Voted the third-best hotel in Southern California by readers of Condé Nast Traveller and hand-selected by Forbes Travel Guide as one of the finest 5-star resorts in the world
Activity adventure | Beach | Relaxation | Spa
Easily accessible from the freeway in every direction, Rancho Valencia sits 25 miles north of San Diego (about a half-hour drive), amid 18 hectares of rolling hills, fragrant orange and olive groves, manicured croquet lawns, outdoor tennis courts and gardens brimming with cacti and hibiscus. For those who can’t bear to leave the coast for too long, the beaches of La Jolla and Del Mar are just a short drive away.
There’s a tangible taste of Spain in this part of California, no more so than in Rancho Valencia’s 49 hacienda-style suites. Surrounded by courtyards and bubbling fountains, and with private garden patios overlooking the olive groves and surrounding canyons, these bungalow suites are beautifully decorated with hand-painted tiles and custom-made furniture. All have indoor fireplaces for chilly nights, 600-thread-count sheets, Illy Café espresso machines with milk frothers, HD TVs, and stereo equipment from Bose and Bang & Olufsen. Higher category suites have outdoor hot tubs, while luxury three-bedroom villas come with marble bathrooms, jet-powered plunge pools and indoor and outdoor fireplaces.
Only the freshest seasonal ingredients make it to the tables of Veladora, Rancho Valencia’s stunning main restaurant. Herbs and vegetables are grown here on the property as the chefs work closely with some of the country’s best farms to source the finest cuts of meat; olive oil, honey and other preserves are all made on site. The dining area is split between an outdoor terrace – perfect on warm evenings – and a Spanish-style restaurant with a cosy fireplace. Lighter options, such as skirt steak tacos and Maine lobster sliders, are available at the Pony Room, which in addition to a wide range of locally brewed beers, serves an impressive selection of one-of-a-kind cocktails, high-end wines and over 100 varieties of tequila.
Rancho Valencia has consistently been rated as Southern California’s No. 1 tennis resort by Tennis Magazine since 2008. For tennis fans, the resort’s 18 courts, experienced team of tennis pros, and programmes tailored to suit every age and ability are reasons enough to return year after year. Additional facilities include an incredible spa complete with adults-only pool, Watsu treatment pool, sauna, steam room and fitness centre. You’ll also find a spin studio, Pilates studio, Zumba, boxing and TRX classes, daily yoga classes, dawn hikes led by hotel staff, some terrific nearby golf courses and fabulous opportunities for hot-air ballooning.
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