By Emma Reynolds February 24 The idyllic city of Santa Barbara, California, just miles north of Los Angeles and situated between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, has been the ultimate getaway for high-profile celebrities, politicians and the elite for more than a century. It was famously a favorite destination among Jackie and John F Kennedy they spent part of their honeymoon here and for Californians looking to escape the high energy of Los Angeles or San Francisco.
But beyond the gated communities and sprawling mansions and estates, Santa Barbara is a laid-back scenic enclave meshing the best of Southern and Northern California in one coastal spot. Santa Barbara has a unique charm that makes it hard to ever leave. Here is our comprehensive guide to the perfect weekend in Santa Barbara.
Located across the street from the pristine Butterfly Beach, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, Santa Barbara is situated within 22 acres of lush gardens the jungle-esque gardens actually have more than plant species. At sunset, grab a drink at Tydes to watch dolphins swim and jump as the sky fades from blue to deep orange and pink hues. The most impressive accommodation is the Ty Warner Villa, a freestanding one-bedroom villa with a private plunge pool, many fireplaces and an outdoor rain shower in the gargantuan master bathroom. The impeccably deed private accommodation also has its own driveway and several outdoor seating areas for you and your gue sts to enjoy the lapping sounds of the ocean waves while sitting next to a crackling fire.
Trust us when we say that it will be nearly impossible to pull yourself away. The country-style hotel sits on a acre ranch and boasts a rustic-chic style with massive stone fireplaces, globally inspired decor, Persian rugs and sumptuous fabrics for the ultimate cozy hideaway.
Most all of the accommodations encourage you to bring the outdoors inside through French-style doors that open onto private patios surrounded by gardens the cottages have private plunge pools.
The resort is also pet-friendly, and there is a comprehensive Privileged Pet program so your furry ones can in on the action, too. The hotel is set within the lush Santa Barbara hills with exceptional views over the city and the ocean. The resort is celebrating years and is rooted in history.
Some of its decor recalls the glamorous s. The rustic hotel delivers both elegance and laid-back West Coast charm with locally crafted furnishings. As you can imagine, the restaurants are incredible; the Dining Room and Terrace serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks both inside and or al fresco, and The Lounge is perfect for drinks and light bites or afternoon tea.
The Spa at El Encanto is also not to be missed; the wellness sanctuary offers hydrotherapy, spa retreats and classic spa treatments, and it also has a fitness center and serves detoxifying juices and teas.
The hotel has rooms and 37 suites, all with exquisite views over the ocean and a soothing neutral color palette that really lets the blue water shine through floor-to-ceiling windows and terraces. Relaxation is key here; indulge in treatments at Sense, a Rosewood Spa, or chill out at the palm tree-fringed pool area, which offers guests private cabanas. The airport experience can be stressful, but luckily, those landing at LAX have access to one of the most seamless and unique experiences of any US airport.
PS formerly The Private Suite is a service that meets you just as you de-plane to whisk you to its luxe, private terminal, meaning that you skip the baggage process and airport experience altogether.
A BMW will pick you up next to your commercial aircraft and take you to your suite, which is a spacious and luxurious room similar to a hotel room but without a bed filled with champagne, wine, beverages, healthy snacks and travel essentials from Advil to neck pillows to car chargers. You can even order cappuccinos or healthy meals, as a PS attendant retrieves your checked baggage and delivers it to your door.
When you are ready to depart LAX to your next destination, you are able to relax and go through private TSA screening before you board your flight. PS also handles custom clearance and checked baggage to and from. Each dish here is better than the next and a sure highlight on your gastronomy journey in Santa Barbara. Located in the Funk Zone, The Lark is an ambient-lit space with plenty of indoor and outdoor dining and a happening bar; be sure to order a Sticky Fingers, Smugglers Cove or the Lazy Daisy.
Everything here is approachable but is carefully curated, prepared and presented to elevate your experience. For casual wood-fired pizzas and a fun dining scene, order a pie from Lucky Penny; they have all your classics, plus delicious vegetable-forward options and three-cheese indulgences.
They also serve sandwiches, sal, yummy appetizers and frozen treats. The beautifully deed dishes are presented so elegantly, each looks like a tiny work of art. The restaurant does a fantastic job and letting healthy, local ingredients speak for themselves in dishes like Grilled Avocado, the Carpaccio, Oak Tagliatelle with acorn, wild mushrooms and charred oak broth and plenty of meat dishes with herbs and spices. The wine list is exceptional, and your server can suggest something to pair with your meal. Built inthe courthouse is incredibly beautiful and has a four-faced clock tower, red-tile roof, magnificent arches, gardens and gorgeous hand-painted murals throughout.
Walk or elevator to the top of the courthouse, where an outdoor terrace provides panoramic views all over the city, giving you a glimpse into the magnificent terrain and de of the city.
Did we mention Santa Barbara has incredible wine? If you fall in love with a certain bottle, take one or a case! Fall offers the best surfing typically in September and Octoberthough winter is fairly consistent as well. If you want to try it out but prefer the guidance of a professional, Four Seasons offers surfing lessons for guests.
The city is extremely walkable and for the more adventurous, you can make your way by foot or bicycle along the coast. Butterfly Beach is perfect for sunset; walk along the beach or along the running path to downtown. The public garden, situated in a private, residential neighborhood, offers guided tours through its subtropical and tropical gardens. See various species of cacti, aloe, bromeli, cyc, Dracaena trees, ferns and palms; be sure to visit the topiary and succulent garden, too.
The acre property is home to more than 3, different plant species from all over the world. Avid golfers will find delight in the many courses throughout the city. The incredibly lush courses offer exceptional views and challenging holes that will excite even the most accomplished players. There are plenty of public courses worth playing — like Rancho San Marcos and Sandpiper Golf Club — and also private courses that, if you can get into, are beautiful.
Be the first to know about the latest in luxury lifestyle news and travel, delivered straight to your inbox each week. Allow our ultra-luxe destination guides and exclusive itineraries to inspire your next vacation. Photo: San Ysidro Ranch.
Photo: Belmond El Encanto.
Photo: Rosewood Miramar Beach. Photo: Visit Santa Barbara.
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Photo: Rob Stark. Photo: Courtesy of Lotusland. Related Articles. up to our newsletter Be the first to know about the latest in luxury lifestyle news and travel, delivered straight to your inbox each week. Subscribe to magazine Allow our ultra-luxe destination guides and exclusive itineraries to inspire your next vacation.