The Coral Casino wasn’t the only place Long and I did what we do best on our California adventure earlier this month.
I was over the moon excited when I saw our trip itinerary included dinner at San Ysidro Ranch aka the #1 hotel on the planet. I had long swooned over their website with every California trip I had planned in the past but wasn’t sure when I would ever be so blessed to cross it off the bucket list.
It’s no wonder our fellow clean beauty guru, Gwynnie, chose this spot for her quadruple-secret surprise wedding to Chris Martin on December 5th, 2003.
PSA: If you are planning a secret wedding to a hot famous musician – this is the your place!
And despite their conscious uncoupling 13 years later, the spot remains a fave for Ms. Paltrow.
Citing the goop travel section:
Inarguably, this is one of our favorite hotels in the world—we’re not alone, either, as John and Jackie spent their honeymoon at SYR, and Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh tied the knot in the gardens. Set against the Santa Ynez Mountains, on an olive and lavender tree studded estate that was originally built as a citrus farm in the 19th century, you’ll find 41 secluded bungalows. Each cottage comes equipped with a fireplace, private patio (many have outdoor hot tubs and rain showers), and wonderful extras, like heated bathroom floors. Though it’s big with honeymooners, we never need a big reason to come, as it’s the type of place where the occasion is the stay. Among many other things, the ranch is famous for its $130 “Montecito Margarita” made with Don Julio Real Añejo Tequila and Grand Marnier 150th Anniversary—mixed with agave and lime. Situated in the farm’s former citrus packing house, the stone-walled restaurant offers either creek or ocean views. The menu focuses on fancy comfort food—and revolves around the offerings from the ranch’s gardens. Extra-Credit: The wineries of Santa Ynez and Santa Maria Valleys are less than an hour north, while Santa Barbara is just minutes away.
You read correctly, JFK & Jackie O honeymooned here . . .
Sidebar: Jackie has really upped her vacay wardrobe game over the years . . .
Anyways, the pictures of San Ysidro Ranch I had poured over for years did not do this place justice. It was simply breath-taking.
When you pull up to SYR is literally feels like a secret magical land. (BTW, I was sitting next to our Chief Scientific Officer, Xavier Ormancey, on the way from the Biltmore and trying not to be super awkward. Turns out, he doesn’t binge on Netflix nearly as much as I do so convo wasn’t exactly flowing like fine French wine.)
Don’t worry, he survived . . . And the magic continued as we walked the property through hidden pathways and gardens and doors. Each one revealing a more beautiful landscape than the next.
(That guy wasn’t standing there – he was busy whipping up our amazing meal)If the never-ending path wasn’t so awesome I would have been pissed that I almost ripped my dress and spilled my champagne like 47 times. Trying to read Long’s texts en route “GET UP HERE – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE!” didn’t help ease the journey, either.BUT THEN at the top of the glorious path/mountain . . . there was this. . . .
and this . . .
and even more of this . . .
and most importantly, I found this lunatic . . .
And look – we have other friends, too!
And let’s not forget these two queens who brought us all together –
Okay, so point is, this event was bananas – every last detail . . .
down to the cozy beach blankets left on our seats
so that we could look like the cult some think we are. Pretty awesome cult, if you ask me.
Wait, you guys – I don’t know what my point is
(ADD) – except that I feel lucky AF and you will, too, at this truly unique & oh so special destination.
Thank you for the memories, Beautycounter & San Ysidro Ranch.
I cannot wait to go back.
What do ya say, Horseface? I think the Kennedy cottage is calling our name.
(I promise not to consciously uncouple from you if we go here . . . soonish)
Oh- and if you care to channel Jackie on your next Cali adventure . . .
I recommend grabbing these classics on sale now at Shopbop’s Event of the Season.
Happy shopping/California dreaming!