This romantic, Mediterranean-Mission-style resort is tucked away in Rancho Santa Fe.
Utterly secluded in the tony enclave of Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Valencia is a mere half hour from downtown San Diego and just minutes from the Del Mar Racetrack. The private gates of this Mediterranean-inspired, SoCal escape open onto 45 acres of gardens, olive groves and 49 luxe casita suites. Better yet, more than seven miles of fields dedicated to polo and horse training separate the all-suite property from the I-5 freeway, guaranteeing serenity and seclusion.
The only Relais & Châteaux property in Southern California, the resort offers four different types of suites – Agave, Olive Grove, Palm and Valencia – ranging from 900 to 1,300 square feet. If their list of amenities sounds exhaustive, that’s because it is: custom furnishings, 600-thread-count linens, illy Café espresso machines, flat-screen HD televisions, spacious bathrooms, large walk-in closets, Bang & Olufsen sound systems and Bose CD and iPod technology. Twelve villas up the luxury with 3,000 square feet of living space, including three bedrooms, hand-painted tiles, marble bathrooms, jetted plunge pools, private terraces and indoor/outdoor fireplaces. Redesigned by Jennifer Van Galder of Van Galder Design, the villas showcase a blend of California and Spanish styles, and enjoy the added luxuries of French limestone flooring and gourmet kitchens with Viking appliances.
The most secluded offering, The Hacienda, is often booked for wedding parties and boasts 5,000 square feet in an adobe-style private home with a full kitchen, a private heated pool and whirlpool spa, as well as wood-burning fireplaces in almost every room. Property-wide amenities further the resort’s reputation for indulgence. Along with 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi and parking, guests also enjoy a few sigh-inducing extras, such as complimentary mini-bars, fresh-squeezed orange juice and a newspaper delivered each morning, and test drive access to a fleet of Porsches (available on a first-come, first-serve basis).
Recreation can be found in many forms, from active sports to leisure activities. Guests can partake in the excellent tennis program with 18 hard courts (and complimentary court time) set amid rolling countryside. There are spin and Pilates classes, hot air balloon rides, croquet and bocce ball, and guests can play a few rounds at the neighboring (also gratis) The Farms Golf Club. Additional pastimes include relaxing nature walks, bike rides and opportunities to find inner peace at the Serenity Yoga Pavilion. Also popular is whiling the day away at one of two outdoor heated pools and hot tubs – one for all guests and one adults-only – as well as at Rein pool bar, which pampers with private cabanas, hand-crafted cocktails and a superb selection of rosés. At The Spa at Rancho Valencia, treatments focus on longevity and vitality, and incorporate organic herbs and oils and nutrient-rich seaweed and clay.
House fine-dining restaurant Veladora serves farm-to-table, “coastal ranch” cuisine with pairings from a top-notch wine list. The striking setting boasts a Damien Hirst butterfly wall piece that mesmerizes with its intricacy. The stylish Pony Room pays homage to the area’s equestrian lifestyle and serves up gourmet bar food, while the outdoor fire pits present cozy spots to sip craft tequilas and nibble on lobster sliders.
Planning a wedding or retreat is made easier with Rancho Valencia’s packages tailored to the type of getaway being planned, whether it’s for yoga, tennis, cycling or spa treatments. A true study in good taste that celebrates the natural beauty of the area, Rancho Valencia is a portal to the good life in Rancho Santa Fe.
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