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Laura McIver Appointed General Manager of El Encanto Hotel

After undergoing extensive renovations, the Santa Barbara resort is set to reopen next March

Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. announces the appointment of Laura McIver as general manager of El Encanto, the iconic Santa Barbara luxury hotel slated to reopen in March 2013.

Laura McIver
Laura McIver

Beginning next Monday as general manager, McIver will oversee all day-to-day operations, ensuring optimal product quality and service standards.

“Laura’s vast experience in the hospitality industry makes her the ideal choice for El Encanto,” said Ali Kasikci, regional managing director for Orient-Express North America, Mexico and Caribbean. “Beyond her proven expertise to successfully run and manage luxury properties, her intimate knowledge of Santa Barbara positions her to be a strategic force behind the reopening of this community icon.”

Most recently, McIver served as general manager of the Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, and she has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. In addition, she held senior positions with ETC Hotels, including Hotel Casa del Mar and Shutters on the Beach.

McIver is an avid supporter of local businesses and nonprofit organizations, and she is presently the board chair for the Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau, board secretary of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce on the Executive Leadership Committee for the American Heart Association and a member of the Dream Foundation’s Advisory Board.

Part of the Orient-Express portfolio since its purchase in 2004, El Encanto has been closed since June 2006, undergoing an extensive and meticulous restoration to recapture the romance and glamor that made it a favorite getaway of Hollywood’s elite.

Nestled on seven-acres of gloriously landscaped and historic gardens, El Encanto enjoys sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from its commanding hilltop perch.

The property’s 92 quintessential California-styled bungalows will offer guests the ultimate secluded retreat for romance and rediscovery. Guests will also enjoy a beautifully appointed boutique spa, signature restaurant featuring California coastal cuisine and a Santa Barbara dedicated wine list, a sumptuous outdoor swimming pool, a window-lined ballroom with private terrace, three meeting rooms with panoramic ocean views and an array of outdoor event venues.

— Jennifer Guess is a publicist representing Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.

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