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El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel Celebrates The Arts Through New Cultural Initiatives

February 17, 2023 @ 8:00 am PST

 El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, the bucolic boutique hotel nestled in the hills of Santa Barbara, today announces the launch of several exciting arts initiatives. Since its opening in 1918, the hotel has been celebrated for its connection to the arts and continues to be revered as a retreat for creatives of all types. With the launch of new workshops, initiatives and packages dedicated to art lovers, El Encanto continues to provide guests with culturally rich experiences rooted in its sense-of-place while reaffirming its position as a loyal supporter of the local artistic community.


El Encanto has a deep connection to the literary arts, continuously building a network of the most acclaimed writers in Santa Barbara and beyond. This year, the hotel will continue its rich literary legacy with the launch of the Literary Club, a monthly series of luncheons that will bring noted writers to the hotel for intimate and thought-provoking conversations, book signings, and panels with guests while enjoying three-course menus with coffee and tea service. Bibliophile and podcaster Mandy Jackson-Beverly, will guest host select monthly luncheons to lbarragan@bpcm.commoderate  the panels. Featured New York Times best-selling authors will include Fannie Flagg, Annabelle Gurwitch, and David Pepper. See further information on the authors below:

●       Fannie Flagg (Tuesday, February 7) – The Literary Club will kick off with award-winning author Fannie Flagg and her New York Times bestseller, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and recently, The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop. A born storyteller whose art spanned across mediums, Flagg was also a distinguished actress and television personality. Her novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe was hailed as a modern classic for its heart-warming exploration of relationships in the American South and was later adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film.  

●       David Pepper (Tuesday, March 7) – Known for his thrilling works of political fiction, David Pepper is also a lawyer, political activist, adjunct professor, and the former Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. He has championed voting rights throughout his career and draws from his extensive experience to create compelling novels that bridge real-world politics with fiction. He will join guests at El Encanto to discuss his latest novel, A Simple Choice – a riveting political thriller about two outsiders caught in a web of conspiracy who must rely on each other to escape danger.

●       Annabelle Gurwitch (Early May 2023) – Known as a comedic actress, activist, and author of five books including the New York Times bestseller and Thurber Prize finalist for I See You Made an Effort. She’s been featured in The New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and LA Magazine.  Guests will enjoy a lively conversation around her latest upbeat memoir book, a collection of essays in You’re Leaving When? Adventures in Downward Mobility.


Nestled in the American Riviera with idyllic hilltops, pristine coastlines and swaying palm trees, El Encanto has attracted artists looking to recreate the picturesque scenes for years, including 1920’s Plein Air painters who sought to capture the property’s iconic vistas on their canvases. To further celebrate the connection between nature and art found within El Encanto’s botanical haven, the property will invite local artist and architect Sandra Vlock for a series of sketching workshops as a creative visual journal. During these sessions, Vlock will inspire guests to simply capture the moment in the mind’s eye and translate it to the page, while connecting with nature and sights into mesmerising drawings. The monthly workshops will take place on the following dates:

●       Friday, February 17

●       Friday, March 17

●       Friday, April 21


For decades, Santa Barbara International Film Festival has celebrated the art of cinema and has recognized the most creative and ambitious films throughout the world. In honor of its 38th annual festival this year, which will take place from February 8 – 18, El Encanto will launch several luxurious packages for guests attending the illustrious event. The three offerings will tap into the hotel’s long standing reputation as a beloved Hollywood retreat for everyone from cinema legends seeking a private escape to screenwriters looking for a creative sanctuary:

●       For the Locals:  Southern California creatives can enjoy 25% off the best availability rate. In addition guests can enjoy a $25 food and beverage credit to indulge in seasonal, coastal-inspired fare at the hotel’s onsite dining venues.

●       Hollywood Getaway: For cinephiles looking to experience the Film Festival, the Hollywood Getaway offer provides special discount rates on the most exquisite suites the hotel has to offer, as well as  tickets to the screenings. This offer is available for a limited time only.

●       Celebrate Santa Barbara: For guests, who want to star in their own romantic movie with their sweetheart, can feast on a luxurious three-course fine dining set menu with Dom Perignon with a pampered spa experience for two.

To learn more about El Encanto’s cultural programming and to stay up-to-date on its latest initiatives, please visit the hotel website or follow the hotel on Instagram at @BelmondElEncanto.


February 17, 2023
8:00 am PST
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