style news

Santa Barbara's El Encanto Re-Opening After Seven-Year Renovation

The storied, secluded retreat underwent a multimillion-dollar remodel.
El Encanto's patio
Courtesy of El Encanto

Historic Santa Barbara retreat El Encanto will re-open its doors on March 18 after a seven-year, multimillion-dollar renovation. The expansive restoration features 70 rooms and 22 suites all designed as California-styled bungalows. Accommodations include a fireplace, private patio, garden space and interconnected bungalows for larger parties or families.

El Encanto was purchased by luxury lodging brand Orient-Express in 2004 and closed for renovations beginning in June 2006. Originally erected in 1918 – making it Santa Barbara’s oldest existing hotel – the retreat was a mainstay for celebrities such as Clark Gable and Carole Lombard during Hollywood's golden age. More recently, the resort has been a hideaway for Diane Lane, Barbra Streisand and Sharon Stone.

Bungalows are available starting at $525 per night. An 800-square-foot self-contained cottage with two patios called the Hummingbird Suite is designed for exclusive privacy and boasts its own al fresco shower.

An indoor/outdoor dining room hosts coastal cuisine with a French flair from chef Patrice Martineau. It includes a dedicated wine list and wine room along with a separate lounge and bar.

El Encanto’s cuisine is in part locally sourced -- beginning with its own cow, Ellie, from whom a special cheese, exclusive to the resort, will be produced. This can be complemented with an unpasteurized beer brewed nearby.

Meanwhile, a spa offers seven treatment rooms, including a relaxation lounge with a selection of detox teas, and a fitness center will include cardio equipment alongside a private studio for yoga and Pilates.

El Encanto marks Orient-Express’ first hotel on the West Coast. Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Italy, and Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro are among the company's other properties.

What do you think?

comments powered by Disqus