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“Perfection” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Belmond El Encanto

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Belmond El Encanto
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   800 Alvarado Place, Santa Barbara, CA 93103   |  
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Special Offer
20% Discount on Suites
Ranked #4 of 53 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Perfection”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

Spoiled for life. That’s what I am after our stay at El Encanto. As the other reviewers have noted that grounds, views and rooms are spectacular. Our bungalow was on the second floor, and the amenities in the room were unlike any other place I’ve ever stayed. Attention to detail is evident throughout the resort. What I could not get over is how quiet and peaceful El Encanto is. Although there were several guests, we really didn’t hear any noise whatsoever. I highly recommend this hotel as a great way to get away from it all.

All the staff we encountered went above and beyond to make our stay special. We were even offered an upgraded room which we greatly appreciated. We visited the gym and had a nice relaxing time enjoying a drink on the terrace. I highly recommend ordering “The Charmer.”

All in all, a truly memorable stay. Thank you El Encanto!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, January 25, 2014
Dear KristiMD,

I couldn't be happier to see that we have spoiled you for anything else! We wouldn't have it any other way!

Please visit us again soon!

Best wishes,

Laura M
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488 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    13
    6
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Santa Barbara
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014

Couldn't be a lovelier property, nicer staff, delicious food, wonderful 86 degree heated pool with a stunning view of the ocean in the distance. Afternoon tea is exquisite - as good or better than the award winning 5 star hotel teas in London!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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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, January 25, 2014
Dear Jody C,

Thank you for the wonderful review!

I know you have stayed with us several times now and I am so glad to see you sharing your experience with the Travel community.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Best wishes,

Laura M
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Ojai, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

We stayed at El Encanto 33 years ago. It is much improved since then. The patio is great for lunch on a nice day which it is almost always in Santa Barbara. Our food was only average though the lunch menu is interesting. However, our chocolate dessert was outstanding.

The staff service was excellent but our waiter seemed a little lost.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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, January 25, 2014
Dear OjaiJohn,

I am so glad to see that you enjoyed revisiting and reminiscing at El Encanto. We certainly hold a lot of memories for so many people and I am glad to see you approve of the changes!

Thank you as well for your honest feedback regarding your lunch. We certainly recognize that our menu needs some alterations and we are currently working on improving all of our food and beverage offerings. I do hope you will visit us again in the near future, I am confident you will be wowed.

Best wishes,

Laura M
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Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

This hotel is local to my home, so we use it for fine dining and for our overflow guests. Everyone loves it! The renovations have been done sympathetically with the original plan and the accommodations are simply wonderful - particularly the suites! The meals are fabulous and the bar and outdoor seating have unparalleled views. Just the most wonderful ambiance anywhere!

I only gave the El Encanto a 4 star review however. The meals often slip up somewhat. We had a group of 8 there last week, and six of the meals were great - but the other two were simply horrid. One didn't even have half of the ingredients on the salad - and the plate served next to it did have everything - so that's how we knew there was a problem. We pointed it out to the wait staff and they really didn't think it was a big deal and just asked if we wanted another dish... the hospitality business is all about customer relations, and this was very poor indeed.

I wouldn't mention this, except it has happened several times when we have larger groups. Often most of the meals will be good, but one or two will be sub-standard. So go - but be prepared to complain and ask for the manager if you have to! it's expensive, so you need to get what you are paying for!

Room Tip: Go for the suite!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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, January 25, 2014
Dear SBGiGi,

We love our locals, thank you so much for trusting us with your out of town guests! It means so much to us that you would refer your friends and family to El Encanto.

I very much appreciate your candid remarks about the dining experiences you have had. It certainly helps us to realize we need to put more emphasis on our larger parties. We are determined to provide the best service every time...I do hope you will continue coming and seeing improvements in service and consistency of food presentation.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly next time you visit, I would love to stop by and say hello.

Best wishes,

Laura M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Torrance, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

On a last minute dash to Santa Barbara for one night romantic getaway, we were lucky enough to find our way to the El Encanto Hotel. It's a grand hotel in a quiet, secluded spot of the rolling hills of Santa Barbara with amazing views of the city lights and the big, blue ocean below. The recently and completely renovated property features lush landscape, a spa, pool, waterfall and turtle pond. The accomodations are beyond beautiful (the bathrooms will spoil you) and the staff couldn't have been more professional or charming. Sitting outside on the lovely terrace with a glass of wine in your hand is about as perfect as life can get. We ate all 3 meals there and each meal was superb. We can't wait to go back and stay longer! Yes, it's a splurge but it's well worth it!

Room Tip: Room 1906 is a private second story suite with a beautiful patio.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

We were passing through SB on the way down the 101 and thought we'd stay the night at El Encanto given that we hadn't visited since the renovation. We were not disappointed in the least! Our room was beautifully appointed and very spacious. Service top notch. Views from the dining patio and pool were breathtaking - both at sunset and in the morning. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast overlooking SB before departing. We only wish we had more time to spend here. Would have liked to take advantage of the hotel's electric bikes and taken a ride around town.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

Superb!
We stayed the 4 days of my wedding at El Encanto and there´s one word that describes our experience: Superb! The most romantic environment, incredible rooms and bathrooms, beautiful heated pool, incredible restaurant terrace and of course the best service. The room was pristine every day.
I see some people complain about the valet parking. In my opinion, if you´re going for this kind of hotel, I don´t see the point in bargaining the extra for an impeccable parking service.
We told that it was a wedding and they immediately gave us an upgrade. I had my always dreamed wedding and part of it was the hotel.
PS: Loved the espresso machine in the room.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, January 25, 2014
Dear Marta G,

Congratulations on your marriage!

Thank you so much for spending your special time at El Encanto. We love romance and making memories!

We hope you will be able to visit again for anniversaries.

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
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center 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:
#2 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#3 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 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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