A special little getaway to California’s Central Coast
By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva with photos by Richard Pietschmann
The urge to get away after a long hiatus won. And off we went to the charming Hotel Ynez in California’s Central Coast’s answer to the Napa Valley. A bucolic area hosting vineyards, horses, sprawling ranch homes and nearby beaches.
There’s a small hotel with no wishing well but lots of charm
The adorable 20-room boutique property snuggles in a horsey residential area a few miles from the cutesy city of Solvang. Formerly a motel, the Hotel Ynez was re-imagined with an uptown look that combines retro with contemporary. It’s fun touring the property to check out all unique artifacts and creative touches.
For instance cactus and succulents hang on walls.
And these restored suitcases strategically placed around the grounds. Quite chimerical ambiance to be sure.
Below is our deluxe room #20. It has a patio, like all the accommodations. But inside there’s a little kitchenette with retro refrigerator and pay as you snack and drink bar. There’s also a coffee maker.
The bodacious Matouk elevated king-size bed provided peaceful sleeping. While the ginormous flat-screen TV proved perfect for watching the baseball playoffs and football.
The Diva pretty much likes everything about this property. However the ‘complimentary’ continental breakfast needs some work. It’s not attractive or very creative. And they have tiny packets of plastic utensils with the small, useless napkins. I love pretty presentations and also cloth napkins. I never use paper ever.
Okay, the morning offering’s free but not really. It’s covered by a daily $18 resort fee. That also includes WiFi and parking.
Most of our fellow guests were millenniums who get out and bike, hike, take wine tours, play bocce ball on site and sit around the firepits at night. What’s missing however is a late afternoon wine reception that many boutique operations offer especially those in wine country.
There’s a heated pool and little market for beverages, snacks and barbecue able meals.
Fine dining discovery
We only spent a night at the hotel but we made good use of the time. Besides biking, hiking and touring we did some fine dining at Leonardo’s Ristorante & Pizzeria( www.leonardoscucina.com 691 Alamo Pintado Rd.). A buzz in wine country vibes and mostly vintners and other locals, the Italian fare is some of the best in the west.
My carpaccio was excellent. Richard’s pre-dinner Hendrick’s martini, exquisitely poured and served in a gorgeous glass.
You might like to know there’s an off-road bike path into town on the other side of the road. This is also a gateway to the nearby Santa Ynez Valley towns and wineries but just 45 minutes from Santa Barbara.
Whether you’re looking to travel to California’s Central Coast or any other place in the world by land or ship Pavlus agents are available now to put you there (800-528-9300).