These are our personal top-selected vacation rentals and hotels in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara has accommodations to meet the needs of any traveler. Below, we highlight some of the most popular options, starting with the most luxurious hotels the region has to offer. You’ll also see a selection of bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, waterfront options, and more. Take a look.
If you’re looking to really treat yourself on your wine country respite, there is no shortage of top-notch luxury hotels in Santa Barbara to suit your needs. From the sprawling and sophisticated Biltmore to the chic and intimate Montecito Inn, these are our top luxury recommendations:
- Belmond El Encanto – Spread across seven acres of secluded gardens, this Santa Barbara hotel needs little introduction. The Belmond El Encanto opened in 1918 and has been part of Santa Barbara’s social scene ever since. The resort is gleaming and glamorous, yet relaxed and low key. The kind of place that invites you to recline poolside, breathe in the ocean air, and sip a glass of crisp local wine. Hilltop ocean views in a breathtaking setting, the El Encanto is a long-time SB treasure.
- Biltmore – One of the most celebrated hotels in Santa Barbara. Tucked between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains, the Biltmore is a historic hideaway in Montecito on the American Riviera where celebrities come to play. Set within 22 lush acres, woven with secluded courtyards, fountains and sun-dappled, red-brick pathways lit by gas lanterns, the Spanish Colonial villas and bungalows invoke the same casual glamour that first delighted Hollywood’s power players in the 1930s.
- Ritz Carlton Bacara – Just 15 minutes from the city of Santa Barbara in Goleta, 5-Star Hotel Bacara offers world-class ocean views, luxury amenities, spa services, an outdoor pool, hot tub, and much more for those looking for a lavish escape in southern Santa Barbara County.
- Canary Hotel – Kimpton Canary Hotel provides the quintessential Santa Barbara hotel experience, with luxurious accommodations and a staff focused on delighting you at every turn. Located in downtown Santa Barbara, the Canary is part of the well-known Kimpton’s chain, and features one of the best rooftop mountain views in all of Santa Barbara, a rooftop pool, farm-to-table dining, rental bikes, valet check-in, and more.
- Hotel Californian – Calling themselves the American Riviera Redefined, the Hotel Californian offers Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and modern Moorish-themed interior décor from celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. The Hotel Californian has a rooftop pool, ocean views, and is the new center of the Santa Barbara waterfront (opened in 2017).
- Montecito Inn – At the Montecito Inn, staff is dedicated to providing you with world-class service and amenities in a beautiful setting. Featuring 61 luxury rooms and suites, the Montecito Inn offers a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, onsite gym, restaurant/bar, and sweeping views of the Santa Ynez mountains.
- San Ysidro Ranch – Ranked among the top 25 Hotels for Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best for 2015! Nestled in the Montecito foothills of Southern California’s wine country, San Ysidro Ranch has provided a tranquil vacation destination for discriminating travelers for over a century. Guests are drawn to the Santa Barbara hideaway for its blend of natural beauty, romantic heritage, and classic luxury.
- Spanish Garden Inn – Escape to Spanish Garden Inn, a jewel among Santa Barbara luxury hotels and your intimate retreat in the heart of downtown. Revel in genuine boutique accommodations, elegantly appointed and nestled in the lush garden surroundings. Discover for yourself the tranquil ambiance and ever attentive service that has made it one of the highest-rated hotels in Santa Barbara.
Wanting more of a home away from home experience? These B&Bs are our favorites for ensuring your stay in Santa Barbara is cozy and inviting, all while retaining the same high-quality service of a more traditional hotel.
- Cheshire Cat Inn – Four blocks from the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, the Cheshire Cat Inn is a beautiful Santa Barbara Inn that’s perfect for a romantic getaway. This Southern California bed and breakfast offers travelers from all over the world an opportunity to enjoy beautifully appointed Santa Barbara accommodations and furnishings in two Victorian Queen Ann houses and Craftsman cottages
- Eagle Inn – Located in the popular West Beach neighborhood of Santa Barbara, the Eagle Inn is a comfortable bed and breakfast-style boutique hotel by the water. You’ll enjoy conveniences like free wifi, a microwave, and a minifridge with all standard rooms, and their deluxe rooms feature luxuries like cozy fireplaces and large whirlpool tubs. The marina and beach are just a 3-minute walk away, and Stearns Wharf, the Funk Zone, and State Street are just a 10-minute walk.
- The Upham – As a boutique property, the hotel has 50 rooms and suites located in the original inn and surrounding garden cottages. It boasts sweeping redwood verandas and combines the intimacy of a bed and breakfast with the convenience of a full service hotel and conference facility. The Upham is located in Santa Barbara’s vibrant downtown shopping and historic district, surrounded by sun drenched beaches, Santa Ynez Wine Country and the Channel Islands.
An exciting combination of unique and modern, these boutique Santa Barbara hotels are perfect picks when looking for a high-quality “off the beaten path” adventure.
- Agave Inn – Located in Santa Barbara (East San Roque), Southwestern-inspired Agave Inn boasts Colorful, retro-style rooms outfitted with convenient amenities like in-room minifridges, microwaves, free wifi, and iPhone docks at competitive prices. It also has an onsite golf course and is steps away from Upper State Street and a 3-minute drive from Mission Santa Barbara. This motel is 2 miles from the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum and 2.2 miles from Los Padres National Forest.
- Blue Sands Inn – This community-driven, eco-friendly getaway is located just steps from Santa Barbara’s famous East Beach and within walking distance to great restaurants, Stearns Wharf, and the Santa Barbara Zoo. During your stay, take a dip in the beautifully lit outdoor pool, or just relax after a day of exploration in cozy, well-appointed rooms featuring decor, art, and custom-made furniture crafted by local artists and artisans. The Blue Sands Inn is also pet friendly and centrally located in one of Santa Barbara’s most sought-after neighborhoods.
- Hotel Indigo – Stay where the action is at this unique, pet friendly art hotel in Santa Barbara, California just steps from the Funk Zone, dynamic restaurants, the Amtrak train station, and the waterfront. Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara is designed for the traveler on the go, placing guests a step ahead of the rest. You’ll also have access to free wifi, an onsite cocktail bar, and Hotel Indigo’s art gallery.
Coastal views, ocean breezes, breathtaking sunrises, and sunsets – you’ll be moments away from taking it all in in ultimate comfort with these quintessential Santa Barbara hotels by the water.
- Harbor View Inn – This family-friendly resort-style hotel provides a location that is ideal for those wishing to experience the best that Santa Barbara has to offer; from the beautiful coastline to the charming shops and restaurants along State Street. Casual luxury where the white sands of West Beach and historic Stearns Wharf converge. Relax with a lazy swim in their heated outdoor pool, soak in the jacuzzi while enjoying the sunset views, or indulge in self-care with a facial or massage at the onsite spa. Each contemporary room features a private patio or balcony, a minibar well-stocked with gourmet, local treats, and added amenities like free wifi, premium HD TV channels, and daily newspaper delivery.
- Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort – AAA Four Diamond Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort is ideally situated on California’s Central Coastline, directly across from pristine beaches. The resort offers spacious guest rooms and suites, ample amenities including a spa, fitness center, pool, and delicious dining options.
- Hotel Milo – Hotel Milo Santa Barbara invites you to breathe in fresh Pacific air and revel in perpetual summers that stretch from beaches to mountains to vineyards. Blending contemporary beach-chic décor and classic Spanish Colonial architecture, Hotel Milo pairs vibrant beachy accommodations and conveniences like free wifi and in-room minibars with beautiful onsite pools and gardens that celebrate the California surf and sun.
Enjoy being just steps away from the fantastic food, shopping, entertainment, and architecture of Downtown Santa Barbara with these conveniently located picks.
- La Quinta Inn – When looking for a downtown stay in Santa Barbara, the La Quinta Inn & Suites is an excellent option for an easy-breezy hotel with all the amenities you need for a comfortable visit. You’ll have access to free wifi, comfy beds, premium HD channels, complimentary breakfast and be minutes from the Santa Barbara treasures like the Symphony Orchestra and Alice Keck Memorial Garden. This hotel is close to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse and Presidio Santa Barbara.
- Hotel Santa Barbara – Hotel Santa Barbara is waiting for you in the heart of downtown where warm hospitality meets rich history. Enjoy vintage, ornately decorated rooms and suites paired with convenient onsite features like a gym, coffee shop, and business center. Relax in the comfortably elegant sunlit lobby and then step outside to exceptional shopping, cafes, and restaurants. Stroll down to the beach and explore Stearns Wharf or enjoy a visit to the Funk Zone and the Urban Wine Trail! One of the best hotels for a true downtown Santa Barbara experience.
- Paradise Retreats – Paradise Retreats offers unsurpassed service to guests and owners of the vacation homes we represent. Our properties are beautiful and well-maintained and have all the amenities you would expect in a luxury home. Each of our properties offers a unique and special experience.