San Ysidro Ranch

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San Ysidro Ranch
HeadquartersSanta Barbara, California, USA
OwnerTy Warner
Hacienda at the San Ysidro Ranch
Lily Pond and Gardens at the San Ysidro Ranch

The San Ysidro Ranch is a luxury resort located in the Montecito foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Originally deeded with the Presidio by Charles III of Spain, the San Ysidro Ranch exchanged hands, changing from a Mission farm, to a Citrus Ranch, to its current role as a hotel acquired by Ty Warner in 2000.


The San Ysidro Ranch was named by the Franciscan friars who occupied the land after Saint Isidore,[1] the patron saint of farmers and agriculture, often depicted with a plow, angel and oxen.

Originally part of a land grant in 1769 by the Charles III of Spain, the Ranch was fully deeded with the Presidio in 1780, serving as a sanctuary for Franciscan friars in the late 1700s. In 1828 the Mission Padres built the Old Adobe and began to farm the land, until it passed through the hands of the mission to become part of the municipal land of the state of California in 1864.[2]

Subsequently, the ranch was sold to Harleigh Johnston and Taylor Goodrich in 1883, by Col. Bradbury Dinsmore.[3]

The San Ysidro Citrus Ranch harvested an average of 300,000 oranges and 100,000 lemons annually.[citation needed] In 1889, a large sandstone packing house was built for the citrus production.

In 1892, a ranch house was built that would become The Hacienda, and plans were made for a small hotel. During this time the hotel expanded to accommodate parties, lunch and dinners. The fruit company remained a prominent part of the operation.

By 1912, the ranch hosted Winston Churchill and his family for the winter months.[4]

After the depression, the Johnston’s sold the hotel to Hollywood actor Ronald Colman and hotelier and former Senator Alvin Carl Weingand, who transformed the ranch into a venue for celebrities; known for its setting, service and guest privacy. Guests over the years range from Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx to Winston Churchill, John Galsworthy, Somerset Maugham and Sinclair Lewis. Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier were married at the ranch. John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline honeymooned there and John Huston completed the script for The African Queen during a three-month stay.[5] Following Colman's death in 1958 and the death of Weingand's first wife, Beverly, Senator Weingand's wife, Lou Hyland Weingand purchased their shares and became co-owner.

In 1976, hoteliers, Jim and Susie Lavenson, purchased the ranch from Weingand. Jim Lavenson had been an advertising executive and president of New York City's Plaza Hotel, before buying the property.

Entrepreneur Ty Warner acquired the ranch in 2000 and made it part of the Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts, LLC.[6] Melissa Etheridge and Linda Wallem wed on the ranch grounds in June 2014.[7]

Half of the ranch was destroyed by a ruptured gas line after a series of mudslides on January 9, 2018.[8][9]


Covering approximately 500 acres (200 ha), today the San Ysidro Ranch includes 41 private cottages and suites as well as two restaurants.

Awards and Accolades[edit]

Named “America’s Best Hotel” and “World’s #1 Resort” by Forbes Traveller and Travel & Leisure, respectively, the ranch has been included on lists of Conde Nast, Andrew Harper and others.[10][11] Since 2014, Stonehouse restaurant has been the recipient of the Wine Spectator Grand Award.[12]


  1. ^ Boorstin, Sharon. 1980. "The San Ysidro Ranch. Hideaway in the Hills." Travel & Leisure, March.
  2. ^ Hauptli, Jack. 1977. "Santa Barbara: Only for Millionares?" Seattle Times, May 24.
  3. ^ Holcombe, Chet. 1977. "Fiscal Front. The Not So Needy Well Tended." Santa Barbara News-Press, July 24.
  4. ^ Sousa, John Philip. 1976. "relaxed Seclusion is the Fashion at the San Ysidro Ranch." The San Diego Union. September 15.
  5. ^ 1977. "San Ysidro Ranch a romantic Hideaway 2 Hours from L.A." Los Angeles Times, January 16.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Maloney, Devon (May 31, 2014). "Melissa Etheridge Marries Partner Linda Wallem". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  8. ^ Hayden, Tyler (January 11, 2018). "Half of Historic San Ysidro Ranch Destroyed in Montecito Mudslide". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  9. ^ Sahagun, Louis; Ryan, Harriet (January 13, 2018). "Death toll in Montecito mudslide rises to 19, while 101 Freeway will remain closed indefinitely". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Stonehouse". Wine Spectator. 2015-01-01. Retrieved 2015-08-19.

Coordinates: 34°26′49″N 119°37′24″W / 34.44694°N 119.62333°W / 34.44694; -119.62333

American rapper, Eminem references San Ysidro Ranch in his verse on the track "We All Die One Day" taken from fellow American rapper Obie Trice's debut album, "Cheers," in 2003.