Tucked away on 22 acres of colorful, garden-filled grounds overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara in California. With a rich history (John and Jacqueline Kennedy frequented the retreat while on their honeymoon in 1953), Art Deco details from the original 1927 design, and picturesque views to match, there's only one thing to do: Grab a pen and add this destination to your bucket list.
BOOK NOW Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
The beachfront resort will greet you with an ivory-filled entryway—to your right is a lush rose garden, and beyond that more than 200 species of palm. As impressive as the greenery (maintained daily by a team of 13 full-time gardeners) are the amenities and accommodations (from $595 in low season and $895 in peak season). And there isn't a bad view in sight, be it of the ocean or the Spanish Colonial architecture.
As you walk through the property, there are so many details to take in. There's the Jungle Pool, surrounded by greenery and equipped with pool attendants that provide everything from ice water to an hourly Evian water spritz (seriously).
There's also the resort's Moreton Bay fig, which is the second oldest tree in Santa Barbara and is majestical enough to make you feel like you're in a storybook.
The Coral Casino and Beach Club
If you're considering a stay, let this opportunity seal the deal: Access to the famous Coral Casino and Beach Club, which opened in 1937 and was known for hosting Hollywood stars and politicians. Adjacent to the resort, the club sits on Butterfly Beach and guests staying in high category rooms have complimentary access (it's otherwise $200 per day). A 2013 Forbes article reports that joining the club costs $300,000 not including annual fees—making it one of the most exclusive clubs in the country.
If the club looks familiar, you might know it from Gray Malin's Coral Casino series, which is said to celebrate history and design by "transporting viewers to the poolside glamour of yesteryear." So, yes, a day here will feel as perfect as one of Malin's images.
On top of a pool that's just one foot over Olympic-sized (sadly preventing the venue from ever hosting regulated events), the club has what I would call the best views in Santa Barbara. If you make your way to Coral Casino, be sure to stop by the club restaurant, Tydes, for a drink at their aquarium bar.
The Ty Warner Bungalow
If you thought it couldn't possibly get any more luxurious, think again. The most extravagant place to stay on the property is its new waterfront villa, the Ty Warner Bungalow, which costs $12,500 a night.
Originally built in 1904 for Robert S. Odell, the previous owner of The Biltmore, the 2,000-square-foot residence has been renovated with modern upgrades while still maintaining its original charm. It includes hand-carved 24-karat gold leaf mirrors, hand-painted Andalusian Talavera bathroom tiles, and an outdoor patio space with a 20-foot heated plunge pool.
Take a full tour of the resort below, and while you're doing that, I'll be booking my flight to Santa Barbara.
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