S’mores and Snores

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Rancho Bernardo Inn Family review Disclosure: My family received a complimentary room to facilitate this Rancho Bernardo Inn family review. 

This Rancho Bernardo Inn family review is for anyone looking for a fun and easy So Cal destination to take your family. Or, your husband. Or, your girlfriends. Or anyone, really.

The property is only a little over an hour drive from our neck of the woods in Orange County, but when we arrived at this charming San Diego resort, we felt as if we were in a different world.

The property has a long history, dating back 50 years to be exact.

My parents remember visiting the resort on their honeymoon, and they will be celebrating their 45 wedding anniversary this year! I love a resort with this kind of history because you can feel the charm of all the years in its architecture and surroundings.

We chose the resort based on its family-friendly reputation and S’mores and Snores special for kids, which includes mini in-room tents and complimentary s’more kits for nightly roasting. Fun, right?!

Snore Space 


We had a double queen room in the Greens building overlooking the golf course. We liked this building for its easy access to our car in self-parking and for the roaming space directly outside our ground floor patio for the girls.

The room was nice, clean and I particularly enjoyed the complimentary Wifi and Keurig coffee in the morning!

The property also boasts four separate guest suites which include fireplaces, dining rooms and large private balconies if you are looking for spacious accommodations.

One of my friends had a family reunion last summer at this property and they had an incredible time. She mentioned to me how incredibly accommodating the staff was to their group.

Pool Time 


When my girls go to a hotel all they really want to do is swim, swim, and then swim some more. I am often afraid they might grow gills.

There are three pools on the property: a family pool, separate adult pool and the private spa pool. Oh, the spa pool. I will get to that in a minute.

The Santiago Pool is the one for families and my girls had a ball splishing and splashing there for hours on end. It was heated to a nice temperature and there was a large adjacent Jacuzzi when they needed to take a break.

Onsite colorful deck chairs for kids along with some pool toys made for a fun pool time experience. 

I Glimpsed Heaven

The second morning I went for a workout in their nice fitness center next to the Spa and there, beyond a bubbling fountain, I found a slice of heaven calling to me,


“Jennifer! Come! Sit! Bring your magazine. Bring your book. Enjoy the peace and tranquility! Savor this setting. Order a cocktail. Take a snooze.” 

spapool1 But my girls were waiting back at the family pool for me to throw diving toys and play Marco Polo. Not this trip Spa Pool, but, I will be back to see you, with my girlfriends and booked spa appointments. I promise.

Eats at the Inn 

There are multiple onsite dining options at Rancho Bernardo Inn.

AVANT is their signature fine dining restaurant specializing in farm-to-table wine country dining using the freshest seasonal ingredients.

I went and peeked in one afternoon before opening – gorgeous! They have a beautiful open air patio as well as a beautiful dining room and bar overlooking the golf course.

My girls are too young for fine dining, especially after a long day of swimming, so we didn’t get to experience AVANT firsthand. Although I would have liked to, really liked to.


Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant is the property’s more casual dining option with an fabulous patio and a great menu for both kids and adults if you like more laid back fare. The menu offered just the kind of food we like to enjoy when vacationing with our kids.

We dined at Veranda both nights in the lounge section which was great with kids because it gave them some wiggle room.

The best part about Veranda is the ambiance. Pretty twinkle lights, fire pits, comfy lounge furniture and a large fire place made the space radiate with warmth.

The live music on Thursday and Friday night was an extra surprise bonus!

Both nights we had amazing meals at Veranda but we did find the service to be really slow. Just a heads up if dining with little ones.

I would absolutely recommend dining at Veranda on the patio for the delicious food and unbeatable setting, but be armed with extra activities or small snacks if your kiddos get antsy when dining out.


And, for your morning Starbucks or a quick grab-and-go sandwich, Cafe Grenada had just the right mix of quick bites and beverages.

One of two breakfast nook areas even included a small table and chairs for my girls to sit and enjoy their breakfast treats.


Finally…the S’mores

At the front desk you can request little baggies of s’more fixins along with pokers for your roasting pleasure.

We chose to do our s’mores at the Santiago Family pool fire pit and we were actually the only ones there at night.

Nothing like making s’mores under the stars. 


Rancho Bernardo Inn Spa

I know this is a Rancho Bernardo Inn family review and I am focusing on its family-friendly features, but I would be amiss if I did not mention the Spa because it was simply spectacular.

Spread out over a large area, the spa was like a private secret garden with fountains, seating areas, a tranquil outdoor Jacuzzi and a space that just oozed relaxation.

This Spa is on my must-visit list. Again, next time!


We loved staying at Rancho Bernardo Inn. On the first afternoon my husband looked at me and said, “It’s really peaceful here.” Which was the perfect description.

So if you are looking to get away from your same ‘ole same ‘ole for a few days, Rancho Bernardo Inn might be your perfect spot.

Join their email list for upcoming spring and summer specials and thank you RBI for our special stay!

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