San Ysidro Ranch
One of my favorite hotels in California has to be the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito.
Up in the hills of Santa Barbara, the charming bungalow style lodge is the most romantic, tranquil and luxurious setting one could imagine. The beautiful bungalows have fireplaces, terraces, Jacuzzis and rain shower heads . The furniture is cozy and welcoming.
The most discriminating services and privacy have always been a part of this legendary hideaway where Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier exchanged vows and where John and Jackie Kennedy spent their honeymoon. More recently, Natasha Henstridge and Darius Campbell, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow married at the Ranch. Julia Roberts and husband Danny Moder spent the first night after their wedding in one of the bungalows.
San Ysidro Ranch has a fascinating history. The ranch was recently and expensively renovated by its new owner, Ty Warner. But in the 19th century it was home to Franciscan monks, was an actual working farm and was then made into a hotel in the thirties when actor Ronald Colman purchased the property with partner Alvin Weingand at the height of the Great Depression and urged his Hollywood "glitterati" pals to party there on weekends. Thus, the reputation as an enclave for the rich and famous began.