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“Great Getaway and Views”
Review of Belmond El Encanto

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Belmond El Encanto
Ranked #8 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Reviewed 21 November 2013

We had a great one night stay here last month. The room was lovely with a very luxurious bath and comfortable bed. Grounds were beautiful and the restaurant view and food awesome for dinner. The only complaint was that the breakfast(room service) needs major improvement. We had it included in our package and would not choose to do that again. Service was friendly, if a bit unpolished. The hotel was virtually empty during the week when we were there, might have been nice to have received an upgrade but all rooms seem to have been refurbished nicely. Would definitely return.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sctraveler05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura M, General Manager at Belmond El Encanto, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2013

Dear sctraveler05,

Thank you for your review of El Encanto. I am glad to see your overall stay was wonderful, and very much appreciate your feedback regarding breakfast service. We will certainly take your comments to heart and look at ways to improve in that area.

I do hope to see you again in the future for another Great Getaway!

Best wishes,

Laura M

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871 - 877 of 1,063 reviews

Reviewed 21 November 2013

The hotel is located in the hills above Santa Barbara with 270 degree views of the hills, harbor, ocean and city. The restaurant has a great patio with heaters so that you can enjoy the view during your meal or while enjoying a drink.
The wines and food are excellent. The appetizers are very unique and delicious. The service is excellent as well.
I heartily recommend it for a romantic occasion, or for a meal with a great view and wonderful food. Sunset is the best time to enjoy the view.

Room Tip: I am writing a review of the restaurant only.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank phillandfried
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2013

Nothing compares to a stay at El Encanto! This whole property is tranquil and quiet and is so peaceful from the second you step on to the grounds. Chef Patrice's food is a real standout, with delicious options for vegetarians, meat eaters and fish lovers. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Bianca M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the El Encanto. My wife and I were looking for some R&R and we were quite happy with all the facilities and staff. Our room was quiet, comfortable and loaded with amenities. We had an excellent dinner on the Terrace. We will be returning soon!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Dennis I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2013

My wife and I have been dealing with aging parents issues for the last six months. Things have started to calm down a little now so we felt comfortable booking a three day get-away. We had stayed at the El Encanto when it first opened in March and liked it very much. After this last stay we like it even more.

As we drove up to the beautiful property, we were promptly met by a bellman who greeted us enthusiastically. We were led to the front desk and, again, greeted very warmly. The room they had planned to give us wasn't quite ready. We had no problem with that as we were a bit early anyway. Then Kelly, the front desk manager took it upon herself to see if another room was available and blew us away with a very nice upgraded room.

The room was perfect for what we wanted. It was in a quiet area with a nice balcony, great view and comfy furniture. We knew we would not be leaving this much. It was perfect. My wife was already in relaxed mode and went to take a nap while I read outside and ended up falling asleep also.

We did use the other facilities of the resort. The spa was as good as any we have been to at other resorts. I believe the restaurants are now better than our first stay which I believe was due to being so new and having the jitters. Now servers were more confident in their service and the food seemed better. This was especially true in the evening for dinner, where our server made some excellent suggestions in what she thought we would enjoy. Our stay was made even more enjoyable with the singing of Luca Ellis, who we have seen many times over the last few years and now performs on weekends at El Encanto.

If you need a little time to yourself to unwind from the grind of day to day living, I think you should give El Encanto a try. We left refreshed, happy and eager to return

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MARK M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura M, General Manager at Belmond El Encanto, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Dear MARK M,

I am so glad you found Total Relaxation here at El Encanto!

Thank you for returning, I am pleased to hear you were able to see positive changes since your last visit and found a respite from your daily stresses.

We look forward to having you back next time you have a few days for a getaway!

Best wishes,

Laura M

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Reviewed 10 November 2013

We booked this Hotel a few weeks before our stay; I was familiar with the property prior to the seven year remodel and was eager to see it. They have done an outstanding job and kept the original integrity of the property, while adding all the modern conveniences you would expect in a luxury hotel. However, I find the hotel extremely over priced. I read other reviews, they are accurate, you will pay a minimum of $60-$80 for breakfast (for two) , there is also city tax and valet parking charges ($35- a night, plus tip every time) which makes a $650 nightly rate, really $800. I guess they want to recoup the $134 million investment quickly (not counting the land costs, etc...).

The staff was accommodating, we had no problems except our initial room was on the first floor, and we could hear people walking upstairs. We were quickly relocated, but they tried to “upsell us to a very expensive room,” I kind of felt like it was “let’s make a deal.” We ended up in a single level (no one above) bungalow.
Overall, this Hotel (and staff) does a very good job, they are not perfect, but they try hard which goes a long way in my book. Just be prepared to pay a hefty sum for your stay and you won’t be disappointed. The grounds are outstanding and the hotel is very unassuming yet elegant.

Room Tip: If you are noise sensitive beware that some bungalows have rooms above them, there are also many bun...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank traveloften32655
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura M, General Manager at Belmond El Encanto, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Dear traveloften 32655,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of El Encanto.

I am so pleased to see that overall you enjoyed your stay and were pleased with the outcome of the extensive renovation throughout the property.

I do apologize if you felt the prices were high for breakfast. We do strive to keep a good value for our guests and will certainly evaluate the menu pricing to ensure we are not out of line.

We do hope to see you again soon!

Best wishes,

Laura M

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Reviewed 8 November 2013

My husband and I got engaged years ago here so I decided to bring him back for his birthday as a surprise since we both talked about wanting to see the renovations. While the rooms and the grounds were beautiful, there were several problems. The fireplace did not work in our room and we told the front desk 3 times over the weekend. It never got fixed and it was something we looked forward to, especially on a cold night.
I reserved 2 bikes a week ahead of time through the concierge to surprise my husband for his birthday and had an urban wine trail mapped and planned. I confirmed at check in that the info was there and was assured it was. The next day we went to get the bikes and were told "they were out", no time known when they would be returned. The girl at the front desk gave a weak apology and actually told me " I could give you the address to a bike rental place downtown and you could rent one there, that's where we get them anyway". What? What about my reservation and the whole point of using the bikes was so we didn't have to drive downtown? Isn't that what the reservation does, holds the bikes?
The in room coffee maker was a nice plus, it took a while to figure it out but it worked well. The second day I went to make more but we were never restocked. I guess one day of coffee is all you get.
Breakfast service is seriously lacking. The runner brought our order out after an excruciatingly long wait but had one plate wrong. He ,for some reason, tried to give it to the adjoining table that already had eaten and finally walked back to the kitchen. He returned after a few minutes with the correct plates but one plate was the same one he tried serving others that by this time was cold. Cold eggs, cold toast. Yuck. Our dinners there were very nice though, fantastic service.
At checkout we were asked how everything was. I gave a very brief description of our issues and was given a days parking removed. Thanks.
Sadly, not exactly the trip I had in mind. For the prices of the rooms and food, the level of service should match and it didn't. It continually fell short. Not sure if we'd do it again. I heard the Biltmore is consistent with their service.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank 6Minny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura M, General Manager at Belmond El Encanto, responded to this reviewResponded 9 November 2013

Dear 6Minny,

Thank you for your very detailed review. Please accept my sincerest apologies that we missed our opportunity to truly wow you during this visit because of the various issues you mentioned.

I would certainly value an opportunity to discuss your experience in further detail. If you would contact my office directly I would be very pleased to speak with you.

Best wishes,

Laura M

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond El Encanto

Address: 800 Alvarado Place, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-2176
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#6 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#7 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range: £330 - £692 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond El Encanto 5*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Belmond El Encanto, a Forbes Five-Star luxury hotel, has been meticulously restored to capture all the romance and glamour that endeared it to both the local Santa Barbara community and visitors alike. As part of Belmond, this is the company's first excursion to the American west coast. Ninety-two quintessential, California-styled suites and bungalows dot the lush, terraced grounds featuring seven-acres of gloriously landscaped gardens with sweeping views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean. Original architectural features have been lovingly restored, including the historic, trellis-lined Arbor and Lily Pond. Modern additions to the expansive outdoor zero-edge pool and a new beautifully appointed boutique spa enhance the journey for today's luxury-seeking guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Encanto Hotel And Garden Villas

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