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
This place is incredible-all the way from the front desk to the maids and the rooms. The accommodations are a mix of traditional, industrial and country. The breakfast is included in The Gathering Place and is a real bonus plus the late afternoon wine and cheese is an good time to meet other guests and sample local wines. This is a wonderful central place to explore the Santa Ynez Valley.
The Ballard Inn is almost the typical quaint, basic, out of the way inn that is close wineries and Slovang. It's far enough away from Slovang to be isolated and not deal with the shenanigans there, you know, the crowds and other tourists.
For us it was a little loud and you can hear everything from the rooms that's happening in the hallway or even down in the "lobby." There are no TV's and the wireless is spotty. I guess if you want to "get away" it's good but if you need to do research on the area it can be frustrating.
It's a little to pricey for what you receive, but, the experience was nice, the staff outstanding and over all was very good.
We chose the Siesta room because it was on the ground floor and also because it hda a bath tub (not all rooms here do). I am a travel agent and have placed numerous clients at the Ballard Inn with great results, so I decided we'd try it for ourselves.
the room was lovely (could have used some reading lights though); no problem for us that there were no TV's and no phones. This was a get-away! The staff couldn't be nicer or more accommodating. We had dinner in the Gathering Place the first night and again, the service was outstanding and we loved the food (bread is so good I'd have willingly had it as my whole dinner). Breakfasts were also excellent - always fresh fruit and a muffin sort of bread item; while there are standard breakfast items on the menu, they also offer 2 special dishes each morning and it was hard to choose which one to have. This is a place we would love to return to .... soon!