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.

As Lilian said, “I have found real joy at Rancho Santa Fe.” It is The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe’s goal that all guests experience the same.

To learn more about The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, for reservations or to meet with the property’s event planners, call (858) 756-1131 or visit

About JMI Realty

JMI Realty is a vertically integrated hospitality investment company with deep acquisition, development, construction and repositioning expertise. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with a satellite office in San Diego, California, the firm is headed by John Kratzer and is perhaps best known for its role as the master developer of the ballpark district in downtown San Diego. The firm recently began a significant joint venture relationship with Siguler Guff out of New York. For additional information please visit

About Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM

Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM represents a hand-picked group of 13 luxurious properties, in spectacular U.S. destinations coast to coast and off shore. Each hotel and resort delivers personal luxury in a spirit true to its own distinctive locale, yet in unison with the collection’s shared mission. A division of Benchmark Hospitality International, for 30 years a leading US-based hospitality management company, and led by a proven and seasoned team of award-winning luxury hospitality professionals, Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM is the preferred choice of guests who yearn for transformation over accommodation, customization over conformity, and inspiration over predictability. With Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM, luxury is always personal.

About Benchmark Hospitality International

Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM. The independent company, launched in 1980, is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations. Benchmark’s international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Benchmark Hospitality is also a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers. The company’s eastern regional office is in New Jersey, western regional office is in Washington, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark’s properties and additional information, visit

— Submitted press release