Santa Barbara is sun, sand, and all around a wonderful environment. Of the properties I saw, each was unique in their own way, yet all divine and worthy of embellishment.
El Encantado, now a Belmond property, sits in a lovely residential Santa Barbara neighborhood not far from the famed Santa Barbara and Botanical gardens.I stayed here some years ago and find that the property has taken on a splendid refurbishment equipped with enhanced public spaces,an infinity pool, and new lodges.The property, which is in part of the Monarch Butterfly migratory route, references butterflies heavily in their décor which has taken on a wonderfully fresh, traditional and yet contemporary flair.
The ever popular beige on beige color scheme creates a calming and soothing Zen like feeling especially in the new spa. For spectacular views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific visit the lobby, bar, lounge, or dining room as they are all cantilevered over the hill. Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying the floating island! That dessert will take you back to your childhood!
The Four Seasons Biltmore, nestled on the coast in Montecito, is an intimate and iconic California mission style hotel that welcomes guests to another era. Like El Encantado, the grounds are lush, verdant and filled with casitas containing various rooms. Ty Warner, of the Beanie Baby fame, owns the property and has worked tirelessly to bring the property back to its original splendor.
The new Beach Club with its bar/restaurant overlooking the Pacific Coast is not to be missed. Don’t forget to book this hotel through your Avenue Two Travel advisor for complimentary access to the Beach Club, otherwise, it is a $200 fee to use the amenities.
Last, but not least, the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa has the ability to be moderately sized and yet still very intimate.Tucked among the mountains and the hills, the Spanish Mission style resort accommodates golf and art lovers alike with their wonderful golf course and art cottage activites.
For a family gathering or special friend’s getaway, check out the Casa Elar house. It has five bedrooms and the best of amenities; truly a great addition to the property. At the end of the day, not even a heat wave could put a damper on this trip. I can help plan the perfect getaway whether it’s fun days of shopping, dining, or catching the perfect tan at the beach.