The Four Seasons Biltmore has been a staple of luxury and relaxation for Santa Barbara since 1927, but it wasn’t until 75 years after its creation when the spa was built that the hotel fully sealed its reputation. In 2002, the beachfront retreat revamped its parking lot into the two-story spa, keeping the modern addition in step as far as the hotel’s style goes.
Commercial architect Peter Marino designed the spa to possess the same Spanish Colonial feel that the hotel boasts, with a 1930s industrial Art Deco style and a Zen vibe mixed in. The thoughtful design of the reception area is reminiscent of a Chanel boutique with the usage of feminine colors and architecture that is simple yet full of class and strewn with flowers. High-end consumer lines such as Phytomer, an anti-aging product, and its sister line, the all-organic Equavie, line the walls, as well as the customer favorite, Jadiance, an East Asian company that carries all-natural herbal detox treatments and cellulite serums.
To prepare for a treatment, customers are led into an old-school glamor-inspired locker room that feels like a spa package all in itself. Spa-goers are given a locker that carries a plush robe and slippers and are then left to indulge in the amenities such as a steam room, showers, and a sauna. Little touches like face towels on ice infused with lavender and natural stone floors make the Biltmore Spa unlike any other. After you have treated yourself in the locker room, you head to the upstairs waiting room that has a breathtaking view of the ocean and the hotel’s rose garden. Magazines and books, a fireplace, and a snack area with treats like dried fruits, nuts, pomegranate lemonade, and cucumber water are a few perks of the room.
The Biltmore Spa’s decorative design in the treatment rooms is inspired by the bountiful luxuries of California, which is also carried into all the body treatments that are based around avocados, lavender, grape seed, and seaweed. The spa suites on the second floor all boast ocean views with balconies, personal steam rooms, and spa bathtubs. The Venetian plastered walls and hardwood floors emit a light and airy feel that instantly put you in the “spa state of mind.”
I was given the Pretty in Pink package, a treatment that was only offered in October; 10 percent of the proceeds were donated to finding a cure for breast cancer. Pretty in Pink consisted of a full-body massage performed with deliciously scented pink grapefruit body oil. The best massage I have ever experienced, I felt like years of stress melted away with what seemed like eight different hands working on me.
Although these are tough times economically, the Four Seasons Biltmore Spa is the perfect escape for tourists and locals alike. Need another excuse to pamper yourself? The spa gives a 20 percent discount to all locals. If a day of being treated like royalty is what you require, there is no better place to venture than the beautiful Biltmore Spa.
The Four Seasons Biltmore is located at 1260 Channel Drive. Call 969-2261 or visit fourseasons.com/santabarbara/spa.html.