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“Relaxing and stylish”
Review of Belmond El Encanto

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Belmond El Encanto
Ranked #8 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Reviewed 7 January 2014

The grounds are beautiful, location excellent and the service without exception was helpful and professional. We enjoyed walking into town both days of our stay - its a good 45 mins to an bur each way but very pleasant. The pool is clean and warm (maybe a touch too warm?) Drinks and dinner on the terrace was very pleasant, great ambiance, reasonable selection for a light meal and again excellent service. Dinner in the restaurant was OK but we found better value in town. The room was lovely and quiet, very well appointed and serviced. My spa treatment was terrific, Kelsey was an excellent therapist and i appreciated the quality of the products. All in all a very restful, rejuvenating stay.

Room Tip: We stayed in one of the further rooms and it was completely quiet and private.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank peppersnaps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 January 2014

Returned to El Encanto for first time since major renovation and managment by Orient Express. Impressive overall with one glaring exception. This is truly an enchanted place and was a perfect winter get away.

Our room was a beautiful cottage, with an enormous bathroom/dressing area, two porches/decks and a wonderful fireplace. While major upgrade from the old El Encanto the cottage maintain the wonderful feel of a 'ranch" bunkhouse but with all the modern amenities. And the gas fireplace was far more practical than the old wood buring fireplaces (but slightly less romatic)

Overall service was outstanding and it met or exceeeded our expectations; front desk, doorman, valets, room service, maids, etc.

The only glaring fault is the restaurant. Given it was the Christmas week, perhaps there was a shortage of staff, managers and cooks, but nonetheless the service was terrible (slow, inaccuarte and while pleasnt, clueless). The Christmas Eve meal was simply awful - tasted as everything had been prepared earlier, hot foods were cold and ironically cold dishes weere foorm temperature, which meant war as the ambient temperature was in the 70's. Even at breakfast the service was slow, the kitchen was slow and the costs were out of lie as everything (bacon, toast, coffee, etc was ala cate and priced high even though no prices were listed on the menu rx. eggs $12 listed but the two strip sof bacon not listed were another $8). Not only was the dinning bad in contrast to everthing else at El Encanto, it was just bad in general.

We would immediately return to El Encanto for another stay, but we would dine for breakfast, lunch and dinner elsewhere in Santa Barbara.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank L R D
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 7 January 2014

Dear Len D.,

Thank you so much for your review of El Encanto.

I am delighted to see that your overall stay was wonderful and you were able to experience the charm and beauty of our property.

Thank you as well for your candid remarks regarding your dining experiences. We are in the process of making changes to our menus in order to stream line the timing etc. As well, service is always our top priority and your feedback is very valuable in helping us to pinpoint deficiencies.

I do hope next time you visit you will consider trying our dining room again.

Happy New Year!

Laura M

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

I love The El Encanto !,

The property is magical and healing , the bungalows are stunning and comfortable, the food is delicious and served in the most beautiful atmospheres!

I will be back many times, I don't feel the need to travel to Hawaii or Europe now, the El Encanto fills all my needs!!


  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Lissi K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

We came here in October, and were pleasantly surprised by this hidden gem. Reading the reviews I didn't know what to expect. Entering the hotel you're instantly overwhelmed by the beautiful lobby and the mesmerizing view. We enjoyed a great dinner overlooking the town and the ocean and found the food to be very good. The service wasn't perfect but if was certainly good. We had a room in the beck of the property. It appears that they have a number of different rooms, in two distinctive styles. The property contains a few different paths that seem daunting initially but turn out to be fairly simple to follow, Our room was exquistie, with a fantastic bed and the bathroom contained the best shower I've ever seen. In fact if I ever win the lottery I plan on replicating the shower in my dream house. All in all we had a great stay and I would highly recommend the hotel for a romantic getaway.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank drbroadway
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 3 January 2014

Dear drbroadway,

Thank you for your wonderful review of El Encanto!

I am so glad you are still thinking about your trip from October, we must have made quite an impression on you.

Please let us know when you are ready to build that dream bathroom, we are happy to provide specs!

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

Laura M

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Reviewed 2 January 2014

Cottages were simple and elegant with fabulously comfortable beds. The view above Santa Barbara was beautiful and peaceful. They provided bicycles at no extra charge to tool around town and the wharf and they even had a little motor on them to get you back up the hill without too much of a sweat. Great fun! Shannon at the front desk was full of great recommendations.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Land-n-Sea678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2013

We took an extended holiday trip to LA and Laguna Beach. On our way back to SF, we wanted to stop in Santa Barbara. With the dog in tow, we had to stay at a "pet friendly' hotel. My sister in law told us about the remodel at El Encanto. We checked to make sure the resort is dog friendly (the answer is a BIG YES), and booked 2 nights. The location is above SB (near the Mission) and offers a stunning view of the city + ocean - great for a early cup of coffee, lunch on drinks at sunset. My significant other really liked lounging by the pool (temperature was just right for swimming). The staff and service were spot on for a property in the category of El Encanto.

Most importantly (smile), Sammie was warmly greeted by the staff. Shortly after we arrived in the room, a bed (small) and bowels were delivered. Dogs were welcome in all of the outside areas.

If you are traveling on your own or with a dog, I recommend you consider the El Encanto - it exceeded our expectations and we will return again.

ps I believe we will leave the dog at home next time - we enjoyed having her but to much work on holiday (don't tell her).

Room Tip: Some of the bungalows are 2 story - ask for a 1 story bungalow.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 1570Green
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 3 January 2014

Dear 1570Green,

We do love our four legged friends here at El Encanto! But, I am really glad to see that Sammie's two legged friends found enjoyment on our Terrace and at the Pool! We look forward to having you back again soon, and don't worry we won't tell Sammie you came alone!

Happy New Year!

Laura M

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Reviewed 30 December 2013

We really enjoyed our time at El Encanto. Everything was superb, and the
service very good, every one of the staff we met was very gracious and
pleasant, and efficient in doing what we wanted. We definitely think it
ranks with other nearby 'resort' time accomodations, and as newer, even
surpasses some. Admittedly, it is not as close to the beach as some hotels
or resorts, but Santa Barbara is small enough that I don't believe that would
be a huge problem.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Edward G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Price Range: £334 - £698 (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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