Retreat to Rancho Valencia

Rancho Valencia fire pits

Courtesy Rancho Valencia

Nearly a year and $30 million later, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa is one of the most stunning properties in San Diego right now. 

Nestled in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Valencia is secluded enough to feel like you could be anywhere in the world, yet close enough (5 minutes from the 5 freeway) to become a regular spot to wine and dine.

After taking everything down to its studs, the resort now boasts modern luxury with a Mediterranean feel in every suite. With complimentary snacks and espresso, a private patio, jacuzzi, and fresh squeezed orange juice delivered daily, you’ll never want to leave your one-bedroom casita.

But of course, you could you ignore the sprawling grounds with the relaxing sanctuary of the spa and the new yoga pavilion that looks like it belongs in Bali?

Signature spa treatments like The Sixth Sense pamper you with a soothing bath soak, a massage of your choice, a harmonizing scalp massage (with intoxicating ingredients like Mediterranean Myrtle, Juniper, Jojoba, Avocado & olive oils) and culminate with hand & foot paraffin treatments.  Yes please...

After a complete renovation of the former restaurant, Rancho Valencia now offers two restaurants to choose from.  The Pony Room, on the more casual side, is an equestrian themed bar with elevated bar food.  Menu items like Kobe beef sliders and carne asada street tacos are delicious (and reasonably priced). 

Perfect for San Diego sunshine, the adjoining patio is comfortably modern, perfect for lounging over happy hour and watching the sunset.  After the hot air balloons have all landed and day turns to night, stick around and sip craft cocktails by the fire pits.

For a special dining experience, turn to Veladora.  Not only is the new signature restaurant a complete upgrade in design and style (Grandma’s upholstery is nowhere to be seen), but the food is more creative and playful than in the past. 

Chef Eric Bauer has fun in the kitchen with quality, seasonal ingredients-and it shows on his plates.  His lobster risotto is served under an alluring black sea of truffle foam and his octopus carpaccio melts in your mouth. 

It isn’t often that I find a restaurant where I enjoy everything on the menu, but after sampling multiple items at dinner service, I was pleasantly surprised. Even breakfast is worth the visit for their lemon souffle pancakes and fresh veggie juices!

Courtesy Rancho Valencia

The Pony Room

Michelle Lyn

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