Rosewood Miramar Beach | Montecito, CA

The mere mention of Santa Barbara, California conjures up images of sunshine, pristine beaches lined with Palm trees, lavish Mediterranean-style homes and the beautiful people and celebrities that live inside of them. This appeal has long enticed visitors to this area and, as such, resorts have been stepping up to the demand by providing upscale accommodations and a portal into this luxurious lifestyle…even if only for a weekend.

In 2019, the Rosewood Miramar Beach opened its doors and entered into this luxury resort arena…and I believe they may have taken the game to the next level. Located in the affluent community of Montecito, an unincorporated section of Santa Barbara, the Rosewood Miramar Beach is the first ultra-luxury resort to offer oceanfront guestrooms situated directly on the beach. This unparalleled and desirable location alone sets them apart from any other hotel in the area, and yet there are so many more unique attributes this resort has to offer.

The Property

Though the Rosewood Miramar Beach resort was built completely new from the ground-up, the property has a deep-rooted history as the former site of the Miramar By The Sea Hotel, a once-fashionable Miramar Beach getaway established in the late 1800s. See history {here}.

More than a century and many owners later, real estate developer, Rick Caruso, purchased the property in 2007 intending to create a new resort that would honor its history. Unbeknownst to Caruso, it would take him 9 years before he would be able to start construction due to the many obstacles of building on the coast. He was finally able to begin construction in 2016 with the resort’s grand opening in 2019.

Some unique distinctions of the Rosewood Miramar Beach are that it is located a very short distance from Highway 101, along with the additional characteristic that railroad tracks run directly through a section of the property. I won’t be shy in admitting that I initially had some genuine concerns on how that would affect the ambiance and serenity of the resort. However, I have to admit that Caruso and his team did a fabulous job integrating what could be considered a potential impediment, and embraced the history and heritage of the railroad tracks to create an interesting attribute on the property.

The train tracks were part of the architectural design of the property as the tracks have been there for nearly 100 years and it is an endearing part of the nostalgia of Miramar. The resort has taken extreme caution in providing the safety and security of its guests by installing iron fencing on each side of the tracks, as well as placing a security guard 24 hours a day at the gate to safely guide guests across the tracks. The railroad tracks run by the Miramar Beach Bar and when a train is about to go by, the bartender will ring a warning bell to alert guests, which thrill the young and young-at-heart.

The Manor House

As you drive up the stone-paved driveway to the resort, you arrive in front of what appears to be a grand estate immaculately painted a crisp white with contrasting black shutters that provide a stately backdrop to the sharply dressed staff lined up waiting to greet you. As you walk up to the front entrance, a lustrous, residential-style black paneled door is wide open as though it has been waiting to welcome your arrival.

Upon entering the estate, or Manor House as it is known here, you will find yourself in an elegant foyer almost reminiscent of a bygone era with its black and white harlequin patterned flooring, crystal chandelier in the center of the room draping over a glamorous fresh floral arrangement, and the pièce de résistance, a striking curved staircase so elegantly winding its way against the paneled walls leading you up to another level of paradise.

As you continue through the foyer, you enter a tasteful living room with an air of sophistication. The cozy seating arrangement beckons you to sit and relax in front of the fireplace as you gaze out over the Great Lawn towards the ocean beyond.

Once you step outside, the feeling is picturesque with families playing on the lawn, couples sitting in Adirondack chairs sipping their libations, friends playing Bocce Ball, and sounds of water splashing from the two separate pools flanked on each side of the Great Lawn. The feeling somehow evokes a lavish lifestyle reminiscent of a west coast version of the Kennedy Family’s Camelot.

Guest Rooms

This 16-acre beachfront property offers 160 luxury guestrooms, including two Specialty Suites, Beachfront Suites, as well as freestanding multi-bedroom family Bungalows and Lanai House guestrooms.

In keeping with the residential feel of the resort, the Bungalows and Lanai House guestrooms are located in what I can only describe as an idyllic “neighborhood” setting with winding cobblestone pathways, post lamps in front of each bungalow, decorative espaliers, boxwoods, and mature trees with hanging illuminated decorative balls that add a magical ambiance in the evening.

The single-story Garden Bungalows and Suites and the Lanai House guestrooms are both located within this serene setting. The difference being the Bungalows offer a sense of independent privacy, while the Lanai House offers guestrooms located in a two-story building in which you enter your room through a hallway.

Each guestroom feels pristine, bright, and airy. There is a comfortable sophistication to the design of each room that offers an upscale beach feel with its crisp, white bedding against blue and yellow accent colors on the wallpaper, furniture, rugs, and artwork. Photographs of beach images scattered throughout provide a welcoming atmosphere. The bathrooms are spacious and elegant with marbled double sinks, floors, and showers feeling quite decadent. Suites that offer living room areas feel residential in style featuring vaulted ceilings, velour-covered sofas, side chairs customized in the likes of hounds-tooth fabric, banquets covered with patterned pillows, separate dressing rooms, and furnished terraces.

For the ultimate in ocean view accommodations, stay in a Beach House Suite or Studio that provides private terraces directly over the beach. From the moment you walk into one of these rooms, you are memorized by the stunning blue Pacific Ocean view, white sand beach, and the sound of crashing waves just beyond your sliding doors. These rooms offer the epitome of beachfront accommodations not offered anywhere else in Santa Barbara.

See {here} for all room descriptions.

Beach House Suite

Dining

There are many distinct dining experiences at Rosewood Miramar Beach from sweet treats to the finest dining. Some of the options available are:

Scoop Shop: The Manor Pool’s seasonal eatery serving up Soda Fountain style casual fare and Black Market Gelato & Sorbet in a playful restaurant setting.

Cabana Bar: The Cabana Bar, located at the adult-only Cabana Pool offers refreshing cocktails and poolside fare.

Miramar Food Truck: Serving up classic to-go dishes and it also serves up the food for the Miramar Beach Bar.

Miramar Beach Bar: Offers refreshing cocktails and lite bites throughout the day and closes at sunset. The Miramar Beach Bar attracts a lot of locals because it is a fun place for a drink or to catch a bite to eat and look out over the gorgeous ocean view.

The Manor Bar: A perfect sophisticated setting for sipping handcrafted cocktails and enjoying intimate conversations.

Caruso’s: Serves breakfast and fine dining for dinner with beautiful ocean views. Whether you come for breakfast by the beach or for the pre-fixe dinner menu created by Chef Massimo, you can’t go wrong with this choice.

Massimo’s Herb Garden: Inquire for private or special occasion dinners served in Chef Massimo’s Herb Garden.

See {here} for more descriptions on these options. At the time of my visit {February 2021}, a new restaurant and retail space were in development, so look for those options in the near future.

Retail Shops

Upon entering the hotel’s foyer, you will find The Webster, a luxury fashion house selling designer brands such as Celine, Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent along with many others; The Gatehouse, a California-inspired concept store curated by designer James Perse, featuring clothing, home accessories alongside an eclectic mix of antiques and one-of-a-kind pieces; The Shop at Miramar, the resort’s retail space exclusively featuring The Miramar Collection, a curated selection of signature resort wear, children’s apparel, beach toys, gifts and more; and goop Sundries, a wellness and lifestyle brand founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, combines goop-approved favorites in clean beauty, wellness, athletic wear and resort fashion with elevated beach essentials for travelers.

Spa and Fitness

Editor's Note: This property was visited during Covid 19 imposed restrictions {February 2021}, therefore, not all spa and fitness facilities were operating under normal procedure and/or open to be viewed and experienced. This review will be updated upon a return visit after Covid 19 restrictions are lifted. Modified spa treatments were still being offered in individual rooms, however, all other spa facilities were closed. Only outdoor fitness equipment was available to use.

Spa

Sense, A Rosewood Spa at Rosewood Miramar Beach, has the distinction of having earned the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Rating. The full-service spa is recognized for its signature treatments including massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures, along with the spa’s highly trained staff and seasoned therapists, as well as luxury skincare lines such as Maison Caulieres and EviDenS de Beauty.

Spa guests will experience a tranquil retreat featuring co-ed and private relaxation lounges, a eucalyptus steam room, and well-appointed men’s and women’s locker rooms.

See {here} for the spa treatment menu.

Fitness

For guests who enjoy maintaining their fitness routine during their stay, enjoy guided hikes in the San Ysidro Mountains to fitness jogging on Miramar Beach and sunset yoga sessions. The resort’s state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor Fitness Studio features outdoor treadmills alongside high-performance equipment from Woodway and Peloton. An enclosed private studio designed for aerobic and yoga practice is also available.

For more details and descriptions on the resort’s wellness offerings see {here}.

Pools

The Cabana Pool

For the adults-only, the Cabana pool offers a serene setting with a striking scalloped zero-edge border pool, surrounded by glamorous cabanas designed in a vintage-style black and white theme. The Cabana Bar serves poolside fare throughout the day so bring a good book and treat yourself to a stress-free day by the pool.

The Manor Pool

The resort’s family-friendly Manor Pool is designed in vibrant yellow and orange accents with striped umbrellas creating a fun atmosphere. Seven cabanas offer families comfortable private enclaves for enjoying the pool. Adding to the Manor Pool’s allure is the neighboring ice cream and burger shack…this is the perfect spot to keep your kiddos entertained for hours.

The Cabana’s at both pools are available for a daily rental fee.

Beach

Santa Barbara is often referred to as the “American Riviera” and this resort epitomizes that description. The Rosewood Miramar Beach evokes a carefree and playful essence with its prime location directly on the beach. Complimentary lounge chairs and playful striped umbrellas positioned in linear rows create a nostalgic scene for the perfect beach day for hotel guests. The resort offers food and cocktail service on the beach, as well as a range of activities and programs for both sand and sea. The Rosewood Miramar Beach is the only resort in the region that offers its guests this unique all-encompassing beach service experience.

Miramar Beach

Activites

Resort guests can enjoy an abundance of activities on-site as mentioned above and including bocce ball and shuffleboard, bonding over fire pit chats, and the many other experiences offered at the Rosewood Miramar Beach, see {here} for more ideas.

As an added perk, the resort offers an eclectic fleet of automobiles to escort guests around the property and throughout the community in style. The property’s house car, a Rolls-Royce Ghost, embodies Rosewood Miramar Beach’s classic elegance, while three custom-designed “Jollys” make excursions into nearby Montecito a pure delight. The vibrant “Jollys” boast pink, turquoise, and yellow exteriors, as well as open-air sides, polished wicker seats, and sporty striped canopy roofs, providing for a whimsical experience.

Beyond the resort, be sure to explore the beautiful surrounding areas of Santa Barbara such as its growing wine region, downtown shopping on State Street, the Channel Islands, antique hunting in Summerland, visit the Danish town of Solvang, the Santa Barbara Mission, go to the zoo, or any one of the many other activities this abundant region has to offer.

Summary

The Rosewood Miramar Beach resort exudes an air of being timeless and classic while providing an unsurpassed level of service and hospitality. The guest experience here is designed to make each person feel welcomed and comfortable from the residential-style accommodations to the attentive staff assuring your every need is met. This resort truly offers a luxurious, unique, and unprecedented experience, while celebrating the glamour, sophistication, and spirit of a bygone era.

Rosewood Miramar Beach

1759 South Jameson Lane

Montecito, CA 93108

Susan Edel
Susan Edel


Susan Edel is a travel writer who specializes in luxury travel and resorts. She is the founder/editor of http://www.NoOrdinaryResort.com, a website featuring some of the most luxurious resorts in the U.S. and beyond.

Susan enjoys inspiring people to experience the joy of luxury travel, exceptional resorts, and unique experiences through her writing and original photography. Life Is Too Short For Ordinary.