Amy Risley

The Alisal

  • Where:
  • Why:Family Getaway
  • When:November 2020
  • Who:The Smalls + Williams crew
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The Alisal Alisal's stand-alone one bedroom suites were recently remodeled and offer a nice

Alisal's stand-alone one bedroom suites were recently remodeled and offer a nice "whole place to yourself" experience.

The Alisal The Turner Suites look out onto the horse pasture where the ranch's famed four legged residents roam about, and often come up to say hi!

The Turner Suites look out onto the horse pasture where the ranch's famed four legged residents roam about, and often come up to say hi!

The Alisal Extra spacious living quarters complete with a Murphy bed perfect for the littles to sleep (and jump) on.

Extra spacious living quarters complete with a Murphy bed perfect for the littles to sleep (and jump) on.

The Alisal A warm fire on a chilly night, just begging to be accompanied by red wine & s'mores.

A warm fire on a chilly night, just begging to be accompanied by red wine & s'mores.

The Alisal Just a couple gals looking at home on the range.

Just a couple gals looking at home on the range.

The Alisal Gigi making tiny pals in the petting zoo.

Gigi making tiny pals in the petting zoo.

The Alisal The Li'l Wranglers Kids Club provides countless activities for children including these fun craft kits, sports equipment and more.

The Li'l Wranglers Kids Club provides countless activities for children including these fun craft kits, sports equipment and more.

The Alisal Every meal is unbelievably good but pancakes...always, for the win.

Every meal is unbelievably good but pancakes...always, for the win.

The Alisal Sunny dining room. One of the welcome traditions is that guests are expected to 'gussy up' a bit for dinner.

Sunny dining room. One of the welcome traditions is that guests are expected to 'gussy up' a bit for dinner.

The Alisal Looking like a natural on a lead around horse ride.

Looking like a natural on a lead around horse ride.

The Alisal Saddling up for a morning trail ride.

Saddling up for a morning trail ride.

The Alisal The group rides accommodate riders of all levels and meander through the breathtaking Santa Ynez Valley landscape.

The group rides accommodate riders of all levels and meander through the breathtaking Santa Ynez Valley landscape.

The Alisal It's never not a good time for a swim in the heated pool.

It's never not a good time for a swim in the heated pool.

The Alisal There are many all-inclusive treats, but bottomless soft serve ice cream was the obvious hit.

There are many all-inclusive treats, but bottomless soft serve ice cream was the obvious hit.

The Alisal Activities like fishing, boating and archery at the property's picturesque lake are a short shuttle ride away.

Activities like fishing, boating and archery at the property's picturesque lake are a short shuttle ride away.

The Alisal Modern luxury meets Western charm.

Modern luxury meets Western charm.

The Alisal Clusters of rooms are spread out across the grassy grounds, all with private patios perfect for family get togethers and nighttime star-gazing.

Clusters of rooms are spread out across the grassy grounds, all with private patios perfect for family get togethers and nighttime star-gazing.

The Alisal Window shopping/salivating at a Danish bakery in Solvang.

Window shopping/salivating at a Danish bakery in Solvang.

Highs & Lows

  • The endless list of activities from the obvious (horseback riding, swimming, golf) to the creative (painting, tie-dying, star-gazing) and the adventurous (e-bike rides, BBQ boot camp) mean that guests of every age will have days packed with fun.

  • Pretty much everything is included in the nightly rate- breakfast, dinner, drinks (and that soft serve we boasted about earlier) and most recreational activities are all part of the nightly rate.

  • The stand-alone accommodations make for more comfortable travel in this Covid-age...stepping out of your room into the fresh air instead of a hallway is always a bonus.

  • The food is classic yet unforgettable. The set menu changes each night and there are so many delicious options.

  • Honestly, the only low is having to pack up and leave. Or perhaps not being able to stay enough days to take in all of the activities and offerings. Basically, if they had a two month adult Summer camp, I'd sign up.

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Plastic Free

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 47/50

Important Bits

  • Type

    Luxury Guest Ranch

  • Vibe

    Classic cowboy meets contemporary chic.

  • Location

    Solvang, CA in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley

  • Rooms

    73

  • Purposeful Practices

    Above and beyond health & safety - including being one of the first resorts to use hospital-grade UV-C technology.

  • Music

    Nothing more charming than the live piano players at dinner.

  • Year Opened

    1946

  • Designed By

    The Jackson Family, with recent updates by Interior Designer Nathan Turner.

  • Health & Wellness

    Yes/Yes, and a full spa.

  • Restaurant

    California cuisine with a hearty ranch twist.

  • Bar

    The Oak Room. Sip local wines by the fire with occasional live music.

  • Minibar

    Snacks, savory treats and full bottles of wine, and since it's 2020- plenty of hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes.

  • Pet Friendly

    No

  • Children

    Yes! Bring them once and they'll be begging to come back year after year.

  • Price

    Luxury, but worth the all-inclusive nature.

  • Website

    https://alisal.com

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