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Dating back to the 1920’s, El Encanto has been meticulously restored by Belmond, and aims to capture the romance and glamour of that era.
There are 92 rooms, housed in California-style bungalows spread around the landscaped gardens. Many have views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean, and all have a private garden or terrace. The décor throughout is contemporary yet cosy, and some rooms have fireplaces.
Chef Patrice Martineau heads up the kitchen, whipping up all sorts of culinary delights and focusing on laidback California coastal cuisine with an Asian twist. Guests can eat in the dining room or al fresco on the terrace with stunning Santa Barbara views. Elsewhere the bar serves Japanese and American bar food.
Facilities include an infinity pool, gym and spa, and the hotel is perfect placed for exploring Santa Barbara. Visit the museums or zoo, or hop on one of the hotel's electric bikes and explore the downtown shops.
Why we love it
El Encanto sits high on a Santa Barbara hillside between lush green mountains and the dazzling blue sea but just minutes away you'll find exquisite restaurants, fine galleries, boutique wineries and the beautiful California coast. Best of all worlds, springs to mind.