Welcome To The Genevieve
Check into Santa Ynez's newest hotel
Written by Emma Roberts
Driving into Santa Ynez with low country tunes crooning in the background, my fiancé and I pass through the swoon-worthy western town and make our way to a newly reemerged hotel—the luxurious Genevieve. Spotting this beauty is like a movie scene: The Genevieve is a beautiful, two-story Victorian hotel with modern amenities, such as a Tesla charging station, a full spa, made-to-order breakfast, and one of my favorite hours: “Social Hour,” an hour designated to meet your neighbor in the dining area over a glass of complimentary wine and cheese.
The Genevieve is full of romance. We couldn’t help but notice the perfectly manicured details of the lawn and garden area. Walking through the navy double doors, a subtle pomegranate candle scent wafts throughout the hotel. Coffered ceilings and chair railings line the rooms, and Victorian architecture is abundant throughout, with giant fireplaces adorning the hotel. When we enter our room, we’re greeted with music piping through the speakers, and picture frames of musical scores line the wall. Crystal chandeliers hang throughout the twenty rooms and hallways, bringing you to another era, of a time long past. Everything from the heavy silverware to the luxurious library whiskey lounge stays on brand, where my fiancé ferociously beats me in multiple games of backgammon. I admit defeat…for now.
As for surprises, Chef Beto Huizar, formerly of The Landsby, joined the Genevieve and opened The Victor, which has an exciting progressive Californian menu. The next-door restaurant has white beadboard walls with contemporary art and mirrors, low lights, and indoor olive trees.
Chef Huizar grew up in Jalisco, Mexico, and had to learn as a child how to work with fire to contribute to his family’s nightly dinner cookouts. He described his work as playing with fire, as it brings back memories of his childhood. Chef Huizar began working in the kitchen when he was eighteen by washing dishes, and learned sauces and stocks from a French-trained chef. He now has a Josper Oven, which is a live fire stainless steel oven.
Chef Huizar’s love language is feeding others, and you can feel the love with every bite. His deviled eggs have smoked trout roe, mustard seeds, and Calabrian chili—a twist on a traditional recipe. Each bite has surprise bursts of briny, ocean goodness, with pops of saltiness from the mustard seed and trout roe. It’s as if he elevated an everyday deviled egg to an elegant one. Chef’s Morro Bay oysters on the half shell have a champagne cilantro mignonette, and taste bright, ocean fresh. The duck fat fries have a luscious fat to them, and the kobe filet mignon has just the right amount of char—cooked correctly and not overly seasoned.
For a couple of days, we were transported to a simpler time, of kindness and sophistication. Pulling out of the driveway and onto the road, we turn up some country tunes, and somehow, they sound even better with the thoughts of the Genevieve and The Victor in our heads.