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“Even Better the Second Time Around!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Belmond El Encanto

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Belmond El Encanto
Ranked #8 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Even Better the Second Time Around!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

After spending some time at El Encanto last spring, I recently returned for a Girlfriends Getaway and it was absolutely glorious. I really enjoyed sharing this beautiful property with my friends and introducing them to the lovely gardens, the beautiful butterfly-themed artwork and eclectic touches such as the colorful ceramic pigs and resting angels dispersed throughout the grounds. We all had memorable spa treatments and our therapists were fabulous! i would highly recommend the Healing Cocoon, it was absolutely divine. Afternoon Tea was another not-to-be-missed experience - the fine china, relaxed atmosphere and stunning views instill such a sense of serenity, a couple of days at this wonderful resort is all you need to feel like you've been away for days on end. After a swim and some lounging poolside, I further indulged myself with a nice bath in a beautiful deep-soak tub and complimentary signature bath salts. There's plenty to do in the area, but if you want to some quality R&R and a sense of renewal, an El Encanto experience stays with you long after you leave.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 121KathleenM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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968 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (168)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
105 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

We had both El Encanto & The Four Seasons Biltmore booked for our stay in Santa Barbara & at the last minute decided to go for El Encanto & I'm so happy we did! The property is just spectacular. Our Bungalow was beautiful, the bed was extremely comfortable & the bathroom luxurious. We had originally intended to stay 5 nights but pushed it out by another night. Our room was always spotless, the concierge were a pleasure to deal with as were most of the other staff. The hotel provides electric bikes to help you back up the hill if you go downtown...a must! The pool area is wonderful as are the gardens which are lovingly maintained and house an abundance of humming birds. It was a little oasis, we were sorry to leave.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Scrappy35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

I have been going to El Encanto since the '90s and was so excited when they reopened. The restaurant is beautiful (inside or outside spots are equally great) with unique and yummy food. We love the bar area, too. Honestly it is the best place to have a cocktail in the city. Romantic but not cheesy rooms, to-die-for views, and of course the service is top level on every level. I live in SB and it is one of our #1 destination spots for anything from a drink or brunch to a weekend getaway.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MissMerHG
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, August 19, 2013
Dear Miss MerHG,

We love our local guests and are so glad you have found your way back to El Encanto! We hope to be your spot for Awesome Getaways and sunset cocktails for many years 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.
yvr
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

Spent 5 months living at the El Encanto back in 1976....$300.00 per month suite next to the pool.
Looks like they have done another wonderful reno....still see the same bldings, lovely gardens, and restaurant, and of course the main bldg. For the nightly rental now, basic $700.00 a night, really getting
a good chuckle!!!!
If you are willing to pay for the ol' dame at these prices, enjoy! but hope you don't feel too ripped off.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank suntanning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Maria, Ca
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

A friend and I took advantage of a discount and had a massage at the spa at El Encanto. Every employee we met was extra helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. The spa is spacious, but each area we progressed through was cozy and comfortable. My massage therapist was skilled and gracious. In the locker and changing area, there are elegant steam rooms, showers and every amenity you might want. I did miss a hot tub or a pool, alas, the pool is just for overnight guests.
Lunch is served in the spa by arrangement, but we chose to dress and go to the magnificent terrace looking over Santa Barbara and the Channel. The meal, drinks and service were impeccable. We strolled through the grounds which are accessed by winding paths through pretty gardens, fountains, and a koi pond with resident turtles! For a day of spoiling, it is perfect

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Caro W
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, August 3, 2013
Dear CaroW,

What a lovely way to spend a day! The Spa at El Encanto is certainly an oasis that I am so glad you had a chance to experience it. We do have specials for our local guests so be sure to ask about it next time you come in.

Best wishes,

Laura M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carpinteria California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

As a local the location of the El Encanto has always been a premier place to go. I had not been up there for many years and had not seen the remodel. The hotel is beautiful and the amazing views are just the thing to enjoy a summer afternoon. We went up for afternoon cocktails. We sat down on the beautiful terrace and enjoyed the view. Basically it took 20 minutes to get anyone's attention to tale our order for a cocktail. After we sat down, bout five minutes in a waiter came by and said OUR waiter would be right with us, it was 20 minutes after that that I got up and asked someone at the bar if they could take our order. I tried to relax and take in the view but as waiters and the waitress kept passing by and not making eye contact or avoiding our table it became a little unnerving. Then it almost became a challenge. The restaurant was not at all busy. We even had someone sit right next to us who had their drinks served and their salad served before I finally gave up and asked the bartender to take my order. So the service really needs some work. The bartender took care of us and everything was good after that. Lovely once you have what you need. Drinks were creative and the desserts were great. I might try it again i want to try again , id love to come for dinner or brunch, but if service is not improved I won't stay or come back.
C. Connolly. Santa Barbara

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cynconno
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, August 3, 2013
Dear cynconno,

Thank you so much for taking time to write about your recent lunch experience on our Terrace. I am so sorry that you were not attended to right away! This is of course very unusual and I assure you we will take steps to address your concerns immediately. We do hope you will come back to experience a perfect afternoon with great service and views.

Best wishes,

Laura M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon, USA
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

Originally we had reservations at a different hotel in Santa Barbara. I had called ahead to find out if that hotel had 24 hour room service and was told it did - but it didn't, and then the dead bolt didn't work. So, at 11 pm we called around and found that El Encanto had availability. What a pleasant outcome for a very unpleasant start to our week-end. Glad we found the El Encanto. A very helpful woman on the phone that night helped us arrange transportation from the other hotel to their location. Check in was simple. Room service came in under 30 minutes. Brought ice and lemons for us first. Room was very clean and quite nice - fireplace, sitting area, large bathroom with nice closet space.
The next day we had lunch on the property and were happy with the food and the view, but the service was outstanding. The waiter called us by name, and helped us with choices. Great job! I can't remember our waiter's name - shame on me - but he should be applauded for his excellent service. Loved the mushroom risotto.
We had dinner on the property that evening and found the food and service to be great again. Try the appetizers - crab cake was excellent, lobster with gnocchi also excellent. The halibut was just outstanding - tasted fresher than fresh.
The lobby bar and sitting area are very comfortable - nice fresh air, and a fireplace!
The swimming pool was small but pleasant - the crowds didn't seem to come back from their wine tours until mid to late afternoon so we found early afternoon to be quite peaceful. Food and beverage service at the pool was so nice and fast - but not intrusive. They seemed to be there, but not in the way at all - no hovering but just enough attention!
The housekeeping staff did a great job - nice to come back at night to a lit fireplace and music.
Love the caramels. The robes were so soft. Great towels. Lots of nice special touches - books, etc.

Room Tip: The suites are very enjoyable - a bit higher priced, but the additional space is very nice. We didn...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank japdx
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, July 30, 2013
Dear japdx,

What a happy accident, so glad you found us! It really sounds like you ended up having a wonderful weekend !I hope you will visit us again next time you are in beautiful Santa Barbara!

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:
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 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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