Nestled in the dreamy coastal hills of Santa Barbara lies the San Ysidro Ranch– which possesses the chicest hotel bathroom in my book. Not to say it was the fanciest, the most modern or the most lavish, it simply had a perfect combination of elements that came together to make the entire experience feel incredibly chic.
Up an immaculately groomed avenue of lush olive trees and fragrant lavender bushes, a collection of 41 cottages make up the luxury guest rooms. The place looked posh indeed, but when reception told me that this was none other than the honeymoon destination of John F. and Jackie Kennedy, I knew I was breaking new ground in the chic hotel department.
The jaunty bellhop whistled as he drove my luggage and I to a secluded cottage tucked amidst a grove of birch trees. My name was spelled out in giant wooden scrabble tiles on the front gate–I felt this attention to detail boded well for my stay. The smell of cinnamon and woodsmoke wafted over me as I stepped into the ample cottage. A giant, canopied bed hovered in the center of the cozily decorated room.
Decked out in a style I would call “rustic chic”, the room was at once luxurious and welcoming–particularly the fire roaring in the hearth that immediately diminished the spring chill. A spread of locally produced wine and snacks had been kindly left for me by the management. How did they know it had been hours since my reduced fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake at Starbucks that morning?
But what made the San Ysidro Ranch so special in my book? That would be the bathroom. I’m a sucker for bathtubs and bath products of the deliciously smelling variety, and the San Ysidro Ranch did not disappoint. Bvlgari brand soaps, shampoos and shower gels decked the sink and shower, and I happily proceeded to smell each one before I added them to my growing collection of toiletries swiped from hotel bathrooms. The piece de resistance of this bathroom however was the massive claw foot tub. Six feet long and placed against a plate glass window with a private garden view, this bathtub, filled with Bvlgari scented bubbles was the ultimate in a chic bathing experience. After an hour spent soaking in the decadence, the heated floor and downy soft chenille robe helped me again adjust to life outside the warmly soothing confines of that spellbinding tub.