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Orient-Express’ El Encanto Santa Barbara Has A Cow With Its Renovations

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  Site Where: 800 Alvarado Place [map], Santa Barbara, California, United States, 93103
January 18, 2013 at 9:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

It certainly looks like Orient-Express isn’t letting that whole rejected Tata offer get in the way of its renovation and expansion plans. We’ve barely told you about the disco break the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro enjoyed to come back in its former glory, and now reservations have started for a March opening of the historic El Encanto Resort in Santa Barbara.

One thing we already love? As part of its dedication to locally sourced produce, El Encanto will have its own cow: Ellie. Ellie’s milk will be used to make a special cheese only found at the hotel. How great is that? And it doesn’t stop there.

There is an El Encanto unpasteurised beer, brewed nearby, to go with Ellie’s cheese. Your morning coffee is El Encanto’s own brand, and an on-site herb and vegetable garden means the journey from field to kitchen for some ingredients is as short as it can get.

Various energy saving and preservation techniques have been implemented to reduce overall consumption. Guests can ditch their car and take one of the complimentary electric bikes to head into Santa Barbara. Set on a hilltop, getting to the beach from the resort will be a breeze, but going back after a lazy day that little bit of electric power will sure help.

In terms of accommodation, the 92 bungalows are scattered through seven acres of grounds (22 of those are suites). Originally opened in 1918, it took 7 years and many millions to bring the designated landmark into the 21st century. Interiors look like the kind of expensive-but-understated California chic you’d expect in a resort like this.

Top of the line is the Hummingbird Suite, with two private patios and its own outdoor shower. And there are really few things as lovely as an outdoor shower – whether in the African bush or not – on a warm summer evening, wouldn't you agree?

A signature restaurant by Chef Patrice Martineau will offer fine food both in the main Dining Room and outside on the Terrace with views to the ocean. Aside from the obvious choice of the Santa Barbara beach for a refreshing dip, there’s an infinity-edge swimming pool in the grounds.

A entry-level Superior Bungalow, which comes in at 350 square feet, starts at $475 late March.

[Photos: Orient-Express]

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