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El Encanto (Orient-Express)

201306-a-it-list-el-encanto

Photo: Courtesy of El Encanto

800 Alvarado Pl.
Santa Barbara, CA, 93103, United States
TEL: (805) 845-5800
TEL: (800) 393-5315

Seven years and $134 million in the making, Orient Express Hotels’ takeover of the storied El Encanto (the brand’s first West Coast resort) is reinventing a genteel slice of California history. The once quaint hillside hotel (a favorite of A-listers such as Clark Gable in the 1960’s) has been reimagined to include 92 California Craftsman and Spanish-colonial-revival bungalows spread over seven lushly landscaped acres. In the guest rooms, century-old charms were preserved (we loved the plantation-style shutters and wide patios) while luxe updates were added (mohair loveseats; pillows monogrammed with guests’ initials). It’s tempting to hang up a Do Not Disturb sign and stay put. We suggest making time for the farm-to-fork restaurant: the bounty of vegetables and herbs from the on-site garden did not disappoint, nor did the aged white cheddar made with milk from its very own Holstein cow, Ellie.

Room to Book:

For a cozy cottage with a porch offering views of the new infinity edge pool and the ocean beyond, try Rooms 101 and 102. The Camelia Suite has a full kitchen and grand fireplace. Room 802 in the Oak Tree building has a free-standing tub and a large private patio.  

Insider Tip:

Pets are more than welcome: Billy Bean and Ivy Lein, the property’s resident beagles, even leave cards for visiting pets, who have seven freshly landscaped acres to roam, complete with a wisteria arbor and lily pond.

Amenities

Open / Closes
  • Business Center
  • Concierge
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Gym/Fitness Center
  • Handicapped Accessible
  • Historic
  • Laundry Service
  • Maid Service
  • Parking Available
  • Parking Fee
  • Pet Friendly
  • Room Service
  • Spa
  • Valet Parking
  • WiFi

Number of Rooms: 70

Number of Suites: 22

Number of Restaurants: 2

Other:

Year Opened: 2013

Number of Bars: 2

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