Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa
Rancho Sante Fe, California
What it is
An award-winning 49 casita sanctuary on 45 verdant acres, with an exquisite spa devoted to wellness.
What it isn't
Phoning it in. The property is a member of the much-lauded Relais & Chateaux collection, the only one of its kind in SoCal.
What we think
If Hollywood Director Nancy Meyers (of “The Holiday” and “Something’s Gotta Give” fame) were to design a Southern California resort, it might look something like this much-loved retreat—where Mediterranean-inspired casitas have vaulted exposed beam ceilings and French doors that open onto lush patios. Suites are fitted with 600-thread-count linens, Frette robes and towels, Bang & Olufsen stereos, Bose sound systems, and basically any other ultra-high end trapping you could ever wish for (yes, that’s an Illy Cafe Espresso machine with a milk frother). Of course, we don’t imagine you’ll spend much time in your room—not when the grounds contain everything from yoga on the Serenity Yoga Pavilion to 2 European Clay tennis courts (and 16 championship-ready ones).
You're here because
The on-site restaurants are so good that locals book their special occasion dinners there. Don’t miss sitting by the fireplace for Maine lobster sliders at The Pony Room, which maintains 100 types of tequila at all times.
Steeping in a soaking tub in a private courtyard in the spa, you can scarcely believe your luck. You sip your organic vegetable juice and let out a contented sigh. Soon, your therapist will rouse you for a White Diamond facial that leaves you all aglow—although, if you’re being honest, you were already feeling pretty glowy.
Just 23 miles north of San Diego International Airport, and a few miles from the cinematic beaches of Torrey Pines State Reserve (hike to Razor Point for a seagull’s-eye-view of the Pacific).
Pony Room - Casual dining
Veladora - Rancho Coastal, farm to table
The Pont Room
Biking, hiking, Jr. Rancher Program, SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, Legoland