Montecito's landmark, The Miramar Beach Hotel has historical significance and is proof that true legends never die.
The Miramar Hotel opened in 1910 and was originally purchased for a whopping $40!
P A S T
The Miramar history began in 1876 when Josiah and Emmeline Doulton purchased the 20 acre ocean front property in Montecito. In 1889 the Doultons built a separate cottage for visiting friends, which soon served to accommodate outside guests. Originally called Ocean View Farm, a friend/guest at the hotel suggested that the name of the destination be changed to “Miramar”, meaning “behold the sea.” Mrs. Doulton was immediately taken with the name and ordered signs the following day.
Over the years, the hotel was expanded and by 1910 there were 29 structures on the property. The Miramar struggled during the Depression and the Doultons eventually sold the hotel to Paul Gawzner on November 3, 1939. Gawzner owned the Miramar until September 1998, when Ian Schrager purchased it for $31.7 million.
Historical Beach view of the Miramar Hotel. 1998 The Miramar was sold for $31.7 million!
P R E S E N T
The hotel closed its doors on September 10, 2000 to begin renovations and was set to reopen in about 18 months. Five years later, the partially demolished Miramar Hotel still sat vacant on some of the most valuable property in California. On April 29, 2005, TyWarner Hotels purchased the hotel from Schrager promising to renovate it in the near future. Less then 2 years later, no renovations had been made. Finally, in January of 2007, Rick Caruso of Caruso Affiliated purchased the Miramar for an undisclosed price. Faced initially with funding issues in the wake of the financial crisis, Caruso is now planning to renovate the hotel beginning in 2016. However, multiple bureaucratic hurdles continue to plague the Miramar's schedule for re-opening.
Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito Resort developer, Rick Curosa
A year and six months after receiving final approval to build his long-awaited Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito resort, developer Rick Caruso has scheduled a private groundbreaking ceremony for October 10, followed by lunch at Lucky’s.
Email invitations were issued Monday afternoon and came soon after Caruso’s Los Angeles development firm sent letters to Montecito “friends and neighbors” announcing, “We are pleased to share with you that the targeted grand opening is now summer 2018.”
F U T U R E
That rough target was pushed back from the hard April 30, 2018, date Caruso promised for the Miramar’s grand opening party when the County Board of Supervisors gave its final blessing for the 170-room, $185 million hotel back in April 2015. At that time, Caruso also said grading at the 1555 South Jameson Lane site would begin in February 2016; it is now scheduled to start next month.
Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito to open in 2018
The nine-month grading delay had prompted speculation and frustration among Montecitans, who wondered if the project — the third proposed for the beachfront property after it was abandoned and left to rot in 2000 — was still moving forward. Theories for the delay ranged from financing issues to permitting problems to a fall out with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, the Hong Kong-based luxury resort operator that will manage the Miramar.
Sylmar-based building firm Tutor Perini Corp. was selected as the Miramar’s lead contractor. The “ultra luxury resort,” a Tutor Perini spokesperson said, will feature two restaurants, two swimming pools, a spa, fitness center, membership-only beach club, theater, and 6,000-square-foot ballroom.
The Miramar is Caruso’s first hotel venture. He previously built The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles, Americana at Brand in Glendale, as well as a number of condominiums and apartments throughout the Southland.