The addition of 13 new
Spanish Colonial Revival
-style cottages, will bring total
guest accommodations to
92 suites and rooms.

SANTA BARBARA, has exclusively learned that Los Angeles-based Bernards is implementing the $46-million El Encanto restoration and rebuild project. The five-star, Santa Barbara resort hotel is owned and operated by Orient–Express Hotels Ltd.

The hotel is currently closed for refurbishment and will reopen in March 2013. “We are replacing the main hotel, which was built in 1913, with a meticulously constructed, recreation of the period architecture,” explains Michael Cawlina, president of Bernards management services division. The new hotel structure, which was designed by Gensler, will provide modern-day facilities and services such as a boutique spa, fitness center and outdoor zero-edge pool, as well as underground parking.

The resort is located on a secluded site overlooking the Pacific Ocean and city lights. The property’s Craftsman- and Spanish Colonial Revival-style bungalows, will be restored to “strengthen their structures, meet code and upgrade interiors,” according to Bernards. The firm will also add 13 new Spanish Colonial Revival-style cottages, bringing total guest accommodations to 92 suites and rooms.

Ali Kasikci, regional managing director for North America, Mexico and the Caribbean at Orient-Express, tells that “The coastal counties of California have made a very strong recovery with most at or near capacity occupancies, and experiencing a strong ADR growth. Growth should continue into 2013, mostly coming from rate, as occupancy has only a limited capacity, therefore hampered ability to grow further. Inland counties are growing as well, but more modestly and have a longer way to go.”