From its elevated enclaves and eclectic arts communities to its breathtaking mountains and picturesque beaches, there’s truly no other place like Santa Barbara. When searching for the perfect hotel in Santa Barbara, consider a property that captures the eccentricity of The American Riviera® by booking your stay at a local boutique hotel.
Whether you’re wanting to spend your days lounging beachside, hiking and biking or exploring the shops, restaurants and bars in historic downtown, these stylish hotels are the ideal home base for your uniquely Santa Barbara getaway.
Here is a list of 15 trendy boutique hotels in Santa Barbara.
Few have captured “Santa Barbara beach boutique” quite like Mason Beach Inn. Bougainvilla-draped pergolas, wrought-iron fixtures and classic Spanish architecture create an ambiance of both adventure and relaxation. The newly renovated property is steps away from our world-famous waterfront, offering guests ample opportunity to lounge on the beach, shop along State Street and experience watersport excursions out of Santa Barbara Harbor.
Upscale minimalism with an edgy twist is what you can expect at The Waterman. Nestled in the hip Funk Zone neighborhood, this chic Marriott property is just a stone’s throw away from many downtown attractions as well as the ever-popular Stearns Wharf and East Beach. Its cozy, micro guest rooms are all pet-friendly and amenities include a communal kitchen, outdoor pool, patio with games and complimentary continental breakfast every morning.
When you walk into the doors of Hideaway Santa Barbara, you’re immediately welcomed by a palette of cool, sandy tones and the smell of freshly baked cookies. This meticulously curated boutique hotel in Santa Barbara is just six blocks from the trendy Funk Zone and a short stroll from the harbor. Each guest room was designed for comfort and delight, with several featuring writing desks with mountain views and fireplaces. Guests can also enjoy a hot breakfast from the on-site kitchen and freshly ground coffee.
A Mediterranean-style villa tucked away near Santa Barbara’s West Beach, Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach, is a welcome respite from everyday life. Its intimate atmosphere and romantic California elegance make it a top choice for couples vacationing in Santa Barbara. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a glass of champagne to sip as they explore the property. Other perks include a healthy continental breakfast, outdoor pool and complimentary bike rentals.
From the handcrafted countertops and custom furniture to the monthly rotation of art featured around the property, Blue Sands Inn seamlessly integrates local art into every aspect of its design. Located across the street from East Beach, many rooms feature ocean views, full kitchens and fireplaces. The property also has a heated outdoor swimming pool and is a short walk from many of the area’s most popular attractions, including the Santa Barbara Zoo and Stearns Wharf.
Quiet, cozy and romantic, The Eagle Inn is an ideal respite for a couples getaway. Located in the neighborhood adjacent to West Beach, the inn is a flawless blend of a traditional hotel and homey bed-and-breakfast. Each of the rooms are unique in design, and nearly half come equipped with a fireplace and whirlpool tub. For couples wanting even more privacy, The Eagle Inn also offers two secluded freestanding casitas (little houses), both of which feature a fireplace, two-person spa tub and private patio.
An intimate, elegant hideaway, Palihouse Santa Barbara offers guests the quintessential coastal getaway experience. Tucked away in the historic Presidio neighborhood, the hotel features 24 welcoming guest rooms and suites, all of which surround its tranquil Mediterranean-style courtyard and pool area. Palihouse Santa Barbara also has a stylish garden café, cocktail bar and lounge area.
The Steward (formerly known as Pacifica Suites) touts itself as a “hub for exploring the unspoiled central coast.” Nestled on nearly five acres of lush gardens, guests will immediately feel a sense of inspiration and relaxation when they arrive. Every room features a minimal design that allows the views outside the windows to be the true centerpiece of the space. Guests can also enjoy food that’s good for the soul and the earth at the on-site restaurant, Terra, which focuses on fresh and hyper-local California cuisine. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, fitness center, bike rentals and a jogging/fitness trail.
One of the area’s newest hotels, Drift Santa Barbara’s minimal, modern aesthetic is perfectly complemented by its lush greenery, cool coastal tones, large windows and laid-back vibe. From the rooftop penthouse to the two-person bunk, its 45 rooms offer something for every kind of visitor. Drift also houses a coffee shop, Dawn Café, that serves breakfast and lunch, as well as the Dusk Bar, which features local beer, handcrafted cocktails and a Baja-inspired raw bar. Photo credit: Erin Feinblatt
Named after the famous sea-captain Haley Salisbury, this charming coastal California boutique hotel features a design that’s rooted in exploration and love for all things nautical. Haley Hotelhas 17 rooms, each boasting a thoughtful selection of art, furniture and other items from local artisans. Guests can also enjoy the outdoor lounge and fire pits as well as close proximity to all of the restaurants, bars, art galleries and shops that line Santa Barbara’s State Street.
A chic seaside escape is what’s waiting for you at Hotel Milo. Situated across from West Beach, this oceanfront hotel offers close proximity to some of the best surf and sun in Southern California. The guest rooms are an interesting medley of relaxed elegance and understated sophistication, creating something distinctly California. Hotel Milo also offers a host of unique amenities including complimentary two-hour bike rentals, outdoor pools and the Milo Market, which carries an array of hand-selected gifts, snacks and wines from local makers and purveyors.
Originally built in 1928 by Charlie Chaplin, Montecito Inn quickly became one of the most desirable hotels on the California coast. Since then, it has undergone several updates and renovations, but still maintains the same elegant yet casual allure it was known for. All of the inn’s guest rooms and suites are furnished in a Mediterranean style that’s both relaxing and inspiring. Guests can also enjoy a host of amenities including in-room spa services, a fitness center and outdoor pool as well as Coast & Olive, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, which features elevated Cali-French cuisine.
Founded in 1916, then rebuilt in 1925 after a devastating earthquake, Hotel Virginia is a storied property in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, a few steps from State Street. Dubbed a local landmark by the City of Santa Barbara in March 2000, the hotel stands as a symbol of the city’s rich and unique heritage. Malibu and Catalina tile, exposed brick walls and wrought-iron railings give the property a Spanish-Cali edge while its newly renovated guest rooms create a modern and luxurious experience for visitors. Hotel amenities include an on-site restaurant and complimentary bike rentals.
Hidden away in Santa Barbara’s neighbor city, Goleta, The Leta Hotel is a truly under-the-radar boutique hotel that’s unlike any other. Get your sweat on in a fitness class, practice yoga in your room with complimentary mats or experience healthy-ish SoCal cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant Caya and its lobby bar—here, the hotel invites guests to take it easy and enjoy the laid-back Cali lifestyle. The Leta Hotel features an array of guest rooms and suites as well as amenities such as an outdoor pool, fitness center and free, on-site parking.
From the outside, Riviera Beach House looks like your typical coastal hotel. But, inside, you’ll find an eclectic enclave that’s the ideal amalgamation of historical splendor, sophisticated design and artful decadence. Riviera features stylish, European-style micro guest rooms as well as a fitness studio and art gallery that was created in partnership with the Carolyn Glasor Bailey Foundation, an organization committed to supporting and advocating for local artists. The hotel is also in close proximity to the Amtrak train station as well as MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovationand the Funk Zone.