stay, visit the San Ysidro Ranch online here.