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“We loved it!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Belmond El Encanto

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Belmond El Encanto
Ranked #8 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“We loved it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2014

We've been to Santa Barbara/Montecito many times over the years. Every time we go anywhere, I Google new hotels and food. This time I came across the Belmond El Encanto. A couple of my friends went there years ago and encouraged me to "try it for all of us" because of the remodel. We did and it is spectacular. Everything from the room to the service and lovely setting. It is amazing! The Biltmore has a great location, because of the closeness to the ocean. However if you want something a little less crowded and fabulous--try the El Encanto. We loved it!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
4 Thank Michael C
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 review, 26 July 2014
Dear Michael C,

Thank you for your wonderful review of El Encanto! I am so happy you found us in your on line searches and hope you won't feel the need to look for a new place next time you are in Santa Barbara.

We look forward to your next visit.

Best wishes,

Laura M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

953 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (165)
Date | Rating
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English first
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

Stunning property with amazing villas. Highly recommend. Great food and totally luxurious with an amazing friendly staff. Only complaint would be spa services are a total ripoff. 80 minute massage was $290 and was terrible

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Randy 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 review, 10 July 2014
Dear Randy D.,

I am delighted to see that overall your stay was wonderful and you enjoyed our very special resort. I am concerned about your spa experience as we rarely have complaints about our treatments, and our pricing is very competitive with other resort spas in the area. If you would like to discuss any issues directly with myself or our Spa Manager we would be pleased to speak to you about your experience so that we might understand how we disappointed you.

I do hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,

Laura M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
los angeles, ca
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

I posted this same review on Yelp because I can't say it any better.
If I could give more than 5 stars, I would. It started with an email to them explaining that I was going through chemo and wanted to come to the El Encanto for my bday but there was a small chance I wouldn't feel good the day of. They gladly waived the cancellation fee for me if that happened (which it did not). The woman (Alexis) was sooooo sweet and helpful. I wish I could write a review on her alone. We got there and they upgraded our room. The staff was incredibly nice and accommodating. They showed us our room and we were blown away. They had a whole set up for our dog. 5 minutes later, they brought in a chocolate mousse cake thingy that said "Happy Birthday" on it. Again, blown away.The hotel was breathtaking. I didn't want to leave. I can't say enough good things about this place and we will definitely be returning. If you are heading up to the SB area, I highly recommend staying at the El Encanto.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank wonderwoman13
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 review, 10 July 2014
Dear wonderwoman13,

Thank you so much for spending your Birthday with us! It is wonderful that you were able to get away and truly have some time for yourself during down time from treatments. We do hope we will be a respite for you for many, many birthdays to come!

Best wishes,


Laura M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
176 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

Everywhere I go, I can find some kind of problem with a hotel, even the best hotels fall short somewhere and that need not deter me from staying there but it is good to know from Trip Advisor what to expect. Also what I may find a problem another traveller may not.

From the moment we drove up to this hotel we felt wrapped in cotton wool, nurtured, cared for and treated with paramount care and attention from every single person we encountered.

We do not like valet parking as we prefer to be totally self sufficient but as we pulled up the hand brake a well dressed young man said welcome to Belmond El Encanto, the trunk was whipped open, our luggage removed and disappeared. The welcoming party of equally well dressed members of staff whisked us to the reception desk and our car was spirited away before we could say " no we'll park that thank you".

We then met the wonderful McKamie (yes that was her name) I have never experienced such a fast slick fuss free check in. She spent so much time welcoming us and saying how pleased she was that we chose to stay at the hotel, I did not realise that she had taken our passports, given them back and clearly had everything she needed and pressed what seemed like one button and that was it. If you read my reviews, you will know that I am a control freak. I am the one who is in charge of everything and I love the way hotels work and try to outwit everybody to get what I want either free or as cheap as possible. I like to blag an upgrade, get wifi free, not pay for valet parking, get breakfast thrown in. At most properties, even the best, this is a sport I am good at, love and usually get what I want. HERE - NO! McKamie standing under 5 foot (I am not tall and she was shorter than me) took complete control of me and I did not get one word out of my mouth other than "yes, thank you, really?, ok". Before I could say upgrade McKamie had us following her around the hotel where she pointed out the restaurant, where we would eat breakfast, then outside, whisked past the outdoor infinity mineral water pool and walking up and down a winding pathway which surely must have been set out by an expert at Feng Shui set in the most beautiful cared for gardens until we reached our bungalow. All the rooms are in bungalows of all different sizes and shapes, all fabulous! Our suite consisted of a huge lounge area with desk, fully working fire, unstocked fridge, desk, comfortable seating area and TV. The bedroom had a huge bed with fabulous linen very very comfortable and fantastic pillows. The dressing room and bathroom area was amazing: separate toilet, dressing area with hanging areas drawers and safe. The bathroom area had a high ceiling hight drench shower and low level hand shower, large tub, two wash basins. High quality Acqua di Parma toiletries (and loads of it) and huge soft fluffy towels. HEAVEN! The room had two entrances via balconies with chairs and tables. We had free wifi everywhere, valet parking and breakfast thrown in. My partner has never seen me speechless and had to ask me to close my mouth when McKamie asked me if I had any questions. I croaked "no" thank you. She left and it all went quiet. I had not one single problem with the hotel and the accommodation.

Having driven all day we only wanted to jump into the mineral pool which was just heaven. We were welcomed to the pool area by another member of staff, given a glass of cucumber water each and handed two large soft towels. If you don't feel like you have died and gone to heaven at this hotel, you are in the wrong place! It did not end here.

We bumped yes just bumped into Kathleen who asked us if we would like to book a table at the restaurant for dinner. She knew our name! Outstanding!

We went to dine at the hotel on our first evening and had the immense pleasure of meeting the host Marco Pacelli, if you meet Marco you are very lucky he is an energetic fast talking Italian who, like his fellow employees just oozes the special attention everybody at Belmond El Encanto wants to give. He gave us his card and told us to visit his brother who works at a hotel in London. We will of course just for the hell of it. I must also mention Mauricio, Holden and Nathan who served us with absolute professionalism and made us feel very very special.

Breakfast was an equal pleasure in the sun and served by the same expert waiting staff - fabulous. We were on a long trip and this was one of many stays along the way, we wanted to stay here forever. If you ever find yourself in the Santa Barbara area there is nowhere else to stay.

I cannot recommend this hotel more highly.
No I am not on commission!

Enjoy!

Room Tip: Buy the very best room you can afford, but every room in this hotel is wonderful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank HotelBloke
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 review, 8 July 2014
Dear HotelBloke,

Now I am truly speechless, and delighted with your review!

Thank you so much for your wonderfully descriptive narrative of your stay. I am so pleased to see that so many of our exceptional team members (especially McKamie) made your stay truly memorable and provided 5 star service throughout.

We have terrific employees that truly make it their mission to take care of each and every guest. It is our pleasure to know that we were able to make such an impression on a seasoned traveler.

I hope you will find a time in the not too distant future to visit us again.

Best wishes,

Laura M
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2014

Once again you have exceeded our highest expectations. It was Nancy’s and mine 33rd Anniversary. Last year we stayed with you on July 3-4 and had a magical time. This year I said: “my darling where would you like to go… Paris, London, Rome?” She answered how about The El Encanto? I asked your general manager for her help in trying to replicate what they had done the previous year. We checked out after almost 24 hours of utter luxury and service, feeling as though we had been on a private island; refreshed, relaxed and ready to dive back into our demanding world. Thank You, so much.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank usmcsharpshot
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 review, 8 July 2014
Dear usmcsharpshot,

Sometimes the best getaways are right in your own back yard! Thank you for spending your anniversary with us again this year! I hope to see you on your next stay, if not sooner.

Best wishes,

Laura M
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

If you are looking for a truly luxuriously relaxed bungalow experience, this is truly the place. Yes, its a little pricey, but it's worth it... Uncrowded, terrific bungalow experience that makes you feel the entire house is yours alone. Heated marble bathroom floors, great food, responsive 'do anything for you" service. We are fans and we will go back... R. Hanley 07/03/14

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Robert H
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 review, 4 July 2014
Dear Mr. Hanley,

Thank you for your Five Star review! I am so glad you had a wonderful getaway earlier this week. El Encanto really is a wonderful Oasis, just a quick drive up the Coast. I am delighted to see that you were able to truly relax here.

We do look forward to seeing you again soon!

Best wishes,

Laura M
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2014

Besides the fact that the property is spectacularly situated in the hills of Santa Barbara, that the view is breathtaking, the neighborhood quiet, the propery impeccably maintained, luxurious rooms that are exquisite and immaculate, the STAFF was over the top for service. From the moment I arrived I was greeted with warm and impeccable attention. I was treated like the most important person staying there. It was a seamless transition of perfection from valet throughout my stay. I particularly liked the way my named was used by all staff. Personal attention combined with a beautiful property make for a a perfect hotel stay!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hotelhotels2013
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 review, 4 July 2014
Dear Hotelhotels2013,

Wow! Such a nice review!

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experience. Hope to see you again very soon!

Best wishes,

Laura M
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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.
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Also Known As:
El Encanto Hotel And Garden Villas

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