Dispatch, ILTM: Orient-Express ups eco-focus in Calif.

By Danny King
Danny dispatchLuxury hoteliers and travel agents from around the world are convening this week at the annual International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) conference in Cannes, France, which runs through Dec. 6. Travel Weekly hotels editor Danny King reports:

Orient-Express is taking great lengths to give its El Encanto hotel in Santa Barbara, Calif., an especially eco-friendly focus when the 95-year-old hotel reopens next March.

Santa Barbara's oldest hotel, which Orient-Express shut down about eight years ago, will have its 92 bungalows fully updated to appeal to high-end travelers looking to make the most of the property's dramatic Pacific Ocean views, Orient-Express Executive Director of Worldwide Sales Andrea Filippi told journalists at the ILTM conference in Cannes on Wednesday.

Orient-Express last year brought in former Peninsula Beverly Hills General Manager and ex-Montage Hotels executive Ali Kasikci to oversee the reopening and operations.

Additionally, Orient-Express, which did not disclose how much it's spending on the renovation, is upping El Encanto's eco-friendly quotient by having a couple of electric-vehicle charging stations on the property, and will serve its own organically and locally brewed beer. The hotel will also have El Encanto-branded cheese produced by its own dedicated cow on a nearby farm.

The cow's name? Ellie.

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