Where? Santa Barbara, California
Exactly? We stayed at the legendary Four Seasons hotel, The Biltmore.
When? May 2016
On the 6th leg of The Style Traveller classic, American road trip, we stopped off in the colourful, Spanish colonial city of Santa Barbara, which was one of my favourite places on the route. Santa Barbara is often described as the Californian Riviera owing to it’s Mediterranean and Spanish architecture, much of which dates back to the 17th century.
Nestled between mountains and the Pacific Ocean, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Santa Barbara from shopping, hiking, sight seeing, dining to whale watching boat tours and paddle boarding. Also not to be missed is the Urban Wine Trail in downtown Santa Barbara. We stayed for one night at the stunning Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel. One night is fine but next time I’d like to stay longer and have a little extra time to relax and enjoy the city fully.
Part of the prestigious The Four Seasons Hotel Group, The Biltmore Santa Barbara is an effortlessly, stylish beach front hotel inspired by the colourful, Mediterranean architecture synonymous with the city. Walking into it’s grand entrance hall feels like walking into an old, Spanish palace, decadent and atmospheric. Every aspect of the hotel is filled with flowers and fauna, from the patterned tiles and art work, through to the immaculately, manicured, scented gardens and grounds, which attract pretty butterflies. I felt so relaxed as soon as I arrived, it’s luxurious yet playful, colourful and homely.
The enchanting, terracotta roofed hotel viewed from a boat, with dramatic mountain backdrop.
Even the breakfasts at The Biltmore are a colourful affair and I’d happily say one of the best hotel buffets on the West coast.
My pretty room at the Biltmore looking out over a pool facing, private veranda.
Spa rooms are filled with flowers and face out over the calm blue seas.
The tiled Mediterranean water fountain is the feature of the gardens.
The Style Traveller, Bonnie Rakhit posing in a Sandro lace dress from Bicester Village in the grounds of The Biltmore.Gated pool at The Biltmore.Early evening aperitifs on the romantic, candle lit terrace.Dinner at Tydes
Something of a Santa Barbara institution, the restaurant belonging to The Biltmore, situated across the road from the main hotel is Tydes. Open only to hotel guests, The Tydes is also a private members club for the city’s well heeled crowd.
We enjoyed a fantastic seafood supper with a spectacular view of the beach at sunset. The rest of the club has private members rooms and an olympic sized swimming pool in retro, art deco style.
The beautiful pool at Tydes private members club.I indulged in my favourite starter, oysters at Tydes.What to do in Santa Barbara
We only had 24 hours in the beautiful city, so one of the best ways to see it is to get a trolley tour. With stop offs at various points of interest around the city, it’s a quick and easy way to get your bearings and getting a feel for the unique atmosphere.
Above: Bonnie at the Mission monastery wearing Sandro dress from Bicester Village and below the Courthouse.
The shopping streets in Santa Barbara are housed in refurbished colonial buildings. One of the prettiest shopping areas in California, with international shops as well as individual designer boutiques.
Below: Bonnie in the gardens at the Biltmore wearing Karen Millen dress from Bicester Village.
Good bye from beautiful Santa Barbara, Next stop LA!
For more destinations from the road trip click these links – Coachella – San Francisco – Sonoma –Yosemite – Big Sur
To plan an American road trip adventure of your own check out www.visitcalifornia.com
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