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Many guests visiting the brand-new Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, Calif., have memories of staying at its predecessor, Miramar by the Sea, which shuttered in 2000.
Part of Sean Carney’s job as managing director for the luxury beachfront property is to make sure guests are wowed by the location’s newest act as a sprawling multi-structure residential estate imagined by Rick Caruso, the hotel’s owner and a commercial real estate developer.
Here, Carney shares what it took to get the newbuild up and running, what has been popular and what guests can expect soon.
What happened between when the property shuttered and now?There was more deconstruction done in the last 20 years than construction. There were a couple of owners who, due to numerous reasons, had challenges. Caruso acquired the property in 2007, and he spent a lot of time engaging with local jurisdiction parties — such as planning and coastal commissions — to allow the property to rise like a phoenix to its current stunning glory.
Miramar has a chic design with lots of fun details. What are your favorites?Not many hotels have a singular door. Our front door invites you into our home. Then, once you enter the Manor House (the first in a series of structures at the hotel), you’ll see our grand staircase, which is a 2019 version of a Paul Williams design from 1936. It’s a lovely sweeping staircase with so much detail, and a real homage to Williams.
Williams also inspired many small details — such as the balustrades and the copper work — as well as the Cabana Pool. The pool was being built in a rectangular shape until Caruso introduced the Williams-inspired scalloped edges. I had the privilege of watching stonemasons cut all the stones by hand to fit around the pool in that serpentine shape.
Can you describe the rooms?They were designed to be light and airy, and nostalgic and beachy, in keeping with the sense of place of the old Miramar by the Sea, as well as Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ philosophy of “A Sense of Place.”
How are guests liking the Beach House collection of guestrooms?The 26 beachfront rooms — of which four are studios — are the most popular rooms in the hotel because you’re sitting above the sand on Montecito Beach. They’re over the sea — guests can hear the water lapping against the sand on quieter nights — and they’re so connected with nature. The feedback from guests is that they have been totally blown away and are able to disconnect from the rest of the world.
Do the beachfront rooms sell out earlier?Yes, especially for the weekend. The rooms sell themselves because of the view; people are naturally drawn to the water. The garden bungalows are quite popular as well, because they’re nestled within the footprint of the former Miramar by the Sea cottages.
What else can we look forward to?We have a few more meal periods to launch, and we have the invitation-only private beach club coming soon. And our kids’ club is now launching, with yoga, face painting, treasure hunts and more.
Also, we’ll have various programming around specific holidays such as Easter, Memorial Day and July 4. For Christmas, the level of lighting, the Christmas tree in the middle of our Great Lawn, the service and the caroling will be phenomenal.
What should travel advisors know about selling the property?It’s like a 161-room house. There are so many nooks and crannies throughout the resort where you can feel that you’ve gotten away. The property allows people to disconnect and recharge. You can be in your own dream world.
The DetailsRosewood Miramar Beachwww.rosewoodhotels.com