Santa Barbara history is being made as Orient-Express Hotels opens El Encanto, their first hotel on the US West Coast. After seven years of restoration, the nearly century old hotel is ready to wow its guests with its ocean views, fine dining, and stylish American Riviera décor.
El Encanto is an important part of Santa Barbara's social, cultural and architectural heritage. Orient-Express worked closely with Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission to maintain the hotel’s historic architecture and ensure that the main footprint of the hotel remained true to its original design. The fully renovated hotel now consists of 92 individually designed California-style bungalows, with hardwood floors, plantation-style shutters, and customized accessories. The 800 square-feet Hummingbird Bungalow even features its own outdoor rainforest shower. Each bungalow also has its own private patio or garden, equipped with telescopes on each terrace to allow guests to take a closure look at the views of the Pacific for which the hotel is famed.
El Encanto sits on seven acres of landscaped gardens, which contribute to the hotels peaceful atmosphere. Equally picturesque is the hotel’s carefully selected artwork, created by famed artists Damien Hirst and Charles Arnoldi.
The cuisine at the hotel is considered ‘Californian Coastal,’ and incorporates seasonal produce from the Santa Barbara region, as well as freshly picked herbs and vegetables from the hotel’s Chef’s Garden. Demonstrating Orient-Express’ commitment to respecting the heritage of the hotel, Chef Martineau has recreated the ‘Floating Island’ dessert, which first made its debut on the menu in 1920. In addition to honouring tradition, Orient-Express is also known for their originality, especially in the kitchen. El Encanto further distinguishes itself with its handmade cheese from the milk of its very own Holstein cow, Ellie. Other custom-made culinary treats created especially for the hotel include El Encanto’s own-brand of freshly roasted coffee, wine, and home-brewed unpasteurised beer.
The hotel’s spa features seven treatment rooms, including a couples room and wet room. Guests can choose from a wide selection of therapies offering different healing properties. One of the spa’s signature treatments, The Pinto and Cabernet Crush Sugar Scrub, drains toxins and stimulates circulation. In addition to relaxing at the spa, El Encanto allows guests to discover the surrounding area on electric bikes. Upon request, the hotel will prepare cyclists with a picnic for their journey.
Rates for a Superior Bungalow start from approximately $525 per room per night including tax. The Enchanted Upgrade package has been created for the launch of the hotel, and entitles guests booking with this offer to a one category upgrade at the time of booking. The Enchanted Upgrade package is valid for booking until May 31st, excluding Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27).