A Romantic Getaway to Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
My goodness, it has been a hot minute since I've been able to sit down and share my recent travel adventures with you all! If you've been following along on Instagram, you've probably seen that I've been all over the West Coast and the Caribbean in the last month! Wheeewww! It's been a beautiful whirlwind, and I'm so thrilled to finally share it with you!
After a successful Women in Travel Summit last month, I was ready to kick back with Jay for a few weeks and relax. I had never been up the coast in California, so we drove up PCH all the way from Irvine and started our romantic getaway in beautiful Santa Barbara. As if the city wasn't spectacular enough, we checked into the incredibly romantic Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara for our stay.
I believe that where you stay when you travel can make or break the experience, and I can confidently say that our visit to Santa Barbara was exponentially better because we stayed at The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Everything at the Resort, from the gorgeous Spanish architecture and decor, to the warm hospitality, to the charming location made me absolutely fall in love with Santa Barbara.
Arriving at the Resort
Conveniently tucked away in the exclusive enclave of Montecito is the elegant Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Since their doors opened in 1927, it has been a hotspot for locals, celebrities, and travelers alike. The minute you drive up to the property you can feel the incredible history that practically oozes off the walls. It is such a unique property because you feel like you are truly escaping from all reality.
As you enter the resort, you're immediately immersed into a magical wonderland of natural gardens and Spanish architecture. I was absolutely in awe from the minute I walked in. Every corner is more breathtaking than the next! You walk in and see the wood beam ceilings with the multi-colored ceramic tiles, the red tile roofs and white stucco walls, the radiant bougainvillea growing alongside the native plants and trees; and as you look out just in front of the property, you're greeted by a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean from Butterfly Beach. I felt like I was in a Spanish-themed Alice in Wonderland!
A Spanish Colonial Modern Fusion
I know that this might come as a shock, but I love that there are no high rise buildings in Santa Barbara. I know...shocking statement coming from the city girl! But seriously, it adds so much charm and elegance to the city. The Biltmore Santa Barbara is no exception to that rule. The Resort is actually comprised of multiple low-lying buildings and single-storey bungalows, which enhances that "mysterious wonderland" feel. Once you exit the main building, you'll probably follow one of the many winding sidewalk paths through the gardens towards your guest room or bungalow.
Entering our room was an experience in and of itself. The rooms are a beautiful marriage of old-world Spanish Colonial style with a touch of modern aesthetic. Jay and I were both blown away at the attention to detail of this luxurious accommodation. The room was filled with gorgeous green and white decor, colorful bathroom tiles, a cute work station under the window, and there was even a mini living room with a gas fireplace. The living room led out to our private outdoor patio, which was our favorite place to relax and have breakfast in the mornings. It was truly a home away from home. And let me just say...that was probably the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in. Ugh. Gimme!!!
How to Spend Your Time Here
The wonderful thing about staying at a place like the Four Seasons Resort Santa Barbara is that you really never have to leave the Resort if you don't want to. There is so much to explore and do while you're spending your time on the grounds that you could literally just escape here and say goodbye to the outside world. *That is actually what a lot of old Hollywood celebrities would do! I told you...the history here is fascinating!!
However, when you do come for your visit, I recommend doing these things:
Watch both the sunrise and the sunset over Butterfly Beach
Yep, you heard me. The sunrise AND the sunset over the beach. Say what?! When our wonderful concierge told us about this, I was so confused. I thought to myself, "It's California... There's only sunsets over the beach, sweetheart." Oh man, I was surely mistaken. SB is along a south-facing curve of California, thus allowing for visitors to actually see the sunrise and sunsets over the beach!
Butterfly Beach is conveniently located just in front of the hotel, so Jay and I woke up early one morning--coffee in hand--and headed to the beach to get a look. The tide was pretty high, but we made an adventurous trek across the rocks to get an exclusive view; and wow, was it breathtaking. You can head back here for sunset as well, or catch a different view from the Coral Casino next door, which is accessible for guests of The Biltmore Santa Barbara.
Tour the gardens
The horticulture on this property is one of the most immaculate and stunning collections I've ever seen. I could seriously spend most of my time just wandering around the gardens and spending time in nature. Grab one of the mini botanical guides that are in your room or at the concierge and tour the property to see the exotic plants, trees, and flowers!
Dine on site at Bella Vista or the Ty Lounge
The dining options on site are just as beautiful as they are tasty. Step into the main Bella Vista restaurant (or as I called it, "the Aladdin room") and take in the gorgeous view of Butterfly Beach from your dining table. It is a spectacular oceanfront, al fresco dining experience with a decadent menu. This is also a hot spot for people to come and brunch on Sundays!
By night, head into the trendy Ty Lounge for some happy hour cocktails and live entertainment. They recently finished some minor renovations in this lounge and painted the gorgeous wood beam ceilings! It's a must-see for sure!
Visit the Coral Casino and drink at the Tydes Coral Reef Bar
The Coral Casino, which was built in 1937, is an exclusive members-only club that is located adjacent to the Resort. Luckily, all guests of The Biltmore Santa Barbara are granted complimentary access to part of this property. You must check out the incredible Coral Reef Bar that is in the lounge upstairs. It is round 275-gallon aquarium that sits on top of the main bar, and it's filled with a live coral environment and fish!
Jay and I came here for a couple of happy hour drinks and to watch the sunset. The view was unbeatable, and the cocktails were pretty damn good themselves... We didn't dine here, but the food looked awesome.
Hit up the Gym, Resort Jungle Pool, and Spa (especially on Meditation Monday!)
The Gym, Resort Jungle Pool, and Spa are all conveniently located within steps of each other. If using any of these facilities is your jam while traveling, then Four Seasons Resort is the place to do it!
The Gym is spacious and full of great equipment for a travel-workout. They also have some little snacks you can purchase if you want to load up on nutrients before/after your workout.
The Spa was lovely and had an extensive menu of luxurious treatments (and also a really delicious smelling pear scented soap in the bathroom! OMG, I need to have it!). Also, make sure to attend "Meditation Monday" at the Spa during your visit if you can! The Resort began this new experience in March 2016 and is offering this complimentary service on the first Monday of every month. I was so bummed we missed it, but will definitely be back for it!
The Resort's Jungle Pool is exactly what is sounds like: a pool that looks like it's in the middle of the jungle. There is one large pool and 2 smaller hot tubs with different temperatures (I learned this the hard way by getting into the colder one first). Make sure to dip your head underwater in the pool and listen for the music playing! YES, underwater music! Super fancy! Jay and I spent our last afternoon here lounging by the pool; it felt like we were in our own little oasis :)
Other Notable Mentions:
- Check out the tennis courts, croquet lawn, and putting green
- Rent a bike from the spa to ride into town
- Grab your board and go paddle boarding or surfing around the Santa Barbara area
- Tour the gardens with the Resort's landscape manager
- Order 24-hour room service and chill out on your patio or in front of the fireplace (ahhh...yes. My favorite!)
Good to Know Information
- Download the Four Seasons app on your smartphone to enhance your visit. You can check out, plan activities, make reservations, or even contact housekeeping all from your phone! We tried it out for the first time and loved it.
- Having a car isn't essential (especially if you are really trying to have a getaway experience and stay on the grounds), but it helps if you want to go in and out of downtown frequently. We parked ours in the self-parking lot, which was just behind the hotel, so that we could get around whenever we needed.
- Complimentary coffee and tea is available every morning in the lobby.
- There is a local train that passes through relatively close to the Resort. We never heard it from our room (or maybe we're just used to the city noise?); but just in case, there are ear plugs provided in each guest room.
- Butterfly Beach, which is located just across the street from the property, is a wonderful public beach to hang out at.
My only regret of staying here is that we didn't have more time! I fell so in love with this property and Santa Barbara that I'm definitely looking forward to returning in the future. Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara was the perfect romantic getaway for us. It will be our hotel of choice when we come back to SB!
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
1260 Channel Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Thank you to Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara for hosting our stay. And a special thank you to all of the incredible staff members who made our visit spectacular. All opinions are my own.