Miramar Hotel - History from the Old Road

At Old Road Brand, we are most often inspired by places now relegated to memories of the “Old Road”. This post brings it “home” for me. The Miramar Hotel on the 101 Highway in Montecito (just south of Santa Barbara, CA)  was a roadside fixture for decades.

Situated between the highway and the Pacific Ocean, the Miramar was an upscale mini resort with bungalows mixed with traditional hotel build settings.  For me however, this was a place where I rode my bike to take tennis lessons, or lay on the beach, or swim out to a tethered platform off the shore. We’d also have Sunday breakfast with my grandparents in the Miramar dining room, heading through those very doors where that old Ford is parked.

In the 70’s & 80’s, they employed a guard for the property whose name was Jacques. Picture if you will, a middle age onery bronzed Frenchman in nothing but a Speedo, a white hat, on a cruiser bike. Jacque chased every young lad down to either kick them out, or ask in his thick French accent “Are you a member”?  


The Miramar Hotel closed in the early 2000’s and the property sat vacant for over a decade. For those of us who grew up in Montecito with the Miaramar as a backdrop and place to hang out,  it was a painful site to see it closed off. The property changed hands several time in the ensuing years. It was finally sold to an investment group who eventually built the current spectacular Rosewood Miramar. Which is itself, an amazing property, worthy of another 100 years of beachside California memories.


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