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5 Essential Santa Barbara Hotels

Rohan Vasa, Writer

Santa Barbara hotels

There are some places that never get old. And there are some that make you want to pack up and move there. Welcome to Santa Barbara, which is maybe one of the most utopian places in the U.S. It’s like unhappiness can’t exist in a place where there’s over 300 days of sunshine and perfection a year. Here are five essential Santa Barbara hotels for your next getaway.

Hotel: El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel


You’ve been to the Belmond around the world, from Sicily to Spain. But you can also experience Belmond at its only hotel in the United States in Santa Barbara. This iconic retreat will take you back to the 1920’s, as it fuses together Spanish colonial architecture with California craft. The 92 room estate is high up in the hills and surrounded by enchanting gardens overlooking the Pacific. In addition, the rooms and suites at the Belmond come with private terraces, marbled bathrooms, and stone heated flooring.

The Dining Room and Terrace restaurant gives you the option between eating within the ambient interior or outdoors under the stars. Their coastal dishes feature herbs from the ocean facing garden and freshly caught seafood. The spa offers a variety of treatments as well as detoxifying teas and juices. Lastly, the swimming pool is a peaceful place to take in the views of the hills rolling down to the Pacific.



El Encanto offers the ability to rent out the entire estate which is perfect for weddings, office events, and parties.

Address: 800 Alvarado Pl, Santa Barbara, CA 93103


Hotel: Rosewood Miramar Beach


Rosewood Miramar Beach is along an oceanfront stretch in Montecito right on the sand. This luxury resort includes 123 rooms and 35 suites spanning 16 acres of a lush landscape. Notably, given its proximity to Los Angeles, you’ll often see actors or a Kardashian running around for a quick weekend retreat.

The room you choose at the Rosewood is critical. Splurge for the ocean view rooms and suites, that are practically right on the sand. Otherwise, if those rooms aren’t in the budget, level set that you may look onto a parking lot. But for many who stay at the Rosewood, it’s about just getting on property, at maybe the nicest hotel in town.  

For dining, there are six culinary options so there will be plenty to try from Japanese to Italian. Hang by the pool or workout in their fitness center, and you can even go for runs along the beach. Additionally, the Rosewood Spa has yoga sessions in addition to treatments inspired by the coastal surroundings.


Miramar picnics features world renown wine and champagne paired with a curated meal set up on the beach.

Address: 1759 S Jameson Ln, Montecito, CA 93108


Hotel: Palihouse Santa Barbara


The location of Palihouse is its draw. The hotel creates a tranquil atmosphere while also being in the center of  the excitement of downtown. The property itself  exudes charm, with a Mediterranean-style courtyard, garden cafe, pool area, lounge, and gym. There are 24 rooms and suites, that are decked out in fine Italian linens. Select rooms feature a fireplace, private patio or garden, and a soaking tub. For food, there is an all day menu that has lighter healthy dishes in addition to smoothies at the casual in-house restaurant.


Because Palihouse is in the historic Presidio neighborhood this means there’s tons of charming Spanish colonial architecture around. Palihouse provides complimentary bicycles for guests to explore the best of Santa Barbara.

Address: 915 Garden St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Hotel: San Ysidro Ranch


San Ysidro Ranch is a legendary hideaway with a staggering list of celebrities, presidents, and royalty who have stayed within the compound. There are 38 vine cottages surrounded by gardens, a canopy of trees, and the smell of flowers. The individual cottages feature their own private parking, gated entry, and enclosed garden. Additionally, the rooms are decked out in antique furniture and Persian rugs while also having an outdoor rain shower and sauna.

The Stonehouse is an award winning restaurant in a converted citrus packing house. There are also the two restaurants Plow and Angel, a local favorite, and the Carriage House, which is perfect for intimate gatherings. Head down to the Salon and Spa for exclusive treatments and relaxing amenities.


San Ysidro Ranch also offers two curated luxury experiences. The Wine Country package gets you a five day itinerary of private tastings and picnics selected by professional sommeliers. Additionally, the Over the Top package gets you a stay at the Kennedy Cottage (yes, where John and Jackie honeymooned). If you’re really living large, you can stay at the home of the owner, Ty Warner’s 6,000 sqft villa.

Address: 900 San Ysidro Ln, Montecito, CA 93108


Hotel: Hotel Californian


The Hotel Californian is on what is known as the “American Riviera,” part of Santa Barbara’s downtown ocean front stretch. It is buzzing with locals, international visitors, and celebrities alike. The 121 rooms combine the classic Spanish colonial revival aesthetic with a Moroccan influence.

They have two restaurants featuring local bites and a great selection of wines. Comparatively, The Goat Tree is a cafe with an outdoor terrace and take away picnic baskets perfect for hitting the beach. Djinn is the Moroccan inspired cocktail bar that creates a unique atmosphere worth visiting. Likewise, Majorelle, the spa exhibits the classic Moroccan blue while being inspired by the ornamentation of Marrakesh.


Hotel Californian is a happening place with tons of events throughout the month. For example, this ranges from winemaker dinners to Saturday fitness classes, to DJ sets on the 360 degree terrace at Djinn.

Address: 36 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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