Seaside Serenity in Santa Barbara


We’re typically not one to stare, but it is hard to keep your eyes off of this hillside retreat in the cozy beach city of Santa Barbara. The young hotel, El Encanto, radiates pastime glam and adds a little modern flair with luxe amenities only found in the same collection as other Orient-Express Hotels.


“El Encanto is an icon on the West Coast and fits perfectly with our existing international portfolio of unique assets,” says John M. Scott, President and Chief Executive Officer, Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.

Set throughout seven lush acres in Santa Barbara, El Encanto has been fully restored and consists of 92 individually designed California-style bungalows, with hardwood floors, plantation-style shutters, and bespoke accessories.


Guest are encouraged to meander through the property’s gardens, to get lost via the hotel’s own electric bikes and unwind in their all-too-private bungalow with sweeping views of the ocean. (If you book the 800 square-feet Hummingbird Bungalow, you can even revel its own outdoor rainforest shower).


Under the guidance of chef Patrice Martineau, the hotel dishes up a decadent, edible experience including one-of-a-kind ingredients such as handmade cheese from milk used from their own pampered cow, Ellie. 


If you’re looking to completely unspool during your escape, retreat to the hotel’s spa. Seven tranquil treatment rooms, including a couples room and wet room, allow guests to choose from a selection of therapies infused with calming sea elements, such as seaweed from Patagonia, or vinotherapies, which offer healing properties extracted from regional vines. One of the spa’s signature treatments, The Pinto and Cabernet Crush Sugar Scrub, drains toxins and stimulates circulation through a refining and renewing body scrub that combines Pinot and Cabernet grape seeds, brown sugar, and Kaaolin clay for a wonderfully invigorating experience.

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