We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
WINNER WONDERLAND
Win Big When You Book on TripAdvisor

“Stylish Santa barbara” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Belmond El Encanto

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Belmond El Encanto
Ranked #8 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
115 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Stylish Santa barbara”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013

We have been travelling for a month and staying in some very stylish hotels and El Encanto is right up there with the best of them. We had actually booked at San Ysidrow Ranch, being a little concerned that El Encanto was a little too new. As things turned out we really disliked SY having had a snooty check in which went downhill from there. We checked out the following morning and transferred to El Encanto where we were cosseted and pampered and had the most amazing time. The staff are charming without bring overly effusive. The accomodation is beautiful and the setting is delightful. Of course with a new renovation, there are bound to be teething problems, like my hair blowdry and manicure were not great and the food is ok but nothing spectacular however, these were charmingly dispensed and are very minor and a small price too pay for staying in heaven. We love Cipriani and the Splendido and now we will add this to our list of favourites. We will definitely be back

Room Tip: We got upgraded with a suite with a garden to a larger suite with a small outside space at the front...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled 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?
Thank 761Anonymous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

913 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    707
    114
    56
    23
    13
See reviews for
142
548
29
51
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 (155)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013

We remembered El Encanto from the 80s so were really looking forward to the revamped hotel. Too bad, the soul is gone. When we drove in, my husband kept thinking we were arriving at the service entrance, but no, that's how the main entryway feels.The staff is trying hard, but the bottom line is there is no real understanding of what top flight service should be. The bellman couldn't find the room, a request to bring the car around was ignored, there was no one staffing the pool, turn down service was inconsistent, etc. The staff emanates a general feeling of anxiety because they're trying so hard, but they appear to be ruderless. The view is still great, but there's really nothing to do on property but lounge around the tepid pool. Breakfast for $64 was just OK. Bottom line: if we were paying $300-350 we would have thought, "Oh great, and it's easy to get into town for the really good reatuarants," but at rates starting at $700 plus $35/day for valet parking (and what choice do you have?) it all feels like the emporer has no clothes.

Room Tip: Don't book room 702, which is incredibly small for what was billed as a superior king-- just bar...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 32655Laura
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 27, 2013
Dear 32655Laura,

Thank you for taking time to write a review of your recent visit to El Encanto.

I am very surprised to hear that you found the property lacking, since our meticulous renovation of a Santa Barbara icon, soulless is certainly not a comment we hear. During the many years of renovation great lengths were taken to keep the original character and history of the grounds and bungalows...in fact the drive way entrance is exactly as it once was.

We do offer pool service daily from 11am - 6pm, I do apologize if these hours were not consistent with the times you were there and we will certainly evaluate our hours based on the needs of our guests. As well we will review our standards again with each department to ensure that we are delivering on our promise of stellar service to each and every guest.

If there is anything else you would like to share with me I would be happy to discuss any of your concerns in person.

Thank you again.

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, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2013

Another great addition to Santa Barbara. Been there for drinks and last night had a chance to have dinner with my girl friend. Great view, attentive service, one of the best wine list with Burgundy selections.Our server Vienna was very knowledgeable and loved when they do martini service with shakers on side. We will definitely come back!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Brian805California
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2013

We needed a break from moving and decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary here. My sister had given us a gift of one night and we decided that we wanted to get away for at least two nights and really relax. I contacted our travel agent Debbie Gallinot from The Travelstore who made all the arrangements. She did an amazing job making sure that we had a beautiful bungalow with an ocean view and all the added amenities. The last time when had stayed here was when I was pregnant with our son which was quite awhile ago and were impressed with all the changes that had been made. From the moment we arrived, we never had to lift a finger. The staff anticipated our needs and were there to either assist us with luggage or to get our car or to make sure that we had enough beverages by the pool. We had a delightful brunch and the sun was out and made it such a good experience over looking the ocean. Later in the evening we had dinner and a charming waitress Vienna helped with the selection of entrees and wine. The heaters during the evening kept us warm even though it was cool on the terrace. Later that evening when we returned to our bungalow, we found the fireplace lit and the Orient Express channel on the TV turned on showing all of their locations around the world. It was quite a delightful surprise. The next afternoon, our couples massage was just what we needed to help us relax and truly made it a memorable experience.. We will definitely come back for another visit.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that has a view if possible
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled 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?
Thank annemkaplan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

Stayed with my family for 3 nights in July and really loved this peaceful hotel. Our rooms were large and beautifully decorated with the most comfortable bed I have slept in for a long time. The pool area is small but very relaxing and we didn't have any problems finding beds and the staff around the pool were particularly attentive. The only downside was housekeeping was quite erratic. Rooms were made up quite late and things like fresh coffee etc were not replaced. Apart from that it was perfect.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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?
Thank Adele44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2013

My husband and I took a mini getaway and wow, this place is amazingly beautiful! I was mesmerized by the landscape, the views, the suite we had stayed in, the amazing service...everything was perfect! The peaceful sound in the morning was lovely to hear. Coming from a big city, it was nice to hear the peace!

Everything was perfect. I definitely recommend El Encanto. There is no other like it.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gucci4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
134 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013 via mobile

Finally had dinner here for a birthday splurge. We live right behind the el Encanto, and it's our neighborhood bar. But we had not heard great things about the dinners, and we were unimpressed with the bar food. The chef is French, and he worked in Tokyo. The menu sounded a little strange for our tastes.
Luckily, the menu was changed a week and a half before our visit. It was wonderful. We ordered the sea urchin, pulled from our coast. It came with "condiments", and I figured this chef would know which ones to serve: almost the same as for smoked salmon, except instead of toast points, crostini, and instead of Bermuda onion, parsley. Delicious uni.
I had lamb loin with pomegranate, black quinoa, edible pansies, decorative squash and cucumber pyramids.
My husband had sea bass, and he loved it. Portions were nice. We split a floating island, which they called something else. Excellent. They didn't bring our decaf until we were through with dessert, so we had them take it back.
We had drinks on the terrace, and we were some of the few in the dining room. We knew when the sun went down, the terrace would be cold even with the heaters.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sbmargo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Santa Barbara hotels
1.1 mi away
Spanish Garden Inn
Spanish Garden Inn
#3 of 52 in Santa Barbara
5.0 of 5 bubbles 1,147 reviews
1.3 mi away
Kimpton Canary Hotel
Kimpton Canary Hotel
#7 of 52 in Santa Barbara
4.5 of 5 bubbles 928 reviews
0.8 mi away
Simpson House Inn
Simpson House Inn
#2 of 52 in Santa Barbara
5.0 of 5 bubbles 493 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.1 mi away
Harbor View Inn
Harbor View Inn
#14 of 52 in Santa Barbara
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,221 reviews
2.1 mi away
Harbor House Inn
Harbor House Inn
#5 of 52 in Santa Barbara
4.5 of 5 bubbles 633 reviews
3.8 mi away
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Belmond El Encanto? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Belmond El Encanto

Property: 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:
#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.
... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Amex, Priceline, Hotels.com, Belmond, Cancelon, Odigeo, Cheap Tickets and Jetsetter so you can book your Belmond El Encanto reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
El Encanto Hotel And Garden Villas

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing