Belmond El Encanto
Why We Love This Hotel
- Luxury hotel is rated a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel
- High in the hills of Santa Barbara with city and ocean views
- Hotel restaurant emphasizes locally sourced ingredients
- Infinity pool with stunning views
Nestled into the hillside of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the Belmond El Canto is a secluded and luxe retreat from the everyday hustle and bustle. From its perch, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel has lush grounds and panoramic views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
The hotel retains architectural details from its original 1920s construction like overhanging eaves and multiple red brick fireplaces. Modern updates include luxurious touches like radiant-heated bathroom floors, marble soaking tubs, an infinity pool and a fitness room.
Rooms — called bungalows here — look more like private cottages with residential-style furnishings and accents. Larger suites have fireplaces and private outdoor space.
There’s a strong emphasis here on using locally grown ingredients. The on-site spa customizes each treatment with flora and fauna from the hotel grounds. The kitchen uses area growers for its produce and makes its own Belmond El Canto cheese from the hotel cow, Ellie.
In addition to a main restaurant, there’s also a lounge serving lighter fare and high tea service and a bar with artisanal snacks.