Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara
Belmond El Encanto is a hilltop retreat in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, with panoramic views overlooking the city of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean beyond. This beautiful boutique bolthole has recently undergone a tasteful, considerate and exceptionally well delivered 7-year renovation programme, reopening its doors in 2016 as one of the finest properties in the Belmond portfolio. It always has been and always will be a secret escape for the discerning traveller and Hollywood elite.
Belmond El Encanto
Much of the original architecture has been maintained throughout the lush 7-acre property. The vintage bungalows from the property’s former life have been completely updated and ooze Californian charm. Brick pathways lined with wisteria are naturally scented with eucalyptus and lavender leading you to the new colonial style Spanish casitas which are very much in keeping with the stereotypical Santa Barbara style. Every guestroom is spacious with a sizeable bathroom, bedroom, living area and terrace but it’s the little touches that make each Belmond El Encanto experience so special. The heated floors in your en suite, the open air fire places, the personalised pillows on your bed, the luxurious own brand amenities and the handmade shutters on the front doors are just a few of our favourite things.
Alfresco dining at its absolute best; the terrace at El Encanto has been a famous spot amongst the locals of Santa Barbara for decades. Since El Encanto re opened, the size of this wonderful outside living space has increased to allow more guests to enjoy the panoramic views and dine under the sunshine and stars. The artisanal farm to table menu is thanks to Chef Patrice Martineau, who gets his seasonal inspiration from local suppliers and his own on-site garden. With a firm grasp on all things sustainable the hotel makes every effort to support its local surroundings and has its own brand coffee, wine and craft beer plus an El Encanto signature cheese from Ellie, the El Encanto cow! For those with a sweet tooth, the nutella ice cream has quite a reputation to behold and for the savoury connoisseurs amongst us, the seared Ahi Tuna will get your taste buds tingling. If you fancy a night by the fire on your private terrace, in room dining and 24-hour room service are available.
Arriving at Belmond El Encanto makes you feel like a star. The gorgeously decorated lobby, complete with a bespoke Damien Hirst butterfly piece, and the amazingly personalised welcome the El Encanto team deliver is second to none. Beneath the lobby and main veranda you will find the spa…a retreat in its own right and in our eyes the top pampering spot in the city. El Encanto’s saltwater infinity pool boasts views over the Santa Barbara bay and the ultimate place to enjoy a sundowner or two after a day exploring the city. The drive into town is about ten minutes and the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service throughout the day and the evening. Free parking is a rarity in California but at Belmond their underground car park means safekeeping throughout your stay and no need to drive unless you wish. Speaking of wishes, don’t forget to visit the wishing well…having been there for decades it’s an integral part of the property and if the rumours are true, make sure you think long and hard about your wish as many have been granted over the years!
Where is Belmond El Encanto?
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