Miramar Hotel - Santa Barbara - Historical Archive:

This website is intended to recognize the historical significance of the Miramar By The Sea Hotel in scenic Montecito (Santa Barbara), California. The Miramar closed for renovations on September 10, 2000 when it was sold - over 15 years ago!

Since then, it has been an eyesore for Montecito residents as well as thousands of past guests. Most recently, Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso purchased the property from Ty Warner in 2007 and has begun renovating the hotel in 2016 for opening by Summer 2018. Needless to say however, there have been countless delays that have frustrated neighbors, former guests, owners, developers, etc.

We are excited to hear however that the property seems to be on-schedule for re-opening this year!

Official Page: https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/miramar-beach-montecito



The Miramar history began in 1876 when Josiah and Emmeline Doulton purchased the 20 acre ocean front property in Montecito. In 1889 the Doultons built a separate cottage for visiting friends, which soon served to accommodate outside guests. Originally called Ocean View Farm, a friend/guest at the hotel suggested that the name of the destination be changed to “Miramar”, meaning “behold the sea.” Mrs. Doulton was immediately taken with the name and ordered signs the following day. Over the years, the hotel was expanded and by 1910 there were 29 structures on the property. The Miramar struggled during the Depression and the Doultons eventually sold the hotel to Paul Gawzner on November 3, 1939. Gawzner owned the Miramar until September 1998, when Ian Schrager purchased it for $31.7 million. The hotel closed its doors on September 10, 2000 to begin renovations and was set to reopen in about 18 months. Five years later, the partially demolished Miramar Hotel still sat vacant on some of the most valuable property in California. On April 29, 2005, TyWarner Hotels purchased the hotel from Schrager promising to renovate it in the near future. Less then 2 years later, no renovations had been made. Finally, in January of 2007, Rick Caruso of Caruso Affiliated purchased the Miramar for an undisclosed price. Faced initially with funding issues in the wake of the financial crisis, Caruso is now planning to renovate the hotel beginning in 2016. However, multiple bureaucratic hurdles continue to plague the Miramar's schedule for re-opening.




October 10, 2016

Miramar resort project begins in Montecito

Dear friends and neighbors of the Miramar,
Today we celebrated our groundbreaking, filled with excitement that our targeted grand opening (summer 2018) is less than two years away.
As we move forward, we will provide regular updates on the progress of Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito.
Additionally, we'd like to make sure that all of your questions get answered. Below, please find our construction schedule and contact information, as well as answers to some of the most common inquiries we have received to date.
We thank you for your continued support, and will continue to keep you informed.
Best wishes,

Rick Lemmo
Senior Vice President, Community Relations
Caruso Affiliated

Luigi Romaniello Named Managing Director of Highly Anticipated Oceanside Destination
Rosewood Hotel & Resorts to Manage Property
MONTECITO, Calif. (Oct. 10, 2016) - Today, Caruso Affiliatedone of the largest, privately held real estate development companies in the U.S., held its groundbreaking ceremony for Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito, an oceanfront resort scheduled to open in summer 2018. The resort will be located on 16 acres of prime beachfront real estate and become a world-class destination, with a private members-only beach club, reinventing the five-star experience.
Rick J. Caruso, founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated, hosted the ceremony and was joined by Radha Arora, president, Rosewood Hotel & Resorts; Luigi Romaniello, managing director, Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito; key stakeholders and community members.
"We are here today thanks to the enduring support of the Montecito community and many others who have shared this vision of creating a magnificent luxury resort that pays homage to the rich history of this region," stated Rick J. Caruso. "For the past 10 years, it has been our commitment to create a resort that fits within this special community, and we are excited to bring this project to life."
Concurrently, Caruso Affiliated has announced the appointment of Luigi Romaniello as managing director of Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito. Romaniello, who most recently served as managing director of Rosewood Abu Dhabi Hotel, brings over 25 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry, and has spent more than 15 years with Rosewood Hotel & Resorts properties. He previously worked at globally renowned resorts around the world, specializing in openings, renovations, concept development and operations. Romaniello's extensive background in the ultra-luxury market and dedication to the best in personalized guest experience will ensure the highest caliber of service at Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito.
"Luigi Romaniello is an industry veteran who has been at the helm of award-winning luxury hotels globally, making him a perfect fit for this important position," said Caruso. "This resort is a unique property merging old and new luxury, and Luigi's interdisciplinary experience will be an essential asset to the resort."
"I am thrilled to be accepting the role of managing director at this incredible, dynamic new property," said Romaniello. "I am confident that my strong hospitality background has prepared me to deliver a unique hybrid of the very best in guest experience, drawing both from the historical beauty of the property and the unparalleled luxury of the resort."
The much-anticipated Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito is part of Rosewood Hotel & Resorts' impressive collection of luxurious destinations that provide guests and surrounding communities with "a sense of place." Situated on an expansive 16 acres, the resort draws inspiration from the rich history of the Montecito coast, including the original 19th-century hotel formerly on the property. The resort will be a world-class destination, reinventing the five-star experience with 124 refined guest rooms and 37 luxury suites, beautifully designed within lanai cottages, garden bungalows and a classic main house. Along with an oceanfront restaurant and bar with an outdoor terrace, the property will feature a signature restaurant in the main house, two swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a wedding/event space accommodating up to 400 guests.
The Miramar Beach Club, an exclusive beachfront, members-only beach club, will open in tandem with the resort and feature an indoor/outdoor lounge, engaging dining venues, beach access and activities, and a private pool and cabanas. Members will enjoy enriching wellbeing-, social- and family-oriented programming.
Established in the late 1880s, the original Miramar Beach Hotel was the first resort hotel in the city of Montecito and one of the first-ever beachside hotels in California. The property was vacant for seven years when Caruso Affiliated purchased it in 2007 and, in 2013, decaying buildings that the community wanted removed were torn down. In April 2015, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to move forward with the resort plans and, in June of that year, Caruso announced that Rosewood Hotel & Resorts had been selected to manage Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito.
Montecito is situated just 80 miles north of Los Angeles in Santa Barbara County and has become known as one of the nation's most affluent and exclusive communities. The idyllic beachfront town has gained a reputation for pristine landscapes, temperate and enjoyable year-round weather and beautiful residential architecture. Hugging its famed coast, Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito will complement the Montecito area, while setting a new international standard for beachside luxury. The resort is also designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly in accordance with the latest stringent California Green Building Standards Code.
Q: If I have a question about the project, whom do I contact?
A: Please contact Caruso Affiliated at Miramarinfo@CarusoAffiliated.com or (805) 728-8130.
Q: How can I become a member of the beach club?
A: The specific details of the beach club are yet to be announced, but you can email Miramarinfo@CarusoAffiliated.com to express your interest, and we will be in touch next year.
Q: Who is designing the resort?
A:  Our consultants designing the resort are Marc Appleton (Appleton Partners, Design Architect, Montecito), Andy Cohen (Gensler, Executive Architect), Diane Johnson (Diane Johnson Design, Interior Design), Fiona Thompson (Richmond International, Interior Design), George Girvin (Girvin Associates, Landscape Architect, Santa Barbara) and Brian Orter (BOLD, Lighting Designer).
Q: What are projected room rates?
A: We have not established our room rates at this time. However, the rooms, suites and bungalows will be priced in line with similar five-star luxury resorts in the area and the greater Southern California region.
Q: How will this affect the Montecito community?
A: The project will help revitalize Santa Barbara and Montecito tourism markets. A thousand new jobs will be created during construction, with 200 full-time and part-time jobs once the resort opens. Additionally, Santa Barbara County is in a unique position of having the property at its doorstep, ready to open to the public in less than three years.
Q: When will the project start construction?
A: The project started construction in summer 2016 and is on schedule to open in summer 2018 as planned.
Q: What are the approved work hours?
A: Our work hours for construction are from 7:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday (site work and exteriors). We will not have work on Saturdays, Sundays or state holidays. Quiet activities inside of the buildings may observe modified work hours.
About Caruso Affiliated
Caruso Affiliated is one of the largest, privately held real estate development companies in the U.S.  All of its properties are distinguished by a unique combination of architectural and design excellence, an unparalleled guest experience and a dedication to serving the local community - transforming them into central gathering places for residents and tourists alike. Its premier retail, residential and mixed-use properties welcome millions of people annually, and two of its marquee properties, The Grove and The Americana at Brand, rank in Shopping Center Today's list of the top 15 shopping centers around the world, based on sales per square foot, 75% above the industry norm. The Grove also ranks as #2 on Fortune's 10 highest sales-generating shopping centers in the U.S. list.  In addition to The Grove and The Americana at Brand, the luxury residential 8500 Burton Way, and street-front retail in Glendale, Caruso Affiliated develops, owns and manages a growing portfolio of world-class high-quality retail, mixed-use, and hospitality assets. With its eyes toward street-front positioning and design that taps into the organic way people live their lives, Caruso Affiliated is currently investing more than one billion dollars in new projects, including a five-star beach front resort in Montecito; a mixed-use luxury residential tower in the heart of Los Angeles; and mixed-use dining, entertainment and retail collection in Pacific Palisades. In early 2016, Caruso Affiliated opened The Masonic Temple; a nine-story 1929 landmark Art-Deco building that has been meticulously revitalized to become Class A innovative office and retail space. For more information, visit www.CarusoAffiliated.com.
About Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts® manages 18 one-of-a-kind luxury properties in 11 countries, with 17 new hotels under development.  Each Rosewood hotel embraces the brand's A Sense of Place® philosophy to reflect the individual location's history, culture and sensibilities.  The Rosewood collection includes some of the world's most legendary hotels and resorts, including The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel in New York, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris, as well as new classics such as Rosewood Beijing.  Rosewood Hotels & Resorts targets to double its number of hotels in operation by 2020.

Liz Jaeger, SVP of public relations
Caruso Affiliated
(323) 900-8100                                                                                   
January 8, 2016

Caruso Affiliated has won approvals, and according to their website, construction will begin soon
with opening planned in 2018.

The new name will be the Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito

Click here to see official website.

Click here to See Video from Local Santa Barbara News.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Caruso wins approval for beachfront hotel on Montecito site

January 21, 2015

Click here to read the story.

Miramar Hotel Plan Update

August 14, 2014

As someone who has had a continuing interest in the Miramar, we wanted to provide you an important update about the project. As you may have seen in the news, we have recently submitted revised plans for our project, the Miramar Beach Resort and Bungalows. Working with renowned local architect, Marc Appleton, we've created what we believe to be the best possible design for the property, and we hope you'll agree. To view the revised site plan, please click here (Miramar Site Plan)
We're also pleased to share, that with a timely approval of the revised plan, we'll be able to open the new hotel by Summer 2017.

The revised design is even more compatible with the Montecito community's unique character. We have managed to maintain all of the key parts of the hotel that the local community has supported throughout this process while making the project smaller and less impactful in every way than the previously approved plan. Some highlights of the revised plan include:

  • Elimination of 16 guest rooms, a reduction from 186 to 170 rooms;
  • Reduction in water usage at the hotel;
  • New Oceanfront restaurant with outdoor terrace adjacent to beach bar/grill;
  • Elimination of all underground parking for a more efficient, and smaller-scale design;
  • Enhanced cottage-style designs;
  • Consolidation of the spa, fitness center, and poolside dining restaurants into the main building for a more comfortable, intimate design;
  • Reduction in maximum event size to 400 people (from 500 in the approved project), resulting in less traffic overall to the hotel;
  • Relocated Miramar Club (now at the center of the property, adjacent to the gym, pool, main building, and with easy access to the beach;
  • New theatre screening room building for guests and Miramar club members;
  • Maintained all of our previous public benefits including 68 public parking stalls and coastal access easements;
  • Increased setbacks from South Jameson Lane with more landscape screening of the main buildings;
  • Maintained all other setbacks and height limitations from the previous plan;
  • Enhanced ocean views and open spaces throughout the property.

Moreover, during our ownership and since the economic downturn in 2008, markets have not supported new hotel developments in a way that would make this project feasible. However, the financial markets for the ground up development of new hotels have improved so much that we are now confident that once this revision is approved, we will finally be able to move the project forward to construction and opening.

We thank you for your continued support over the years and appreciate that you have followed us through many generations of the plan. True to our word, we have remained committed to this once-in-a-lifetime project that the entire community of Montecito will once again be proud to call its own. This is the best plan to date, and the plan that we will build. But as has been the case in the past, your support for the project will be essential to getting it built.

You can show your support for the Miramar in the following ways:

  • Send emails of support to the Montecito Planning Commission via David Villalobos, Board Assistant, at dvillalo@co.santa-barbara.ca.us and County Supervisor Salud Carbajal at SupervisorCarbajal@sbcos1.org.
  • Come out and support us at a variety of public forums. We'll keep you posted about when these meetings will occur and we hope to see you soon

Thank you again for your continuing interest in the Miramar Hotel. Please do not hesitate to contact the project development manager, Evan Krenzien, at ekrenzien@carusoaffiliated.com or 323 900 8196. He will answer any questions you may have and will share with you more ways you can be supportive of our efforts to get this new plan entitled as quickly as possible.


Rick J. Caruso

Click Here for a Recent News piece with a Link to the Blueprints.





The Historic Miramar:

Anyone who has visited the Miramar while it was open, knows of the historical significance the Miramar offers that other premier hotels cannot. The Miramar is over 100 years old, and provides a warming atmosphere to its guests. The bungalows, the railroad car diner, the private beach, tennis courts, etc. So many things made the Miramar a unique destination so much different then hotels American have grown use to. The reason I am developing this site is because so much of the Miramr Hotel is its history, if its history is forgotten, the Miramar will just join the rest of the five-star hotels around the country. But the Miramar is truly one of a kind. I sincerely hope Mr. Caruso will focus on the historic miramar during his upcoming renovations.


Bits of History:


National Embassy #1205
Most guests of the Miramar did not know much about the old railroad car in the parking lot of the Miramar The inside of the car was not opened after Mr. Gawzner's death in 1984. In 2000, Morgan's Hotel Group (Ian Schrager) donated the car to the Santa Clarita River Valley Railroad Historical Society. They are now the proud owner. It is very unfortunate the car will never see the Miramar again, however a Railroad historic society will surely be the best possible new home for this unique piece of history.

Here are some pictures of the car being moved from Montecito to Fillmore:

At the Miramar just as it sat when the Hotel was open.

Being put on a truck, it's last minutes at the Miramar.

Moving Day at the Miramar


Santa Fe-Amtrak Railcar Diner

If you had ever stayed at the Miramar, I am sure you have had at least one good meal at the Santa-Fe Amtrak Railcar which sat adjacent to the beach. I personally ate lunch there each day of my many stays at the Miramar. Unfortunately, it too is no longer on site. It is now owned by Burger Depot in Bakersfield. I have not visited it yet, so I do not have any pictures unfortunately. However, I do plan on making a trip to Bakersfield within a few months to visit the car.

Note: I have additional pictures of the car which are not presently online, I will post more as soon as they are scanned and I have visited the new location in Bakersfield.



Ian Schrager's Plans

Drawing from Ty Warner

The design for the Miramar gave homage to the original club while
expanding its menu of amenities. Pictured here is a proposed spa.






This website is not affiliated with the Miramar Hotel, Caruso Affiliated, Ty Waner Hotels, Morgans Hotel Group, Santa Clarita River Valley Rail Historic Society, or Santa Barbara / Montecito officials. This page is intended to gain public attention and offer an alternative to demolition of a HISTORIC PROPERTY.


Website Visitors:




PUBLIC GUESTBOOK COMING SOON - We have received over 5,000 emails since 2006 from past Miramar guests looking for updates.

© 2006- www.MiramarByTheSea.com - All Rights Reserved.