It’s Now Montecito Club

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 28, 2019
Montecito Club's women’s locker room (photo Matt Roberts)

After more than three and a half years, owner Ty Warner reopens the Montecito Country Club, renamed “Montecito Club” on March 29. In addition to the renovation of the property, the new Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course makes its debut.Limited memberships are still available, with initiation fees up to $275,000 for the Connoisseur level. 

“The reinvented Montecito Club honors the legacy of the property and the game of golf while imparting a new luxury standard that caters to multi-generations,” Warner promises in an announcement flyer.

The Clubhouse

The 101-year-old Montecito Club boasts sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands framed by newly planted and re-designed fairways and landscape. Long-planked, old-growth wood floors have been restored, and intricately-chiseled plaster adorns the walls, while finishes and textiles in ivory, claret and burgundy infuse a 14th century Moroccan-Andalusian influence that complements the original Spanish architecture. Custom-designed, solid African mahogany doors – hand carved in the hills of Fez – bring members from room to custom-designed Swarovski Crystal chandeliered room. The separate 4,800 sq ft ballroom boasts high ceilings, ocean views, built-in bar, and a giant fireplace. 

The main level of the clubhouse boasts a 6,500 sq ft Fitness Center comprised of two large rooms featuring Matrix cardio and strength equipment, Peloton bikes and treadmill, a movement studio for group and virtual fitness classes, and a private training studio. State-of-the-art technology has been incorporated so individuals can participate in virtual training and track workouts on smart watches. Members who can’t make live classes can stream group fitness classes on a 75-inch touchscreen monitor using Wellbeats technology.

Custom-designed Swarovski Crystal chandeliers in the Montecito Club Great Room (photo by Matt Roberts)

The new Kids Club with indoor and outdoor activities that include arts & craft stations, a wall-to-wall Lego room and a “dream room” for pint-sized rest and relaxation should be a big draw for parents of little ones. All recreational elements at the club –including golf, tennis, recreation lawn, and swimming – offer kids programming throughout the year.

For next-level entertainment, special screenings, and movie nights, Montecito Club offers a plush 22-seat Dolby Atmos Theater, draped in a midnight blue and gold silk tent. Adjacent to the theater is the concession area, with cobalt Venetian plaster and hand-painted floors.

Sports Areas

Just outside the main floor, Warner surprised members by adding a two-lane AMF Bowling Alley with air hockey, pinball, and arcade games. A local graffiti artist was commissioned to paint the walls in Day-Glo imagery. 

The lower level incudes a newly designed 5,000 sq ft Golf Shop, an Indoor/Outdoor Bar, Private Banquet Bar Lounge, and the Ocean Patio with a fire pit and Member’s Grill. The brass features in the members’ bar areas were handcrafted and assembled locally. All of the dining venues feature cuisine spearheaded by Executive Chef Jamie West,formerly with the San Ysidro Ranch and most recently at the University Club.

Men’s and Women’s Locker Rooms, with steam rooms and lounges, include Italian white marble floors and walls inlayed with Moroccan Zillij tile in hues of blue. The Men’s Lounge Bar, completely built of hand-carved African mahogany and ebonized Italian walnut, offers a brass bar with mirrored ceilings. On the opposite wall is a bank of five large satellite televisions. The Women’s Lounge has both indoor and outdoor spaces, including a Moroccan Zillij tile patio, spa treatment room, and lounge and entertainment areas.

For Wine Aficionados

The club’s Wine Rooms are enclosed in steel and glass, allowing for the indulging, tasting, and storing of vintage wines. Another surprise to members is the new Private Dining Room, completely constructed in Marrakech, which features museum quality Zillij tile mosaics, hand-carved walls, and a tooled and textured cedar ceiling. Warner completed the space with a 15-foot dining table built of a single slab of wood milled from a local Bunya-Bunya tree. 

The Pool Area

Members will be able to enjoy new outdoor amenities including a 25,000 sq ft Pool Facility featuring two rim-flow lap pools and a beach-entry oval leisure pool (all with underwater speakers), whirlpool, kids’ splash pad, poolside bar, and al fresco dining venue. The Recreation Lawn includes a sport court for pickleball and basketball, soccer field with goals, artificial turf sledding hill, baseball batting cage with pitching machine, and three full-swing golf hitting bays with a Trackman outdoor simulator. There are also four championship Rebound Ace Tennis Courts surrounded by manicured gardens. Montecito Club is the only private club on the West Coast that offers the Rebound Ace surface. A newly designed Tennis Retail Shop will offer top-of-the-line equipment and gear for budding and seasoned players. 

Doors to the Montecito Club private member dining room (photo Matt Roberts)

The Golf Course

On March 30, Jack Nicklaus will celebrate the official opening of his Signature Course with a Q&A session with the members, moderated by Jim Gray of NBC Sports followed by the ceremonial first tee shot.The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course design highlights natural elevation changes with coastal and mountain views at every turn. The 18-hole, par 71, 6,540-yard course includes mature Monterey Cypress, Live Oak and Sycamore trees, T1 Bentgrass greens, Santa Ana Bermuda grass fairways and tees, Bandera Bermuda grass roughs, riparian grasses, wetlands, and wildflowers in the native areas. Native Santa Barbara sandstone found onsite during construction of the golf course has been incorporated into the bridges and landscape features throughout the golf course. All bunkers feature Augusta White Sand. 

Montecito Club’s signature hole is a downhill, par 4, 10th hole, with the Pacific Ocean and Santa Barbara Harbor in the background. The golf course includes five par 3s, four par 5s, and the 11th hole serves as the number-one handicap hole, a dramatic 549-yard par 5 that plays to a challenging greensite protected by a rambling creek short of the green. The Club’s golf carts offer custom paint and plush seats that are equipped with Visage technology which allows members accurate GPS yardages viewable from the on-board screen while also being able to connect smart phones via Bluetooth to play music from the speakers installed in the canopy. The Signature design also features two on-course casitas located at the 5th Hole and 15th Hole with big screen TVs and well-stocked refreshment centers. 

Membership Info

Memberships currently available include the Ambassador Membership with full club privileges excluding golf, the Signature Membership with full club privileges, and the unique Connoisseur Membership that includes full club privileges at Montecito Club and membership at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club. The Signature and Connoisseur memberships include special access to Ty Warner’s Hotels, Resorts, and Golf Courses. 

Warner is known for creating Beanie Babies and is currently the largest manufacturer of soft toys in the world. Ty Warner Hotel and Resort Properties include: Montecito Club, Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, Four Seasons Hotel New York, Las Ventanas, San Ysidro Ranch, Sandpiper, and Rancho San Marcos.

Montecito Club is located at 920 Summit Road in Montecito. For more information, visit


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