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“A great restaurant and bar”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Belmond El Encanto

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Belmond El Encanto
Ranked #8 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Gold Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
78 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“A great restaurant and bar”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2013

We only came here with friends for pre dinner drinks but the service and the great view up high over Santa Barbara was one of those moments that you never forget, maybe on our next visit to Santa Barbara we will stay in this hotel.

Room Tip: You would need to book for dinner or just a quiet drink taking in the atomsphere.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Aussietraveller11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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964 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (167)
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English first
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2013

Hotel is a 5 star the grounds are beautiful, the bungalow we had was nice, relaxing. And then there is the dining.......

These 2 stars are for the restaurant only....
We spent 3 times going to the the restaurant. The first time just for some drinks after checking in to relax, the second for drinks again and some light fare to tide us until dinner and then we went back again for dinner.
Each experience got worse with each visit. The lack of attention was unreal, the staff seemed green and not the kind of staff that should be tending to clientele who are paying $42 for a glass of champagne and $20 for a plate with a smear of hummas and one pita.
Dinner sealed the deal for us. We sat down at 8pm we were brought water, a bit later someone came to ask for our drinks and no one came back for 20 minutes.
I asked to please speak to a Manager and a Man named Mario came out and he could have cared less that no one came to our table. All he said was sorry and walked away. He sat there with a blank look on his face and we asked him if he was understanding what we were telling him. He really could have cared less and didn't offer to rectify it either. Our drinks finally appeared now close to 30 minutes later. Mario the managers rude response and lack of caring made our final decision to just leave and go somewhere else in town. We do plenty of fine dining and have never ever been treated with such disdain in a place charging these kinds of prices. I mean really? Just a sorry and a walk away? Unacceptable and inexcusable for a place calling themselves a luxury hotel.
After looking at the numerous other yelpers also mentioning about the service I would hope management takes these reviews serious and makes some changes. We will be back to the hotel but until we see that there have been changes made through reviews etc we will not be back to dine on the premises.

Sorry also 2 stars on the pool service - In the 2 days there we spent about 3 hours at the pool each day and only one person came by once an hour to get a drink etc.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank WineAndBacon
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, May 12, 2013
Dear WineAndBacon,

Thank you for your review. I am very pleased to hear that your experience with our resort accommodations and grounds was positive. I do apologize that your restaurant and lounge experience was less so. We are constantly striving to make every guest experience wonderful and it is disappointing to see that we failed to do this in an overall way for you. I have followed up already with our management team on your feedback and will continue to work with all areas to ensure continued improvement. I do hope when you return you will give our restaurant another try.

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, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2013

Just spent 2 nights in this beautiful property. It is the perfect hotel for an escapade from the city. Not only the view is out of this world, but the service and the care, the ambiance of the hotel and the quality of the food is exceptional. Not to miss the piano bar for cocktails! The position of the Restaurant is wonderful overlooking the ocean an so is the pool. What a view!
The room was beautiful and very comfortable. The bathroom had a heated floor which is nice to walk on when barefoot. It had a lovely patio were you could seat and hear the very satisfying and relaxing sounds of birds.
Everyone went overboard to make my stay wonderful. All the staff was very professional and attentive providing excellent service.
I am returning soon!

Room Tip: Higher floors have a beautiful view of the Ocean.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Polichou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodland Hills, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2013

My wife and I needed a 3 day trip to get away from the doldrums and repetition of everyday life. We love Santa Barbara and had heard of the restoration of the famed El Encanto. Suffice it to say, this is the perfect place to decompress and forget how busy the world has now become. It's nicely nestled in the hills overlooking the main city and the ocean further out. I love how quiet and serene the place is. The rooms are very intimate and well appointed, and the grounds! Let me tell you ... so many nice nooks and places to stroll. The trees, flowers and plant life around the grounds make the place feel magical. especially when paired with the So Cal sunlight. As for the staff, they are there for your every need, but not intrusive at all. The food (have the burger!) was very flavorful. I would go back in a heartbeat. The perfect escape.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view down the hill towards the ocean.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malibu, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2013

The El Encanto Hotel is Fabulous! The property, views, cottages, food, staff, art program and everything else about this hotel are the VERY BEST. The drive to the hotel is very nice from Los Angeles up the coast. It only took an hour and a half. Go out to the terrace and have a very relaxing time with a glass of wine and the ocean view is the best around!

Room Tip: Cottages with an ocean view are great but all the cottages have different views and the entire prope...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shannon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cusco
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2013

My wife and I just spent a beautiful weekend at the new El Encanto. What a special place. The recent renovation was meticulously done and the setting is second to none. There is still some tweaking to service, but if you didn't know that they just reopened it would be hard to tell. Food was great. Spa was intimate and personal. Great treatments. We'll be back for sure!

Room Tip: The Wishing Well suite
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John S
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, May 12, 2013
Dear John S.,

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience! I am thrilled that you were able to experience all of the magic of El Encanto - The Spa, The Romance and The Cuisine! I look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Best wishes,

Laura M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
richmond, ca.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2013

This serene hill setting with glimpses of the city and Pacific Ocean is a hide-away refuge. As most rooms differ, I suggest one asks to preview room before transfering belongings. The pool itself is worth the stay, No tacky enclosures or pool signs. Just exclusive sensibility and comfort.
Moreover, outdoor breakfast included was a real outdoor treat away from home. However, dinner was short on portions and a bit too fussy. Sharing to cut costs does not yet work here. Of course, if one drives done the hill, hazards begin. So if the kitchen veers a little more toward comfort food, this hotel resort (some what like up-scale Mexico) with charming pathways and gardens is a show off treat.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Snob2
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

Property: Belmond El Encanto
Address: 800 Alvarado Place, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-2176
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:
#3 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Romantic 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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