Miniature lanterns hanging from lush green trees magically lighting fire pits and hammocks, explosions of vibrant petals from impeccably maintained flowerbeds, mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean with its long sandy beach on the other. Oh, and then there’s the grand spiraling staircase in the elegant Manor House (the perfect first look spot), a crystal chandelier–studded ballroom, a scalloped-edge adults-only pool, and serious works of art and hand-painted wallpaper strewn about. The brand-new Rosewood Miramar Beach resort in Montecito, California, just south of equally beautiful Santa Barbara, is about as picturesque as it gets.
This tiny beach town’s latest neighbor is actually the reimagination of a storied old resort, Miramar By The Sea, which in its heyday during Hollywood’s Golden Age was an iconic weekend getaway. Now, developed in the height of luxury by Rick Caruso—the man behind LA’s famous shopping center The Grove—it’s not only a luxuriously laid-back staycation destination for Southern Californians or vacation hot spot for out-of-towners, but one of the most photogenic places around to say “I do.”
Long before its opening this spring there were weddings on the books. And it’s no surprise, given the near perfection of the venues available. For affairs up to 400, ceremonies generally happen before sunset on the expansive 8,000-square-foot Great Lawn, with the sea as your backdrop, and move from there to the ballroom’s ocean-view terrace for cocktails before sitting for dinner in the bright white ballroom (it’s 6,500 square feet and can be divided in four) made more glamorous by the eight custom-made Baccarat crystal chandeliers hanging throughout, each with a blue center crystal in Miramar blue.
Smaller ceremonies can occur on the smaller side lawn, with the reception under a tent on the Great Lawn. Everything’s incredibly customizable, and the resort’s executive chef works directly to curate the food and beverage including for example, if you wish, a cart serving local favorite Rory’s Ice Cream at the dessert station.
Other events—dinners, welcome cocktails and more—have different venue options on property. There’s a navy blue–clad study with marble fireplace for intimate receptions, pool cabanas for a pre-wedding pool party, and a bocce court for spirited tournaments. The private dining room off Malibu Farm restaurant is so beautiful it’s worth devising a reason to invite unto 18 for a dinner there after cocktails on the private terrace. Photo ops abound, especially when it comes to transportation. For fancier festivities, snap shots in the Rolls Royce Ghost house car, or if you’re going more beachy and colorful, the pink open-sided Fiat Jolly, with basket seats and a surfboard on top.
As for your guests, they can choose between 161 garden-view rooms, cottages and beachfront rooms (though fair warning, the latter command quite an impressive nightly rate), each with freestanding bathtubs and dreamy beds, and occupy themselves at the pools, one the bocce court or on the pastel beach cruisers free to grab and ride on the floral pathways. The ingredients for s’mores are available every night at the fire pit, if guests haven’t sated themselves at Caruso’s, the seafront California-meets–Southern Italian restaurant with mouthwatering fish dishes and local crab risotto.
The bride, however, is wise to opt for the special Manor Suite designed in floor-to-ceiling whites and creams with her in mind. It overlooks the Manor Pool and has views out to the ocean from a large terrace, plus there’s a special private entrance to Sense Spa for seamless access to pampering. Because they know, really, it’s all about you.