Santa Barbara Area - Solvang/Santa Ynez

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Sep 20th, 2013, 01:54 AM
  #1
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Santa Barbara Area - Solvang/Santa Ynez

Hi, I'm starting a new topic regarding the Santa Barbara area. I will be there next month and have booked 2 nights in Santa Barbara, and am looking at booking another 2 nights in either Santa Ynez or Solvang. Can anyone recommend a nice hotel in either place? I was trying to book San Ysidro, but they only have super expensive rooms left for my dates (around $1200 a night). I am willing to spend up to $600. San Ysidro is the kind of place I love, but not sure if there are others like it. Also, if anyone can suggest nice restaurants and wineries I would greatly appreciate it. I am from Australia, so am not familiar with Solvang or Santa Ynez.

Thank you in advance.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 07:16 AM
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Oct 18 is very tight near Santa Barbara, it must be parent's weekend at the University or something. TabletHotels.com still has availability at Hotel Oceana, "Spacious rooms featuring a main area with King size bed and a separate room with a sofabed - views of mountains or park or courtyard". They may also have something at Bacara Resort.

The wine country is very pleasant at that time of year, try the Santa Ynez Marriot or Fess Parker's Wine Country Resort (preferredHotelGroup.com) However, there is not a lot to do in the area for small children other than lovely drives, you might rather stay in Santa Barbara and just do a full day trip around the wine country from there.

hertz.com.au or nationalcar.com usually has the best rates for Aussies, liability insurance and collision waiver should be included in the rate quote. There really is no need to go through a third-party-booking service to get good rates.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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casperj, this past July I stayed in Los Olivos, which is about 10 minutes from both Solvang and Santa Ynez, at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. Here's the link to my trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...nez-valley.cfm.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 07:30 AM
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We like to stay at The Four Seasons in SB (I think you asked about it on the other thread). It is pretty grand in an Old California way. Best, if you can get one of the little cottages - really lovely. There is a little lawn on which to play croquet. I also enjoy dining in their Bella Vista room. We have also gone over to the nearby Coral Casino on the ocean for swimming in the pool with the kids. We prefer the old town section of Santa Barbara for shopping and dining over the main stretch. There is a yummy Mexican restaurant that we went to for breakfast but I can't remember the name. On our last trip, we enjoyed a terrific day of wine tasting (with a hired car) and dinner at San Ysidro.

As for Solvang and Santa Ynez. My friends love Solvang and make a yearly trip out of it. We have never stayed overnight. We have gone wine tasting in Santa Ynez/Solvang area. Here are a few wines we've enjoyed but it has been a few years since our last wine tasting trip:

Hartley Ostini/Hitching Post (frequently purchased Pinot Noir)
Gainey (another popular Pinot Noir in our house)
Bridlewood
Scott Cellars
Qupe (nice Syrah)
Artiste (interesting tasting room, at end of our day so don't remember the wines)
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Sep 20th, 2013, 07:50 AM
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I just read your other thread. The Fess Parker is right in the middle of the little village of Los Olivos. While it offers a pool across the street where there are some additional units, it doesn't really have the feel of a resort. Possibilities for the kids--there is a miniature horse farm located between Los Olivos and Solvang and also an ostrich farm in the area.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 11:37 AM
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We stayed at the Marriott in Buellton several times, very nice place and quiet since it is a block or two off the highway. I like Rancho Sisquoc Winery, a nice place and peaceful, out in the countryside on a working ranch. Been awhile since I was in Santa Barbara, last time we stayed at the Santa Barbara Inn.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 04:31 PM
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Hi, thanks for all the recommendations. Polson, I did look at prices for the four seasons, and it's about $1000 a night. I would have booked there if it was cheaper. I will check the rates for Fess Parker today. Most of the small inns are booked out. I'm starting to get worried. I was going to just extend my stay at the Canary but they are booked out. It's so frustrating!

For cars, I will look at National Cars. Driveaway has good rates. I was going to bid for car rental on priceline, but I've read some bad reviews. Has anyone done this?

Thanks again for the advice.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 04:42 PM
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I'd definitely stay the 4 nights in one place in Santa Barbara ... ask if you can waitlist at the Canary for the 2 extra nights. It's a very pretty drive up to Santa Ynez, Los Olivos and Solvang (they're all very close)... I was just there a month ago ... drove up via the mountain route and back via the ocean route ... reminded me of areas in South Australia (in the summer)!
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Sep 20th, 2013, 06:04 PM
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Don't bid, it's not worth the minimal savings, you'll be locked into pre-payment with no option to change your plans.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 08:58 PM
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Yikes on the Four Seasons - that sounds much higher than rates we've paid before. Sorry I can't be more help with alternatives. You might consider Bacara - the website shows availability in the $400 range. It looks like a nice resort. Friends have stayed there and enjoyed it. Great views.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 09:22 PM
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I'll probably stick with driveaway for car hire because I've used them before. I will look at Bacara and also waitlist at Canary for an extra 2 nights.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 12:42 AM
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There is a Embassy Suites in Santa Barbara wine county not a resort setting but free breakfast and it is very large so they may have rooms.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 12:49 AM
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Roller Winery
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 12:51 AM
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Roblar Winery
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 04:27 AM
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I booked at Fess Parker Inn in Los Olivos. They had availability.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 09:50 AM
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I hope it works out well for you.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:36 PM
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If you are really stuck there are some decent hotels in Santa Maria. They aren't resorts but they are good hotels, and you'll have easy access to the Santa Ynez valley and the wineries.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 06:06 PM
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thanks everyone, I'll let you know how I go.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 06:36 PM
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The rooms at Fess Parker are very nice. They have a decent restaurant, and we had a great breakfast included in room price. Los Olivos is a small but pleasant place. We found it a nice change from the other the other two places we visited...Santa Barbara ( stayed at the Canary) and Monterey where we stayed at Seven Gables in Pacific Grove
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 11:31 PM
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Hi Historytraveller, did you like Santa Barbara as much as Los Olivos? Do you think 1 night is enough in Los Olivos?
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