Recently I attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at the opening of the oceanfront Rosewood Miramar Beach Resort. Celebrity actor Rob Lowe sat in front of me, and later walked up to the podium to thank entrepreneur and developer Rick Caruso for building this exquisite addition to the community.

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As a spokesman for the affluent village of Montecito, Lowe told approximately 150 invited guests, “We are so happy to have this resort up and running, to have place where we can create the kind of memories, that I had at the old Miramar, in the train car, having milkshakes, walking on the beach, and now to have this modern day version is truly wonderful. Thank you. We have been through a lot in the past two years, and I feel the positive and uplifting energy all over this place.”

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This new ultra-luxurious resort located 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles has experienced an outpouring of locals honoring the spirit of the past. The Miramar was one of the most beloved vacation destinations dating back to the 1880s, before it closed in 2000.

It took 12 years for Caruso to finally complete his first hotel resort. The nearby residents  didn’t embrace the idea or rebuilding. Construction approvals by Santa Barbara County took longer than expected, the recession hit, and then the fires, rain and mudslides delayed the grand opening date. Yet the timing is perfect to uplift a community of people who had to evacuate their homes five times in four months between December, 2017 and March, 2018, because of weather-related events.

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Caruso invited local residents, and members of the local fire and police department to his grand opening to thank them all. Standing in an expensive suit with his blonde retriever Dodge, Carsuro humbly told his guests, “Two years ago, these good people were protecting this community and the Rosewood Miramar Beach Resort. I thank you.”

Known for building community lifestyle centers, Caruso built The Grove in Los Angeles, The Americana in Glendale, and recently completed the Village Center in the Pacific Palisades. With the guidance of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts President Radha Arora, he now has a seaside destination in Santa Barbara.

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After the ceremony, guests were invited into the Grand Manor home to tour the resort. It’s an exquisite mansion designed after some of the classic lines from renowned architect Paul Williams. On the dramatic curving stairway were six women dressed in white playing Coldplay’s hit song Viva la Vida.

Each room throughout the Manor is designed with graceful lines and furnished with formal furniture. The walls display an array of whimsical artwork.

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The handsome Manor Bar offers dark panel woods, club-like leather couches and soft fabric chairs. This space is a gathering spot for craft cocktails, martinis and scotch before dinner. While the living room is more feminine in design for toasting a celebratory glass of champagne. Guests can sit inside the opulent interior room with a grand piano or step outside on the expansive veranda.

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Nearby is the light and bright Malibu Farm at Miramar offering all day garden to plate dining. The menu features dishes prepared with produce and meat from local growers and food purveyors in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

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There is also Gwyneth Paltrow and Co. gift shop GOOP for guests to purchase healthy snacks, skin care, clothing, shoes and beach hats.

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Next I took a tour around the 16 acres of gardens before reaching the reception area overlooking one of the most beautiful walking beaches in California. Well-heeled tourists can select one of the 124 guest rooms, cottages or 37 suites. Each room offers a furnished terrace or patio to allow ocean breezes inside. Designer bathrooms have freestanding tubs, dual sinks and luxury bath amenities. Guests can enjoy coffee and tea using a personal Nespresso machine and water kettle. There is also a highly curated mini-bar, and twice-daily housekeeping, including evening turn-down service.

Lanai Suites are larger than Lanai Guest Rooms, offering a living space with a romantic fireplace or extended patio. There is a dining table and bay window seating.

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The single-story Garden Bungalows feature a garden setting with vaulted ceiling, separate dressing room, freestanding bathtub and outdoor furnished terrace.

The independent single-story Grand Bungalow suites are ideal for families or girlfriend getaways. Inside the 1325 square-feet of luxurious open living space is a designer kitchenette, fireplace, pantry, powder room and garden or mountain views. The terrace is furnished with an outdoor sofa and coffee table.

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Those seeking residential luxury with panoramic ocean views, The Ambassador Suite offers almost 2000 sq. ft. On the second story of the Manor House. Guests have sunrise to sunset views on the private terrace. There is one king bedroom and one full bathroom, plus a powder room.

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Between the cottages and Lanai house is a grassy lawn with bocce ball courts and two cabana-lined pools. One offers a designer scalloped zero-edge border pool, with a service bar and plenty of comfortable lounge chairs and umbrellas. The other pool is more lively for families with a yellow and white color scheme and an ice cream Scoop Shop.

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Before reaching the 22 oceanfront Beach House guest rooms and studios, Rosewood staff members assist guests while crossing over the long-standing railroad tracks. This used to be a train stop years ago, and Amtrak passenger trains still pass through several times a day.

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Guests seeking the quintessential California experience will want to stay at the Guest House located directly on Miramar Beach. Each guest room offers a furnished patio to sit and watch the rolling waves, look out to the Channel Islands and enjoy sunrise to sunset views.

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Nearby is the resort’s signature restaurant Caruso’s featuring al fresco seating over the sand. It’s old glamour of the American Riviera with an Italian flair and menu. The dark deep blue crescent shaped booths and high gloss lacquered wood panels are reminiscent of elegant polished wood yachts.

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Above Caruso’s is the oceanfront Miramar Beach Bar terrace offering refreshing cocktails and bites. Locals and guests are welcome to socialize over music, play shuffleboard and enjoy fireside s’mores under twinkle lights on the outdoor deck.

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Down near the beach, the resort offers attentive beach butler service for guests to use complimentary chairs, umbrellas, beach toys and stand-up paddle boards and kayaks.

To reserve a stay at this one-of-a-kind luxury resort, go to Rosewood Miramar Beach Resort or call (805) 900-8388.