Best Places to Stay in Santa Barbara

Travel Advisor Gianna Quattrini in a red and white sun dress and hat standing in a cobblestoned alleyway.
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Gianna Quattrini

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Best Places to Stay in Santa Barbara
Curator’s statement

Though I've visited Santa Barbara many times, in January of 2023, I did a formal site inspection of the best places to stay in Santa Barbara. Whether you're seeking luxury and relaxation or more of a city environment, these fantastic options have you covered.

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Where to stay

El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara

Located in the hills of Santa Barbara, this iconic resort dates back to 1918.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Kimpton Canary Hotel

Located in the "America Riviera," The Kimpton Canary provides the quintessential Santa Barbara hotel experience with luxurious accommodations and a staff focused on delighting at every turn.

Fora Perks
  • $50 hotel / resort credit.

  • Welcome amenities.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Rosewood Miramar Beach

A Santa Barbara icon turned foodie heaven on one of the dreamiest stretches of the American Riviera.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Belmond El Encanto

Perched high in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the Pacific, Encanto is a very special property. Spread out amongst seven acres- rolling greenery is everywhere here. The Craftsman/Spanish architecture blend into the lush surroundings perfectly. With 70 rooms and 22 suites/bungalows- many with fire places, a 4,500 sq ft Spa and fitness center and a delicious indoor/outdoor restaurant + quaint lobby bar, beautiful gardens and a picturesque pool overlooking the pacific, Encanto offers luxury yet still remains relaxed and low key. Just a short car ride away from the many downtown Santa Barbara bars and restaurants- the hotel offers a shuttle service and also has bicycles available to borrow. Encanto is pet friendly!

sunset at encanto - Gianna Quattrini

Kimpton Canary

Newly renovated Kimpton Canary part of the IHG family offers evening wine hour, a beautiful rooftop pool, a delicious restaurant, concierge services, morning coffee + tea service, bikes, the Kimpton kids program and pet amenities. Rooms boast mid century modern decor with Spanish flare. This boutique hotel is perfectly situated in downtown Santa Barbara. They do not have a spa onsite yet in room spa services are available- just reach out to their concierge who will assist. Canary is pet friendly yet also offers pet free rooms on the 4th floor for those with allergies.

canary rooftop charm

Mar Monte by Hyatt

Steps from the beach and part of the Unbound collection by Hyatt. Mar Monte offers an abundance of renovated room options that are simple and spacious, a chic restaurant and more coastal/casual cafe option poolside, a gym and several cozy sitting areas. They also offer live music on the weekend, have a bocce ball court, bike rentals and a beach Vinyasa yoga class every Saturday at 10am. Truly one of the Best Places to Stay in Santa Barbara that works for a variety of different types of travelers. Mar Monte is pet friendly!

Mar-Monte-Gianna-Quattrini

Rosewood Miramar Beach

Rosewood Miramar offers luxurious accommodations situated between Montecito and Santa Barbara on the coast. The resort sprawls along 16 acres of lawns with 122 rooms, 36 suites and is the epitome of luxurious, modern beach living. The hotel offers 6 dining options including a steakhouse, a Michelin recommended sushi restaurant, California fare, a beach bar/cafe, an ice scream shop, and a swanky cocktail bar. Miramar also offers a Forbes five star Spa with Sauna, adult/family pools, a fitness center, lush gardens, sunrise yoga, six retail boutiques, bocce courts and beachfront picnics.

Rated as one of Southern Californias most exclusive beach hotels, Rosewood Miramar is the perfect option for those seeking true beach front luxury truly as it’s a seaside gem that works for couples and families alike. In true Rosewood fashion, a complete kids club is offered. Miramar is pet friendly!

Palihouse Santa Barbara

Offers an intimate hideaway tucked away in Santa Barbaras downtown Presidio neighborhood. With 24 tasteful, eclectic and spacious guest rooms all situated amongst a tranquil Mediterranean style courtyard. Pali SB also offers a pool area, a fitness center with peloton bikes, a garden cafe, room service, cocktail bar/lobby lounge, complimentary Linus bicycles, concierge services and a well curated neighborhood guide.

Pali SB is also a close 15-20 minute walk to the legendary Santa Barbara bowl and is pet friendly!

Pali-SB-Gianna-Quattrini

Hotel Californian

Featuring Spanish colonial architecture, Hotel Californian is in the center of the Santa Barbara waterfront. With 121 rooms offered, a rooftop pool and event deck providing panoramic views of the coastline and mountains, this hotel is located steps to the water and nearby the Amtrak station. Californian is also located right within the funk zone and includes a spa, boutique, a cocktail bar, fine dining, an all day cafe and marketplace and poolside dining.

Need to Know

While there are many enticing hotel options in the American Riviera its easy to see why these 6 hotels are the Best Places to Stay in Santa Barbara.

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to California. In need of further inspiration? Check out Melanie Schwartz’s trip report, The Best Places to Stay in San Francisco: So Many Choices in the Golden Gate City.

Travel Advisor Gianna Quattrini in a red and white sun dress and hat standing in a cobblestoned alleyway.

Travel Advisor

Gianna Quattrini

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