The Ballard Inn
What We Love
- A family-owned bed-and-breakfast in scenic Santa Barbara wine country, with a daily wine hourThe warm, individually themed and customized rooms, each with a charming antique flair
- Ending the day at the on-site tasting room over an array of local vintages
- Sitting fireside at the inn’s intimate restaurant and savoring the acclaimed French-Asian cuisine
What To Know
- Some rooms have real wood burning fireplaces and the inn provides free wood
- Nightly turn down service includes fresh baked, homemade cookies
- Rooms do not have phones or TVs but there is free WiFi
Tucked away in the tiny town of Ballard, right in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, The Ballard Inn is exactly what you envision when you think of a cozy bed-and-breakfast. Lining the property is a white picket fence draped with lush greenery, and just before you reach the entrance, a wraparound porch with wicker rocking chairs beckons you to forget your troubles over a glass of local red wine.
Inside, you’ll discover romantic antique furnishings, comfortable couches facing a roaring fireplace and an attentive staff waiting to make the most of your stay. Retreat to one of the charming rooms, and you’ll find a historic aspect of the hotel commemorated in rich hues and themed fabrics. At the inn’s award-winning restaurant, it’s as easygoing as ever; this 12-table, French-Asian dining room is a regional favorite for its intimate atmosphere. There’s almost nothing that could make it any cozier – except for a pairing from the extensive list of wines.
The Ballard Inn’s cozy Deluxe rooms are individually themed and decorated, with names like The Davy Brown, The Western, the Windmill and The Wildflower. Warm tones and antique furnishings appoint each space, and each has a plush king or queen bed and a wood-burning fireplace.
With acclaimed chef Budi Kazali at the helm and a warm, inviting atmosphere, it’s no wonder The Restaurant at the Ballard Inn is a 2016 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award-winner. Romantic and intimate with candlelight, soft music and a crackling fire to set the mood, this 12-table French-Asian restaurant features an array of local wines and ingredients and a creative dinner menu. Breakfast includes house-made pastries, hot entrees and fresh fruit.
Set in the quaint town of Ballard, a community with fewer than 1,000 people, The Ballard Inn & Restaurant is 35 minutes north of Santa Barbara, and a short car ride to Santa Ynez Valley and the towns of Solvang, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos. The perfect stay for a wine-country vacation, the inn is close to many small, family-owned wineries, which you can visit by tour or at your own leisure.You can also golf at the nearby Rancho San Marcos Golf Course, with its stunning views of the Santa Ynez Valley, take a quick drive for a hiking excursion to Nojoqui Falls, or rent bikes at the inn and cycle your way through wine country.
How to Get There
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with the highlight being the great service we received. Most especially Jaisey went out of her way to help us select wine tastings and make appointments for us. She did a great job in finding out what we like and knew the area well enough to make some great recommendations. We thoroughly enjoyed two dinners at the restaurant and our room was very nice with comfortable seating and great linens and bed.
Overall we were very pleased. The Inn provided a very generous social hour with a meat and cheese selection as well as local wines. They also provide a discount card to tastings, but we only stayed one night so we missed out on this perk. There is a turn down service w fresh cookies and a lovely breakfast with eggs to order. We stayed the night before Memorial Day weekend so the Inn was quiet. Staff was very friendly. The outside was beautiful with many rose bushes blooming. The inside is tastefully decorated with a number of fireplaces, wide plank floors, neutral colors. I was able to look at a number of empty rooms and they are fairly similar with either a front street or a back yard parking view. I was really pleased with the room I had chosen after reading reviews, the Davey Brown room, which has a fireplace. However, it turned out that this room is over the kitchen and the kitchen exhaust fan. It was very noisy until after 10 pm when the staff is done. Lots of plate stacking and banging and the fan. The noise starts up again in the am for breakfast. I was surprised no one mentioned this on Trip Advisor. Also the bed is really cool and comfortable, unless you like to sit up in bed, which you can’t do without hitting your head. So I would recommend the Inn, but pick a different room.
This is the most charming hotel. Service unparalleled, could not of asked more the perfect setting. Stayed in the Windmmill room. The bed was the most comfortable and the sheets were perfect. Bathroom could use more counter space but a side table added charm. The Gathering table dinner was outstanding and the salted Carmel desert was off the chart delicious. Loved this Inn