Nestled within the streets of a quiet, suburban North San Diego County residential area lies the Rancho Bernardo Inn (RBI for short) , a serenely tranquil and picturesque resort and spa that is almost like a hidden gem. And by hidden, I do mean hidden; driving down the streets of the neighborhood we suddenly saw signs for the resort at the end of the street seemingly out of nowhere. But this resort is definitely not one to be missed.
My family and I recently took a weekend stay at RBI to check out their “Kids Rule, Parents Drool” package, a special experience the staff at RBI has put together to celebrate the magic of summer, swimming, sun, and just being a kid. Indeed, when we arrived Friday night we learned that kids ruled, as my son was greeted with a shovel and pail packed with goodies, complete with his name on the front. He beamed as he already began to feel like a special guest.
We stayed in the rooms near the Santiago pool, which I would definitely stay in again, as the room was spacious, open, and even had a small private patio area outside the sliding door that gave us direct access to the pool. You could hear the sounds of children laughing, playing, and squealing in delight.
After unpacking we headed to the “Cool Out Lounge”, one of the designated activity rooms RBI set aside for their younger guests as a part of the Kids Rule package. This activity room was geared more towards the younger RBI crowd, and my son, who is 3, wasted no time at tackling the preschooler-friendly board games, books, puzzles, and coloring tables set out for the kids. For older kids there’s also the “Amped Lounge” with a Wii, games, and other age-appropriate activites. Afterward we went and picked up a free smoothie for my son, as kids who are part of the “Kids Rule” package receive a cool blue wrist band upon arrival that, when shown to staff, entitles them to free food, drinks, and special privileges throughout the property.
After a bit of playtime, we headed to Veranda, RBI’s fireside lounge and restaurant. Veranda is beautiful, as it features a large outside patio seating area with a full, glorious view of RBI’s 18-hole championship golf-course, an outdoor fireplace, lounge chairs, and even live music to really set a relaxing tone. The food was light, fresh, and delicious, and of course, the perks of a complimentary kids’ entrée courtesy of the “Kids Rule” package didn’t hurt a bit either.
Back to the pool it was after our dinner, and this time we shimmied quickly into our suits to check out the “Dive-In Movie and S’Mores”. Kids are invited to take in some night swimming at the Santiago pool, and every night there is a different family movie shown. There are tables laid out near the pool with beverages, popcorn, and all the fixings to make s’mores, and small fire pits really get you in the mood for a poolside campout. My son was overjoyed to be able to stay up latet than his usual bedtime, and after a night of swimming he happily continued his “campout” in our room, as RBI also provides an in-room tent for all kids part of the Kids Rule package.
Breakfast at Veranda the next morning was delicious, offering a full breakfast buffet for adults and a kid-friendly waffle station; my son chose to put M&M’s on his waffles, along with chocolate sprinkles, no less. After breakfast we split off a bit; my husband and son headed off to check out the mini-golf while I headed to RBI’s “The Spa” for one of their Made Fresh Daily treatments. Moms, don’t be afraid to let the rest of your family off on their own for a bit so you can indulge! With a gorgeous, exclusive outdoor saline pool, private treatment casitas, and a lovely relaxation lounge, you won’t regret taking some time for yourself.
The rest of the day consisted of some more lounging by the pool, eating, another trip back to the Cool Out Lounge, and a “treasure hunt”, where kids are invited to find all 25 of RBI’s fountains around the property, and get stamps upon finding them to receive a prize. Finally, it was time to pack up and leave. I would definitely recommend RBI as not only an excellent place to vacation with family, but a place to visit on an adults-only trip, a great place to get married, have an event, play golf, etc.
And the ultimate judge of a mini-vacation well spent? My son. When I told him our stay was over and it was time to go, he looked and said, “Already? But I don’t wanna leave.”
Nicely done, RBI. We’ll be back again soon.
‘Kids Rule, Parents Drool’ package includes:
• One-Night Accommodations
• Welcome Goodie Bucket with wristband, activities guide + treasure map upon arrival for 1-Kid
• Kidsrule! All-INNclusive activities access for 1-Kid* (All-INNclusive meals & kidsrule! summer activities)
All-INNclusive activities include:
• Unlimited Access to Golf Range + Bucket of Balls & Bag of Sticks
• Pool Fun & Sun at the Santiago Family Pool with water basketball, ping-pong and pool toys
• Access to the AMPED Lounge featuring Wii games Guitar Hero, Super Smash Brothers Brawl & Dance Dance Revolution
• Fun Art + Music COOL OUT Lounge with iPod docking station, paint & PlayDoh, books, magazines, board games, playing cards and even beanbag chairs
• Kids Feast FREE! Hot Eats & Cool Treats at the Santiago Pool Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant, Café Granada, Golf Grill & even in-room dining
• S’mores & Snores features in-room camping in their very own tent, sleeping bag and teddy bear after enjoying their s’mores kit fireside at Santiago Pool
• Treasure Hunt & Fountains Walking Adventure featuring a self guided tour of Rancho Bernardo Inn’s 25 + fountains or enjoy the property’s treasure map.
• Access to the local Blue Sky Ecological Preserve
Book Your Stay at RBI:
Rancho Bernardo Inn
17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive
San Diego, CA 92128