This year on Christmas, we decided to do something that I have never done before, which was have a non-relative cook for Christmas. Instead of hosting the holiday at our place, or traveling back to Chicago to spend the day at a relative’s home, we drove up to Santa Barbara for a few days. Since we were staying in a hotel, I searched around for restaurants that would be open on Christmas Day. Most of what I found were hotel restaurants offering special Christmas feasts throughout the day.
The Belmond and Ritz Carlton hotels also offer Christmas Day specials, but I had never been to the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara before, plus I wanted to spend some time in Montecito walking along the beach, so I choose the Biltmore’s restaurant Bella Vista for our Christmas buffet. I will be honest, it is a very pricey buffet, especially if you bring your entire family. Although expensive, calling this a buffet does not do it justice. This is a Christmas feast of another level. Most of the cost is from the seafood stations, including a highly popular sushi section. Even if you are not a big fan of seafood, like me, I still felt that I got my money’s worth in all the other food options. Plus I am a sucker for dessert, so any place that has a great sweets section, including cookie decorating, an eggnog dispenser, and two different type of yule log cakes, has my heart.
The Four Seasons Biltmore was also cutely decorated in the lobby, and sitting outside on the terrace next to the ocean in the middle of winter does have a nice ambience. After our late brunch, we walked across the street to Butterfly Beach and enjoyed a nice Christmas Day stroll. It was probably the most relaxing Christmas I have enjoyed to date, and definitely a good way to switch up the same yearly traditions.
The buffet was of course decked out in Christmas decorations.
You know it is an upscale buffet when the salad comes in adorable individual dishes, instead of a giant self-serving bowl.
This cake was so delicious I for some reason had to take a photo of it to document it.
They had the cutest stations, like seafood and cookie decorating.
Besides the extra festive decorations, the Biltmore itself is a beautiful property.
Valet parking is free for the day so I would definitely take advantage and walk across to Butterfly Beach.