The charming exterior of The Genevieve | Credit: Courtesy

Just a short drive away in Santa Ynez lies the beautifully renovated historic inn The Genevieve. Recently rebranded and renamed, the former location of the Santa Ynez Inn on Sagunto Street is now a boutique getaway hotel combining the charm of yesteryear with the first-class service and amenities. The grounds of this 20-room hotel are simply beautiful, with pathways, fountains, fire pits, and loads of lush gardens, trees, and greenery. 

The lobby of The Genevieve | Credit: Courtesy

It’s hard to believe it’s just a few blocks away from Hwy. 154 — it definitely feels like you’ve entered a kinder and gentler time from the moment you check in at The Genevieve. Not only is the place beautiful, but the service and hospitality are first rate with an obvious level of professional training and attention to detail that isn’t easy to find these days. 

Our “Couture King” room was beautifully equipped with a fireplace and comfy armchairs, a king bed with plush linens and “just right” pillows, and a fit-for-royalty sized marble bathroom with heated floors, a fabulous steam shower, and a jacuzzi-style bathtub big enough for at least two people. Along with the vintage-inspired elegant decor, one of our favorite features of the room was a guestbook, where years of great stories from former visitors to the Inn filled the pages. My husband got inspired — perhaps by the wine and cheese happy hour included with our room — and wrote a five-page fictional mystery story that took place in room #212 over the course of a few decades. Alas, we took no pictures of that, so you’ll have to come stay at The Genevieve yourself in order to read it.

The Victor restaurant | Credit: Courtesy

Developed by the team behind the Landsby Hotel in Solvang, as part of the renovations, The Genevieve also took over running of the adjacent restaurant — formerly known as The Vineyard House and now called The Victor — and used the opportunity to upgrade the restaurant itself as well as create a harmonious feel to the entire space. This also makes it well equipped as a unique and charming venue for weddings and events. The vibe is timeless, romantic, and genteel.

We toured the 2,000 square-foot Coach House, a lovely space with big barn doors, natural wood, and an exposed brick bar which all add up to an equestrian vibe that’s perfect for the area. It also opens up into a back patio that would work well as a dance floor or for overflow crowds. 

Clockwise from bottom right, The Victor’s classic menu includes steak, deviled eggs, classic shrimp cocktail and oysters on the half shell | Credit: Courtesy

There are a few more rentable spaces between the hotel and restaurant, including the Soleil Lawn and Garden that’s surrounded by fragrant roses, with multiple fire pits and cozy spots for guests to sip wine and enjoy the sunset. We also discovered it was an ideal spot to bring our coffee and breakfast, provided in the morning as one of the guest amenities. 

It may be wine country, but the cocktails at The Victor are first rate | Credit: Leslie Dinaberg

We didn’t have time to imbibe in the onsite Splendour Spa, the whiskey library, or use the Wine Country Tasting Passport — featuring complimentary tastings at a number of wineries including Firestone, Foley, Brick Barn, Toccata, Lucas & Lewellen, Lincourt, Zaca Mesa, Beckmen, Bien Nacido & Solomon Hills, Gainey, and Stolpman, along with a few two-for-ones — but we did enjoy an excellent meal on the outdoor patio at The Victor. 

Executive Chef Beto Huizar walked us the exceptionally well-equipped kitchen and lovingly shared his secret weapon — a Josper charcoal oven imported from Barcelona specially to create the grill forward menu which included delicious Delmonico steaks and whole-roasted fish. Don’t miss the house-made duck fat fries and the deviled eggs with smoked trout roe, both of which were elevated takes on beloved dishes. The cocktail menu was also inventive without being fussy. I had the Nuestra Paloma which had a hint of basil along with tequila, grapefruit, and lime. Also worth noting, they have a snicker bar martini for dessert — a sweet capper to a very sweet overnight getaway experience. 

The Genevieve is located at 3627 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. For more information, visit


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