Sale of The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe finalized

Benchmark Hospitality International has announced that The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe has joined the company’s portfolio of “Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels.” Burt Cabañas, chairman and CEO, made the announcement April 11.

“I am delighted to welcome The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe into the Benchmark Hospitality family of luxury properties,” said Cabañas. “This is our first San Diego-area hotel, which beautifully complements our properties in Northern California, including Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, and our Personal Luxury Resort, Bardessono in Napa Valley.”

John Kratzer, chairman and CEO of JMI Realty, the property’s new owner said, “We are very pleased that the Royce family, who are such a part of the legacy of The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, felt comfortable with us as the next steward of this beloved community asset. Many of us live in Rancho Santa Fe and understand the importance of The Inn to the community and are committed to continue the family’s legacy in that regard. We will be investing significant capital in the property; kicking off an extensive restoration of the rooms at the end of the summer and revitalizing the spa. Our goal is to continue catering to the upscale traveler with expanded group meetings, business at The Inn and a continued focus on upscale weddings and social events.”

The restoration planned for The Inn is expected to cost about $12 million. Delawie Interiors, the San Diego design firm in existence for over a half a century, and MKA Inc. Architecture & Planning of San Diego have been engaged for the restoration.

The Inn is situated at the heart of the Village of Rancho Santa Fe, known locally as "The Ranch" and frequently referred to as "the most desirable place to live in America." Within the Village are charming boutiques, galleries and quaint antique stores, as well as superb dining at award-winning restaurants.

The History of The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe traces its roots to Rancho San Dieguto, an 8,824-acre land grant deeded by Spain in 1840 to Juan Maria Osuna, the first mayor of Pueblo de San Diego. The Osuna's family’s earliest adobe building, today fully restored, overlooks the scenic San Dieguito River Valley.

In 1906, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad purchased the land to cultivate eucalyptus trees for converting into railway ties. When the wood proved too soft, the railroad formed the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company to develop the property. To give the dream shape, the Land Company retained the San Diego architectural firm of Requa and Jackson in 1922. A gifted young architect named Lilian Rice oversaw the initiative.

The first building, a guesthouse in the Spanish Revival Style was called La Morada, "the house of many rooms." Originally intended to provide accommodations to prospective property owners and later to become a clubhouse, La Morada was transferred to private ownership in 1940 and renamed The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

From 1922 until her death in 1938, Lilian Rice continued to transform the Village of Rancho Santa Fe, the community homes and The Inn into marvels of architecture and livability. She believed that the nation's communities are important entries in the book of our history and our art. Many of her designs have found their way onto the National Register of Historic Buildings.

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