Spread across 265 acres of beautiful grounds, Rancho Bernardo Inn offers visitors a luxurious and relaxing getaway in North County San Diego. The destination resort boasts a championship golf course, award-winning spa facilities, delicious cuisine, and a choice of fun leisure activities.
Its quiet inland location is close to wine country and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, but not to far to the beach, downtown San Diego, and other local attractions. In this review, I’ll tell you why I like this resort and who it’s best for. I also have some benefits here that you’ll want to take advantage of when you book.
What I Love
Good to Know
Health and Safety Protocols
Like other hotels and resorts who have been Clean + Safe Certified by the California Hotel and Lodging Association, Rancho Bernardo Inn has health and safety measures in place. Face coverings are required in public spaces for guests and staff. Restaurants, the spa, and pools are open with proper distancing and sanitization in place. Hand sanitizer is available to guests. You can read more here.
Rooms and Suites
The 287 guest rooms and suites uphold an excellent standard of facilities, decor, and comfort. Suite and room amenities include:
- 42″ flat-screen TVs
- luxury bath amenities
- private patios or balconies
- microwave (upon request)
- cribs and rollaway beds (upon request)
- air conditioning
- in-room safes
- in-room coffee and tea
- in-room bottled water
The guest rooms are set among the lovely gardens and winding paths so there is an open-air feeling in each of the rooms. All options are available with a single king bed, or two queen beds.
Depending on the size of your travel party and budget, you can pick from the following:
- Clasico: From 400 square feet with partial garden views.
- Terraza: From 400 square feet with a private balcony or patio and fountain or courtyard view.
- Sereno: From 400 square feet, private balcony or patio, and garden views.
- Prado: From 440 square feet, private balcony or patio, and a view of the spa or golf course.
The suites offer all of the same comforts as the rooms – and then some. Again, there is a selection of suites to choose from.
- Presidential Suite: Three full bedrooms, three and a half baths, living area, and fireplace.
- Vice Presidential Suite: One full bedroom, one full bath, living area, and optional connecting rooms.
- Estate Suite: A king-sized bed, full bathroom, living room, and private balcony
Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Course
The Rancho Bernardo Inn golf course is a coveted 18-hole championship course that has hosted the PGA and LPGA. The course was designed by William Francis Bell in 1962 and offers a driving range with grass or mat tees, a complete golf shop, and golf instruction by PGA professionals. And, let’s not forget it’s an unforgettable day in the San Diego sunshine.
TIPIf you’re going to play golf, consider the JC Golf Players Card, which gives you access to the other nine Southern California Golf Courses managed by JC Golf.
The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn
The Rancho Bernardo spa offers serenity and relaxation for visitors seven days a week with various world-class facilities and treatments. It’s one of my favorite spa facilities in all of San Diego. Of course, enhanced health and safety measures are in place here, too. At the moment, guests can book 50-minute facials, massages, and nail treatments.
You can enjoy them in the comfort of an outdoor casita set amid the peaceful Spa Garden. During normal times, the adults-only Spa Pool also enjoys food and beverage service with a menu of lighter fare. Right now, guests can pick up food and drinks from Cafe Granada or Veranda Restaurant to bring to the Spa Pool area. I highly recommend the treatment casitas.
The fitness center is also a part of the spa facilities but is currently closed. It normally offers state-of-the-art cardio and weight equipment.
No luxurious getaway is complete without a decadent meal or a well-brewed cup of coffee. The three Rancho Bernardo Inn restaurants cover what resort guests want — a grab-and-go marketplace, outdoor lounge seating, regional menus, and an elegant sit-down option.
Ingredients for the restaurants and the spa are sourced from the onsite Chef’s Garden.
The Veranda Fireside Lounge and Restaurant provide a space to unwind amid golf course views. The menu features Meditteranean cuisine with a Southern California twist using locally-sourced ingredients.
AVANT San Diego
Avant offers a sophisticated dining experience that is void of pretense, serving California cuisine that is simple and fresh. It’s inspired by wine country dining, so no surprise that you’ll find a great wine list with limited production wines from around the world and artisan cocktails. Note that AVANT is currently open Thursday–Saturday.
Café Granada offers a convenient stop for your morning coffee and food-to-go. The welcoming atmosphere invites guests inside, encouraging them to leave with gourmet, organic snacks from local vendors.
What better after a warm day on the golf course than a few cold ones at the sports bar? The Bar at Rancho Bernardo is a convenient choice for a quick bite to eat and a casual drink. Although a sports bar, the venue features stunning vintage-inspired interiors to add to the luxurious mood.
INN Room Dining
Room service is, of course, an option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Inn uses contactless delivery.
Two More Swimming Pools
In addition to the Spa Pool mentioned above, there is also the family-friendly Santiago swimming pool with its poolside bar. Normally, there are also fun pool activities such as dive-in movies. Also, you can enjoy the adults-only Bernardo outdoor pool.
Right now, you’ll need reservations (the front desk can assist) for the pools on Friday-Sunday, which are available in 2-hour time slots.
Rancho Bernardo Inn offers something for everyone. In addition to golf, spa treatments, and delicious dining experiences, there’s also a busy calendar of options to enjoy on the property. These activities include, but are not limited to, the following (some may be temporarily paused):
- Morning and sunset yoga to achieve balance and relaxation.
- Chef’s garden tours by master gardener Trish Kydd.
- Weekly dive-in movies via the poolside cinema series.
- Daily lawn games, including cornhole, croquet, and oversized Connect Four.
- Picnic baskets provided by Café Granada.
- Kids golf clinic to introduce your little ones to the game.
- Falconry encounter under the guidance of experts.
- Fireside workshops that cover a variety of topics.
These fun activities promise a lot of fun for the whole family which is why Rancho Bernardo Inn is also on my list of best San Diego resorts. The resort will also help organize local adventures to some of the many nearby attractions in San Diego.
Rancho Bernardo Inn Weddings
Considering the beautiful, natural surroundings of Rancho Bernardo, it’s no wonder that couples choose this venue as their special space to tie the knot.
The venue is popular for small, intimate gatherings as well as larger celebrations. There are seven ceremony sites and five reception locations to choose from, helping to make your special day all the more memorable.
The Rancho Bernardo, CA Location
Rancho Bernardo, California is a mostly-residential community located in the northeast San Diego hills, just off of the I-15 freeway.
In addition to the resort activities, including golf, you’re located near family-friendly Bernardo Winery, where you can spend the day browsing shops and sipping wine (or coffee — there’s a great little cafe here, too). During normal times, they also host events to look out for. Abnormal Wine Company is also about a mile away from the resort. This post is unique because they’re a craft brewery, winery, and restaurant, so there really is something for everyone on the menu.
Outside of this, sightseers will want to know how far the resort is from other major attractions. The times listed below are drive times without traffic, and there can be rush hour traffic along this corridor.
- San Diego Zoo: 29 minutes
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park: 16 minutes
- LEGOLAND California: 35 minutes
- SeaWorld San Diego: 30 minutes
- Coronado: 35 minutes
- La Jolla Cove: 33 minutes
- San Diego Convention Center (Downtown): 33 minutes
Keep in mind that San Diego attractions are spread out, so no matter where you stay there is driving involved.
Reservations with Extra Perks
Rancho Bernardo Inn is part of Preferred Hotels and Resorts. This means that I can book you into with Preferred Platinum benefits that include:
- Best Available Rate
- Breakfast for Two Daily
- $100 Hotel Credit per Stay (to be used on services such as spa, dining, or selected amenity valued at $100 or more)
- Hotel Welcome Amenity and Welcome Note from General Manager on behalf of Travel Agency
- Complimentary In-Room Internet
- Room Upgrade*
- Priority Check-in and Check-out*
*Subject to availability
You’ll need to send me your dates and I’ll let you know what’s on offer.
Other List Features
I rate the best San Diego luxury hotels based on personal experience, client feedback, insider tips and share how to book in as a VIP.
Find boutique, resort, or budget hotels near San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido to relax in after your day at the park and what to know before booking.