There are bars in Santa Barbara, and then there are hotel bars in Santa Barbara. And not just any hotel bars—bars with acclaimed mixologists and creative cocktail concoctions from Montecito to Goleta. Keep scrolling for a list of hotel bars in Santa Barbara you need to pay a visit to during your next vacation to The American Riviera®.
Goleta is home to one of the most breathtaking, quintessentially Santa Barbara properties, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara. The tranquil seclusion paired with unparalleled views of the Gaviota Coast make a trip to this hotel bar a must. ‘O’ Bar + Kitchen serves Latin-inspired bites that complement its legendary cocktails. With plenty of seating options, ranging from barstools to high-top tables to cozy nooks for two, it’s easy to let time fly as you enjoy a blissful visit to this laid-back, yet sophisticated bar.
Step into Moroccan-inspired elegance at this iconic downtown hotel, complete with bold and beautiful interiors and grand windows that let in the warm Santa Barbara light. Djinn, a moody cocktail bar just steps from the hotel’s library, invites guests to experience a new wave of mixology by the hands of world-class mixologist Devon Espinosa. Grab a seat at the bar and try the Midnight in Morocco, a tequila-based drink that packs some serious heat, or something on the more refreshing side, such as the A Djinn By Any Other Name (The Empress)—made with gin, Lillet Blanc, St. Germain Lemon, rosewater syrup, bitters and egg whites.
The Leta Bar at The Leta Hotel is more than just your average hotel bar, it’s an unsuspecting, cozy oasis with craft cocktails, impressive wine and beer lists and creations from the kitchen that take what you know about hotel dining and turn it into an elevated bar food-lover’s dream. Kick back on a Sunday and watch the game while sipping one of the rotating local drafts, lounge on one of the chic couch options with a Lavender Lemon Drop in hand or soak in the sun on the patio while sipping a crisp glass of chardonnay—The Leta Bar calls to anyone with a natural aptitude for unwinding and penchant for a refreshing drink.
Tucked away in the historic Presidio neighborhood is one of Santa Barbara’s most discrete-yet-elevated hotels, Palihouse Santa Barbara. Inside it? A bar experience for the senses. This small-but-mighty cocktail lounge, aptly named The Cocktail Bar, has plenty of spritzes to go around. From the gin-based Bees Knees to the thirst-quenching Blimey, if you were to pick any drink at random from the menu, you’d be in for a treat. Our recommendation: Spend your cocktail hour at this dreamy bar before walking over to Zaytoon or La Paloma Café for dinner.
Timeless and ever-so-classy, this Montecito bar inside Rosewood Miramar Beach requires a sophisticated dress code and a niche taste for handcrafted cocktails based on classic novels. Stepping into The Manor Bar is like stepping into a swanky speakeasy (no password required!), complete with thoughtful, hidden details throughout the space. Order the Little Women, a classic concoction inspired by the four March sisters, or try Anne Lister’s Diaries, a blend of rye and cognac.
Where luxury meets character, stepping onto the property of El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel, instantly immerses you in the Santa Barbara experience. Settle into a barstool at The Bar and peruse a menu brimming with local wines and beers, inventive cocktails and gourmet American-style bites.
After a day exploring State Street’s shops and sights, stop by Dusk at Drift Santa Barbara, where you can enjoy a post-shopping drink and keep the spirit of vacation alive well into the evening. This minimalist-meets-Baja California bar specializes in tequila-forward recipes using fresh, local ingredients and a rainbow of house made syrups displayed right on the bartop. If you’re not a fan of agave spirits, rest assured knowing Dusk offers an array of alternative drink options like the Blast Off (rum, sauvignon blanc, coconut, lemongrass and lime) or Fine Fine Fine (vodka, midori, lime, cucumber lime cordial and kiwi salt). Offering small bites such as fresh oysters and seafood tostadas, Dusk is the ideal spot for a pre-dinner nibble.
Get a taste of local’s joint Crocodile Restaurant & Bar, where you’ll find strong drinks and Italian-inspired cuisine in the heart of upper State Street at Lemon Tree Inn. Grab a cocktail, wine or beer and kick back to watch the game or enjoy discounted fare during happy hour. Menu items include a panini Italiano, calamari, caprese salad and more.
Enjoy sweeping views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the city of Goleta at this trendy rooftop bar atop Hilton Garden Inn Santa Barbara/Goleta, where you can choose from an inviting fireside couch or strike up a conversation at the bar. Choose from classic beverages like the margarita or paloma or grab a bite to eat from its extensive American-with-a-Latin-influenced menu (think flatbreads, nachos, tacos and chicken wings). Or, take advantage of the bar’s happy hour deals, like $6 wine, $5 draft beer and seasonal cocktails for $2 off the regular price.
Step into a world of rustic elegance with a visit to San Ysidro Ranch‘s Speakeasy at Plow & Angel, the perfect place for a post-dinner nightcap. The moody ambiance makes for a romantic date setting, complete with a cozy fireplace, ’20s inspired furniture and awe-inspiring original artwork steeped in rich history. Try a seasonal cocktail made with fresh ingredients from the chef’s garden or sip on a glass of wine from its 12,000-bottle wine cellar.