The Rosewood Miramar is the type of hotel, where upon entering the grounds, you instantly know you never want to leave. The grounds are breathtaking and it feels like you just walked onto a movie set, where old world country club architecture meets California charm and laid back vibes.
The Rosewood Miramar feels like a very luxurious, yet comfortable home -- not a stuffy hotel. Think: big green lawns with croquet courts, open porches with the most comfortable chairs, hammocks nestled between bungalow style rooms, firepits tucked between pools, yellow and white striped awnings, an outdoor gym (very California), the stretch of beach beyond, and...a train that runs right through the center of the property. Yes...I just said that!
During my hotel research, I was initially a bit concerned about 3 factors: the closeness of the hotel to the highway, the distance of the hotel from downtown Santa Barbara (it's never fun to pack up a kid), and the train that unapologetically cruises right through the grounds. I kept asking myself, “Why is there a train running through the main lawn?” However, I’m happy to report that all of these aspects were not an issue in the slightest.
- The highway instantly melts away once you're on property.
- The drive to downtown Santa Barbara was VERY quick (5-7 min), and quite painless to do with a toddler.
- The train was such a unique feature to the hotel! It didn’t pass through too often, but when it did make an appearance, it made for some pretty hysterical toddler reaction photos (see below). Don't be surprised if some of your days/nights start to revolve around spotting a train pass by.
Room categories and details:
When booking, you can choose to either sleep in a Beach House room or in a Garden Bungalow (each one has further options like standard rooms, suites, etc).
We opted for a Garden Bungalow Lanai Suite, because it provided ample space for our traveling trio. Boy -- it did not disappoint! The Lanai Suites are well appointed and inviting. Each includes a bedroom and separate living area, as well as 2 bathrooms. It also had a patio, allowing my husband and I to relax outside during Claire's nap. Also, the Bungalows are a little closer to the pools and restaurants, and we enjoyed strolling through the grounds everyday to reach these main areas.
As a mom, I really appreciated the "kid friendly" touches made prior to our arrival. Hotel staff left a care bag for Claire, which contained baby soaps and shampoos. They also gave her a teddy bear dressed as a train conductor (a nod to the hotel's unique train "amenity"), and a matching conductor hat for me. I'm a sucker for cute mommy-and-me gear.
After you unpack your bags, it's time to eat:
If you’re a foodie, the Rosewood Miramar has you covered. The go-to restaurant is Malibu Farm, whose interiors match the California beach vibe seen throughout the property. For lunch or dinner, I recommend ordering the cauliflower tacos and angel food cake (I am guilty of a second order at midnight).
Formal brunch is served every weekend, and is a must-try. I am not ashamed to admit that I ordered the lemon ricotta pancakes both Saturday and Sunday. My husband bee-lined for the bountiful buffet, and I snagged a few items off his plate. One wow factor of the buffet:…(drum roll)...the scrambled eggs. Now listen, I come from a family of very fussy egg-eaters, and on vacation I tend to avoid the whole “scrambled eggs in a pot” option. However, Malibu Farms shattered that soggy-egg stereotype; it’s a sign of a great restaurant when they nail the (egg) basics.
On site activities:
There is plenty to keep everyone busy if you decide to spend a day close to your Rosewood home.
- Pool time: If you brought the kiddos, head over to the separate family pool, where there is a “stay and play all day” vibe. The candy-shop located next to the pool will entice both you and the little ones. If you are staying at Rosewood Miramar for some adult-time, then check out the adults only pool, where there is a bar, plenty of hot tubs, and you’ll enjoy some R&R.
- Beach time: I recommend rising early to see the sunrise at least one time. We went for an early morning sunrise walk on our first day (Claire’s idea), and it was like a secret color explosion. We were lucky enough to be the only people on the beach. However, make sure to head back later during “normal beaching hours” to enjoy the Rosewood Miramar beach bar and relax in the warm sand.
- Spa time: My spa visit was one of my most memorable experiences, for both obvious and unpredictable reasons. Tucked away on the upstairs floor of the main hotel lodge, the spa was intimate, cozy, and every detail executed perfectly. It offered a steam room and sauna, and I highly recommend Karen for a massage. At the end of my massage I was still treated like royalty. I remember seeing a very large, muscular man at the threshold of the relaxation room, with an earpiece in his ear. My first thought was, “Oh, it's the Secret Service -- the First Lady must be here.” He then approached me (I got nervous), and said, “Jillian, please follow me to the relaxation room where your tea is waiting.” That’s first class service folks.
- Game time: If you want to stretch your legs and get your muscles moving, you have a few options. There is an outdoor gym (very California), a bocce ball and croquet court, and a giant lawn where I mostly just rolled in the grass with Claire taking photos.
Would I Return?
Absolutely! The Rosewood Miramar is the perfect option for a girls' trip, or a larger extended family get together. I traveled in early November, but in the future, I hope to visit in summer months.
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