January 7, 2018 for 3 nights for 2 adults.
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Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California
The beachside city of Santa Barbara, California is known for its beautiful coastlines, gorgeous weather, and stunning Spanish architecture, but restoration of Belmond El Encanto, one of the city's most notable and long-standing hotels will soon be the leading reason to travel out West. Belonging to the elite and eclectic collection of luxury hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other distinctive travel experiences presented by Belmond, El Encanto is sure to delight guests as of its grand re-opening in March 2013. Built in the 1920s, the hotel has been lovingly restored with meticulous attention to detail, so guests enjoy the original charm and elegance of the space, with contemporary conveniences and preferred five-star amenities such as a boutique spa. The hotel's airy California-style bungalows enjoy sweeping views of the property's lush, landscaped gardens, and in the distance, the glimmering Pacific Ocean.
Coming from the Spanish phrase meaning "the charm," Belmond El Encanto's expansive landscape is romantic, secluded, and the ideal space for a large group of loved ones, or an intimate pair. On-site dining incorporates local and organic ingredients to produce delectable coastal cuisine, while Belmond El Encanto's private event space is perfect for weddings, parties, conferences, or retreats. Enjoy the brilliant California sun in one of Santa Barbara's premier neighborhoods, while you indulge in the luxury of never having to lift a finger at Belmond El Encanto, a truly exhilarating experience.
Location of Belmond El Encanto
Nearest Airport: SBA
Amenities for Belmond El Encanto
- General Information
- 84 Rooms and Suites
- Non-Smoking Property
- Coastal Cuisine
- On-Site Amenities
- Music & Movie Library
- In-Room Amenities
- Private Patios or Balconies
- Air Conditioning
- Direct Dial Telephones
- DVD Players
- In-Room Safes
- Mini Bar
- iPod Docks
- Iron/Ironing Boards
- Marble Bathrooms
- Flat-Screen Televisions
- Luxury Linens
- Coffee & Tea Facilities
- Rain Showers
- Work Desks
- Conference Facilities
Reviews for Belmond El Encanto
This was my partner and Iâ€™s first stay here. We were celebrating an elopement and looking to get away for the weekend. Shaun was an amazing help in organizing. Everything was so perfect, the grounds, the food, the people. We will definitely be coming back!!!!!
I felt so sorry for the vast majority of great staff at this exceptional hotel after they were let down by a couple of silly restaurant staff. However I'm writing this review to lavish praise on Belmond El Encanto and I don't really have any criticism of the hotel....just of a couple of useless restaurant staff who were probably dismissed long ago. We arrived early evening and as we walked into the entrance lobby, with reception on the right and the bar with live music on the left, it really was a terrific scene...it could have come straight out of a Hollywood movie. Directly ahead was the hotel's dining terrace, full of diners...the place was buzzing...it had real atmosphere and our feeling on arriving was one of anticipation... of the pleasure of staying at this clearly marvellous Belmond property for a couple of days...and of the no doubt delicious dinner to come...we had pre-booked our 8.00pm table for dinner well beforehand, as confirmed in an email from Kelly Gemberlingâ€‹ who wrote: "I have secured a reservation for 5 at 8:00 pm on July 16th here at The Dining Room at Belmond El Encanto. I have updated your dietary restrictions, and allergies in the notes as well. Please do not hesitate to let us know if we can be of any further assistance, and we hope you are having a wonderful day. Warm regards, â€‹Kelly Gemberling"â€‹ We checked in (assisted by absolutely lovely reception staff) and we were then taken through the glorious grounds on a meandering stroll to our accommodation. The route to our rooms enabled us to start to appreciate just a small part of this beautiful property. After changing for dinner we set out on an enjoyable stroll back through the grounds for our 8pm restaurant table in the hotel. My eldest daughter wore a new dress. My wife was immaculate as usual and this evening she was wearing a brand new pair of white silk designer trousers. A lady at the pulpit of the restaurant (her name was Lala) could not seem to find our reservation. Had they overbooked with non-residents? She told us, in a tone that was so snotty she could have frozen the entrails off a rabbit, to sit and wait. I doubt she believed we had a reservation. We sat for almost an hour until I complained at reception, after which we were seated. Just one problem, the table we were given could not fit 5 table settings. It was elliptical and was either for two of four persons but a fifth place setting simply did not fit. Also we were seated indoors. As we waited for a table to fit 5 place settings to become available we ordered a round of drinks. The waitress who eventually brought us our five drinks after another lengthy wait was Gillian and she carried them on a tray supported by only one of her hands, underneath the tray. Gillian then lifted up the heaviest drink, nearest to her on the tray, which caused an imbalance on the tray whereupon ALL of the drinks (glasses and bottles) fell onto mainly my wife and eldest daughter although four of us were splashed. My wife's clothes were soaked, her new white silk trousers were clearly stained with peach juice, her Chanel sandals were wet and my daughter had sticky drink/coca cola all over her hair, down her neck and over her dress. The waitress didn't even apologise...she just vanished. I went off to find a manager and this time I was upset. We abandoned our family evening. My daughter went back to her suite to wash her hair and her siblings went along with her. They ordered room service. My wife who by then really needed to eat for health reasons, stayed with me in the restaurant...we were quickly given a table for two indoors (no lovely table on the outside terrace for us, even though we had booked in advance). Then the head chef came to meet us and I have to say, from that point, dinner was perfect, the food and service was absolutely lovely and the other staff tried their best. Gillian kept well away...until we were mid main course.. Our problems were caused by a rude receptionist (Lala) who had only been employed at the hotel for 8 weeks and who was clearly out of her depth with the job... and a waitress who needed to be sent back to waitressing school before being let loose on Belmond guests. We were seated by a large glass window tenth side of the exterior outside terrace through which we could see everyone enjoying themselves dining on the terrace with the wonderful view towards the sea and an illuminated Santa Barbara. The exterior terrace lights worked as a two way mirror on the glass separating us from where we would have liked to have dined. As we were enjoying our main course and looking out onto the side of terrace, Gillian the waitress came up to the window, on the outside, in the middle of service and started "doing" her hair and using the window like a vanity mirror...inches from my wife and I. What an idiot! She didn't realise she was preening directly in front of my wife who was dining in her stained clothes. Our first night at the hotel had been ruined. We love Belmond hotels and of course this could have happened anywhere. We were dining out of the property for our second and final night and so this much anticipated only dinner at the El Encanto blighted our stay. Part of the reason for booking in at any Belmond is for the pleasure of dining in. Stephan Ferreira, the front office manager, who is a terrific guy, offered to have my wife's white silk trousers and other stained clothes cleaned as they were clearly showing the stains. They were returned the next day...better but still clearly stained. My wife has never worn her white silk trousers since...hardly surprising. Breakfast on our second departure day, on the terrace overlooking a typically wonderful view (all Belmond hotels are fantastically situated and stunning views from their restaurants are the norm), was lovely. However it was Lala who showed us to our breakfast table. I very gently showed her our dinner reservation email. I was talking to her quietly and so politely. She raised her voice at meâ€Ž......and so I ended up doing the same. She brushed our Saturday dinner wait as "just a miscommunication". Not only is this woman snotty and useless....she seems to believe she has some power or seniority. I simply wished to show her my dinner table reservation. I was not looking to loose my temper.....but this rude, snotty woman did it again. And so did I. After our previous breakfast we set out to explore Santa Barbara. On our return the staff were preparing for a wedding to take place in the hotel grounds...and the setting was absolutely beautiful. We later enjoyed a swim and then admired the floral decorations set up by the hotel for the ceremony...exceptionally lovely...this is a terrific venue for a wedding...but then again so are all Belmonds. Four months ago we watched a wedding take place at a Belmond in Ravello Italy and a while back watched a couple tie the knot at the wonderful Belmond Portofino...which is a MUST VISIT as it is an absolutely incredible hotel. I eventually spoke to the general manager, Shaun O'Bryan who was out of town but he still called me. I have to say, Shaun was clearly a terrific guy and he was genuinely upset at what had happened. That made two of us. I did not ask for any compensation nor did I have any intention of not paying my bill in full. I don't do that. But what I do is review such events on Tripadvisor in an accurate and fair manner, being lavish with my praise and summing up at the end of a review with whether to avoid a hotel or to ignore a one-off disaster that may have befallen my family and book without hesitation. We do travel so extensively that every once in a while, we are going to have something go badly wrong...I certainly don't go looking for problems but I am a seasoned and experienced traveller and I have stayed at hundreds of top hotels over the past 40+ years. On checking out and handing over my credit card, I discovered that we had been undercharged. Our bill had in fact been discounted but they did not point this out at first. I told reception that I was happy to pay the entire bill but I was informed that this had been done on instruction of the general manager. I later had another most amenable chat with him and he invited my wife and I back for a complimentary two night stay. Sadly, I doubt my wife will be visiting California ever again but the gesture was appreciated. It's a shame because I would liked to have met Shaun, we got on ever so well when we chatted on the telephone. I also particularly liked Muge Arkun on the font desk who was lovely and front office manager Stephane Ferreira who is such a terrific hotelier who exceeds on customer service. What a shame that two silly women, Lala and Gillian, could so spoil our stay. And they didn't only spoil our stay! Conclusion...this really is a wonderful hotel. With a large staff, any hotel can end up employing two useless staff out of a large compliment of excellent people..and we encountered both of them. I very much doubt that by now you will ever meet Lala or Gillian at the Belmond El Encanto. So...what did we think of the hotel apart from the dinner disaster assisted by Lala/Gillian? The food...lovely. The chef...excellent. Reception staff, highly welcoming. The property...exceptional in every way. Valet parking staff...great. Bell staff...as good as it gets. Pool...nice. Accommodation...comfortable/well designed/charming in every way. This is a really good Belmond Hotel and I recommend booking to stay here especially for the the views and the restaurant (but make sure you book a table OUTSIDE on the terrace and get it confirmed). I had been willing to leave at a loss (expensive ruined clothes) and let it go. I didn't ask for any reduction. But I was always going to post a fair review. I just waited a while until the chances were that Lala and Gillian had moved on. Have they.....?
Just back from a week long trip to California. Started in San Francisco, stopped in Carmel for a night and then went to Santa Barbara for two nights before heading to San Diego. We had to stay at the Belmond El Encanto. Again, we had a fantastic time at the hotel. Our room was top quality and so were every single employee we had interaction with. Just a top notch place. The only bad thing about staying here is that the next hotel you visit you wish it was the Belmond El Encanto because this place is quality from start to finish and the next hotel will just be a hotel. Thank you to all at the Belmond EL Encanto for making our visit so wonderful. When we return to Santa Barbara we will make it our third visit to this wonderful resort.
Stephen S - Wilmington, Delaware
Belmond El Encanto has been completely renovated. It is located in a very quiet, hilly neighborhood in Santa Barbara, however, it has a beautiful view of the ocean. The staff is extremely helpful and cordial. The casitas are lovely, very roomy and airy. Food is also tastefully prepared. Electric bikes are available, as well.
Marlenei100 - South Pasadena, CA, USA
Tonight, My Wife and I just had, probably one of the best meals and dining experiences that we have had in a long time! Always wanted to try the cusine at the Belmond El Encanto and we sure are happy we did! From the moment we drove up to valet, to the hostess in the dining room and the impecciable, seamless service of Kelly, our server and the other servers on the terrace, who always made sure we were comfortable. Their attentiveness to detail and prompt service adds so much to the experience. Polite and excited to serve. I can't remember an employee at a hotel, resteraunt or other hospitality staff as professional, elegant, passionate about their job as these employees at Belmond El Encanto, quite the experience. Thank you, Belmond El Encanto, for one of, if not the most enchanting dinners we can remember, what a special night. The view, with the balmy sunset views, I began with a glass of Tattinger Rose Brut. Sorry, but I may not drink another California Sparkling again, Really! Right after the Champagne arrived, a basket of varied freshly baked warm bread with the best butter I have ever had, some spice from Mexico and topped with a black Hawaiian salt, you will love it! I ordered the Kale salad Burrata cheese, crushed pine nuts, local strawberries, aged balsamic My Wife Celeriac and Apple soup with Shiitake crisps... we loved both of our starters. For Entree, I ordered the Artisan Garganelli Pasta- Castroville artichokes, Bloomsdale spinach, lemon zest, ricotta salata. Having lived in Venice for 6 months, I would consider myself a pasta snob, this was fabulous. The Chef used the perfect amount of salt and pasta cooked to perfection! My Wife had the Wagyu Flat Iron steak- Sweet potato, shishito peppers, onion crumbs, scallion espuma 56 , she had the steak cooked well done. She claims it was the best steak she has ever had. and yes, we went for it, dessert. I had the doughnuts w/a citrus sauce and vanilla ice cream ... unbelievable! And my Wife had the Chocolate soufflĂ© w/creme brule sauce, salted carmel ice cream on top of chocolate cookie crumbs, candied cashews,flamed bananas... with a glass of tawny port. I don't were we have been before that all seems so mediocre compared to tonight's dinner, but we are forever grateful for this complete sensory experience of visual, views, service, culinary, history, charm all top notch and well deserving of the Forbes 5 star rating. Thank you again, Belmond El Encanto, we are spoiled and will be back!
Bitsylou - Sausalito, California