Although the Four Seasons Biltmore in Montecito had planned to reopen April 15 in the wake of the January mudslide, officials said this week the return of Santa Barbara County’s premiere oceanfront property has been rescheduled for June 1.
The Biltmore and nearby Coral Casino, spa and Tydes Restaurant, were slammed by the mud and debris that roared down Hot Springs and Olive Mill roads, across the Highway 101 overpass and down to the beach.
The disaster was caused by an early-morning hours torrential rain storm on the heels of the Thomas fire, which denuded the land above Montecito. With not much to slow it down, a tsunami of mud, boulders and trees rushed down the grade. The result was 23 dead and several hundred residential properties destroyed or damaged. Two victims’ bodies were never found.
Biltmore sales representative Marrisa Alverado told a travel group in Santa Barbara on April 18 the Four Seasons is restoring the hotel and resort. She mentioned some changes in the pool areas, which will allow guests to open the back door of their rooms and take a plunge into the pool.
She said the January flooding only damaged the Biltmore’s bottom floor. The same employees who were at the Biltmore in January have been working on restoring the grounds, lounges and restaurant. They have been issued new uniforms, she said.
Director of Public Relations Emilie Plouchart said the disaster flooded the Biltmore’s basement where the kitchens are located. “Not many people realize that,” she said. “There was no structural damage.”
Plouchart said the Coral Casino across Channel Drive from the hotel will reopen the same day as the Biltmore. The casino suffered no real damage, she said.