May 6, 2013
By: Elaine Lee
With breath-taking ocean views of the Riviera, El Encanto captures the beauty glamour and charm of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a city rich in local culinary fare, and has all the comforts of fresh and locally grown produce, freshly caught seafood, locally raised beef and poultry, complete with a robust wine industry. An ideal place for foodies, El Encanto's The Dining Room And Terrace restaurant extends the same "locavore" sentiment with everything they serve. El Encanto not only roasts its own coffee, they brew their own unpasteurized beer, have an on-site garden to get fresh produce complete with an aeroponic tower to grow Japanese herbs, and even has its own dairy cow named Ellie who provides the dairy for the kitchen's homemade cheese program! The amazing view of the Santa Barbara Riviera from The Dining Room and Terrace, is just an added bonus. The artisanal innovative menu offerings of coastal Californian cuisine with Japanese and Parisian flairs at The Dining Room And Terrace at El Encanto is an all around treat and what gastronomic dreams are made of.
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By: Elaine Lee
January 18, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky
We’re holding our breath for the opening of the new and improved El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California! This Orient Express property has been undergoing a major renovation for the last few months, and we’re absolutely thrilled to see all of the upgrades and modifications! Opening day is currently set for March 18th, 2013, and this luxury hotel will stand out from the rest in more ways than one! A few additions to look forward to include:
- El Encanto will have its very own cow, Ellie whose milk will be used to make a special cheese only to be found at this hotel. (cool, huh?)
- This hotel will be serving unpasteurized beer brewed nearby to go with the special cheese.
- The coffee served for breakfast will be El Encanto’s own brand, and their on-site herb and vegetable garden will ensure only the very best greens make it to your table.
- For the eco-friendly travelers, El Encanto has added various energy saving and preservation techniques to reduce overall consumption. Guests are encouraged to leave their cars behind and hop on one of the complimentary electric bikes and mosey their way to the beach or into town.
- Accommodations will include 92 intimate bungalows that are scattered throughout seven acres of grounds.
Explore details and photos of El Encanto here, and be sure to make your reservation for this stunning property in March!
By: Oksana Balytsky
November 1, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance
Considering a trip out West, but not sure that Los Angeles is for you? Consider Santa Barbara.
Located just 90 miles from Los Angeles, it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of Tinseltown. Dubbed “The American Riviera,” Santa Barbara is located between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It was the focus of an eponymously named 80s soap opera, and is renowned for its Spanish revival architecture, dozens of nearby wineries, terrific shopping, and annual cultural events. While there’s a plethora of luxury hotels to choose from in this quaint seaside town, here’s a few we really like:
San Ysidro Ranch is located just south of Santa Barbara in the exclusive enclave of Montecito on over 500 rolling acres ofunspoiled coastal landscape in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains. It is considered to be one of the most romantic hideaways in the world. Forty individually decorated private cottages, suites and ranch rooms wind along San Ysidro's hillside creek- and tree-lined paths.
If being downtown is more your style, consider Canary Hotel. Located in the city center, Canary Hotel is the only luxury boutique hotel located in historic downtown. It is within walking distance for shopping at the luxury retailers, hip boutiques and offers easy access to some of the finest wineries in Santa Barbara. The Canary Hotel offers visitors the beauty of the American Riviera with a little bit of urban flair.
Inn of the Spanish Garden offers a sophisticated Spanish-Mediterranean inspired design, quality amenities and close attention to personal service. Located among the City's historic sites in its oldest neighborhood, it is just steps from fine shops, museums, theaters, corporate offices and downtown dining. This Travel + Leisure Award-winner has 23 spacious, non-smoking guestrooms and suites.
Simpson House Inn has the proud distinction of being ranked as the only five diamond bed and breakfast in North America. Nestled on an acre of English gardens and features 15 guest rooms, suites and cottages housed in an historic Victorian estate. Minutes away from the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the historic sites of Santa Barbara, Simpson House Inn is set off the tree-lined road and is surrounded by our famed garden.
Check out the rest of best luxury properties in Santa Barbara!
May 2, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
In veneration of the Honorable Alex Kozinski (don't click this until the end, or you're cheating), we're going to do a little something special with this post. It's risky business when two ideas face off in a single article. On one level, I'll be talking about the wonderful Inn of the Spanish Garden. On the other, well, see if you can find the clue, or, perhaps, I've left you clueless. In any case, let's get to it.
Opening just eleven years ago in 2001, the Inn of the Spanish Garden brings a distinctly Mediterranean flavor to the West coast. It is a true American beauty, the fusion of European sensibilities with a level of relaxation only California could achieve. Staying in any of the 23 rooms at the Inn is just about as good as it gets. The small size means that the 24-hour staff is available to personalize your experience so you can have it just as you like it. With either a private balcony or patio in every room that may open up to the secret garden within their beautiful courtyard, you don't have to leave the outdoors behind. Their 30-person banquet hall is perfect for parties looking to host a small wedding or party in a small hotel that you can really make your own. The verdict? The Inn of the Spanish Garden is a great escape from the bustle of the world outside.