Monday, April 15, 2013

Daydreaming About an Oceanside Resort

My husband and I tried to fit in several of our "dream" vacations before we had children.   I shared a small look into one of those trips - to Italy - here.  However, we never checked the box on my California dream vacation: coastal towns filled with gorgeous gardens and ocean vistas, sprawling wineries high up on beautiful mountain ranges, and let's face it, lots of good food and fine wine.  Ok, I've fooled no one, any wine will do really. ;)  

So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that my husband was awarded the opportunity to spend several nights in Santa Barbara, CA, a quaint coastal town.  My husband's company awarded their top salesman with a four night stay at The Four Seasons Biltmore resort.  It was gorgeous!  I suppose that is an upside to having a salesman husband: great perks when you exceed sales goal.   Let's not talk about what happens if you fail to hit your goal.... ;)

A peak into the Four Season's resort lobby:

My husband claims he's one of those people that doesn't need a pool overlooking an ocean - he much prefers mountains and greenery.  (Fyi, before I dragged him to Europe, the only place he EVER wanted to book trips was to the Caribbean so I sometimes wonder at the validity of this statement).

At this resort, you don't have to make the choice.  Here is a view, from the water, of the land just beside our resort:

The resort is situated beside the ocean with the gorgeous Saint Ynez mountain range just behind it.  When arriving to the resort, you are greeted by a red brick circle drive, gorgeous gardens, and calming water fountains:

Everywhere I looked, I saw black iron and lantern fixtures.  I've contemplated a lantern fixture in our master bed and bath for a while now, and this might have been the inspiration I needed to push me to make the purchase:

This is the view heading to your room for a spa treatment.  The spa was unbelievable: the service, rooms, and views were amazing (I asked ahead if I could take a few pictures):

Here is the ceiling in the women's lounge, I loved the weathered wood planks:

And here were a few pictures I took with my iPhone, my huge DSLR camera really didn't coordinate well with the robe ;) :

My room for the spa treatments was gorgeous!  It looked out over the ocean and had a roaring fire going the entire time:

The buildings were all ivory with red tile roofs.  I was a little obsessed with this particular building because of the green french doors, black iron Juliette balcony, and spiral staircase:

...a few nighttime views:

As guests of the resort, we had access to two pools: one on the resort grounds and one right across a small road with views overlooking the ocean:

We had the opportunity to have cocktails on this patio just before a formal dinner one night - organized by my husbands company:

I couldn't resist taking a picture of these birds chilling on the red tin roof:

...another view from the pool area:

Finally, we took two trips to State Street, a lively area full of great restaurants, shopping, wine tasting rooms, and much more:

This shop had an interesting concept: wine drinking combined with painting your own art.  Why do I get the feeling I would walk away from the shop feeling like Picasso, only to wake up the next morning and wonder "what was I thinking?":

We had dinner at this lively sushi spot, Arigato.  The salmon sashimi was "melt in your mouth" goodness:

If you like these pictures, stop back on by later this week, I will share more pictures from a wine tour in Santa Ynez and our stop in Napa Valley!

What is your idea of a dream vacation?  Do you prefer land or sea?


  1. What a gorgeous place! Your photos are so lovely. What a great reward to your husband for his hard work. I have to say I prefer the sea when I take a vacation :)

  2. Wow, I'm so jealous of your trip ;) This place looks amazing, the hills, and the ocean, I don't think I would had left. I also noticed all of the lanterns, I absolutely love lanterns, and would one day love to have one of the star shaped ones. I'm sure you both had a great time.

  3. WHAT A LUCKY GIRL!!!!! It looks amazing! I'm happy for you! It looks like an amazing place to be!

  4. Dreamy! My husband's work takes him down to California all the time and I occasionally tag along. I think we may have make this a stop for a few days. Can't wait to read about the rest of it!

  5. oooooh i love the 4 seasons in scottsdale, and this one looks amazing. you are such a courteous blogger--see i am naughty and just start snapping photos (of course not when there are other guests in the spa) and then cease to do it if i'm asked to stop. the stucco and european details--yum!

    hoping to visit napa this year myself!

    thanks for bringing us along, and congrats to your hubby for the reward!


  6. So pretty Dawn ~
    Glad you got away to such a pretty place.. And good for your husband..
    My husband is a teacher so we don't go anywhere! lol but hoping to take a big trip alone without kids next year for our 25th!

  7. That´s a perfect place to relax. Keep posting

  8. gorgeous place! Your photos are so lovely