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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- El Encanto Hotel And Garden Villas