Developer Rick Caruso’s megawatt grin was still lingering from his successful bid to rebuild Montecito’s Miramar Hotel when rumors started swirling about who he would pick to run the resort once it opens.
Last month, after years of will-he-or-won’t-he, Caruso received the Miramar approval he wanted from Santa Barbara County’s Board of Supervisors. Those on the dais granted his 170-room, 436-parking spot plan, plus event-size and beach club membership caps to his liking, and Caruso offered an invitation to an opening night party on April 30, 2018. Attached to that verbal invitation was a verbal promise from the developer that, despite much speculation, he wouldn’t sell the property.
But team Caruso — the real estate magnate is known for developing and managing popular shopping centers throughout the Los Angeles area — had previously indicated that they would have an operator run the hotel. According to several insiders, Caruso’s company, Caruso Affiliated, is looking strongly at Rosewood, a high-end hotel management company akin to the Four Seasons. A representative for Caruso Affiliated declined to comment on the rumor, and a representative for Rosewood declined to address questions “regarding possible new developments.”
Rosewood’s sterling reputation has only amplified insiders’ hopes that the possible partnership pans out. (From 2006-2011, the company managed the San Ysidro Ranch and could be looking to get back into the Montecito market.) Recently joining forces with a Hong Kong-based lending corporation, Rosewood operates 11 luxury hotels and seven resorts across 11 countries, with 11 more contracts in the works. Many said Rosewood is choosy when it comes the hotels it manages, opting for unique, boutique properties.