Core and Shell:

El Encanto Hotel

El Encanto is an iconic Santa Barbara Hotel.

Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., a worldwide, ultra-luxury hospitality brand that includes a small collection of exquisite hotels, restaurants, cruise, and train properties, acquired El Encanto in 2004, and finally began renovating it in 2011.

ARC was selected, by the Colorado-based, owner’s rep, Project Solutions (later Peloton Corporation) to complete the design, mechanical and electrical systems for the full-scale renovation. Gensler Architects led the architectural design, to assist Bernards Construction in rebuilding and modernizing the site to the highest level of hotel quality.

The project presented some difficulties including how to effectively configure the central plant and Utility Distribution Facility (UDF). The UDF cooling tower was ultimately buried in the parking structure, a subterranean installation, and ducted through one of the new operations’ cottages, but all mechanical systems were completely hidden. In addition, the boiler was designed to be contained in the UDF.

El Encanto sits on a very graded rocky slope, which presented other challenges in design and routing of the mechanical system.

The result of all the diligently executed design and construction is that the HVAC system achieved remarkable performance specs. The units are extremely quiet and cool due to the underground design and the use of Daikin VRF systems. All guests have complete control of their immediate environment.

El Encanto reopened in March 2013.