Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Luxury Hotels and Travel
Reload this Page >

California road trip for milestone birthday

California road trip for milestone birthday

Old May 18, 20, 9:42 am
  #1  
Community Director
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 30,014
California road trip for milestone birthday

I have now canceled every booking for every trip this year. The last to go was our booking in British Colombia at Khutzymateen Grizzly Bear Lodge. It's unclear when the US Canada border will open and it's unlikely it will do so by July when we were going. Further, I'm not comfortable getting on an airplane or wearing a face mask for 10 hours or so of travel.

I have a milestone birthday in late July. I had varied celebratory plans, none of which can be executed. We're fortunate to live in a beautiful area with amazing restaurant take out options but I wanted something more. Last night, I threw together the following trip:
  • Drive to the Monterey area
  • One night, Carmel Valley Ranch, Vineyard Oak Studio
  • Two nights, Ventana Big Sur an Alila Resort, Vista Hot Tub Suite
  • One night, Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
  • Home
I think I've chosen properties with sprawling beautiful grounds where we can walk and not encounter a lot of people. I'm not expecting museums nor restaurants to be open. I'm expecting to enjoy the scenery and to eat in our room. Have I chosen well for the trip given the conditions under which we currently live? Would you tweak it in any way?
StartinSanDiego likes this.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old May 18, 20, 11:20 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Atlanta and the Big Island, Hawaii
Programs: DL Diamond, SPG Gold. I share these affiliations so that you can ask me questions about the programs
Posts: 742
Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I have now canceled every booking for every trip this year. The last to go was our booking in British Colombia at Khutzymateen Grizzly Bear Lodge. It's unclear when the US Canada border will open and it's unlikely it will do so by July when we were going. Further, I'm not comfortable getting on an airplane or wearing a face mask for 10 hours or so of travel.

I have a milestone birthday in late July. I had varied celebratory plans, none of which can be executed. We're fortunate to live in a beautiful area with amazing restaurant take out options but I wanted something more. Last night, I threw together the following trip:
  • Drive to the Monterey area
  • One night, Carmel Valley Ranch, Vineyard Oak Studio
  • Two nights, Ventana Big Sur an Alila Resort, Vista Hot Tub Suite
  • One night, Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
  • Home
I think I've chosen properties with sprawling beautiful grounds where we can walk and not encounter a lot of people. I'm not expecting museums nor restaurants to be open. I'm expecting to enjoy the scenery and to eat in our room. Have I chosen well for the trip given the conditions under which we currently live? Would you tweak it in any way?
You might consider adding the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. The views and walking trails are gorgeous.
SanDiego1K likes this.
Goodmorning2U is offline  
Old May 18, 20, 1:46 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: Flying Blue Gold, Alaska MVP Gold, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 811
I would pick somewhere else in Santa Barbara.
We were at Bacara a few weeks ago. If the pool is closed, the beach there is not nice. Also, there are only two walking paths, so anytime you do leave the room you will be surrounded by a decent amount of people.
Finally, given the proximity to LA, this is used as a getaway place so there were tons of dogs and kids. You may like being around both, but something to consider.

We have a reservation at the Rosewood for July 4th weekend. Originally we were at the FS, but the Rosewood has a better cancellation policy which is what I need.
SanDiego1K and MSPeconomist like this.
uclabruin82 is offline  
Old May 18, 20, 1:49 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: BOS
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 1,813
Not much to add here other than that I just booked Ventana Big Sur for early July followed by Las Alcobas Napa Valley. Hoping for the best.
SanDiego1K likes this.
callmedtop is offline  
Old May 18, 20, 2:38 pm
  #5  
Community Director
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 30,014
Originally Posted by uclabruin82 View Post
I would pick somewhere else in Santa Barbara.
We were at Bacara a few weeks ago. If the pool is closed, the beach there is not nice. Also, there are only two walking paths, so anytime you do leave the room you will be surrounded by a decent amount of people.
Finally, given the proximity to LA, this is used as a getaway place so there were tons of dogs and kids. You may like being around both, but something to consider.

We have a reservation at the Rosewood for July 4th weekend. Originally we were at the FS, but the Rosewood has a better cancellation policy which is what I need.
Thank you. This is solid advice. Setting aside the cancellation policy, do you think it comes down to Rosewood vs FS? What did your research show about one versus the other?
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old May 18, 20, 2:41 pm
  #6  
Community Director
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 30,014
Originally Posted by callmedtop View Post
Not much to add here other than that I just booked Ventana Big Sur for early July followed by Las Alcobas Napa Valley. Hoping for the best.
Do you think restaurants will have reopened in Napa? I thought about it, whether for this or a different trip, but eating is my joy when I go to that area. I'm not sure what accommodation the intimate restaurants of Napa can make to give a sense of security.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old May 18, 20, 2:57 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: BOS
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 1,813
Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Do you think restaurants will have reopened in Napa? I thought about it, whether for this or a different trip, but eating is my joy when I go to that area. I'm not sure what accommodation the intimate restaurants of Napa can make to give a sense of security.
Napa is being VERY aggressive with their restaurant re-openings, from what I can tell. They are on track to open restaurants for in-person dining in the next week. The governor today also announced that individual counties can choose their own re-opening timeline.

See link here - a little dated from last week but still holds true: https://sf.eater.com/2020/5/15/21259...le-foods-pliny
callmedtop is offline  
Old May 18, 20, 5:51 pm
  #8  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Northern California USA
Posts: 2,213
SanDiego1K, in Santa Barbara area my #1 choice would be San Ysidro Ranch.
https://www.sanysidroranch.com

Ventana’s setting is exceptional. Clientele skews very young. Perfect venue for the hot tub. Do check out the Japanese baths. Room service is poor but the restaurant is quite good especially if staying only a few nights.

Sorry to learn of your cancellations, that’s tough. Glad you are making other plans.
KatW is offline  
Old May 18, 20, 9:39 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: Flying Blue Gold, Alaska MVP Gold, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 811
In SB, it seems to be Rosewood vs. FS if you want to be on the beach and Belmond vs San Ysidro Ranch if you do not want to be on the beach.
The Rosewood only opened last year so I have not had a chance to stay there previously, but figured it was worth checking out.
uclabruin82 is offline  
Old May 18, 20, 10:30 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: SFO
Posts: 1,217
Alternative options, Ritz Carlton Marana, Az.

The hiking trails are amazing and can be enjoyed at night, or in the morning depending on your preference. The spa and pools are great, the rooms are comfortable.

6 hour drive from San Diego, and take a scenic route home, stop in Phoenix or Palm Springs, or both.
returnoftheyeti is online now  
Old May 18, 20, 11:58 pm
  #11  
Community Director
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 30,014
Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
Alternative options, Ritz Carlton Marana, Az.
I think the summer heat would be too much for me but it's a great suggestion for fall. I fear road trips are my future for some while.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old May 19, 20, 12:56 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 1,302
Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I fear road trips are my future for some while.
Well, look on the bright side, you live in the best country in the world for road trips. I've done three in the South-West, one in the Deep South, one along the West Coast, but easily the best one was a huge loop up from Denver thru Nebraska, the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming, ending up at Amangani after a variety of B&Bs, motels and National Park Lodges. I always planned to drive across the mid-west - Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma - but never quite got it together. The real challenge is finding something to eat in these remote areas.
LinLant likes this.
Pausanias is offline  
Old May 19, 20, 1:11 am
  #13  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Northern California USA
Posts: 2,213
Originally Posted by uclabruin82 View Post
In SB, it seems to be Rosewood vs. FS if you want to be on the beach and Belmond vs San Ysidro Ranch if you do not want to be on the beach.
The Rosewood only opened last year so I have not had a chance to stay there previously, but figured it was worth checking out.
Iíve not stayed at the Rosewood although I had been anticipating it. But, the architecture and setting is an East-Coast wannabe and the prices are Ďeffing outrageous and I donít usually mind being overcharged but this place is highway robbery.

Honestly, in my view, the beach in Santa Barbara is no great shakes but itís OK for walking.
SanDiego1K likes this.
KatW is offline  
Old May 19, 20, 4:52 am
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 42,270
Originally Posted by KatW View Post
SanDiego1K, in Santa Barbara area my #1 choice would be San Ysidro Ranch.
https://www.sanysidroranch.com

Ventanaís setting is exceptional. Clientele skews very young. Perfect venue for the hot tub. Do check out the Japanese baths. Room service is poor but the restaurant is quite good especially if staying only a few nights.

Sorry to learn of your cancellations, thatís tough. Glad you are making other plans.
Been there, done that. San Ysidro Ranch is an excellent suggestion.

As much as I like Monterey, I'd bypass it and head for Mendocino. Agate Cove Inn is our favorite, followed by Alegria Oceanfront Inn.
SanDiego1K and KatW like this.
halls120 is offline  
Old May 28, 20, 1:29 pm
  #15  
Community Director
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 30,014
Originally Posted by KatW View Post
SanDiego1K, in Santa Barbara area my #1 choice would be San Ysidro Ranch.
https://www.sanysidroranch.com
Thanks for the suggestion. I've changed my plans and will now spend a night here instead of the Ritz Carlton Baccara. I'm so glad you suggested it as I really prefer small properties.
KatW likes this.
SanDiego1K is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: