Belmond El Encanto

Revamped classic, panoramic views, understated elegance

800 Alvarado Place, Santa Barbara 93103


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At a Glance

These hillside bungalows overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a discreet and elegant location are framed by lush gardens and fragrant flowers.

Indagare Loves

  • The location between the coast and San Ynez Mountains with sweeping views of Santa Barbara.
  • The main restaurant and bar lounge, already a hot spot buzzing with a good mix of visitors and locals.
  • Motorized bicycles, which can be used to explore the neighboring area, downtown, and the coast.


With barely a sign indicating the way to the El Encanto, it is a wonder guests find their way to this Belmond-managed property, set amidst the homes and estates that dot the hills above downtown Santa Barbara, overlooking the Pacific coast. One of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2013, El Encanto is finally back and turning heads in Santa Barbara after a painstaking restoration and reconstruction. As much as could be retained of its original structure was kept intact. All of the white clapboard bungalows date back to their foundation between 1914 and 1918, while thirty new structures were based on its Spanish Colonial Revival phase in the late 1920’s.

The ninety-two accommodations are scattered over terraced grounds, consisting of manicured lawns and lush gardens abundant with fragrant and colorful flowers. Interiors are an eclectic blend of California Coastal-meets-Spanish Colonial, with some offering a more contemporary aesthetic than others and even introducing Asian-inspired fabrics and wall art. Fireplaces, outdoor spaces and views are sprinkled throughout and highly coveted. All accommodations have in common uniquely large bathrooms with rainfall showers and separate soaking tubs, plush beds and bedding, and individualized, monogrammed pillowcases (a nice touch).

The pool and main restaurant have the best vantage point from which to see the countryside and coast, offering panoramic views throughout the day and dramatic sunsets at night. Both spots are full of action, particularly the restaurant, a large, mostly outdoor space that serves French Californian fare and remains full of both guests and locals throughout the day and into the late evening. Entrenched within the Santa Barbara community, the El Encanto starts a new chapter in its history.

Who Should Stay

Thanks to the tranquil and sophisticated atmosphere this is a great fit for couples of all ages and young families with well-behaved children.

Written by Indagare

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