Behind the Design: Hotel Ynez

Behind the Design: Hotel Ynez

Hotel Ynez – formerly the Meadowlark Inn – is a secret-garden-like sanctuary tucked away on two acres along Mission Drive between Santa Ynez and Solvang. 
Located just down the road from the Danish village, it’s fitting that the experience at Hotel Ynez can be captured in one simple Scandinavian phrase: hygge - which refers to “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” 
After purchasing the property in 2019, that’s exactly the vibe Nomada Hotel Group intended to create – a bohemian-chic California-coast wine country retreat where travelers can slow down to savor and share in life’s simple pleasures.


Like the renovation at Skyview, transforming the motel’s original driveway loop/parking lot into a tranquil garden sanctuary was central to Nomada’s vision. 

Parking spaces were turned into patios with hand-woven Bolivian hammocks, the wrap-around driveway became a winding walking path, and the lawn beneath the branches of an old-growth White Oak became a lantern-lit landscape with fountains, fire pits, daybeds, picnic tables, and a bocce ball court. 

“We wanted to create a sacred space in the center where guests can feel like they can relax outside of their room in common areas… It’s almost like this elevated camping experience – yet you still get to go back into your room and sleep in a really nice bed,” said Nomada’s creative director Kimberly Walker.






Even with such an emphasis on the outdoor space, the guest rooms and interior communal spaces at Hotel Ynez weren’t overlooked. 

The building that now houses the hotel lobby and guest lounge was constructed in 1952 and served as the original owner’s family home. Nomada white-washed the wood-paneled walls & ceilings, opened up the layout with arches adorned by reclaimed corbels, and added skylights and large picture windows that bathe the space in beautiful natural light.

Rich textures like worn leather, natural hardwood floors, and Moroccan textiles are layered to add warmth to an otherwise airy & bright aesthetic. With a fireplace surrounded by built-in shelves filled with books-for-borrow and an eclectic collection of treasures and artworks sourced during the Nomada team’s travels around the world, the lounge area feels more like a home than a hotel. 



This style of easy elegance extends to the 22 inviting guest rooms. Crisp luxury linens and modern amenities are juxtaposed with naturally-died cactus silk Berber pillows, tasseled throw blankets, custom-upholstered club chairs, and colorful tiled fireplaces. 

“We try to make every room unique unto itself and find as many pieces as we can to put in the rooms that are unique. Every room is different but it’s going to be comfortable, and it’s going to be welcoming, and it’s going to be timeless,” shared Nomada partner Mike Kyle on Hotel Ynez’s (RE)Motel episode for Magnolia Network.




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