Santiago – Via Australis Wild Patagonia Cruise The Singular Patagonia…
I recently had the pleasure of staying at Belmond El Encanto for the weekend. The property sits up on a hill in Santa Barbara with beautiful, expansive ocean views. There are lots of trees and gardens that make the hotel feel alive and inviting.
Upon arrival, the valet greeted us, offered us water, asked our name and walked us to the front desk to check in. Check-in went smoothly, they were able to pull up our Signature amenities, and we were off to check out our luxurious Deluxe King Bungalow. We were told by the valet that our bungalow was one of only five standalone bungalows on property!
The room was stunning – lots of light and windows, hardwood floors, fireplace, couch, and a desk area. The bed was really comfortable and had an embroidered “N” pillow (since my last name is Nelson) as an added touch. I absolutely loved the heated marble floors and huge bathtub in the bathroom. It was also really nice to have two separate sinks/mirrors while we were getting ready. Our room had a private patio with a couch, table, chairs, and umbrella. We spent a lot of time just enjoying our room and sitting outside on the patio.
The location itself is great, just a short five-minute drive to State Street, downtown, or the wharf. Plus, El Encanto offers a complimentary shuttle service to anywhere within a five-mile radius of the hotel. It was a great way to get around without having to take our car in and out of valet – just remember to call and make a reservation for the shuttle if you plan to use it! We never had trouble getting a reservation, and we didn’t have to wait longer than about 30 minutes for a shuttle to be ready to go.
The property has a gorgeous “zero-edge” swimming pool with a great view of the ocean. Unfortunately it was a little too chilly for us to swim this time. They also have cornhole (the bean bag toss lawn game), a hammock, and turtles to enjoy around the property. The Terrace, El Encanto’s outdoor restaurant, also has an ocean view and lots of comfortable seating. We went to The Terrace twice – once for appetizers and again for breakfast. Both times, the service and food were wonderful. I enjoyed the eggs benedict so much, I ended up having it for breakfast both mornings!
Belmond El Encanto was the perfect place for our weekend staycation. The Spanish-colonial and Californian craftsman style décor, the location, the friendly staff, and the beautiful surroundings – everything was outstanding. I would highly recommend Belmond El Encanto to anyone looking for a place to stay in Santa Barbara!
~ Alyssa Nelson