In October, the 49-suite Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in North San Diego reopened after a $30 million renovation, adding upgrades to guest rooms, restaurants, meeting space and fitness program. Opened in 1989, the 45-acre hacienda-themed resort has earned numerous awards for its expansive tennis facility and casita-style villas surrounded by verdant gardens. The 1,000-sf casitas have a new color palate of vibrant blues and rich browns with rustic furnishings and romantic lighting. Nineteen units feature jacuzzis, some of them have fireplaces, and all include a spacious patio/balcony overlooking the olive groves and surrounding canyons.
The main welcome spot for groups is the Clubhouse, with two restaurants, a wine cave, spa and 12,000 sf of meeting space. The 65-seat Veladora restaurant is a rustic hideaway serving locally-sourced “coastal ranch” dishes. Menu choices include a 55-day, dry-aged New York strip and lamb osso bucco ragu with penne rigate. The focal point in the restaurant is an art piece called “Imploration” by Damien Hirst, completely made of real butterfly wings. And for meetings, the attached Sunrise Room and Valedora combined host 99 pax.
The Western-themed, 47-seat Pony Room has high vaulted ceilings and a wraparound bar that serves the only sparkling wine on tap in Southern California. In addition to a wide selection of locally brewed craft beers and 100 tequilas, the bar serves signature cocktails like the “Made Pony” with organic strawberries, agave nectar and handpressed lime juice. Menu highlights include mini stuffed sweet peppers, candied garlic chicken wings with sweet soy sauce, and Maine lobster flatbread with 26 wild mushrooms.
Executive Chef Eric Bauer and Master Sommelier Jason Knack added six beehives for honey and an olive grove for fresh olive oil. There’s also a beautiful new brick wine cave for 15 seated; 40 reception.
The 12,000 sf of renovated meeting space with complimentary WiFi includes a 1,900-sf ballroom, a boardroom for 16 and a 2,600-sf patio. For a truly unique setting, the 5,000-sf Hacienda Cottage is a 3-bedroom home that can also be used as a function space for events and meetings. The small house has a private backyard, pool and entertainment areas with space for 180 pax overlooking the rolling hills of San Diego.
Lastly, for recreation and teambuilding, the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa includes two pools, a new yoga pavilion, 18 resurfaced tennis courts and a croquet lawn that can be used for receptions.