Luxury Miramar Hotel - Montecito CA
The Living Room - Rosewood Miramar Beach | Image: Rosewood Hotels
CARUSO REAL ESTATE MOGUL
Last month, Billionaire Real Estate Developer Rick Caruso celebrated the long-anticipated opening of the Rosewood Miramar Beach Resort in Montecito, California. Caruso is the man behind a world-class portfolio of retail destinations and marquee shopping experiences, such as The Grove and The American at Brand, the Palisades Village, the luxury building 8500 Burton Way, and a restored 1929 Art Deco landmark which has been converted into innovative office space.
With Rosewood Miramar Beach, Caruso combined forces with Rosewood Hotel to manage the iconic landmark and take on a new frontier in the luxury hotel industry. For Caruso, it was the land that drew him into uncharted territory. It was an opportunity of a lifetime to develop the land with its unrivaled setting on the beach coupled with the Miramar’s history, being an icon of hospitality.
“The most important thing has always been, and continues to be, the guest experience. Across all the properties whether retail, residential or hotel, if you bring people to happy, safe and welcoming environment, they will continue to return.” - Caruso, Los Angeles Real Estate Developer
Cabana Pool with Cabana Bar - Rosewood Miramar Beach | Image: Rosewood Hotels
MONTECITO ICONIC LANDMARK
However, the original Miramar Hotel has not always been a favorite to the residents of Montecito, Caruso included.
The Miramar’s original accommodations, which date back to 1876, when a young couple ― landowners Josiah and Emmeline Doulton ― built a few small cottages on their property to house visiting friends and family. The Doulton couple named the property Miramar, or “behold the sea” in Spanish. The cottages grew in number over the years until the Doulton family sold the slice of Montecito shoreline in 1939 to Paul Gawzner, who built it out as a resort and added a pool. For the last half of the 20th century, it remained a modest getaway for newlyweds and working-class families.
The hotel was purchased by developer Ian Schrager in 1998 and closed down in 2000 for renovations, however the slump in the economy prevented any further development. In 2005, Schrager sold the property to Ty Warner, owner of the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, the San Ysidro Ranch, and more.
Malibu Farms Restaurant - Rosewood Miramar Beach | Image: Rosewood Hotels
Los Angeles-based Caruso purchased the site in 2007. In 2012, Caruso demolished the hotel, which by then was in a state of absolute dilapidation, as he looked to put together a financing package and obtain hard-fought permits from Santa Barbara County. Neighbors and environmental organizations had threatened to block the $300 million project through lawsuits, but Caruso and the parties eventually worked out a deal.
It was a 12 year long and cantankerous journey for Caruso to receive approval on the development and have it built, which tested his endurance and grit, but after much perseverance the Rosewood Miramar Beach finally opened its doors on March 1st, 2019.
2019 – Hotel ReOpened by Caruso - $200,000,000+
2012 – Hotel Demolished by Caruso
2007 – Hotel Purchased by Caruso - $50,000,000
2005 – Hotel Purchased by Ty Warner - $43,000,000
2000 – Hotel Closed Down by Ian Schrager
1998 – Hotel Purchased by Ian Schrager - $31,000,000
1939 – Hotel Purchased by Paul Gawzner / became a resort (added pool) - $60,000
1876 - Josiah and Emmeline Doulton landowners – named Miramar “Behold the Sea”