You have a wide variety of Santa Barbara accommodations to choose from for your California beach vacation, from hotels and motels to inns and resorts.
Five of the most popular Santa Barbara accommodations include the Spanish Garden Inn, the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort, the Harbor House Inn, the Pacific Crest Hotel and the Kimpton Canary Hotel.
915 Garden St.
This is a luxury boutique hotel in the historic Presidio district of downtown Santa Barbara, 3 blocks from State Street. It is only a five minute walk to many wineries if you like to go wine tasting. The hotel has a beautiful Spanish Mediterranean design and architecture, with bougainvillea gardens, fountains and a fire pit. It is on the original site of the Santa Barbara School of Arts. The owners themselves are artists and display their art on the property. There is an outdoor lap pool and rooms have tiled floors. All rooms have a private balcony or garden. An in-room spa service is available. A deluxe continental breakfast is complementary, as is the parking. You can also enjoy the evening wine bar. Check rates and reviews
121 Arrellaga Street
The Simpson House Inn is a luxury boutique bed and breakfast hotel with beautiful grounds. It is a Victorian estate and has an acre of English gardens. There are both guest rooms and cottages. It's in a secluded location within a neighborhood that is only a five minute walk to the historic downtown area of Santa Barbara. You can easily take a trolley to the beach. Check rates and reviews
104 Bath Street
The Harbor House Inn is a small boutique hotel located only a block from the beach and just a five minute walk to the harbor. Kitchen units are available. State Street and the Funk Zone are a 10 minute walk away. Not into walking? The hotel offers complementary beach cruisers so you can bike around. Check rates and reviews
31 West Carrillo
Previously Hotel Andalucia, the Canary is a luxury boutique hotel, (as are most Santa Barbara accommodations apparently). This is also a pet-friendly hotel. It is in the Spanish style
Up on the sixth floor is the Rooftop Perch where they have Saturday morning yoga classes. Here, there are amazing mountain, city and ocean views, a rooftop swimming pool, fireplace and the Coast restaurant.
Other special touches include a daily hosted wine hour, four-poster beds, spa services, complementary beach cruiser bicycles and access to the Spectrum Club (a posh gym) next door. Check rates and reviews
433 Corona Del Mar
The Pacific Crest is a boutique hotel at East Beach, which is also conveniently close to the Santa Barbara Zoo. They have an outdoor pool. Check rates and reviews
1260 Channel Dr.
This luxury beachfront resort is Spanish Colonial style and features 2 swimming pools, private cottages and access to the adjacent Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club.
Oceanview indoor and outdoor dining is available in the Bella Vista restaurant. The Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club also has it's own indoor/outdoor restaurant that Biltmore guests can use.
The resort provides chaise lounges and umbrellas for your beach use. Kids programs can keep the little ones having fun while you're busy relaxing. Yoga, Pilates and Aqua Aerobics classes are offered at the pool. The extensive spa services are world reknow.
5490 Hollister Ave.
One thing that sets this hotel apart is that they offer a complimentary full breakfast, cooked to order in their Garden Cafe. They also have an evening wine reception on Mondays through Thursdays. It's an all suites hotel in a garden setting. There's a pool and spa on site, and for a few dollars extra, you can access the Goleta Valley Athletic Club. This hotel offers a free shuttle to the Santa Barbara Airport and the Goleta Amtrak train station. This hotel is also convenient to visitors to UC Santa Barbara.
22 Castillo St.
This boutique inn is really a motel that has been completely renovated. It's in a great location, just half a block from the beach, marina and Stearns Wharf. The style is Mediterranean, so it fits right in with the Santa Barbara look and feel. Parking is free, which can be really handy in this popular area for visitors. Guests also get to use a health club with a pool.
The oceanfront hotels are of course more expensive and desirable. The downtown hotels are close to shopping and dining. The trolley car shuttle goes along the waterfront (Cabrillo Blvd.) and up State Street from Stearn’s Wharf through town, so if you want to leave the car at the hotel or at home, this is an easy and pleasurable option for getting around.
Hotels in midtown are in a quieter, more residential area. This is where most of the bed and breakfasts are located. Goleta is to the north, near the University of California at Santa Barbara. Montecito is an exquisite, upscale area just to the southeast of town.
In addition to the five mentioned above, the following Santa Barbara hotels are all on Cabrillo Blvd., which goes along the waterfront, across from the beach or harbor:
Full disclosure: Some links on this page may go to TripAdvisor.com, from whom I do receive a small commission. I think they have a really cool site with useful reviews and price comparisons.
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