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 (124)
  • Very good (26)
  • Average (9)
  • Poor (4)
  • Terrible (7)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wonderful Experience

May 23, 2019 Will S Lakewood

My family and I had the pleasure of staying at the Hotel Californian during Fiesta in 2018. All I can say is, “Wow!” From the moment we pulled up to the time we headed home, we felt like all our needs were taken care of, and then some. The hotel was beautiful. Whoever spearheaded the remodel should be highly commended. I had walked through here… Read more
My family and I had the pleasure of staying at the Hotel Californian during Fiesta in 2018. All I can say is, “Wow!” From the moment we pulled up to the time we headed home, we felt like all our needs were taken care of, and then some. The hotel was beautiful. Whoever spearheaded the remodel should be highly commended. I had walked through here under its previous ownership many years ago, and it is like night and day. Everyone is just so friendly and sincerely want to bend over backward for you. We had breakfast at the Goat Tree one of our mornings there where met the GM, Warren Nocon. What a great guy. He handed us his business card and told us to call him if we needed anything. Breakfast at Goat Tree was delicious. We had no itinerary for this trip. We simply went with the flow. The pool was very nice especially with poolside alcohol service. We spent a lot of time there. My wife gave the spa a run and came back super relaxed. We also had the pleasure of dining at Blackbird. The best word to describe the food and adult beverages there is, “Yum.” If you want excellent service and a super friendly and accommodating staff, definitely spend some time at this beautiful hotel. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Excellent hotel and location

May 23, 2019 stelladom

My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary at the Hotel Californian and thoroughly enjoyed our experience. Highlights of our stay included: Architecture / Design - The layout and architecture of the hotel feels old world and the condition of the guestrooms and grounds are excellent. The blend of traditional Santa Barbara style architecture… Read more
My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary at the Hotel Californian and thoroughly enjoyed our experience. Highlights of our stay included: Architecture / Design - The layout and architecture of the hotel feels old world and the condition of the guestrooms and grounds are excellent. The blend of traditional Santa Barbara style architecture is complemented by unique and stylish Moorish and mid-century-inspired interior design and decor. I think my wife would love to have a few of the pieces in our home! Location - Although we did not have time to enjoy the beach on our weekend trip, the hotel is located on the beach and in the Funk Zone, in walking distance to restaurants, bakeries, boutiques, breweries, wine tasting rooms, etc., which we enjoyed and took advantage of. One afternoon we walked to upper State Street, but found we much prefer the Funk Zone. We also drove to Los Olivos one day for wine tasting and lunch. Our favorite vineyard and tasting room were Blackjack Ranch and Dragonette Cellars. Onsite Dining - We dined in Goat Tree, the hotel's gourmet cafe, for a late lunch / early dinner, and bought house-baked pastries to bring home to our family. The made-to-order sandwiches and salads are excellent. Service - The service was attentive, friendly and prompt throughout our stay. We had a fabulous time and will return again! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Don't skip this hidden gem..

May 23, 2019 jareyes_77

I was blown away by the Moracan-style decor in our room. From the minute you stepped into this room I immediately knew it was going to be special. The lay-out was fantastic! The bathroom with the fine details was just amazing. Our bed was beyond comfortable---and the private access to our lanai/patio was definitely over the top. Living in the… Read more
I was blown away by the Moracan-style decor in our room. From the minute you stepped into this room I immediately knew it was going to be special. The lay-out was fantastic! The bathroom with the fine details was just amazing. Our bed was beyond comfortable---and the private access to our lanai/patio was definitely over the top. Living in the LA area, I can't believe i didn't have to take plane to be in a place like this. We'll definitely be back. Thank you, thank you Hotel Californian! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating What an amazing experience

May 22, 2019 jlhargrove Dallas, Texas

We were in Santa Barbara for a wedding and decided to stay at the Hotel Californian. From check-in to check-out, the experience was fantastic. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous, and the staff is very friendly and helpful. We dined at both restaurants, and enjoyed room service as well. Goat Tree was our breakfast go to both days! It was overcast… Read more
We were in Santa Barbara for a wedding and decided to stay at the Hotel Californian. From check-in to check-out, the experience was fantastic. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous, and the staff is very friendly and helpful. We dined at both restaurants, and enjoyed room service as well. Goat Tree was our breakfast go to both days! It was overcast in Santa Barbara, but it did not stop us from relaxing on the pool deck with an amazing view of the ocean (we even managed to bring back a sunburn)! I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Santa Barbara, my wife and I will definitely make this our go to in the area. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Poor customer service - starting to feel I've been scammed

May 17, 2019 Elle S London, United Kingdom

I paid for a bottle of expensive champagne to be placed in my relative's room to celebrate a significant birthday. The reservations team were pleasant and responsive when dealing with the request, and I was able to pay and confirm the gift within a very short space of time. The champagne then never materialised during my relatives' stay, and when… Read more
I paid for a bottle of expensive champagne to be placed in my relative's room to celebrate a significant birthday. The reservations team were pleasant and responsive when dealing with the request, and I was able to pay and confirm the gift within a very short space of time. The champagne then never materialised during my relatives' stay, and when I queried it with the hotel it transpired that they had placed the bottle in the wrong room - something that they would not have even noticed had I not brought it to their attention. Initially, they promised that they would refund me the money but it's now been over 3 weeks and I've not had any acknowledgement from my most recent emails. Not only is this terrible customer service, but the fact that they were so helpful when taking my money but so unresponsive when it comes to returning it does rather suggest that the company is comfortable with hoping and waiting that clients will simply tire of getting in touch with them, and will let the whole thing slide. Can't help but feel that I've been deliberately mislead and scammed. Read less