- Casa de la Vista – Spa
- Circle L Ranch – Pool, Spa
- Copenhagen Court – Spa
- Copenhagen Court Unit – Spa
- Elegant Ranch Retreat – Pool, Spa
- Estelle Ranch – Pool, Spa
- The Farmhouse at La Purisma – Spa
- Figueroa Mountain Ranch – Pool, Spa
- Folded Hills Ranch – Pool, Spa
- Goodgame Ranch – Pool, Spa
- Greystone Manor – Pool, Spa
- Guesthouse at Elegant Ranch Retreat – Pool, Spa
- Lefthand Ranch – Pool, Spa
- Oak Valley Ranch – Pool, Spa
- Rancho de los Colores – Pool
- Rancho Los Venados – Pool, Spa
- Rancho Maroma – Pool, Spa
- Rancho Santuario – Saltwater Pool, Spa
- Royal Oaks Ranch – Pool, Spa
- Wine Country Cottage – Spa
- Spring Pop-Up Shop: The Landsby – April 7th
- SB Vintners Spring Weekend – April 19-23rd
- The Neal Taylor Nature Center’s Annual Fish Derby – April 21-22nd
- Spring Vineyard Walk & Scavenger Hunt: Buttonwood Farm Winery – April 22nd
- Solvang Farmers Market – April 25th, 2:30-6:00pm.
- Solvang Datsun Classic Car Show – April 27 & 28th
- Poetry Reading: Wilding Museum – April 29th, 4-5:30pm.
- Benefit Concert w/ Brandy Clark: Solvang Festival Theater – May 2nd, 7:00pm.
- Buellton Brew Fest: River View Park – May 5th
- Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon – May 12th
- Santa Ynez Valley Earth Day – May 20th
- Our luxurious bathing amenities are made in the USA by William Roam, a company with a tenacious commitment to protecting the earth.
- Our new coffee and tea trays have been hand crafted by a local carpenter using primarily reclaimed wood.
- All hand soap, sponges, trash bags, laundry detergent and dish soap are sourced from recognized eco-friendly companies.
HOLIDAY HOSTING AT MATTEI’S TAVERN
We’ve created a guide with tips & tricks on hosting a holiday gathering this winter season! With a group of extremely talented women, we set the mood for a chic wonderland inspired dinner in the Cottages at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, CA.
Once a stagecoach stop pioneered by the Swiss-American Felix Mattei during the late 19th century, and a social center frequented by the likes of Bing Crosby and Clark Gable, Mattei’s Tavern is now one of the most familiar historic sites in the Santa Ynez Valley. Its romantic heritage is revealed through the gabled buildings and pastoral surroundings, and its old-world charm is palpable. The property has served as a gathering place, bringing together loved ones and strangers alike, ever since. For over 125 years, The Cottages have provided sanctuary for those seeking the tranquility and adventure of California’s Central Coast.
Jaime Kostechko with Wild Heart Events explains the design inspiration behind the gathering: “Inspired by the history of Mattei’s Tavern [managed by Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals], built in 1886 and an iconic part of Los Olivos, we aimed to create an occasion that embodied the warm, charming feel of the location and it’s reputation for being a gathering point for both locals and travelers alike. We brought in vintage glassware and candlesticks as well as hand crocheted doilies as an ode to former times. The feel of the newly redesigned bungalows is so warm and cosy yet clean and bright.”
Denisse Salinas [Le Petit Chef], cooked some incredible farm-to-table style dishes for the night & was kind enough to share a couple of her recipes.
Roasted Parsnip Soup
[serves 4 as a main course or 6 as an appetizer]
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound yellow or white carrots
4 cups broth
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Meyer lemon oil, for garnish (optional)
Store bought or home made beet chips, for garnish (optional)
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish (optional)
Oat Milk Horchata White Russian by Le Petit Chef
[makes 2 cocktails]
for the oat milk horchata:
1 cup unsweetened oat milk
1 cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons sugar
For the cocktail:
3 ounces ounces vodka, divided
3 ounces ounces Kahlua or coffee liqueur, divided
6 ounces oat milk horchata, divided
Ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Add oat milk, cinnamon stick and sugar to a pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Simmer until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat let cool to room temperature, leaving cinnamon stick to infuse for at least 20 minutes. Fill two glasses with ice. Divide vodka and Kahlua evenly amongst glasses, then top each glass with 3 ounces oat milk horchata. Garnish with ground cinnamon and top with cinnamon stick.
“We always recommend using the china and linen and glassware that has been waiting for such an occasion to make it’s appearance. If you don’t have time to steam press your napkins, simply tie them in a loose knot to give your place setting some added texture without the extra work.”
Gretchen Ulrich with Otis & Pearl Partywares gives us a stylish tip on glassware.
“Gone are the days when everything needs to be the same set or style! Liven
up your table with different patterns of glassware which will help guests keep tabs on their glass as they mingle.”
We all know that hosting an event can be STRESSFUL!
Check out these tricks from the professionals to help ease your mind while preparing for your big day.
“The more you can do in advance, the better! Shop for groceries early and on off-peak hours if possible to avoid crowds- the first hour open and last hour before closing are typically the least busy at the grocery stores. Give yourself a major head start in the kitchen: wash and chop your vegetables a day or two before (think onions, carrots, garlic, etc.) to save yourself tons of time the day of. Things like pie, tart and cookie doughs, soups and salad dressings can also be made days ahead of time.” Denisse Salina [Le Petit Chef]
“Plan ahead and make it a group effort! Involve the whole family…. children love setting the table or foraging for greenery, let the young adults hone their chopping skills, assign someone to making a playlist, place cards, and don’t forget the bartender!” Jamie Kostechko [Wild Heart Events]
“Make enough time to get yourself ready before your event so you aren’t stressed when guests arrive. Create a playlist the day before. And don’t forget to keep a journal with shopping lists, recipes, decor ideas and guest names so you can not only have it written down for this event, but as a reference for your next gathering as well!” Taylor Lockhart [Mattei’s Tavern – Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals]
Thank you for letting us share our holiday hosting gathering with you! We hope that you leave feeling inspired and ready to tackle your next winter event. If you are interested in renting the Cottages at Mattei’s Tavern, click HERE. For more information regarding events on the property, click HERE.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Lindsey Drewes//Lindsey Drewes Photography [@Lindseydrewes]
CHEF: Denisse Salinas//Le Petit Chef [@Lepetitchefsb]
FLORAL: Breanna Goettler//Wild Poppy Floral Design [@Wildpoppyfloraldesign]
TABLE RENTAL: Fisher Family Rentals [@Fisherfamilyrentals]
*For questions or inquiries regarding featuring our photos & tips, please contact Taylor Lockhart: Taylor@santaynezvacationrentals.com
Host Your Next Event at Mattei’s Tavern
For almost 130 years, distinguished guests ranging from John D. Rockefeller to Clark Gable have been drawn to Mattei’s Tavern for its natural beauty, romantic heritage and classic luxury – this blend is what makes Mattei’s Tavern an exquisite event venue. The iconic white water tower and original craftsman structures surrounding the ceremony site are softened by pastoral landscaping; providing an unmatched old west wedding feel.
Located in picturesque Santa Barbara wine country, this charming historic tavern offers several enchanting spaces to host your next wedding, dinner party, corporate event or rehearsal. The lush outdoor lawn under the water tour is the ideal reception area – watch the sunset while dining and dance the night away under the stars. After your event concludes, retreat to one of the seven newly renovated, charming guest Cottages on the property.
At Mattei’s Tavern, the many central spaces for an event are endless. Enjoy an outdoor ceremony in the Keenan Hartley Courtyard surrounded by lush landscaping and the historical Hartley House, join your guests in feasting under the trees in the Watertower Garden, enjoy a few cocktails in the Rose Garden and share beautiful memories of cutting your cake inside the Garden Room.
The Cottages at Mattei’s Tavern
Enjoy a wedding weekend getaway at The Cottages on the property, which provide a starting point for walk-able tasting rooms and a break from the everyday hustle. Wander the streets of Los Olivos, sip a glass of wine on your front porch, or dine at the best restaurants in town. The Cottages are a gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy life. There are seven beautiful Cottages throughout the property including the Hartley House and the newly remodeled West Cottages, which are set apart from the four Bungalows, also recently remodeled, that line the outskirts of Mattei’s Tavern. The Cottages provide pristine and updated accommodations while retaining the historic ambiance that families and friends have come to expect for over a century.
Come, enjoy all that Mattei’s Tavern has to offer!
Follow us on Instagram @MatteisTavernEvents or @SantaYnezVR for SYV News and daily features on local shops and restaurants throughout the year. Need help with trip planning? View our list of local Concierge Services here.
During the warm summer months, many of our guests search specifically for vacation rental homes that have a pool and/or a jacuzzi and spa. We certainly can’t blame them! Nothing beats lounging poolside with a glass of wine here in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Having access to a pool or jacuzzi at your vacation rental home adds a special touch of luxury to make your trip even more memorable. If fun in the water is your thing, below is a list of all the vacation rental homes we list that have pools, spas or jacuzzis on-site!
We are here to help ensure your vacation rental meets all your needs and exceeds all of your expectations, and if you have any questions about the pools or spas at your vacation rental, we are happy to answer them.
A time for endless sunny days, new vegetation and wildflowers painting the rolling hills. With the recent eruption of color in Santa Ynez, the Valley is as magnificent as ever. Local restaurants are hauling in the cartons of locally foraged mushrooms for their seasonal menus. The clumsy foals are taking their eager first steps on the pastures along the country roads and the bright orange poppies are in bloom.
Springtime is one of the most exquisite times to plan a vacation to the Santa Ynez Valley. The weather is pleasantly warm and sunny, the landscapes and vistas are awe-inspiring and picturesque, and the food and brews are in their prime as our local farmers’ markets and seasonal events are springing into full bloom.
We have so much to offer at Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals this season including NEW vacation rental properties. We cannot wait to see you this Spring.
Book your stay now and embark on your weekend of luxury, adventure and relaxation!
Upcoming Events in the Santa Ynez Valley
Summer in the Valley provides a plethora of outdoor activities, including wine tasting, brewery tours, equestrian events, summer celebrations, farmers markets, and even cool restaurants to check out. You may have to visit the Valley more than once to really get a taste of what it has to offer!
Schedule Your Vacation to Santa Ynez
Not sure of what to do on your vacation? We’ve got some suggestions! Beer lovers can beat the heat and party at the Figueroa Mountain Brewery, and find the humor in life at the brewery’s comedy night.
Summer Arts in the Valley
Theatre and film enthusiasts alike can get lost in fairy tale land at a musical performance under the California stars at the Solvang Festival Theater or screen a movie at the Buellton Oak Park in Solvang. Fans of visual art can browse the finest local art available at the museum, and even purchase local Santa Ynez Valley art the second Saturday of every month. Dance a little and blow some bubbles with your little ones during kid-friendly Music on the Green in Solvang.
Food and Drink
With all of the picturesque vineyards in the area, you’d be amiss not to sample some of the finest local wines of the Valley. Pick out your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmers market to plan a great picnic.
Indulge in a handcrafted cocktail at the S.Y. Kitchen, or engage in the best people watching with some great food. The Farmstead allows visitors to forage for fruit for a rewarding experience and have Chef Jake Francis prepare it. Think “gourmet hot dogs” is an oxymoron? Think again! The Doggy Door in Los Olivos is perfect for all ages and attitudes. Wake up and get your caffeine fix at our coffee shop in the Valley.
R&R in the Valley
Take a drive through pristine central coast hill country to a remote Santa Barbara County beach with the world’s best burger.
Spend the day in Los Alamos digging for funky finds, tasting wine, and eating at the hippest new restaurants. Book a massage therapist or get needled by an acupuncturist to deepen your vacation relaxation, many of whom will go right up to your door.
The Great Outdoors
Rent a bicycle and get route tips from the pros, or live out your Old West fantasies at Vino Vaqueros — with wine, of course. Hike a local favorite, Figueroa Mountain, or just turn the A/C on and take the “long way” from Los Olivos to Santa Ynez through the mountains. Get a bird’s eye view of the Valley in a hot air balloon ride. If you’re getting out (or staying in) and getting active, go for some paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking or indoor rock climbing. Pet owners can take their pups to the only Santa Barbara Country off-leash dog beach around to play with his/her peers.
The Valley is a haven of summertime fun, adventure, and relaxation. For suggestions or to book a home in the heart of it all, contact us today!
The weather forecast may be no indication, but the fact is that autumn has arrived in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Celebration of Harvest Festival marked the closing of the Central Coast’s most prominent harvest: that of wine grapes. While the wine industry may be slowing down, other local harvests are just amping up.
The Bounty of Local Valley Harvests
The bounty of the Central Coast presents itself in countless ways. Farm stands dot most major roadways in the Valley. Some, like Finley Farms on Refugio Rd., operate on the small town honor system where you weigh your own produce and deposit money in a rusted metal depository. Others, like Summerset Farms on Edison St. at Hwy 154, are full service, offering an opportunity to engage in the season with colorful pumpkins and U-Pick apple orchards. Some local farms don’t sell directly to the public but rather distribute to local grocery stores and restaurants.
If you’re dining at one of our favorite local restaurants, you’re likely to be enjoying food grown from soil just a few miles down the road. Many visitors to the Santa Ynez Valley are members of local wine clubs and attend annual post-harvest winemaker dinners. These events are where visitors can truly begin to appreciate the intersection of both the wine and farming industries which are so deeply embedded in our community.
Intimate Private Fall Dinner Gatherings
One of our favorite ways to celebrate the autumn harvest is by hosting an intimate private dinner at home or in your vacation rental. In a community so full of farmers and winemakers it’s only natural that chefs congregate to assist in bringing the Central Coast’s bounty from field to plate. There are many talented chefs in the Santa Ynez Valley: two of whom bring unparalleled expertise, ingenuity and charm to every occasion.
Chef Jake O. Francis
When seeking a chef to craft an inspired menu utilizing local produce for a winemaker dinner, many winery owners enlist Jake O. Francis, both a heritage breed pig farmer and incredibly skilled chef. His depth of understanding the farming process from start to finish is apparent in his rustic yet refined approach, and showcasing locally grown and raised produce and meat. Chef Jake has left many of our guests eager to plan another dinner party with him again, just take a look at this menu he did for some of our past guests.
Chef Giorgio Curti
Hailing from Calabria, Italy, Chef Giorgio Curti brings global inspiration to his locally sourced menu items through both his Los Alamos restaurant Craft Kitchen and Amaranto Catering Co. This year he’s offering to cook and deliver Thanksgiving dinners anywhere in the Valley. That means no fussin’ and fightin’ with family in the kitchen! We love this idea and think many of our Thanksgiving guests will enjoy the utter convenience of dinner delivered to your door.
Temperatures during the beautiful summer months in Santa Ynez are inclined to creep steadily towards the triple digits. Many find this an opportunity to throw on a summer dress and take advantage of the dozens of fine wineries in the area; slowly sipping their way up the Foxen Wine Trail or down Grand Avenue in Los Olivos. Others, when the temperatures hit supreme, find the heat oppressive and rather uncomfortable. Here, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite “cool” summer hang outs, some of them only the locals know about.
After traveling 14 miles off of Hwy 1 down rural, winding Jalama Road you may be surprised to arrive at this incredible secluded place with outstanding views, miles of beach and prehistoric bluffs to enjoy. Once a Chumash settlement called “Halama” (this is still how you pronounce the name), the land was donated in 1943 to the County of Santa Barbara. Since then it has provided respite to those looking to enjoy California beaches without the chaotic crowds. Grab a burger and fries at the general store (my favorite burger on the Central Coast) then take a long walk south to the point and watch the surfers; bring a blanket or a jacket as it tends to get quite windy in the late afternoon.
Santa Ynez River
It’s best to consider the Santa Ynez River as a large creek in a vast, dry riverbed with pools gathering every mile or so. Red Rock, about a 1/3-mile hike at the end of Paradise Road, is one of the largest and most popular swimming holes along the Santa Ynez River. Further up the river bed are a few smaller, quieter swimming holes ideal for picnics and long afternoons dithering between lounging in the sun and dipping in the cool waters.
More accessible are the small swimming holes dotted along the western part of the river, running directly through the Santa Ynez Valley. After the first few rains, when the weather is still warm, these waters are cool, clean, and much closer to town. Some easy access points are near the bridges at Refugio Road and Alisal Road, and some good swimming holes are found when walking the river bed between the two bridges. Please be aware of your surroundings when in the wilderness, especially water sources, and never venture out alone. We live closely with wildlife here.
Grassini Family Vineyards
The Grassini Family Vineyards are some of the most splendid grounds in the entire Santa Ynez Valley. A grand old oak provides shade for the picnic tables sitting on the banks of a small lake. The lake is actually a reservoir so it’s incredibly clean, and also filled with bass for catch & release. This special place truly feels like a lush oasis during the dry, golden months of summer. The caveat here: the grounds are private. However, you can rent the site for a fee, so if you’ve come to Santa Ynez with a large group to celebrate something special, I’d suggest checking out Grassini Family Vineyards. Plus, they make some real fine wines.
Figueroa Mountain Tap Room
Throughout the world, indulging in a frosty pint of beer is the preferred way to cool off; consider it no different here. Figueroa Mountain Brewery’s tap room tucked away on Alamo Pintado Avenue in Los Olivos offers a reprieve from the sweltering sun. Chill with the locals over a mug of Hoppy Poppy or Paradise Road Pilsner in this funky, vibrant, air conditioned tap room.
The easiest and simplest way to cool off in Santa Ynez? Rent one of our many homes with a backyard pool and spa. There’s nothing quite like mixing your own margaritas with family and friends, then walking the 10 yards from kitchen to poolside.
As you drive out of the gate at vacation rental Circle L Ranch, just across the street is an industrial tank with a rustic wooden sign casually slung around one of it’s posts. It reads, “Community.” It struck me as a sweet reminder that while most homes in the Valley are located on multiple acres, there is no less a sense of community here as in a tight suburban neighborhood.
I also considered that the placement of the “Community” sign, being directly across the street from a vacation rental often occupied by visitors, might be a gentle reminder from a neighbor to our guests that while they enjoy their home away from home, to keep in mind that they are kindly being welcomed into a ranching community, in hopes that quiet hours may be observed. (Only recently did I realize that the sign simply, and admittedly obviously, designated the tank as belonging to the community.) Nonetheless, this “Community” sign has allowed me to ruminate regularly on the concept and importance of community.
The business ethos at Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals has long been one that revolves around community and social responsibility. To begin with, the carbon footprint of a stay in a hotel is 50% greater than that of a stay in a vacation rental home. Simply in offering an alternative to a stay in a hotel, we’ve created an opportunity to travel with less impact on the planet. Further, the decision to use eco-friendly products whenever possible, albeit a bit more expensive, has been paramount to Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals.
To echo this commitment to social responsibility in a broader, more universal scale, we’re happy to announce that we’re in the process of joining 1% For The Planet. Their mission is to “build, support and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet” and have invested more than $100 million in positive environmental change. Beginning this year, 1% of our revenue will be donated to this colossally compassionate organization. Bonus: The company was founded by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia and Jack Johnson is one of their biggest advocates! How cool is that?
As a small business working within a small and very special community such as the Santa Ynez Valley, we’ve begun to see possibilities of how our ethos and social contributions can extend beyond the limits of our own company. In an effort to increase our involvement in community-related issues and activities, we’ve decided to begin this New Year with a pledge to contribute quarterly to local philanthropies.
Our contribution for the first quarter of 2015 was a grant to People Helping People. People Helping People is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of community members by “addressing emergency and basic needs, furnishing comprehensive integrated family and individual support services, and acting as a catalyst for positive community change.” They provide health services, domestic violence prevention services, connect eligible families with Cal Fresh, and facilitate applying for MediCal through their several Family Resource Centers throughout the area. They are an extremely deserving organization and we are happy to contribute to their many causes.
Also, we value the insight of both our homeowners and loyal guests, if you are involved with or supporters of any local, esteemed organizations, please share with us! It is our hope that the essence of a shared community permeates not only our own company, but our community, society, and humanity as a whole. Because, that’s what this whole living “business” is all about.
You’ve heard of Napa Valley, you know all about Sonoma County, and now your next stop as a wine country enthusiast is Santa Barbara county and the Santa Ynez Valley wine region. If you plan to visit the countless vineyards, wineries and wine tasting rooms that the Santa Ynez Valley has to offer, you may want to have somewhere a little more special to stay than the usual hotel.
Sure, a Santa Ynez Valley hotel may be “good enough,” but let’s face it – there’s nothing truly special about a hotel room. If you’re looking for lodging in the Santa Ynez Valley that is more remarkable and will give you memories you will cherish for years to come, then you should consider accommodations at a luxury vacation rental property.