STAR OF THE SHOW There is something almost old-world Hollywood about waking up in an oversized bungalow in Santa Barbara, and breakfasting on a spacious terrace high above the town, looking out towards the sea. The fact that the view at Belmond El Encanto is filtered by giant eucalyptus trees, which were first planted in the region more than a century ago, is a daily reminder of home to Shaun O’Bryan, a former rugby league player from Sydney who now manages this luxury resort. Built in 1918, El Encanto is a stylish mix of Californian Craftsman and Mission-style bungalows set in 3ha of gardens in the hills. The luxe theme extends from a contemporary infinity pool to supremely comfortable beds and underfloor heating in spacious bathrooms. Some of the 92 hardwoodfloored guestrooms are more like oversized cottages, with open fireplaces, front porches and rear courtyards. For those rare guests without a car, the hotel provides complimentary transfers around Santa Barbara. More: belmond.com/el-encanto-santa-barbara/.