Homes in Montecito
hotels typically charge more than $1,000 per night
Jennifer Aniston. Ellen DeGeneres. The list of celebrities who have paid tens of millions of dollars for a home in Montecito, California, is lengthy and diverse, including both young and elderly names. Even if you’ve just heard about Montecito in relation to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relocation, you’ve likely pondered what makes a little town with less than 10,000 residents so appealing.
Santa Barbara is approximately four times the area of Montecito and has 10 times the population of Montecito. Santa Barbara is located around 80 miles west of Los Angeles. Santa Barbara, which was colonized by Spain in the 18th century, has a rich history and culturally significant monuments that draw many tourists, but Montecito, which was settled by fewer Spaniards, has historically attracted fewer visitors. It appears that the majority in the town would want to maintain the status quo. Despite rising popularity in recent years, Montecito has much fewer accommodation alternatives than Santa Barbara. Existing hotels typically charge more than $1,000 per night.
The town has a long history
Even while the disproportionate celebrity population is somewhat puzzling (Meg Ryan and Natalie Portman have both had houses in Montecito, for example), it is not entirely unexpected.
The town has a long history of attracting America’s most prominent personalities; in fact, Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy spent their honeymoon at the still-operating San Ysidero Ranch. In 1999, Los Angeles Magazine reported a “turf war” between the inhabitants of Montecito and the “LA types” who were invading their small community. Celebrities, such as Rob Lowe, who is featured in the article, have begun to settle there in far greater numbers (rather than simply visit).
Numerous waves of celebrity settlers have arrived in Montecito in the 23 years since the piece was published, and with younger A-listers like Ariana Grande making the area their home, it does not appear to be a passing trend. According to a 2017 Insider article about Montecito, residents are largely unconcerned by the presence of famous individuals.
This is undoubtedly a lure for celebrities wanting a quieter lifestyle, and the town’s proximity to Hollywood (less than two hours by vehicle) is an added bonus. Santa Barbara has a richer history than Montecito, although both cities have a relationship with architect George Washington Smith. During the early 20th century, Smith made an indelible stamp on the region by designing scores of residential structures in Santa Barbara County, all in the Spanish Colonial style that continues to dominate the region. There are still several of Smith’s residences in existence, including one that Larry David purchased for $5,7 million this year.
100 year old home
Whether or not celebrities choose a true 100-year-old home, many new constructions in the neighborhood replicate the elegant yet casual feel of the area’s older homes. The Montecito home of Gwyneth Paltrow, which was featured in AD earlier this year, appears to be from the early 1900s but is actually spanking new. AD100 companies Roman and Williams and Romanek Design Studio worked on the project, choosing antique mantels, hand-painted wallpapers, and bronze doors with a pewter finish to ensure that the home reflected the spirit of its location.
All of the architectural grandeur of the region is only an added bonus to the region’s natural attractiveness. The Mediterranean environment of the Californian city allows for year-round horticulture. Scooter Braun’s Montecito residence, which AD viewed in 2018, maybe the ideal example, with its century-old trees and meticulously trimmed rose gardens.
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