We stayed at Paradise Ranch for 10 nights in August 2013 - What a treat! The photos on trip advisor give a very good sense of the property and are very representative of the space and quality. Although the property is a three bedroom property for 6 people (plus an extra bed in the media room for 2 more), it is huge so there is plenty of space. We have stayed in properties designed for much larger occupancy with smaller living areas.
The overall style of the property is a combination of modern and traditional. It is stylish but also homely (Neither twee nor clinical). The property is extremely well equipped throughout, including:
1) Kitchen with two dishwashers, electric and gas ovens, built in microwave, toaster, waste disposal, etc.
2) a media room with a huge flatscreen, iPod docking stations and speakers all over, an extremely well equip
3) Separate "wet bar" just off the main lounge, with drinks fridge
4) Laundry room with huge washing machine and tumble dryer.
There were nice touches throughout, e.g. a supply of foil, food wrap and sandwich bags were in the kitchen drawers, a large selection of herbs and spices, various cleaning materials as well as detergents for the washing machine. All to be used as needed. A very nice touch.
Overall the property was clean, with nice fresh bedding and plenty of towels for the pool. We did find a few of the kitchen drawers that could have been a little cleaner, but generally the standard was very good.
The highlight though is the outside space. A large heated pool (approximately 40ft by 20ft) and hot-tub being the centre pieces. The pool is extremely clean and well maintained (scheduled service once a week) and has a "pool vacuum" which keeps the debris away. The pool is also extremely warm - about 30 Celsius - making for a lovely swim. The children were never out of the pool throughout our stay. There are plenty of different seating areas around the outside space as well, not to mention the view out over Carpinteria to the Pacific. Except when it was misty, we had a great view out to the channel islands. Excellent! (The only point to note with the pool is that it is quite deep (approximately 10ft) at the deep end and so is a little more suited to slightly older children - ours are 11 and 8 years, both competent swimmers and had a great time, but younger ones may have struggled).
The outside space also has a gas powered fire pit plus a gas barbecue / grill which was excellent. The outdoor space really does make the property special.
In terms of the location, the property sits above an avocado orchard in the foothills above Carpinteria. There are also lemon trees lining the drive. Wildlife does abound - we saw a large number of lizards during our stay, plus a couple of skunks and even a coyote (These scurrying away as we drove out). The area itself is slightly more agricultural than pure residential, but once in the property, the view is stunning and the grounds are extremely well tended (Gardeners come in once a week). The property is quite secluded (the next nearest house is down the hill). This means it really is a great place to "get away from it all", but should perhaps be taken into account if you are a little more nervous at night (Although the property does have security gates). We had no problems during our stay. A short drive (5 minutes) gets you to downtown Carpinteria with shops, etc and 10 minutes gets you to a great sandy beach. Santa Barbara itself is maybe 20 minutes on the freeway.
We found Paradise Retreats very easy to deal with. Despite the fact that we made our booking from the UK, they were very efficient in handling the booking, working out how to make payments work, etc. We had occasion to change our booking date by a day and this proved to be no problem and easily accommodated. The rental agreement they sent through was slightly daunting, but in practice we found them very easy to deal with, with good, timely information. A staff member met us at the property when we arrived and showed us how everything worked. We had various numbers to call if there were any problems during the week, but there were none! Our security deposit was returned very promptly.
So, overall we had a great stay at Paradise Ranch. It truly was a treat from start to finish. We would recommend the property to friends and had a very relaxing stay in Carpinteria.
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