The Steward, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel by Marriott, operated by Twenty Four Seven Hotels, has opened in Santa Barbara, California, embracing the rich history of its land and focusing on being a good steward of both its surroundings and its visitors. The new 87 all-suite boutique hotel gives visitors and locals alike a hidden retreat based in the area’s rich history with sustainability at its core. It is located on California’s picturesque central coast, tucked between the ocean and mountains.
The Steward provides guests with a tranquil escape and convenient access to both the local beaches and vineyards as it sits on over five acres of lush gardens. With a focus on sustainability and offering visitors an escape with a purpose, The Steward offers thoughtful interior design throughout and an enchanting woodland and gardens, as well as a historic barn that has been converted into a fitness and yoga centre.
Early horticulture Joseph Sexton initially bought the property in the late 1860s, and his family’s residence, known as “The Sexton House,” as well as one of the region’s first nurseries, were built there. The Sexton House is a historical site in Santa Barbara that offers visitors the chance to learn about its past. Many of the trees and plants that bear his signature still adorn the grounds. The Steward emphasises a passion for bringing the grounds to life with the hotel being a complimentary part of the natural surroundings and takes inspiration in Sexton’s desire to expand and nurture the land. With strong ties to the Santa Barbara neighbourhood, The Steward promises to continue Sexton’s work as a land steward, nurturing and expanding his original nursery and enabling visitors to do the same.
With a focus on blending California’s natural elements, lively open spaces, and a Southern European farmhouse flair, guests can find a refreshing respite in the polished, yet whimsical decor. The Steward’s natural surroundings are incorporated throughout the building both inside and out thanks to the collaboration between the Los Angeles-based company SANDdesign and the curators. The boutique hotel’s suites feature unique embellishments like water-colored photos of The Sexton House and updated, modern touches that evoke the architecture of a classic private home.
Every little thing about the hotel is well thought out, from the locally created handmade art to the lobby library to the cosy bar with its natural style. Visitors are surrounded by many of Sexton’s original trees and unusual plants with the aim of creating a “Secret Garden” atmosphere. Even more recent additions, such as pampas grass, birds-of-paradise, and palm and citrus trees, were inspired by Sexton’s gardens. Throughout the garden, guests will encounter eccentric features like a wooden piano and quiet seating places. An environmental colour scheme with hints of citrus and rich foliage green, as well as scattered accents of flora and hummingbirds, are all part of the design that draws inspiration from nature.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Terra, which means “of the earth” in Spanish, incorporates locally sourced ingredients that showcase and highlight the Central Coast’s agriculture through its connections with local farms and purveyors, further embracing the destination and the property’s commitment to sustainability. Executive Chef Augusto Caudillo draws inspiration for his creations in the kitchen from his deep ties to the Goleta, California, neighbourhood and his desire to unite people through cuisine. His seasonal menus feature simple, produce-driven dishes that are both aesthetically beautiful and filling. They are inspired by Californian and Mediterranean cuisine.
In the process of bringing The Steward to life, the crew came across a diary from the 1930s that was kept on the premises and contains one of the earliest known recipes for avocado toast. Visitors will be able to sample the authentic recipe that is offered on Terra’s menu. Herbs from the property’s very own gardens, a botanical flowering tea service, and organic mocktails created in collaboration with DrinkTilden for sophisticated sips without alcohol are just a few of the thoughtful details found throughout the menu. With Terra’s pre-assembled picnic kit, visitors may eat outside while taking in the imaginative surroundings or seeing the location. Pampas Grass King Avocado Toast, Santa Barbara Hope Ranch Mussels, Organic Chinook Salmon, and Hummingbird Cake are a few of the foods Caudillo has made for Terra that stand out.
Refillable water bottles, water stations, educational talks with nearby eco-friendly organisations, and motivational quotes about sustainability are all part of The Steward’s green programming, which is aimed at encouraging guests to get involved.
The Barn: The historic barn on the site will house a nature-inspired modern workout centre, replete with a yoga lawn and picnic area right outside. It is tucked away among the property’s flora.
Events: The Steward offers breathtaking bright and inviting venues, including The Sexton House and Garden House reception space and breakfast room, encouraging celebration throughout the lush grounds. These venues are perfect for elegant and intimate weddings or bridal showers as well as inspiring team-building retreats or family reunions.
Destination Offerings: The Steward works with regional partners to provide guests with destination programming and activities as part of its commitment to the Goleta community. In-room coffee from FRINJ Coffee is made with locally-grown beans, and guests can go on private tours of the FRINJ farm for a more engaging experience. 805 Bees, Cutlers Distillery, Far West Tea, Gallup Farms, Gleason Family Vineyards, Good Land Organics, Jessica Foster Confections, Ocean Ranch Organics, and Santa Barbara Gift Basket are some additional regional partners.
Outdoor Pool and Wellness: The Steward invites visitors to immerse themselves in nature with a variety of outdoor experiences, such as smart yoga mats to find open-air zen and a tranquil pool area complete with nature-inspired cabanas and surrounding lush landscape for a hidden and refreshing respite with a cocktail delivered by the property’s mini bar cart.
Horticultural Hour: Guests are welcome to participate in weekly lectures led by the property’s horticulture team in the garden while enjoying plant-based appetisers especially selected by Chef Caudillo. Topics covered during these lectures range from how to grow your own avocados to being a good steward.
Gathering Moments: The Steward provides a variety of undiscovered moments all over the property, such as artistic benches dotted throughout the gardens, lawn games like bocce, croquet, and jenga, free bikes for exploring to wine tastings, or afternoon tea on the porch of the Sexton House to learn more about the area’s and the Sexton family’s history.
The hotel is promoting its “Garden Package” to mark the occasion, which includes two welcome botanically-inspired drinks or mocktails, The Steward’s personalised candle with a specially selected natural smell influenced by the gardens and forest, and its iconic avocado toast board.
Book by: Feb 29th 2024
Book by: Feb 29th 2024
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