A dozen years of contentious conversations, approvals upon approvals and construction that seemingly wouldn’t end — but Rick Caruso wouldn’t change a thing, there’s simply no give-up in the Los Angeles-based real estate developer.

“It’s just not in our DNA,” Mr. Caruso told the News-Press while hosting hundreds of guests at the grand opening of the Rosewood Miramar Beach Resort at 1759 South Jameson Lane in Montecito on Wednesday morning.

“There is a solution to every problem, I knew we would get through it at the end of the day.”

The resort replaced the Miramar by the Sea, which ceased operations nearly 20 years ago.

But the 16 acres of beachfront property isn’t simply a reopening, it’s a complete rethink.

There are now 161 rooms available — including 37 suites — with 26 rooms having direct access to the beach. In addition, the facility also has seven culinary and bar options.

Rates start at $800 per night midweek and $1,025 on weekends.

When we were going through those many contentious hearings, all we wanted was to make sure that we had a project that we could all be proud of. I can tell you today, that it is better than promised,” said Steve Lavagnino of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors’ 5th District.

“The revenues, don’t think I’ve forgotten TOT (transient occupancy tax) — property tax and sales tax — those are dollars that flow into our economy that help us rebuild this great community.”

Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, pointed to guest service as a key differentiator for the resort — something he says that the resort has focused on during its roughly six-week “soft opening.”

“It really is an extension of your home,” Mr. Arora said.

“They are all your butlers, when you come to the hotel, they are all here to serve you. The rest of the world can wait, it’s all about the community.”

And that very community has been looking for a cornerstone to showcase the ongoing revitalization of Montecito on the heels of the past two years that featured devastating fires and floods.

“I think I can speak for Montecito, we are so happy to have this up and running,” said Rob Lowe, a long-time resident and award-winning actor. “And to have a place where we can create the kind of memories that I had at the old Miramar. The train car, milkshakes, walking on the beach and now to have this gigantic modern-day version, truly thank you from the community. We’ve been through a lot the last two years here, I can already feel the energy all over this place, revitalized and I think that is a direct result of even the soft opening.

“I can only imagine what is going to come to our community as people from all over the world rediscover how great Santa Barbara and Montecito really is.”


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