Every pamper-seeker knows that it’s always iffy when you book a massage at a new spa. You never know what to expect. Sometimes you get a great rub and well on other occasions, not so good. So when this spa snob made a massage appointment at the six-month old spa at El Encanto Santa Barbara she wasn’t sure what to expect but since the hotel caters to an elite clientele, figured it had to be good. And it was actually better than expected.
After checking into the stunning spa that’s nestled away below the lobby and the pool, and taking a pleasant steam bath, I waited in the inviting lounge for Steve my therapist to fetch me. (I always ask for a masseur because they are often stronger, although many female therapists can go deep, too). The waiting area is stocked with healthy snacks (nuts and fresh fruit) and herbal teas.
Steve led me to the treatment room, and went out while I slipped under the soft Italian linen sheets onto the warmed table. I was achy and stiff and eager for my rub. The minute Steve laid hands on my back I knew this was going to be good. He not only kneads deep down into your pressure points but he has a lyrical rhythm to his movements that adds pure bliss to the experience.
The Spa offers an extensive and pricey treatment menu (a 50 minute massages and facial run$180). There are seven pampering spots, steam, sauna, showers and robes and slippers to wear while you’re there. Like most spas this one offers products galore for sale just in case you want to stock up before you go home.
El Encanto is an Orient-Express property located about a in the hills above the Pacific Ocean in California’s American Riviera at 800 Alvarado Place, Santa Barbara.