Monday, 5 August 2013

heaven at the four seasons biltmore

We packed up the kids and headed to a family friends wedding at the Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara in Montecito, CA for a much needed family vacation.  This was our first trip to Santa Barbara and as soon as we drove into entrance of the resort you could just sense that this place was magical.  Once we stepped out of the car from our drive from Los Angeles (of course with some drama involved with the kids) I was completely in love and was immediately trying to convince my husband to move to California.  I've never seen myself as a west coast girl but I may have to rethink this!  The resort is on an absolutely gorgeous seaside estate with beautiful Spanish Colonial buildings scattered throughout.  There is an amazing sense of privacy and so much to explore inside the resort.  The staff and service throughout our stay was incredible and you are really able to completely relax without having to worry about a thing.

We stayed in a ground floor garden room and was very warm and spacious.  I really loved all the character of the room and resort as there is only so much super modern decor this girl can take.  The bedroom doors opened onto a private patio that lead to the hotel grounds which was great for the kids to run around.  In true Four Seasons style there is a luxurious bathroom decorated with pretty hand painted tiles.  We have done a lot of travelling with the kids and this is seriously the most kid friendly hotel we have ever stayed in.  When we walked into the room a cot/crib was in there already with the cutest bedding and a set of organic baby toiletries place on top of the baby blanket.  The biggest surprise was the nappy/diaper wipes warmer sitting on the counter and a nappy bin/diaper pail already in the bathroom.  They really do think of everything to make you stay that much more enjoyable.  As if I wasn't already impressed the kids were given gifts constantly.  When we checked in the kiddies were greeted with their very own little Beanie Babies teddies (Ty Warner the founder of Beanie Babies is the owner of The Biltmore), snacks and beach toys were sent to our room, and when they came to turn down the beds little robes and slippers left on our beds.  It was really so sweet and the kids absolutely loved the spoiling!

There is an intimate swimming pool on the resort property that was a little too peaceful for my loud children running around.  The pool area was really beautiful and I would have happily relaxed there all day without the kids.  There is no beach area in the resort itself but I think the biggest perk of the hotel is access to the private Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club just across the street which more than makes up for all of this.  (Post to follow shortly!)

There are tons of activities for kids throughout the resort including a kids' club which we didn't have a chance to check out.  We did book a fantastic sitter through the hotel concierge which even my neurotic husband turned out to be completely comfortable with.  

I am a huge breakfast snob and pretty picky about hotel breakfasts.  I guess because it is my least favorite meal of the deal and really has to be something for me to be excited about.  I mean before kids the only way I would make it down for breakfast is if I was up because of jetlag.  Of course with the kids now we are all up and ready and there are hungry mouths to feed.  The breakfast buffet was definitely worth it at The Biltmore and such a great way to fuel up for the day.  There are an amazing selection of baked goodies, cheese and charcuterie selection, and most importantly an omelette station where you can order your eggs exactly how you want them.  I just loved having my breakfast sitting outside on the patio with ocean views and it could not be further from our meals in London.  There are plenty of young children running around so we felt really comfortable and even made a couple of friends.  We did have a celebrity sighting and sat next to Noel Gallagher of Oasis and his family.  They did have a nanny with them and I'm sure enjoyed their dining experience more than the chaos that follows me.

We really did have such a fantastic time at the Four Seasons and would love to go back again sometime.  What makes it so special is there is that relaxed California ambiance and makes it so easy to relax and unwind.  It truly is a little piece of heaven and I'm sure once it's winter again in London I will be plotting my escape to the gorgeous Santa Barbara.

1260 Channel Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

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