Rancho Bernardo Inn History
Rancho Bernardo Inn opened its doors with 30 rooms in 1963. Room rates started at $8, an all-you-can-eat fish fry at Veranda was $1.50 and guests were invited in to see ‘color television.’ The resort course opened with 18 championship holes designed by William Bell, architect of both Torrey Pines and La Jolla Country Club. The resort sought to provide its guests with casual elegance and this philosophy allowed the Inn to become a staple in North County San Diego.
The resort gained notoriety on a national level by hosting the PGA San Diego Open in 1964. Art Wall won with a score of 274 and a purse of $30,000. The LPGA Honda Civic Classic was hosted from 1978 to 1980. In 1978, Sally Little won the tournament with a score or 282, defeating Nancy Lopez with a par on the first extra hole.
In 1968, Rancho Bernardo Inn was expanded to 151 guest rooms and our beloved El Bizcocho was opened. A renowned fine-dining experience, it was enjoyed by guests and city residents alike. Chefs such as Gavin Kaysen and Patrick Ponsaty honed their skills in the El Biz kitchen, earning the eatery a loyal following. In 2013, with food trends shifting to a more social, sharing experience, El Bizcocho was respectfully put to rest. In June, after a $2.5 million renovation, AVANT was opened to wide interest and acclaim.
Since its inception, the resort has expanded to include a Conde Nast award winning spa, redesigned golf course, and the addition of 250 more guestrooms.
For a great take on the Inn’s history, check out Editor-in-Chief Gillian Flynn’s, article, The Inn Crowd, in Riviera San Diego Magazine.
General Rancho Bernardo Inn Timeline:
Rancho Bernardo Inn opens with 30 guest rooms and an 18 hole championship course
Art Wall wins the PGA San Diego Open at the Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Course
Rancho Bernardo Inn is expanded to 151 guest rooms and our beloved El Bizcocho opens
JC Resorts acquires the Inn
The Inn becomes a AAA Four Diamond Hotel (2015 marks the 39th straight year it has been honored with that designation)
Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Course plays host to the LPGA Honda Civic Classic. In 1978, Sally Little wins, defeating Nancy Lopez with a par on the first extra hole.
Rancho Bernardo Inn is expanded with two more guest room buildings
Ted Robinson enhances the Resort course, adding spectacular new water features on the 9th and 18th holes.
Rancho Bernardo Inn is expanded to 287 guest rooms, the Catalina Ballroom is added as well as a fitness center
The Resort course is remodeled by Schmidt & Curley. The architects add a fourth set of tees, reshape each of the 61 bunkers and fill them with brilliant Augusta white sand.
The Inn becomes a Preferred Hotels & Resorts member
Patrick Ponsaty, Executive Chef of El Bizcocho, named ‘Best Chef of America’ by James Beard and holds an event at the James Beard House in July of that year.
The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn is expanded to include a saline pool and cabanas, seven indoor treatment rooms and five outdoor casitas. It is awarded #1 Hotel Spa in North America by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine.
The Veranda is remodeled and becomes Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant. The Sports Bar is completely remodeled and becomes The Bar.
After a $2.5 million renovation, El Bizcocho is closed and re-opens as AVANT.
The Inn had 30 guestrooms when it opened and a stay was $8 per night.
The resort gained notoriety on a national level when the golf course played host to the PGA San Diego Open in 1964 and the LPGA Honda Civic Classic from 1978-80.
El Bizcocho opened in 1968 and quickly became known for its commitment to culinary talent. The fine-dining experience was enjoyed by guests and city residents alike. AVANT has since taken over for El Bizcocho
Leisure activities have always been one of the resort's calling cards. The tennis facility was a haven for recreational players. The courts have since been replaced by The Spa.
The Bernardo Ballroom was designed to divide into two rooms and could accommodate up to 350 people.
Before becoming a family-themed pool, the Santiago Pool housed two shuffle boards and was bordered by tennis courts.
Rancho Bernardo Inn Front Drive
Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Course
The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn