Santa Barbara’s Biltmore turns 90 with photo show and custom-made wines


Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore Santa Barbara is marking its 90th anniversary Dec. 16 with an exhibit by its longtime photographer Hal Boucher and several other events.

The 91-year-old has been snapping pics of Hollywood’s elite for nearly 70 years as the photographer for Santa Barbara’s iconic Biltmore resort.

During his decades-long career, Boucher often found himself behind the lens facing some of the film world’s most glamorous residents.


“I knew I needed to take flattering photos,” he said. “So I would try to never get a profile shot where their nose could look too long or their chin sagging. Soft and natural lighting was always better.”

Like the resort, Boucher has aged gracefully, and he still shoots company events.

The oceanfront hotel, built in 1927 by architect Reginald Johnson, still maintains its authentic Spanish Colonial ambiance, with 22 acres of lush grounds and private bungalows and terraces that overlook the Pacific and the Channel Islands.

Boucher’s photos, which can be found throughout the property, are being displayed during the anniversary celebration as a tribute to the resort’s history.

The images date back to the early 1950s and can be found in guestrooms, common areas and at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club. In addition, the resort is offering historical tours.

Among the celebrities Boucher photographed were John and Jacqueline Kennedy, who visited while on their honeymoon in nearby Montecito, Rock Hudson, Bing Crosby, Lana Turner and Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

In addition to Boucher’s photographs, the anniversary celebration will include photos by Gray Malin, who was commissioned to shoot a new series at the resort’s members-only beach club. The series, which will be released in January, features the club’s Art Deco architecture and photos of the synchronized swim team the Aqualilies.

Additionally, Sunstone Vineyards & Winery partnered with the hotel to create two varietals, both blended by the resort team.

The first varietal is a 2014 merlot named Biltmore, and the second is a reserve blend that is 60% merlot, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 15% cabernet franc. It is called 1927 to commemorate the year the resort opened.

The wine will be poured and sold at the Biltmore starting Friday.

Info: Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore Santa Barbara, (805) 565-8299


With renovations and new restaurants, LAX hotels are taking off

New hotels help Palm Springs regain its title as the capital of cool

Bee hotels are all the buzz. Here are five in the West where you can meet these pollinators