Tucked away in the exclusive Montecito community in Southern California is the ultra luxury resort Rosewood Miramar Beach. The resort takes its name from its stunning location on one of the most pristine beaches in California, Miramar means “to behold the sea.” Montecito is about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles but we flew direct from Dallas to the small airport of Santa Barabara and spent a week this summer. Honestly, we didn’t quite love it as first but we warmed up to the property eventually… in the end, the beach and the staff at the beach club won us over!
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A little history of the Rosewood Miramar Montecito California
Here is a little history about the resort – years ago Miramar by the Sea was a storied resort on this strip of beach. It was first purchased by a young couple in 1876 as a private residence and then they built cottages and a lodge for visiting friends and family. Soon afterward the cottages became accommodations so that outside guests would also be able to share in the magic of Miramar. With each passing summer season, so many fell in love with the destination and the resort and it became a cherished retreat. Miramar Beach is now developed and owned by Caruso, the company behind some of the world’s most acclaimed shopping, dining and lifestyle destinations and managed by Rosewood Hotels and Resorts.
A sense of Place at Miramar Beach
Inspired by the beautiful homes and estates of Montecito, and true to Rosewood’s signature residential-style, Rosewood Miramar Beach is more like a private home and less like a hotel. The property features luxurious accommodations, including 161 guestrooms and suites, in 16 acres of lush landscaping with hanging pots brimming with flowers, a lotus pond, fountains strategically placed hammocks under ancient trees. Most of the rooms are cottages or bungalows with a few in Lanai buildings a couple of stories tall, it spread out like a private estate.
The patio area with sofas with powder blue cushions and vases of califonia roses was our favorite, just to enjoy coffee, cocktail or just chill!
The Manor House
A stone-paved driveway leads to a single entry wood door that opens into the grand foyer, the heart of the property at the magnificent Manor House. The centerpiece is its curved staircase design by esteemed Southern Californian architect Paul Williams. His original drawings are on display within the property’s entryway, showcasing a number of sketches, including the inspiration behind the resort’s spiral staircase. It is said that Mr. Caruso brought in the interior designers who decorated his home to design the resort and the Manor house so that it has the luxury and style of residential space. With the Grand Piano and art-filled walls, it does look like you walked into a friend’s house – a wealthy friend’s estate rather!
There are three signature suites in the Manor House including The Founder’s Residence, The Miramar Suite and The Ambassador Suite. Perfect for those celebrating weddings or private events at Rosewood Miramar Resort. Stop by the Chandelier Room, where wedding are hosted to see the custom Baccarat chandeliers, each with Baccarat’s signature single red octagonal crystal alongside a single blue precious stone, a subtle nod to the history of Miramar.
Rooms and Bungalows at Rosewood Miramar Resort
The sprawling Montecito enclave of Rosewood Miramar has beautiful Bungalows and Lanai House guestrooms. Each guestroom accommodation is light and airy furnished with lavish bedding, a roomy dressing area and a balcony with of the garden, mountains or ocean or mountainside. Marbled bathrooms are elegant and spacious with freestanding soaking tubs, separate his-and-her vanities, custom toiletries and amenities.
Beach, Pool & the Great Lawn
The Montecito beach is pristine with cool Pacific waters lapping against a sandy beach, perfect for afternoon walks and evening sunsets. Rosewood Miramar Beach offers guests all-inclusive beach experience with complimentary access to chairs and umbrellas, surfboards and paddleboards.
There are food and cocktail services and the resort’s beach attendants were the best. Albeit a bit chilly we spent most of our time here watching the tides, dogs walk with their owners and kids swim. Some didn’t mind the chilly water and were playing in the Pacific waves all day.
Lounging by the pool is always a great option at Miramar Beach – there two pools on property. One a family friendly pool with striped yellow umbrellas and a cute scoop shop serving snacks, sweets and locally-made artisanal ice cream from Roris. And another adult-only Cabana pool with cabanas topped with a stylish black and white valance.
You can also enjoy a variety of activities including open-air bocce and shuffleboard or watch the kids run around in the Great Lawn. Spend the evenings cozying up to a flickering firepit scattered around the property.
A train track runs through Rosewood Miramar Beach Resort and separates the beach from the property. The crossing is always manned and sometimes they blow bubbles and sound the whistle every time a train passes by. Quite a sight to watch for little ones!
Custom Jollys & Rolls-Royce House Car
The property’s house car fleet includes a Rolls-Royce Ghost and three custom designed and crafted “Jollys” in shades of turquoise, yellow and pink. It makes for excursions into town in nearby Montecito a delight. Open-air sides, wicker seats and sporty canopy roofs, these Jollys are a tribute to the picturesque taxis in Capri and the limited-edition Fiat 600. The chauffeured cars were ideal for family transport to Santa Barbara and Montecito. We took it to the San Ysidro Ranch for lunch and Ganna Lotusland one day and for dinner in Santa Barbara a couple of times.
The cars were available for everyday use on a first come first serve basis and needless to stay, D had a blast riding in the Ghost! I was fascinated with the shimmering roof that looked like a star-studded sky. Reminded us of our stay at Badrutts Palace where we rode the Rolls Royce to take us to some mountain adventures. The fleet is available for special events and celebrations, such as weddings and off-site picnics, we were told.
The goop Sundries Shop at Rosewood Miramar Beach is the brand’s first permanent hotel retail store where it combines goop-approved favorites in clean beauty, wellness, athleticwear and resort fashion with elevated beach essentials for travelers.
Beyond the Sundries Shop, each guestroom at Rosewood Miramar Beach features a minibar and a bar cart offering an assortment of goop curated items.
Rosewood Miramar Restaurants
Caruso’s, the lively oceanfront restaurant, features al fresco seating over the sand alongside a stylish interior with unmatched views of the Pacific Ocean. Signature dishes utilize the highest-quality ingredients sourced from neighboring farmers, fisherman and ranchers.
Malibu Farm at Miramar, the first California resort outpost of the beloved farm-to-table by Helene Henderson, offers all-day dining in a refined yet rustic and laid back setting. The restaurant serves simply prepared plates crafted from fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. We enjoyed breakfast here most days.
Miramar Beach Bar, the Beach House’s oceanfront oasis inspired by a luxurious sailing vessel, is the place for snacks, sunsets and craft cocktails.
So after that raving review of the Rosewood Miramar Montecetio and photos to prove how gorgeous this Southern California resort is if you are wondering why we did not love it initially? It was because of first impressions! We have stayed at many fine luxury properties before and what makes you feel welcome is the staff, especially the ones up front who check you in. Which was a bit lacking.
What makes a luxury brand special especially when you are spending a couple of thousand bucks is how they make you feel rather than the brick and mortar and design! Be it stocking the coffee bar with you favorite pods, addressing you by name and making you feel at home! The resort was still new, barely open for a month or two when we visited, we chalked it up to lack of training and left it at that! The staff everywhere else from the beach, pool, and restaurants were fantastic. We might give it another try someday, we did love everything else about the resort!
Few more photos from Rosewood Miramar in Montecito, California
When it comes to combining the mountains and the sea, it is tough to think of a better place in the US than Santa Barbara often called The American Riviera. Tucked between the Pacific and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara exudes a Mediterranean feel with its coastline, vegetation, and architecture and if you are looking to spend a week or weekend in a luxury beach resort you can’t go wrong with Rosewood Miramar in Montecito, California!
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