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Rancho Valencia

Ratings:

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Contact Information

P.O. Box 9126
5921 Valencia Circle
Rancho Santa Fe, California 92076-4126
Phone: (858) 756-1123
Fax: (858) 756-0165
email:reservations@ranchovalencia.com
www.ranchovalencia.com

The Spanish-Colonial architecture is blended with a decidedly Southern California ambiance at the elegant Rancho Valencia resort.

Although the Rancho Valencia Resort maintains a prestigious Rancho Santa Fe address, it is actually located in Fairbanks Ranch, in the rolling hills of a private canyon, reminiscent of the hills of southern France. The forty-acre resort is styled in Spanish-Colonial architecture, and comprised of twenty casitas with forty-three suites for an intimate, exclusive ambiance. The architecture is especially influenced by the grand estates of the 1920's and 1930's, and the resort boasts several expansive, lush lawns lined with beds of hibiscus, geraniums, agapanthus, citrus groves and wildflowers. Yet Rancho

Valencia is not a bustling resort, with a lot of random people whisking in and out; rather it is a secret not known to the masses.

The casita in which my family stayed was tastefully furnished with understated sophistication. Like a small but elegant house, the casita consisted of a separate bedroom; a long walk-in closet; an unusually long bathroom, not typical of hotel or even resort bathrooms; a mini kitchen with a sink, large refrigerator, and counter area; a large entrance way; a living room with a complete, full dining set, an armoire, ceiling fans, a fireplace, two televisions, and a coffee maker. Unusual features included a CD player with CDs, and a VCR with tape rental service which was much more convenient than the typical, in-house movies that you cannot start and stop at your own convenience.

The casita was absolutely stunning, located in a breathtakingly tranquil setting with views of the Rancho Santa Fe Hills. The decor was upscale Spanish mission style, with very fine attention to detail. The fireplace and kitchen surfaces were decorated with hand-painted tile in soft white and tan shades. Wonderful high-vaulted ceilings with exposed, white-washed beams; faux antique style hanging mirrors; and large, exquisite lamps were found throughout the casita. Special touches included tiled surfaces and sections of the floor, beautiful pottery, hanging artwork, large potted plants, decorative flowers, opening windows with plantation shutters, and uniques paintings. The large, private patio area had a complete set of patio furniture and market umbrellas and was surrounded by colorful flowers. The casita also came complete with a special mirrored makeup vanity nook, soft wooden cabinets with an elegant antique look, and wrought iron trimmings and lamp bases.

The daily rates for suites at Rancho Valencia is $425.00 to $4,000.00 per night. My particular casita cost $1180.00 per night, during the time of my stay.

Health and Fitness:

  • The fitness center is a small room but with updated equipment, including a life cycle, a treadmill, a stairmaster, and free weights. Men's and women's separate locker rooms with lockers both have dry saunas in them. A personal trainer is available.
  • Spa facilities offer massages and skin care treatments. Special packages such as stress relief, reflexology sessions, high achiever massages, and aromatherapy facials cost approximately $270.00. Other activities include:
  • Yoga classes.
  • Guided Torrey Pines hiking tours.
  • Sunrise walks.
  • Personal bicycle tours.
  • Bocci ball, croquet, golf putting and chipping green.
  • Golf privileges at nearby golf clubs: The Farms, Del Mar Country Club, Aviara, and the Meadows.
  • Extensive tennis programs include lessons, ball-machine court, men's round robin and women's tenniscize.
  • Two outdoor heated swimming pools and three jacuzzis.

Dining:

In-room dining has an innovative and creative menu and the service is thoughtful and accommodating. This is not the same bland menu found in many hotels. Instead, Rancho Valencia offers such items as crispy ahi tuna roll, sauteed abalone steaks, Hawaiian Mahi filet, and Australian rack of lamb. I ordered the latter and it arrived promptly at my casita.

Numerous awards have been presented to the Rancho Valencia, including the Condé Nast Gold List in 1999.

Baby/Child Friendliness:

  • Board games are available at the front desk, including chess, yahtzee, bingo, backgammon, or upwards.
  • CD players with lovely classical CDs are stocked in the room and provide soothing listening pleasure for a baby or youngster-- much more so than the muffled music found on many of the standard little radios found in most resorts.
  • VCRs, as opposed to the usual in-house movies, provide easier viewing with young children. Parents are able to stop, pause, and restart the videos if, for instance, a diaper needs to be changed during the movie.
  • Toddler clothes are available in the upscale boutique.
  • Rancho Valencia has in place a Junior Tennis Academy, where young vacationers can be drilled and match play tennis.
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services are available--a convenience with young children. At Rancho Valencia, guests also have complimentary use of washers and dryers to do their own laundry. A set of washers and dryers are found in two separate locations, ensuring that guests will not have to walk too far with their laundry, if they opt to do it themselves.
  • A doctor and a dentist are both accessible to resort guests, a reassuring feature should a child need sudden medical or dental assistance.
  • The in-room dining service delivers an entire page to their Kids' Menu, as opposed to the tiny section found on many hotel menus. Designed to please children, this menu includes a hamburger which they describe as, "served just the way kids like it, no yucky onions, just lettuce, tomato and a great dill pickle on the side." Also included are hot dogs, French fries, chicken strips, spaghetti, and pizza. Side orders actually offer some nutritious options such as apple sauce, carrot sticks and apple juice. A special listing of Kids' Desserts, includes ice cream sundaes as well as healthier alternatives such as a bowl of mixed fruit and berries.
  • The resort also has a general all-night dining menu, which is especially pleasing when arriving late with a youngster.

Romance:

  • The luxury and romantic ambiance created at Rancho Valencia is designed to be reminiscent of the 1920's Rancho Santa Fe. The resort is touted as one of southern California's best-kept secrets, a perfect hideaway from the conventional routines of every day living. Rancho Valencia maintains a quietly refined atmosphere. It is a magical place where writers or artists might come to seek inspiration or lovers might seek romance. If ever there were a place to make dreams happen, it is here, in this breathtakingly secluded and elegant resort.
  • The service at Rancho Valencia was pleasantly surprising. Every time I ordered room service, I was brought something unexpected such as a single red rose or chocolate-dipped strawberries that I had not ordered. I was also pleased with the fresh orange juice delivered each morning to my door, without being ordered.
  • The hotels central features revolve around a Spanish-colonial, yet southern California styled courtyard. A large fountain sits in the center, around which are tables to the restaurant for al fresco dining. The restaurant with its light airy decor and large windows to see Del Mar's hot air balloons, is located on the side of the terrace. A plush lounge is on the other side of the courtyard. This is an inviting room with a fireplace and, during the holidays, a beautiful Christmas tree, complete with presents graces the room. Outdoor seating in the courtyard is especially lovely at night with the candles on the table.

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