Hotel Californian

Santa Barbara, California Coast

The hotel

Making it onto the coveted Condé Nast Traveler ‘Hot List’ and ‘The It List’ by Travel + Leisure in 2018, Hotel Californian blends all the pleasures of the Central Coast — the wine, the beach scene, the Spanish Mission influences, the fresh local and seasonal cuisine. And its address means it’s at the heart of Santa Barbara – by its artsy Funk Zone, the beach and Urban Wine Trail favourites like Kunin Wines. But it’s much more than its Californian name tag and location. Inside its Spanish Colonial shell, celebrity design guru Martyn Lawrence Bullard has given it a modern Moorish makeover, with the mashrabiya fretwork of its guestrooms and the indigo-hued tiles and Morocco-inspired arches of its Majorelle spa. But the showpiece is its rooftop pool and event deck, featuring terracotta touches, sophisticated geometric tiling, and views of the sands and Santa Ynez Mountains.

Amenities

  • Romantic
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Close to Beach
  • Close to City Centre
  • Restaurant

Where is it

Steps from the beach, one block from Amtrak station and adjacent to Santa Barbara's vibrant Funk Zone. Transfer time from Los Angeles airport: 1 hour 40 minutes.

Hotel information

121 rooms, all styled with Moroccan influences and custom furnishings from designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, featuring HDTVs, Nespresso™ coffee machines, premium cocktail carts* including spirits, mixers, glassware, cocktail tools and gourmet snacks, and Hotel Californian bath products. Almeria Rooms have 1 king-size bed or 1 or 2 queen-size beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults.

Sevilla Rooms have 1 king-size bed or 1 or 2 queen-size beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults.

Granada Rooms offer an extra seating areas and/or balcony, with views of Santa Barbara and Hotel Californian’s European-inspired paseos. They have 1 king-size beds or 2 queen-size beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults.

Sestina Rooms have ocean views from a private balcony, 1 king-size bed or 1 or 2 queen-size beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults.

Cordova Rooms offer larger verandas and balconies with ocean views with 1 king-size beds or 2 queen-size beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults.

Tangerinn Rooms are the largest rooms with fireplaces and views of the Santa Ynez Mountains from Juliet balconies or verandas, offering a residential feel. They have 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Magellan Suites feature a fireplace, views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, and a sitting room adorned with custom furnishings. They have 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Alcazar Suite is the 'presidential suite' offering spacious seating and dining areas. There's a romantic vantage point to enjoy fantastic ocean views and sunsets. This suite features 1 king-size bed and 1 queen-size bed, sleeping maximum 4 adults.

Blackbird (Mediterranean-influenced cuisine), Goat Tree (gourmet café). Rooftop pool. Turkish inspired spa* including couples suite, steam room, salon* and indoor/outdoor lounge. Fashion boutique. WiFi included in the resort fee. Self-parking and valet parking $38 plus tax per night (payable locally, subject to change).

This hotel has a resort fee of $30 plus tax per room, per day (payable locally, subject to change)

Resort fee includes: - Shuttle service - Internet access - Newspaper - In-room bottled water. Resort fee, tax and inclusions are subject to change - please see hotel check-in for current inclusions available to you upon arrival.

*Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (165)
  • Very good (33)
  • Average (12)
  • Poor (5)
  • Terrible (8)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Awesome hotel and location

Jul 18, 2019 ehanse845520

Hotel Californian was an awesome hotel experience and was truly five stars. The only issue I have is that as most hotels during peak season they have a two night minimum over weekends and the rooms can be pricey.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating An added touch

Jul 17, 2019 goletasj

My wife and I recently did a “Staycation” at the Hotel Californian; the hotel is still new to our hometown, but we wanted to experience Santa Barbara differently than we usually do, and a stay at the Hotel Californian was a great start. The rooms and location are phenomenal, but the reason I write this is more due to one person— their Security… Read more
My wife and I recently did a “Staycation” at the Hotel Californian; the hotel is still new to our hometown, but we wanted to experience Santa Barbara differently than we usually do, and a stay at the Hotel Californian was a great start. The rooms and location are phenomenal, but the reason I write this is more due to one person— their Security Agent by the name of Ian. His smile is what we first noticed, well maybe second, after his height—6’7” easy. Anyway, Ian went so far beyond the call of duty with his friendly and professional demeanor, and his recommendations (even to locals) were Spot On! I thank you, Ian for making our “Staycation” even more memorable. Nicely done Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Hotel Californian

Jul 16, 2019 751kad2019

A sophisticated and comfortable hotel with fabulous staff, great service and a great location. The decor is elegant, the spa experience was very good and the Blackbird restaurant was excellent. Will definitely return soon!
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Lots of positives....a few negatives

Jul 16, 2019 Sailsurfgolf

I just completed a four night stay in a Granda room. The room was spacious with a small balcony. The bathroom was small but decorated perfectly. The hotel is well located, and the service was great. I have two complaints: 1. The hotel is actually three separate buildings, and there are streets separating the buildings...so if you want to go… Read more
I just completed a four night stay in a Granda room. The room was spacious with a small balcony. The bathroom was small but decorated perfectly. The hotel is well located, and the service was great. I have two complaints: 1. The hotel is actually three separate buildings, and there are streets separating the buildings...so if you want to go to the pool..you may have to cross the street and enter a different building, elevator, etc....not ideal. 2. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine, my room was $500 per night and I'm paying a resort fee of $35 per day....BUT I am NOT allowed to use the spa (steam room, facilities) unless I am having a treatment. Unacceptable. Other than those two complaints, nice hotel, great service and location. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Very Unpleasant Experience...

Jul 16, 2019 mg1211wanderer

I wanted to love it so much, have eagerly anticipated visiting since construction began; sadly though I have to say it is probably one of the worst over-all travel experiences in many years. Began upon arrival, to get an overview and stretch a bit we entered from the side (courtyard) and the first impression was the unmistakable, overwhelming… Read more
I wanted to love it so much, have eagerly anticipated visiting since construction began; sadly though I have to say it is probably one of the worst over-all travel experiences in many years. Began upon arrival, to get an overview and stretch a bit we entered from the side (courtyard) and the first impression was the unmistakable, overwhelming smell of human urine at the steps. Seriously, no mistaking it, and inexcusable even in light of the homeless population living abundantly in this neighborhood. Hose sidewalks down Every Morning if need be! The courtyard itself is uninspired: no planted flowers, a few oddly scattered tables and chairs and Worst of all, cheap, fake ASTROTURF is used in abundance! Check-In: even with six or seven blue-shirted employees in attendance (most chatting among themselves), and our party the only guests, service was slow, a little chaotic, and frankly not very friendly. Nowhere near to what is expected from 5, or even 4 star properties, and as our visit progressed, sadly, it (generally) never got much better. This lack of friendly and uber-efficient service, which should be the standard from a property charging these rates, is why we will never return. Food was simply very average (usually served without smiles or warmth) and overpriced as well. You can tell they were going for "hip" design and decor, and although nice, is abundantly grayish, bland and a bit dated. My friend wondered if they were going for retro, as in LA we have seen this style for well over ten years now, and it is waning there already. I wish the property well, of course, and hope things will get sorted out in time; somehow I doubt it though given the abundance of hospitality options which do achieve their mark, and those properties will be where I am spending my money in the future. (TIP: Try the new Miramar down the street folks if you truly want a great, genuine, 5-star experience with infinitley better cost/value ratio!) Read less