There are hotels, apartments, retreats and resorts the world over—but a real, true getaway is a rare thing indeed. We’re talking, here, about the kind of Golden Age getaway where you’d expect to find Cary Grant loosening his tie and putting his feet up. Or perhaps Katharine Hepburn enjoying a cool highball on the patio while gazing out at a fairytale view of the Pacific Ocean. That kind of getaway.

WHEN THE NEW YORK TIMES praise us as “one of the great California hotels”, we’re delighted: they get it. Perched on a hilltop overlooking beautiful Santa Barbara, the hotel offers the best view of the American Riviera. Its landmark status goes beyond mere positioning, however.

Belmond El Encanto opened in 1918, its beautiful buildings spread across seven acres of lush landscaped gardens. It’s been part of Santa Barbara’s social landscape ever since. The hotel is as gleaming as it is glamorous, but crucially, Belmond El Encanto is relaxed and low key. It’s the kind of place that invites you to take a stroll, breathe in the beautiful fresh air and stretch out in one of our spacious suites.

We’re proud to be Santa Barbara’s only Forbes Five Star Resort. When you stay in one of our Spanish Colonial-style bungalows, you’ll see why our guests have described their experience as “heaven on earth”. This is easygoing luxury. Besides the cozy fireplaces in your living area, our marble bathrooms feature refreshing rain showers and underfloor heating. You’ll feel completely at home. If you find you don’t want to leave your sanctuary, room service will transform your patio into an intimate, magical restaurant under the stars.

Should you wish to explore, you’ll find some of Santa Barbara’s best dining right here at Belmond El Encanto. Sample our contemporary California-coastal cuisine at the Dining Room and Terrace or elegant light dining at the Lounge. Discover a new vintage in the Wine Room, or enjoy a decadent cocktail at the Bar. The secret ingredient, wherever you choose, is that we cook with love. Our herbs come directly from the chef's garden and each block of Belmond El Encanto cheese is made from the milk of Ellie, the resort's cow.

Californians love to live well, and our impressive Fitness Studio features state-of-the-art equipment. We also offer yoga, pilates and personal training sessions. We have to say, though, that it’s hard to resist a daily swim (or two) in our beautiful zero-edge saltwater pool. This is truly a place to unwind and enjoy, and our serene spa offers an indulgent experience menu. Our seasonal herbal treatments always hit the spot.

So pack your bag, make your way up the coast and experience the warm welcome of Belmond El Encanto—a getaway like no other.

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