July 7th, 2014: "Santa Ynez Inn Rocks"
By Marisa D'Vari, A Wine Story:
Fab visit to the Santa Ynez Inn, a luxury hotel in the tiny (and I mean very small!) 'old west' town of Santa Ynez.
Arriving here one drives through what can only be called a stage set at MGM studios where Westerns were filmed. In fact, there are even hitching posts in front of the shops and restaurants where one feels inclined to tie a horse rather than park a car.
The Santa Ynez Inn, like the reest of the town, is designed to reflect the 1880s. Yet inside there is nonstop splendor. Gorgeous carpets, very lux Victorian styling, and a beautiful room with a big fluffy bed and marble bedroom that is VERY modern and clean.
This is a five diamond resort with only 20 rooms and the opportunity to meet other guests and exchange notes on wineries visited during breakfast (very delicious and complimentary with the room) and complimentary wine tasting at night. There is even an evening dessert offering.
Our room had a patio and 12 foot ceilings and a fire place. The staff is super helpful with lots of suggestions for restaurants. I asked them for recommendations and also did my own search on Trip Advisor, which is always entertaining as well as informative.
During our visit in July before the wine blogger's conference (#wbc14) the group at breakfast is a mix of youngish couples and people celebrating family and friends style reunions. All the guests are very friendly and we even encountered a few of them during our wine travels during the day.
This evening we arrived early enough to observe the wine tasting - great local wines and fab nibbles including different types of cheese and other delicious small bites.
Beyond luxury, one of the best things about this hotel is that there is never a need to drive. Many tasting rooms are across the street, and there is a variety of restaurants within a five minute walk.
Oh, and I love the patio!
The hotel is an excellent spot to tour the neighboring wine regions and is highly recommended.