Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara

Belmond El Encanto is the most stunning property, nestled in the hills of Santa Barbara. As you enter this property you can feel the layers of stress in your life just melt away. Here are the reasons why this beautiful hotel is my favorite place to stay in Santa Barbara.

The Scenery is divine

The moment you enter the lobby of Belmond El Encanto, you are greeted with sweeping views of the city of Santa Barbara below and the Channel Islands in the background. Santa Barbara is often referred to as the ‘American Riviera’ known for its fine wine, hilly landscapes and oceanfront views. It doesn’t get any better than this.

The Service is impeccable

The staff at Belmond El Encanto are second to none. They do everything to make you feel as welcome and taken care of as possible. Not to mention, when they know you are a Travel By Hart client, you will receive extra personalized attention and treatment. Also, dogs of all sizes are welcomed receiving special amenities and pampering.

The honeymoon bungalows

As you wander the grounds the 92 bungalows and suites are either in the classic California Craftsman style or Spanish Revival style. Spread out over 7 acres, all are uniquely furnished with an authentic West Coast charm.

Many of the rooms have large patios, verandas or beautiful open fireplaces where you can enjoy conversation or any of the in-room board games over a glass of excellent, local wine. I also love the underfloor heating which is a pleasant surprise during the cooler nights.

The grounds

When not relaxing by the pool or getting a massage in the most sensational spa, you can explore the gorgeous grounds.

Wander to the 1928 wishing well (original to the property) and make a wish. Admire the peaceful Koi Pond where you can feed the turtles and other residents during the day or observe a wedding taking place. Challenge the kids (or yourself) to find the five beautiful ceramic pigs, gifts from the Belmond Maroma property, scattered throughout the property.

The Sensational Spa

The Spa is AMAZING! With only seven treatment rooms you feel like you have the whole place to yourself. It is so peaceful and relaxing. I was able to enjoy the most sensational facial I have ever had and I left the facility with a relaxed and happy glow. My colleagues also raved about their massage treatments.

The dining experience

The restaurant on property serves contemporary California farm-to-table cuisine. The food is DELICIOUS and the local wine SENSATIONAL. The local cocktail, “The Charmer”, is not to be missed. With grapefruit infused vodka you will simply be charmed.

In the restaurant, expect herbs directly from the chef’s garden and enjoy the Belmond El Encanto cheese, each block made from the milk of Ellie, the resort’s cow.

The things to do

There is plenty to do at this beautiful property. Grab a book and head to the zero edge pool, with formidable ocean views. Head to the fitness center for all types of exercise classes. Take a complimentary bicycle out for a spin around the area and don’t worry about having to work too hard up the hill on the way back as these bikes are motorized, to give you an extra push.

You can also take advantage of the guest transportation. This is always complimentary within 5 miles of the property, perfect for getting you into town and back. We can arrange any activity you desire; a private trolley tour of the city, a whale watching excursion, wine tasting, a trip to the zoo to feed the giraffe etc. The opportunities are endless.

Get the best rates

As a Belmond Bellini Club Travel Advisor I am always able to get you the best rate, complimentary breakfast, upgrades if available,  extra special treatment and more. That applies to the Belmond El Encanto or any other Belmond property or train worldwide.

Jessica Hart

Jessica Hart


Jessica is luxury Travel Advisor based in California. She is a Mother and experienced traveler who is passionate about curating travel experiences for adventure-seekers who want to explore the world in style. Read what it's like to work with Jess.