Best known for his lively L.A. retail ventures, such as Palisades Village and The Grove, billionaire developer Rick Caruso has long dreamed of opening a hotel. Growing up in Beverly Hills, he was friends with the family of Hernando Courtright, the proprietor of the Beverly Wilshire hotel, and spent many hours at the storied property. Caruso, now 60, admired the place’s homey vibe—the Courtrights actually lived there—and is incorporating that quality into his first hotel: Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, California.
“It’s intended to be glamorous but fun,” Caruso says of the seaside property, which features 161 guest rooms and suites, an oceanfront restaurant and an open-air beach bar. “It will be comfortable if you’re in a bathing suit or in a blazer going to dinner.” Set on a 16-acre plot, which an Amtrak line cuts through, Rosewood Miramar Beach occupies the site of the former Miramar by the Sea, a resort that closed in 2000 after more than a century of operation. A partnership with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, the property features a new structure inspired by the work of architect Paul Williams, who designed homes for celebrities like Frank Sinatra.
Rosewood Miramar Beach pays homage to its predecessor not just through framed archival photographs but also through subtle touches like a blue crystal—a nod to Miramar by the Sea’s blue roofs—in each of the ballroom’s dozen Baccarat chandeliers. “Rick gets into every single bit of minutia,” says Rosewood president Radha Arora.
Caruso wants Rosewood Miramar Beach, which will feature Goop and James Perse stores, to feel full of possibilities. “If you said, ‘I’d really like to have dinner on the beach,’ we’ll set up a table on the beach,” Caruso says. “There should never be the answer no. It should always be the answer yes.” rosewoodmiramarbeach.com.