The Incomparable Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito

Elegant. Glamorous. Unrivaled. Rosewood Miramar Beach, located in the tony Santa Barbara enclave of Montecito, is the American Riviera’s most stunning resort.

Montecito has long served as an haute haven. As the home and weekend vacation choice of many Hollywood A-listers and other royal notables, the chic Santa Barbara hamlet is simultaneously sophisticated and bohemian, easy-going and energetic. With the addition of Rosewood Miramar Beach, the small enclave boasts a resort destination that matches the region’s effortless elegance.

Inspired by both Europe’s classic grand hotels and Montecito’s bucolic estates, Rosewood Miramar Beach owner Rick Caruso, real estate developer of popular retail sites such The Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles and the Commons at Calabasas, ensures that every detail within his sublime, beachfront paradise serves to create a transformative experience. Guests are enveloped within a luxe atmosphere, the vibe of which lingers long after departure. From the dozens and dozens of white roses encountered upon entry to the central Manor House, to the curated soundtracks wafting melodiously from the restaurants and pool decks, to destination dining offerings, Caruso has expertly crafted a service-oriented, coastal California retreat that is timeless.

Manor House Grand Foyer
Rosewood Miramar Beach Jolly

“The design of the property is created to immediately make guests feel at home from the moment they arrive,” said general manager Richard Fidel, who credits his astute staff for their ability at making guests feel special. “And this feeling of laid-back luxury stays with our visitors long after they leave the resort. Our team takes pride in ensuring that visitors are looked after and receive the utmost in service before, during, and after their stay.”

An homage to the golden age of hospitality, the residential style resort lies within 16 acres of pansy-lined, manicured gardens, amongst which are sprinkled 160 ultra sumptuous and spacious rooms and suites. 26 are oceanfront Beach House suites, studios, and guestrooms with direct access onto the sand, an unparalleled Southern California offering. Hammocks and fire pits dot the property, throughout which twinkle-lit, old growth trees provide shade. Two expansive cabana-lined pools (one for families, one for solitude) flank the great lawn where white Adirondack chairs are poised towards the Pacific. The pristine, butler-staffed beach features complimentary chairs, umbrellas, beach toys, and water sports equipment to help make the most of a day in the sun. And there’s no better spot to enjoy an evening libation than within the sultry Carlyle-esque Manor Bar.

Manor Pool
Manor Bar

Diane Johnson and Nancy Corzine, internationally renowned designers, fashioned the classic, art-deco inspired room and suite interiors that feature lush textiles and linens. Fully stocked mini bars offer deluxe sized spirits, half bottles of wine, and an assortment of refreshments, to be enjoyed on private balconies or within furnished, garden adjacent patios. Spacious marble bathrooms feature a custom ‘Marine Fresh’ line of amenities. An assortment of ‘coffee table’ books provide appropriately nuanced reading material.

Garden Bungalow Suite
Garden Bungalow Suite Terrace

Additional design features, such as the stately Manor House’s carved staircase and the serpentine-edged Cabana Pool, pay tribute to the late esteemed Southern Californian architect Paul Revere Williams, for whom the resort’s newest restaurant is named. The Revere Room’s classic dining room features chinoiserie blue, hand-painted Gracie wallpaper, dark-stained chevron wood floors that contrast with tones of ivory and cream, and magnificent French wood doors that open to an expansive patio and ocean breezes. Here, the resort’s Executive Chef Massimo Falsini celebrates the best of the American Riviera with seasonally-driven, all day menus that feature health-conscious cuisine incorporating the freshest ingredients from local farmers, fisherman and ranchers, as well as the resort’s own garden.

At Caruso’s, the resort’s extraordinarily popular signature waterfront restaurant, designed to resemble the stern of a yacht, the Rome-raised Falsini indulges his passion for Southern Italian Cuisine with signature items such as Compression of Carbonara, detailed on the menu with the descriptor, “I grew up in Trastavere; you should try this one.”  In addition to pasta dishes, selections from land and sea are complemented by an extensive selection of hyperlocal and international wines. Hovering just above Caruso’s is the Miramar Beach Bar where classic cocktails are served with an always brilliant setting sun.

Miramar Beach Bar
Caruso’s Terrace

Caruso’s experience within the retail sector is well illustrated by the resort’s varied retail offerings. Rosewood Miramar Beach was the first permanent hotel location for goop, the modern lifestyle brand founded and helmed by Gwyneth Paltrow. The Shop at Miramar, located in the Manor House, features a selection of signature resort wear. The Gatehouse, a California-inspired concept store curated by designer James Perse, is housed in its own brick building facing the Manor House. And The Webster, the luxury multi-brand retailer, places its first permanent resort boutique within the Manor House lobby. Well-known for its selection of fashion labels such as Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, and Fendi, The Webster offers personalized service either in the boutique or in the comfort of rooms and suites.

If, after enjoying the elegant swimming pools, a few games of bocce ball, and a walk along the beach, one finds need for further relaxation, Sense, A Rosewood Spa, stands ready to pamper with treatments inspired by centuries old healing traditions and the native plants found along the coast. The small yet sumptuous and tranquil space provides the option of enjoying al-fresco treatments on a sunny deck overlooking the stunning Santa Ynez mountains.

“We have created a place where guests of all ages are welcomed and can feel at ease while lounging by the pool and beach or playing a game of bocce with friends and family, all while embracing the elevated setting of the resort,” said Fidel. “We offer a truly residential experience, coupled with unmatched personalized service and amenities to create a domestic getaway reminiscent of that of an international escape.”

Beach House Suite Terrace

Those seeking to take home a bit of the Rosewood Miramar Beach vibe might consider membership in the Miramar Wine Collective, in which Director of Wine Daniel Fish curates a monthly offering of choice vintages from Santa Barbara Wine Country, as well as from around the globe. Members receive a unique array of four to 12 bottles per shipment, delivered or available for pickup at the resort during the last four days of each month, providing a great reason to return to this haute haven again and again.

All photos courtesy of Rosewood Miramar Beach

Fran Miller

Fran Endicott Miller is an experienced travel, wine, and general feature writer for a variety of luxury lifestyle publications and websites. Prior to her journalism career she established and managed the Golden State Warriors' first official community relations department and efforts. Principled and genuine, she’s known for thoughtfully eloquent writing. When not traveling, she can be found walking her Northern California neighborhood with her beloved golden retriever Nate.