Bernards Rebuilding Santa Barbara’s Iconic El Encanto Hotel


Los Angeles, CA, – December 11, 2012 – Bernards, a nationally ranked commercial builder with five offices in the southwest, is implementing the $46-million El Encanto restoration and rebuild project This five-star, iconic Santa Barbara resort hotel, owned and operated by Orient–Express Hotels Ltd., is currently closed for refurbishment and will reopen in March 2013.

Located on a secluded site overlooking the Pacific Ocean and city lights, the Craftsman-style main building of El Encanto, Santa Barbara’s oldest hotel built in 1913, is being rebuilt to its circa 1938 design to capture the hotel’s historic architecture and romantic charm, along with 21st century resort amenities.

“We are replacing the main hotel, which was built in 1913, with a meticulously constructed, recreation of the period architecture,” said Michael Cawlina, President of Bernards Management Services Division. He noted, however, that the new hotel structure, which was  designed by Gensler, an international architectural firm, provides modern-day facilities and services today’s guests expect in a five-star resort hotel, including a boutique spa, state-of-the-art fitness center and expansive, outdoor zero-edge pool, as well as underground parking.

“The coastal counties of California have made a very strong recovery with most at or near capacity occupancies, and experiencing a strong ADR growth. Growth should continue into 2013, mostly coming from rate, as occupancy has only a limited capacity, therefore hampered ability to grow further. Inland counties are growing as well, but more modestly and have a longer way to go,” said Ali Kasikci, Regional Managing Director for North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, Orient-Express.

The property’s charming Craftsman- and Spanish Colonial Revival-style bungalows, which are set among seven acres of lush, verdant gardens, will be restored to strengthen their structures, meet code and upgrade interiors. Bernard’s will add 13 new Spanish Colonial Revival-style cottages, bringing total guest accommodations to 92 suites and rooms.

About Bernards
Founded in 1974, Bernards is a nationally ranked, multidisciplinary commercial builder that provides technical expertise and outstanding professional services to developers, corporations, educational institutions and public agencies. Areas of expertise include comprehensive preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, program management, design-build, building information modeling (BIM), integrated project delivery (IPD) services, which integrate sustainable building practices. Bernards’ projects include sports and entertainment venues, health care facilities, mixed-use complexes, multifamily housing, and educational, detention, and civic facilities. Bernards maintains a continual focus on safety, quality, sustainability, diversity and community involvement. Headquartered in Los Angeles and growing rapidly, Bernards has regional offices throughout the Southwest and employs more than 250 professionals, many of them LEED® accredited. For more information, visit

About Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. is a luxury hotel company and sophisticated adventure travel operator which seeks to deliver memorable experiences that are the ultimate expression of each destination’s authentic culture. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly thereafter recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities. Today the Orient-Express brand embraces 45 hotel, restaurant, cruise and luxury rail businesses in 22 countries, including distinctive properties such as Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, Hotel Ritz Madrid, Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and Maroma Resort and Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The Company also operates six luxury tourist trains, two river cruise operations and the ‘21’ Club, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants and watering holes.


West Coast Commercial Real Estate News