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“The Best in Santa Barbara!”
Review of Belmond El Encanto

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Belmond El Encanto
Ranked #8 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Reviewed July 23, 2014

I cannot think of anything constructive to say about the service or quality of the room or restaurant when it comes to this hotel. The staff is attentive with very professional management who demonstrate why years of experience matter. If you are staying in Santa Barbara and want the very best on all levels of service, stay at Belmond El Encanto, it lives up to its name!

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank bob411
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 reviewResponded July 26, 2014

Dear bob411,

You flatter us! Thank you so much for staying at El Encanto! We hope to see you back again very soon.

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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748 - 754 of 1,073 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2014

After a miserable night at another hotel, we checked in here. From the first contact on the phone, I knew this was probably going to be a much better experience, and indeed it was. I want to think I am not spoiled (is it wrong to not want a green and black carpet-not original colors?), but we try to stay 4 star; rarely 5 star. Checking in here was night and day. The small personal touches are amazing-the valets who know your name, the use of your name throughout, the personal tour and escort to your room-it's a 5 star experience.

Once inside of course it was first class-amazing bed, electronics, bathroom, rain shower, and of course heated floor. Clean..clean..clean, with an amazing patio and beautiful lush grounds-quite and serene.

Pool is small but super nice-heated and saline pool that is inviting on your skin. Cloth covers on all chairs, towels already out, water and fruit and games poolside. Limited menu but enough to satisfy. Great view too.

It is expensive, but if luxury and a beautiful resort is what you want, this is the place. I found the staff to be among top 3 of any hotel I have been to and I appreciate that they did not charge me when we had to leave early for illness.

Room Tip: Not sure there is a "bad" room.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank AZ-Traveler85253
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 reviewResponded July 26, 2014

Dear AZ-Traveler85253,

Thank you for sharing your 5-star experience with the Trip Advisor community!

I am delighted to see that you had a wonderful time and relished all of our special touches. I do hope you will stay with us again next time you find yourself in beautiful Santa Barbara.

Best wishes,

Laura M

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

As its name suggests: Hotel El Encanto is very aptly named. Our room and bathroom were ample, new, simple yet beautiful. the decor reminiscent of old world with a modern sensibility. gorgeous, warm and pared down. the hotel itself is precious: each room is a bungalow, sometimes with 2-3 (tops) rooms per bungalow. Still very private. It feels like a small enchanted village with little paths and beautiful tended gardens connecting all that were a delight to see. The concierge and the entire staff were very attentive, pleasant and always at the ready. An amazing stay with amazing weather in a drop-dead gorgeous location. We would love to come back and stay there again!!

Stayed: July 2014
2  Thank mkd_travelmania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2014

We've been to Santa Barbara/Montecito many times over the years. Every time we go anywhere, I Google new hotels and food. This time I came across the Belmond El Encanto. A couple of my friends went there years ago and encouraged me to "try it for all of us" because of the remodel. We did and it is spectacular. Everything from the room to the service and lovely setting. It is amazing! The Biltmore has a great location, because of the closeness to the ocean. However if you want something a little less crowded and fabulous--try the El Encanto. We loved it!!

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
4  Thank Michael C
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 reviewResponded July 26, 2014

Dear Michael C,

Thank you for your wonderful review of El Encanto! I am so happy you found us in your on line searches and hope you won't feel the need to look for a new place next time you are in Santa Barbara.

We look forward to your next visit.

Best wishes,

Laura M

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Reviewed July 9, 2014

Stunning property with amazing villas. Highly recommend. Great food and totally luxurious with an amazing friendly staff. Only complaint would be spa services are a total ripoff. 80 minute massage was $290 and was terrible

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Randy D
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 reviewResponded July 10, 2014

Dear Randy D.,

I am delighted to see that overall your stay was wonderful and you enjoyed our very special resort. I am concerned about your spa experience as we rarely have complaints about our treatments, and our pricing is very competitive with other resort spas in the area. If you would like to discuss any issues directly with myself or our Spa Manager we would be pleased to speak to you about your experience so that we might understand how we disappointed you.

I do hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,

Laura M

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Reviewed July 8, 2014

I posted this same review on Yelp because I can't say it any better.
If I could give more than 5 stars, I would. It started with an email to them explaining that I was going through chemo and wanted to come to the El Encanto for my bday but there was a small chance I wouldn't feel good the day of. They gladly waived the cancellation fee for me if that happened (which it did not). The woman (Alexis) was sooooo sweet and helpful. I wish I could write a review on her alone. We got there and they upgraded our room. The staff was incredibly nice and accommodating. They showed us our room and we were blown away. They had a whole set up for our dog. 5 minutes later, they brought in a chocolate mousse cake thingy that said "Happy Birthday" on it. Again, blown away.The hotel was breathtaking. I didn't want to leave. I can't say enough good things about this place and we will definitely be returning. If you are heading up to the SB area, I highly recommend staying at the El Encanto.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank wonderwoman13
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 reviewResponded July 10, 2014

Dear wonderwoman13,

Thank you so much for spending your Birthday with us! It is wonderful that you were able to get away and truly have some time for yourself during down time from treatments. We do hope we will be a respite for you for many, many birthdays 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.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

Everywhere I go, I can find some kind of problem with a hotel, even the best hotels fall short somewhere and that need not deter me from staying there but it is good to know from Trip Advisor what to expect. Also what I may find a problem another traveller may not.

From the moment we drove up to this hotel we felt wrapped in cotton wool, nurtured, cared for and treated with paramount care and attention from every single person we encountered.

We do not like valet parking as we prefer to be totally self sufficient but as we pulled up the hand brake a well dressed young man said welcome to Belmond El Encanto, the trunk was whipped open, our luggage removed and disappeared. The welcoming party of equally well dressed members of staff whisked us to the reception desk and our car was spirited away before we could say " no we'll park that thank you".

We then met the wonderful McKamie (yes that was her name) I have never experienced such a fast slick fuss free check in. She spent so much time welcoming us and saying how pleased she was that we chose to stay at the hotel, I did not realise that she had taken our passports, given them back and clearly had everything she needed and pressed what seemed like one button and that was it. If you read my reviews, you will know that I am a control freak. I am the one who is in charge of everything and I love the way hotels work and try to outwit everybody to get what I want either free or as cheap as possible. I like to blag an upgrade, get wifi free, not pay for valet parking, get breakfast thrown in. At most properties, even the best, this is a sport I am good at, love and usually get what I want. HERE - NO! McKamie standing under 5 foot (I am not tall and she was shorter than me) took complete control of me and I did not get one word out of my mouth other than "yes, thank you, really?, ok". Before I could say upgrade McKamie had us following her around the hotel where she pointed out the restaurant, where we would eat breakfast, then outside, whisked past the outdoor infinity mineral water pool and walking up and down a winding pathway which surely must have been set out by an expert at Feng Shui set in the most beautiful cared for gardens until we reached our bungalow. All the rooms are in bungalows of all different sizes and shapes, all fabulous! Our suite consisted of a huge lounge area with desk, fully working fire, unstocked fridge, desk, comfortable seating area and TV. The bedroom had a huge bed with fabulous linen very very comfortable and fantastic pillows. The dressing room and bathroom area was amazing: separate toilet, dressing area with hanging areas drawers and safe. The bathroom area had a high ceiling hight drench shower and low level hand shower, large tub, two wash basins. High quality Acqua di Parma toiletries (and loads of it) and huge soft fluffy towels. HEAVEN! The room had two entrances via balconies with chairs and tables. We had free wifi everywhere, valet parking and breakfast thrown in. My partner has never seen me speechless and had to ask me to close my mouth when McKamie asked me if I had any questions. I croaked "no" thank you. She left and it all went quiet. I had not one single problem with the hotel and the accommodation.

Having driven all day we only wanted to jump into the mineral pool which was just heaven. We were welcomed to the pool area by another member of staff, given a glass of cucumber water each and handed two large soft towels. If you don't feel like you have died and gone to heaven at this hotel, you are in the wrong place! It did not end here.

We bumped yes just bumped into Kathleen who asked us if we would like to book a table at the restaurant for dinner. She knew our name! Outstanding!

We went to dine at the hotel on our first evening and had the immense pleasure of meeting the host Marco Pacelli, if you meet Marco you are very lucky he is an energetic fast talking Italian who, like his fellow employees just oozes the special attention everybody at Belmond El Encanto wants to give. He gave us his card and told us to visit his brother who works at a hotel in London. We will of course just for the hell of it. I must also mention Mauricio, Holden and Nathan who served us with absolute professionalism and made us feel very very special.

Breakfast was an equal pleasure in the sun and served by the same expert waiting staff - fabulous. We were on a long trip and this was one of many stays along the way, we wanted to stay here forever. If you ever find yourself in the Santa Barbara area there is nowhere else to stay.

I cannot recommend this hotel more highly.
No I am not on commission!

Enjoy!

Room Tip: Buy the very best room you can afford, but every room in this hotel is wonderful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank HotelBloke
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 reviewResponded July 8, 2014

Dear HotelBloke,

Now I am truly speechless, and delighted with your review!

Thank you so much for your wonderfully descriptive narrative of your stay. I am so pleased to see that so many of our exceptional team members (especially McKamie) made your stay truly memorable and provided 5 star service throughout.

We have terrific employees that truly make it their mission to take care of each and every guest. It is our pleasure to know that we were able to make such an impression on a seasoned traveler.

I hope you will find a time in the not too distant future to visit us again.

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

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
Price Range: $440 - $907 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
El Encanto Hotel And Garden Villas

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