Relaxation is a key ingredient of a Santa Barbara getaway, and there’s no better place to unwind than beside the pool with a cool drink in hand. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful sanctuary or a chic party vibe, you can find a hotel pool in Santa Barbara to suit your style. From jaw-dropping views to next-level service, these 12 pools have wow-factors that will make your cares drift gently away.
Tucked into the lush foothills north of the Santa Barbara, the historic Belmond El Encanto resort offers both seclusion and quintessential California luxury. Enjoy private Craftsman-style bungalows, sweeping vistas and seven acres of gardens bursting with begonias, roses and fruit trees. You’ll want to head straight for the resort’s sparkling turquoise infinity pool, where you can take in unrivaled views of the Pacific Ocean from a plush chaise. If you’re inclined to earn your sun-deck siesta with a workout, there’s a state-of-the-art fitness studio located directly beneath the pool.
From the enchanting Spanish-style architecture to the colorful textiles and tilework, the beauty and serenity of the Canary Islands infuse every detail of downtown Santa Barbara’s Kimpton Canary Hotel. This charming boutique hotel is just steps from the restaurants, shopping and galleries of State Street, but the intimate atmosphere makes it feel like a world of its own. Capped with blue sky and encircled by stunning 360-degree views, the rooftop pool dares you to dive right in. After a satisfying soak, settle in beneath a Canary-yellow umbrella for delicious small plates and craft cocktails.
Revel in old-world glamour at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, a classic Spanish Colonial estate overlooking Montecito’s Butterfly Beach. Adjacent to the resort is the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, an exclusive social club and legendary hot spot since it opened in 1937. Open only to private members and guests of the resort, the Club features a pristine Olympic-sized pool with uninterrupted views of the ocean, Channel Islands and coastline. Make like a movie star and grab dinner or drinks at the art-deco inspired Tydes Restaurant on the cabana deck.
The playful surroundings and laid-back vibe of The Goodland, a Kimpton Hotel in Goleta brings to mind summer camp for grown-ups. With a full schedule of events, concerts and parties, the Goodland encourages you to mix and mingle, and the lively pool area is at the center of the action. Every weekend you can partake in Yoga by the Pool in the morning, then groove to records spun poolside by a live DJ in the afternoon. Need some sustenance to fuel the fun? Order snacks and margaritas from Outpost Restaurant to be delivered directly to your lounge chair.
True to its name, the family-friendly Harbor View Inn is located near the picturesque Santa Barbara Harbor. The inn’s proximity to the water also means its outdoor pool area boasts a spectacular backdrop of the beach, Waterfront and Stearns Wharf. The sundeck’s towering palm trees and vibrant gardens make it an alluring place to spend the day. Kids will have fun splashing in the pool’s wading area, and there’s a Jacuzzi that’s just right for an evening sunset soak. When you’re in need of a snack, full food and beverage are available to be delivered from the pool bar or room service.
Recently renovated, renamed and reopened, the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort spans eight villa-style buildings along the Santa Barbara coastline, offering balconies with breathtaking ocean or mountain views for every room. The resort is home to one of the largest outdoor pools in the region, situated beneath by swaying palms and complemented by stately architectural details. After taking a refreshing dip, you can take advantage of the nearby whirlpool and on-site shuffleboard and tennis courts.
Ideally located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, the Hotel Californian blends 1920s elegance with modern style and convenience. While the hotel’s original Spanish Colonial Revival façade has been preserved, the interior features opulent Moorish-inspired décor by contemporary celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. The crowning jewel is the hotel’s gorgeous rooftop pool and terrace, a prime spot to sunbathe, sip a cocktail from the bar cart, people-watch or simply gaze out at the panorama of the sea and Santa Ynez mountains.
While the guest rooms at Hotel Milo Santa Barbara in West Beach are wonderfully decorated (think casual, seaside sophistication), spacious and fully outfitted with all the necessities, you’ll likely be tempted to spend most of your time outdoors. The beachfront hotel affords you excellent access to Santa Barbara’s surf, sand and sun, and also has two large and inviting swimming pools complete with comfy loungers, umbrellas and private cabanas. After taking a dip, you can hang out on the patio or lovely landscaped courtyard with a bottle of local wine from the Milo Market located in the hotel lobby.
The Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara is located directly across from picture-perfect East Beach on Cabrillo Boulevard, and the hotel’s ocean-facing pool offers a front row seat to kick back and admire the sun-drenched scenery. Overlooking the pool is Mar Vista, a full-service indoor/outdoor lounge where you can sample a menu of locally sourced, Spanish-inspired cuisine, craft beers and house-made cocktails. As the evening cools down, cozy up near the poolside fire pit with a glass of sangria and watch the sunset.
Beckoning from beside Goleta’s golden beaches is the The Ritz Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, an expansive Mediterranean-style retreat that encompasses 78 acres of oceanfront property. Spend the day lounging at any of resort’s three beautifully appointed saltwater pools, including an adults-only lap pool on the terrace in front of the spa. For the ultimate in exclusivity, rent one of the lavish poolside cabanas for up to six guests. Upper Level cabanas include added shade, lounge furniture, fresh fruit and water, while the Lower Level cabanas up the ante with even more amenities like a TV, refrigerator and curtains for privacy.
Find a quiet hideaway in the Spanish Garden Inn, nestled into Santa Barbara’s historic downtown Presidio Neighborhood. Known for its warm, personalized service, thoughtful attention to detail and tranquil ambience, the Spanish Garden Inn is an ideal locale for a romantic escape. Rise early for a few rejuvenating morning laps in the heated pool, shaded by verdant trees and tropical flora. Or cozy up on the terrace with a favorite book and beverage for a blissfully easy afternoon. When you’re ready to do some exploring, bustling State Street is just a quick stroll away.
The hip and quirky Wayfarer Hotel in Santa Barbara’s burgeoning Funk Zone neighborhood blends the affordability and communal feel of a hostel with the amenities and style of a boutique hotel—hence the moniker “poshtel.” Equal parts social scene and relaxation haven, the Wayfarer’s year-round heated pool is perched above State Street and surrounded by inflatable, cherry-red couches just begging to be Instagrammed. On Sundays, the Wayfarer frequently hosts block-party style shindigs at the pool, opening its doors to the public to enjoy music, sunshine and drinks.