Old World Charm with New World Luxury:Posh Hideaway For Over a Century

The posh Four Seasons Resort in Santa Barbara is a luxuriant tropical oasis on the California Riviera.  Established in 1894 as the Santa Barbara Country Club, with a 9-hole golf course along the Pacific Ocean, this was California’s second golf course. This historical property has evolved into an outstanding and highly acclaimed resort.  “Once a favored retreat for golden-era movie stars and royalty,” from Greta Garbo, Erroll Flynn, Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, John Barrymore, Lana Turner to the Reagan's. The mid-1930’s marked the opening of the Coral Casino (The Biltmore Beach Club) boasting the largest outdoor pool, 60’x 167’, in California. (In Dec. 2003, it was designated a historical landmark.) For over forty years the Santa Barbara Biltmore became a legendary formal resort with strict dress codes for the restaurants. Then in 1987, Four Season’s took over and completed a $19 million restoration, which maintained the original Spanish Mediterranean architecture, yet with a light, airy and modern approach.

The greatest transformation however was when Ty Warner, founder of Ty Inc. (the creator of Beanie Babies), purchased the resort and added his magic touch of success.  First, a total ‘makeover’ of the interior guest rooms created a contemporary feel, while still remaining “uniquely Santa Barbara”. In addition, there is a state of the art fitness center, opulent spa and pool, designed by Peter Marino, the ‘designer to the designers’ (Armani, Chanel, DKNY, Vuitton). All of the newly designed bathrooms have custom Spanish tile, deep soaking tubs and rain shower heads. Some also feature private steam showers and radiant floor heating. “Warner’s vision of restoring the Biltmore, combined with world-renowned Four Seasons service has reclaimed the Four Seasons Biltmore’s position as a premier Resort on the West Coast”.

The new 10,000 square foot spa maintains the historic appeal with the absolute best in modern spa design as well as legendary service for an unique spa experience.  It is the recipient of the Mobil Travel Guide’s award.  This ocean front hideaway is and elegant sanctuary of peace and tranquility’.  Four of the ten treatment rooms are full –service luxury suites (great for Romantic Getaways). In fact the perfect Valentine’s treat is the Spa Duet, which is in the deluxe couples suite, with a fireplace, oversized whirlpool, Swiss shower, and ocean view terrace. You can savor this relaxing treatment together, with a signature massage on twin tables, beginning with a purifying Volcanic Earth Clay Ritual, Aloe and Lavender Facial and a light spa lunch. Or perhaps you would enjoy the Pure Pleasure Trilogy-a 3-hour spa package utilizing herbal and botanical ingredients, lavender and sea salt soaking bath, Lavender and Cornmeal Body Scrub, Lavender Oil Body Massage and nourishing herbal cream treatment. Another package sounds too good to be true, “Pure Enchantment Trilogy” which is 3 hours of total bliss.

Ty Warner is an innovative genius, who has demonstrated his ability for mega-success, and has added his unique touches to the hotel and spa. He created a unique opalescent look around the swimming pool; with a new tile (Tyle, tm). This causes the water in the Four Sesaons Biltmore pool to shimmer with a dramatic mother of pearl luminosity, reflecting the full spectrum of colors found in sunlight. Truly an amazing sight. If you’re interested in purchasing some of the elegant furnishings, such as the pool lounges, they are available from the exclusive “Ty Warner Collection” These are deeply padded, custom designed Thai Teak chaise lounges, so comfortable, you can relax the day away without feeling guilty. Hanging out by the pool, you can enjoy a cocktail  or cool off with an Evian Sprtiz or light lunch. There is even underwater music to lull you to sleep while floating in the sunlit pool. There are also two large whirlpools, on e of which contains natural mineral water drawn from the Fours Season’s Biltmore’s own well. The mineral water is filtered through a croma generator that polishes the water and reduces the need for chlorine!  It was an absolute delight to be able soak and relax without the strong scent of chemicals. If you get a bit antsy, you can try out your tennis game on one of the three lighted tennis courts.  Play on the Recreation Lawn with croquet or practice on the putting green. You must be sure to check out the crown jewel of the resort’s renowned gardens, The Spa Rose Garden, with the fragrant allure that is irresistible, especially when Valentine’s are in the air.

You may not want to leave your guest room, especially with the spa private bars, 42 inch high-definition plasma screen TV, DVD player or wireless Internet. The Four Seasons embodies the most elegant surroundings and hospitality. This is truly better than a “home away from home” even if you are used to the best of the best!

The ‘piece de la resistance’ is the famous Sunday Champagne Brunch, considered legendary by food writers.  The Four Diamonds was awarded to La Marina, the most distinguished dining room in Santa Barbara.  One exciting aspect is that most of the dishes are locally grown natural foods combined with seafood available off the Santa Barbara Coast! How’s that for FRESH?  The restaurant offers panoramic ocean views and has one of the most outstanding wine lists the world. The Executive Chef, Martin Frost has been with Four Seasons Resorts for over 20 years. He is noted for his talents from the Four Seasons Clift Hotel in San Francisco and the Four Seasons Resort, Nevis, in the Caribbean.  There are four restaurants to choose, serving American Regional Cuisine.

The Resort is always highly rated as one of the top resorts in the US, with 207 rooms, suites and cottages on twenty-two acres of lush gardens.  Nestled on Butterfly Beach in exclusive Montecito, the resort shares company with “celebrity estates, terraced vineyards, rugged canyons and golden sands.” The town of Santa Barbara is filled with Old and New Spanish Architecture, Museums, shopping and great seashore restaurants. You can stroll along the waterfront and watch the passersby, or visit the famous Santa Barbara Zoo. There is also a championship golf course nearby, or just hang out at the private beachfront club. The Four Seasons Resort and Spa is truly a world-class destination, located at 1260 Channel Drive, Santa Barbara.  For more information contact the hotel at 805. 969.2261, or visit www.fourseasons.com to book an unforgettable stay at this elegant property.

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