A quiet Santa Barbara refuge
7 Treatment Rooms
Perched on a low mountain rising above the sparkling Pacific Ocean overlooking the red-tile roofs of downtown Santa Barbara, The Spa at El Encanto is a secluded retreat. A trip to Belmond El Encanto’s spa allows you to escape the fray to indulge in services that sound good enough to eat — a grape seed body scrub, an apricot oil massage and an avocado oil hair treatment are just a few of the delicious-sounding offerings.
There is a luxury residential feel to the three interior sections of the spa; they are simple and clean without being pompous or ostentations, bathed in primarily neutral colors. All seven treatments rooms, with 15-foot ceilings, emphasize natural lighting, volume of space and minimalist décor to better focus your energies on what is most important — a protected calm so your visit is unquestionably rewarding.
The treatment rooms have individual temperature controls, and you can use your iPod to upload your own music for a more customizable experience. The Serenity Lounge, your pre-treatment moment of Zen, is all beige and soft tones with wainscoting. The lounge provides a quiet place to begin your healing sojourn with water, tea and fruit.
Though pooches are not allowed inside the treatment rooms, don’t be afraid to bring your dog. There is an outdoor terrace complete with a water feature and grass where they will be watched and cared for.
Seasonal treatments use fresh herbs grown in the property’s garden, including lemon basil in the summer, sage in the autumn and peppermint in the winter. Some of the popular options are the anti-aging and deep-pore-cleansing facials, and body treatments like the coffee scrub and a warm coconut body wrap.
For the utmost relaxation, choose from a slew of massages: traditional Swedish, aroma stone (a blend of aromatherapy and hot stone), Thai, deep tissue, four hands, couples (performed in the couples suite) and maternity. You can opt to have the Swedish or deep-tissue rubdowns in your hotel room as well. Additionally, the kid-friendly spa pampers the under-12 set with mini manis and pedis, and 30-minute massages.
SkinCeuticals, a line of facial creams and scrubs, is routinely used and El Encanto is the only hotel in Santa Barbara to carry the line. In addition, the spa stocks the Beverly Hills-based Linda Ross skin-care line, which is also exclusive to the property.
The hair and nail salon offers multiple services, including manicures, pedicures, tanning, waxing, blowouts, updos and, of course, women and men’s haircuts and styling.
Separate from the Santa Barbara spa is a small gym with a handful of state-of-the-art machines and some equipment outside on the brick patio, bathed in sun. Located at the back of the fitness room is a private yoga space with hardwood floors. Dance and yoga classes are provided there daily.
There is also an outdoor zero-edge saltwater pool, heated between 84 and 86 degrees, whose best attribute is that you can look straight out to the ocean and not only see the glimmering Pacific, but also Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands in the distance. Take your end-of-treatment detoxifying tea here to bask in the quiet retreat’s stunning views.