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288HotSprings_02 CROP.jpg

El Cielito

Montecito - offered at $15,995,000


El Cielito

Montecito - offered at $15,995,000



George Washington Smith’s legacy is inseparable from Montecito’s rich architectural history, and today, Smith’s influential and refined Spanish Revival style has come to define the essence of Montecito.

Nearly 100 years after Smith began to visually shape the landscape of this exclusive seaside village, his thoughtful hand is more revered than ever.



Smith’s arrangement of light and proportion animates his designs and leaves them with an elusive, yet dynamic character of their own.

Nowhere is his mastery of space, environment, and light more apparent than at one of his earliest commissions: El Cielito.  


Located down a long hedge-lined driveway, El Cielito, quite literally a “little piece of heaven,” is a secluded oasis in the heart of town. Positioned half of a mile from Montecito’s Lower Village, yet hidden in plain sight, this three-acre sanctuary takes its callers on an exquisite odyssey of quintessential Santa Barbara architecture and unexpected international design. 


The moment you pass through the iron gates and begin down the long, hedge-lined gravel drive, the incredible natural beauty of the estate begins to take effect. The main motor court greets visitors with a coalition of lacy palm trees, towering evergreens, and the estate’s resident centenarian: a 100-year old Moreton Bay Fig tree.

Once inside, aged Spanish tile floors take on a leathery patina; the kind that only comes from holding nearly a century of soirees, secrets, history, and heels.

Ushering you into the residence with a comfortable eloquence, the rugged yet timeless elegance of the floors offers an excellent companion to the lively Venetian plaster walls. Asymmetrical fenestration, a signature of Smith, creates energy in the space. From the foyer, let your eye travel further, through the galleria, over the expansive brick terrace, and to the first of two garden ponds. As the initial introduction to Smith’s artful blend of space and landscape, this sightline is a microcosm of the effortless balance he is known for achieving.

Hand-stenciled beams crown the ceiling and original ebony-stained oak cloaks the floors. Exquisite details, original to the estate, permeate the living room and create a portal into the fashionable world of the 1920s when stylistic elements of Andalusian farmhouses first became en vogue.  A massive stone fireplace anchors the room and serves as a master of ceremonies at every event.


Hand stenciled beams, arranged in an orderly formation, line the ceiling and a trio of French doors open to terraces, lush lawns, and an expansive pool.  



Nestled off of the living room, a hidden bar is perfect for hosting a wine collection or imbibing in a splash of your favorite cocktail.

Tucked through an arched doorway, this magical room, with a hand-stenciled ceiling, is sure to liven any fete. 

The lavish dining room is a grand setting for lively dinner parties, holiday celebrations, or elevated dinners with friends. Silk fabric lines the walls and surrounds the room in an elegant embrace.

Two sets of French doors open to the terrace and covered portico, and guarantee unforgettable dining experiences. In the summer, guests enjoy the visual company of the reflecting pond. In the winter, the wood-burning fireplace adds a crackling banter to every occasion.

The eat-in kitchen perfectly pairs old world charm with modern day amenities. Antique Spanish tile floors allow creamy cabinetry and Calcutta marble counters to be seen in a new light, and a pair of islands is perfect for preparing everything from picnics to paella. There’s no reason to simmer and stew about limited space: a large butler’s pantry offers elegant storage for glassware and serving pieces, while a walk-in pantry features secondary refrigeration and wine storage. Three sets of French doors open to the covered terrace and allows every meal to feel like an al fresco affair. Whether you prefer take-out sushi, or at-home sous vide, the decoration and the operation of this gorgeous kitchen whets your appetite and leaves you feeling satisfied.

The expansive family room opens to the covered terrace and south lawns, inviting the garden air in to shoot the breeze. Binge on your favorite series, whether on the screen or on the page, in award-winning style. Ample room to lounge and loll makes this a go-to destination in the home. Blackout shades ensure ideal movie viewing conditions at all times of day, and embers from the handsome wood burning fireplace create a warm glow at night. 

The residence’s main level extends outdoors through a series of covered terraces and an extraordinary loggia, complete with floors of original brick, a babbling fountain, and vintage Syrian and Portuguese tiles. A refuge within the residence, this loggia is splendid for meditation or an afternoon spent outside, yet saved from the sun.


magical and sophisticated

magical and sophisticated

Enjoy soothing ocean views from the covered terrace. Steal away for a moonlit dip or a romp in the gardens, courtesy of a private poolside stairwell. Layered and nuanced design details unfold throughout the series of rooms.


The lavish, garden-view master suite commands the western wing of the second level.

Expansive yet intimate, the master suite is composed of a sequence of spaces that when combined, result in a sumptuous sanctuary.

Dual baths offer privacy to preen, and a pair of dressing rooms are perfect for primping. A sunny sitting room is ideal for moments of repose and renewal while taking in views of the glorious Santa Ynez mountains. 


On the eastern wing of the second level, three additional guest suites offer lavish accommodations.

Each bedroom features a sitting area, walk-in closet, luxe bath, and gorgeous garden views. 


Outside, the sylvan setting of El Cielito takes on a magical and sophisticated aura.

As the approximately 3.3-acre grounds unfold, multiple destinations for recreation, relaxation, and entertainment are unveiled.A darling one-bedroom guest house is excellent for extended visitors or staff.

Property for sale El Cielito, Montecito List Price: $19,950,000

The pool is wonderful for morning swims and afternoon sunbathing. 


Vast verdant lawns create a seemingly endless outdoor canvas. Two reflecting ponds are home to a passel of lily pads, and a duo of ducks. 

The north/south tennis court lets you practice your swing and perfect your serve. 


A circular brick patio with built in seating and a fireplace is ideal for s’mores and ghost stories. 


The orchard air fills the grounds in a brume of citrus blossoms. Two tree forts nestled amongst the woodlands are ripe for adventures. A manicured maze with roses provides a formal aspect to the garden. Throughout the grounds, a joyous nature elevates outdoor experiences of all kinds.

This sought after estate, blessed with an enviable George Washington Smith design and a privileged location, has the ultimate Montecito pedigree. Moments from Montecito’s Upper and Lower Villages, Butterfly Beach, and the world renowned Coral Casino, El Cielito continues to set the standard for enduring elegance and is poised to begin a new chapter in what is sure to continue as an illustrative reign.