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The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern is a stunning escape just north of Santa Barbara

The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, established in 1886, has transformed into a luxury resort in Santa Ynez Valley, featuring historical architecture, ranch-style dining, and backyard wine tours. Share

Since its earliest days in 1886 as a popular stagecoach stop, and through its years as a clandestine gathering spot during Prohibition, The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern has consistently held an iconic status in the lore of California’s Central Coast. Today, it has evolved into the quintessential luxury destination in the Santa Ynez Valley, maintaining its reputation across generations.

Located in a region celebrated for its award-winning vineyards and prestigious horse ranches, the Inn invites guests to explore its storied surroundings before relaxing in reimagined guestrooms and cottage-style accommodations, beautifully nestled among acres of historic palm trees. Guests can savour the vibrant, seasonal flavours of the area at the open-air restaurant, enjoy a leisurely swim in the outdoor pool, and end the day with stories and s’mores around the firepit, encapsulating a relaxed yet luxurious wine country experience.

Mattei’s Tavern, where historical architecture meets modern comfort, seamlessly blends the past with the present. The Tavern Building, dating back to its 1886 origins, along with the original cottages, have been meticulously restored to preserve their historical significance, while newly constructed buildings integrate effortlessly with these authentic structures.

The guest accommodations at Mattei’s offer a delightful retreat, featuring airy clapboard bedrooms located in new, two-story buildings that are designed to echo the architectural style of Mattei’s original structures. Each room showcases white painted wood cladding, adorned with local artwork, and exposes structural elements reminiscent of the centuries-old cottages, with most rooms extending into a private patio or terrace. For those needing accessible options, the Inn offers cottage suites and guesthouse rooms that are specially designed to provide open, comfortable layouts with sweeping views of the lush gardens, ensuring accessibility and ease for all visitors.

Dining at Mattei’s Tavern is an adventure in taste and tradition, with multiple venues each reflecting a facet of local Californian cuisine. From sophisticated, chef-driven dishes at The Tavern to more relaxed, ranch-style meals, the focus remains on fresh, local ingredients, crafted to be both refined and accessible for everyday dining.

The Tavern itself is particularly noteworthy, featuring a focused menu that showcases grilled dishes and seasonal vegetables, prepared in a simple yet elegant style. The wine list is a highlight, with a comprehensive selection of local Californian wines, adding to the allure for visitors from near and far. Additional dining venues at the Inn enrich the guest experience. The Bar, retaining its historical charm while embracing modern mixology, offers a range of artisanal cocktails and local craft beers. Felix Feed & Coffee provides a perfect morning start with expertly made espresso and freshly baked pastries in a charming European-style setting.

For those seeking relaxation by the pool, The Shed offers a serene escape, serving a fresh and approachable menu perfect for poolside enjoyment. Additionally, Mattei’s Social Hour invites guests to unwind with special pricing on a variety of bar snacks and drinks, enhancing the communal atmosphere of the Inn.

The Inn is also a vibrant centre for gatherings and celebrations. With spaces like the Hartley Lawn and The Barn, it offers idyllic settings for weddings, corporate events, and social gatherings, supported by an expert team dedicated to personalizing and perfecting every event detail. Beyond dining and events, the Inn provides a variety of recreational and wellness activities. Guests can engage in daily fitness classes, enjoy bespoke spa treatments inspired by the local flora at The Cottage Spa, or explore the picturesque wine country with guided bike tours, embodying the spirit of the region.

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