This week I visited the Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito’s newest luxury resort set on a 16-acre, pristine, private beach two hours north of Los Angeles but far from its frenetic pace. Opened in 2019, the property, owned by The Grove and Palisades Village shopping malls developer Rick Caruso, dates back to the late 1880s. The Manor House’s main building resembles a classic estate with white stone walls, a black roof, and leaded windows. (The original Miramar Hotel occupied the property from 1889 until it closed for renovations in 2000. After that, the hotel sat semi-demolished for years and went through two owners who couldn’t cut through all the red tape to develop it.)
Caruso’s inspiration for the property’s design was famed Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams, who designed the Beverly Hills Hotel, LAX, and the homes of Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Lon Chaney, and Barbara Stanwyck. The scallop-edge pool was inspired by Williams, and the foyer’s dramatic stairway and intricately designed wrought-iron balustrade are from Williams’ drawings.
Guests are housed in clapboard cottages nestled amid tranquil gardens, the Manor House, or beachfront lanai suites right over the sand. They can take their pick from morning yoga, lunchtime picnics, and sunset walks – — all on the beach —to cabana lounging by the pool, cocktails in the private, walnut-paneled bar, or a massage at Sense® spa. Retail stores include Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and James Perse, and right now, there’s a Christian Dior pop-up full of treasures. There isn’t a hotel I enjoy more than this one, I must say. (The hotel also has Miramar Club, a private membership club.)
Upon entering the foyer, you’re greeted by Harlequin-patterned floors in black and white marble created by Newport Beach interior designer Diane Johnson. The center soffit is rounded, and from it hangs a gorgeous crystal chandelier reminiscent of old Hollywood. I loved walking down the dramatic stairway as I honestly believed that I was in an old Hollywood movie. The railings are thin, the handle is brass, and everything is in scale, beautifully designed as if it were on this property for decades. The ottoman in the foyer is tufted, and two Chesterfield chairs are seen in the background against a beautiful paneled wall. It’s not unusual to find a Chagall lithograph in this hotel as Caruso collects gorgeous fine art.
Stepping into the great room, you’re greeted with chevron wood floors that are absolutely stunning and, of course, a fireplace that’s on 24 hours a day. The ceiling has gorgeous soffit detailing in the shape of diamonds, again reminiscent of an old Hollywood period. The furniture is traditional but very minimal and soft; the colors are muted. The blue-gray walls juxtaposed with white-painted paneling make everything pop, and an artwork depicting a bunny is fun. Everything has been beautifully curated, and of course, there’s a gorgeous black lacquer grand piano sitting in the corner of this room.
One of this hotel’s most remarkable features is the private, walnut-paneled bar hiding behind a door in the great room. I sat down to order a drink and loved the mid-century lights that sit on top of the bar. The cocktails were delicious too!
The spacious, ocean-view loggia directly outside of the great room is equally welcoming and has very comfortable seating covered in what looks like men’s suit fabric. The fireplace is made of copper and stone, and the area feels perfect for cocktails in what feels like a 1960’s Hollywood home. The gathered fabric ceiling detail in the canopy of the loggia is an extraordinary touch, and the Harlequin-patterned iron details of the posts and the Manor House’s leaded windows are also very much reminiscent of the period.
The private dining room has low, mid-century chairs and walls covered in hand-painted chinoiserie from de Gournay. Another pop of modern art on the wall really brings this room together.
Right now and through September 6, the Miramar has a pop-up Dior, which has taken over the resort’s Cabana Pool, Bocce Courts, and Garden Bungalow suites to celebrate the Dior Riviera capsule collections. Everything in this collaboration is from Dior, from the needlepoint pillows to the toile wallpaper and lush fabrics. I tried on some handbags and sunglasses and was mesmerized by all the outdoor items that Dior offers, from ping pong paddles to hammocks to towels and lots of other fun things that you can use in your home for a summer refresh.
To tour this Estate Style Resort Miramar Rosewood & Dior Pop-Up, please click the video below to watch now.