Located 90 minutes from Los Angeles on California’s American Riviera, the meticulously restored El Encanto will reopen in Santa Barbara in March 2013 as part of the luxurious and iconic Orient-Express portfolio. The early 20th-century property will recapture all the romance and glamour that made it the favored getaway of Hollywood’s elite.
Nestled on seven-acres of gloriously landscaped gardens with a historic trellised lined arbour and lily pond, El Encanto enjoys sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from its commanding hilltop perch. The secluded retreat will feature 92 California-style bungalows. Following its reopening, guests will enjoy a beautifully appointed full service spa, signature restaurant featuring California coastal cuisine with a French flair by Chef Patrice Martineau, a Santa Barbara dedicated wine list, a sumptuous outdoor infinity edge swimming pool, a window-lined ballroom with private terrace, and an array of outdoor event venues.
The 92 bungalows at El Encanto will consist of 70 rooms and 22 suites, with many offering individual design aspects such as cozy fireplaces and private patios or gardens for enjoying quiet afternoons and unspoiled reverie. Accommodations with sofa beds and interconnecting bungalows are available for families and larger parties. For a romantic getaway, The Hummingbird Suite transports guests to a world of their own. An 800-square-foot secluded suite with two private patios, this bungalow has been designed for absolute privacy, with its own outdoor shower and soothing water feature.
Serving Californian coastal cuisine, indoor and outdoor dining will be available at El Encanto accompanied by stunning ocean views. The Dining Room will feature elegant yet relaxed indoor seating, while on warm evenings delicious fare can be enjoyed al fresco on The Terrace. Set within The Dining Room, The Wine Room is a private enclave for intimate celebrations and gatherings. Delicate Afternoon Tea and light bites will be served in The Lounge and a wide selection of drinks available to imbibe in The Bar.
Taking Californian cuisine to new levels, El Encanto will keep its own cow called Ellie. Housed on a farm in central California, Ellie’s milk will be used solely to make a special cheese for El Encanto. The cheese will be complemented by El Encanto’s own unpasteurized beer brewed nearby. The property’s own freshly roasted coffee and an on-site herb and vegetable garden will further strengthen El Encanto’s commitment to offering fresh locally sourced produce.
The Spa at El Encanto will feature seven spacious treatment rooms, including a couple’s room and a wet treatment room. Guests can revive with an assortment of seasonal, organic and specialty body and facial treatments that enchant as thoroughly as the hotel’s lush setting. Following treatments, pampering can continue in the serene relaxation lounge, or with a selection of detox teas that can be enjoyed on the outdoor patio. Nail services will also be provided by expert professionals. Men’s and ladies’ lounges will feature steam rooms, showers, private lockers, vanities, and dressing areas.
For guests looking for something more active, cutting-edge cardio equipment is available in the Fitness Centre, alongside a private salon for core fitness, yoga and pilates.
Downtown Santa Barbara is just minutes from El Encanto. This charming city offers an array of leisure activities, cultural pursuits, and historic landmarks, including the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the El Presidio De Santa Barbara State Historic Park (an important archaeological site). Sports and outdoor adventure activities are also available such as hiking, horseback riding, scuba diving and golf. There are many shops, galleries and boutiques to browse and a visit to the zoo is a must for younger guests. Both wine connoisseurs and wine novices will delight in the surrounding wine country and many vineyards, to which El Encanto will be able to arrange tailored tours and tastings.
Perched on a hillside, El Encanto will be offering guests the use of especially designed electric bikes. The downhill slope will be a breeze but the extra push on the way back-uphill will provide a much needed kick. With a quaint basket at the front of the bikes, El Encanto (on request) can prepare budding cyclists with a picnic for their journey.
A Superior Bungalow at El Encanto starts from $525 per night, based on double occupancy. For further information or reservations please visit www.elencanto.com.
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. is a luxury hotel company and sophisticated adventure travel operator which seeks to deliver memorable experiences that are the ultimate expression of each destination's authentic culture. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly thereafter recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities. Today the Orient-Express brand embraces 45 hotel, restaurant, cruise and luxury rail businesses in 22 countries, including distinctive properties such as Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, Hotel Ritz Madrid, Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and Maroma Resort and Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The Company also operates six luxury tourist trains, two river cruise operations and the ‘21’ Club, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants and watering holes. www.orient-express.com