Santa Barbara Travel Guide
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It certainly looks like Orient-Express isn’t letting that whole rejected Tata offer get in the way of its renovation and expansion plans. We’ve barely told you about the disco break the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro enjoyed to come back in its former glory, and now reservations have started for a March opening of the historic El Encanto Resort in Santa Barbara.
One thing we already love? As part of its dedication to locally sourced produce, El Encanto will have its own cow: Ellie. Ellie’s milk will be used to make a special cheese only found at the hotel. How great is that? And it doesn’t stop there.
Clearly, Kimpton Hotels are on a sort of a management and acquisition roll. After picking up the management of two Thompson Hotels (one in Chicago and one in DC), and putting the RiverPlace hotel into their portfolio, Kimpton has now announced that they have bought the Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara.
Despite the new ownership, nothing much will change. Guestrooms will keep the mix of Spanish and Morrocan decor and free WiFi for Kimpton's InTouch members. The Perch, the hotel's rooftop venue with a pool will still remain and Kimpton will also manage the hotel's Coast Restaurant & Bar. And yes, you can expect Kimpton's famous wine-tasting hour here from 5 to 6pm nightly in the hotel lobby.
Well, this is surprising. When we were compiling our Master List of 2012 Openings, we totally did not see that Hotel Indigo would be opening in Santa Barbara. But lo and behold, an is announcement out today says that our favorite boutique brand is opening in March in the former Hotel State Street.
Opening after a multi-million dollar renovation, Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara combines the historic Santa Barbara splendor with the architectural sophistication of modern design.The forty-one room boutique hotel has thirteen guest rooms featuring private outdoor gardens and fourteen guest rooms with views of the Riviera and mountains or urban scenes dotted by palm trees.
Santa Barbara is getting Hyattized, though too bad not in time to capitalize on the royal couple fever that hit the local hotel scene earlier this month. The 80-year-old Hotel Mar Monte has been transformed into the city's first Hyatt, the Hyatt Santa Barbara.
As part of its new persona, the oceanfront hotel has been getting renovations since February. The hotel has redone 92 of its 171 rooms, lobby, and pool and deck areas.
We thought the Royal Couple craziness would die down once the newlyweds became an old married twosome, but nope, we wrong. Now, hotels in California are looking to cash in on Prince William and Kate's impending trip to the Golden State. In particular, Santa Barbara hotels are downright giddy over the couple's planned visit for a charity polo match and meal. So much so they are celebrating the best way they know how--with a package.
The Santa Barbara Hotel Group is honoring Kate and Wills with their Royal Romance Escape package. (Groan.) You and your king (Double Groan) will get accommodations as well as an upgrade, a bottle of champagne, high tea for two at Andersen's of Santa Barbara and a list of the top 25 places to kiss in SB. (Actually, that one's kinda cute.)
We'll find any excuse to visit beautiful Santa Barbara. The beaches, mountain backdrop and Spanish adobe buildings with red-tile roofs make it a charming vacay spot. Luckily, Travelzoo is giving us a good reason to visit the beachy town, that and we might get to bump into Parks & Recreation's Rob Lowe, who—literally—hangs in SB since he lives nearby in Montecito.
The package is good for West Coasters who want a quickie getaway. As part of the deal, you'll spend a night at the Canary Hotel and get dinner for two for $299, a $350 savings.
In honor of the upcoming holiday, we'll highlight a few wacky St. Patrick's Day packages that must have been thought up by a leprechaun.
St. Patrick's Day makes you crave pints of Guinness, Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and, um, basketball. At least that's what the Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara is hoping.
A beachside town that's home to famous folks like Rob Lowe won't be cheap, especially for sun-seeking, celeb-spotting tourists. Accordingly, there are lots of luxury hotels all up in SB, like Bacara Resort and the Four Seasons Biltmore. But the Los Angeles Times says it found five hotels where you could get a room for less than $100. We did some sleuthing to see if the too-good-to-be-true deals were legit.
To be clear the under-$100 deals are for weekdays only, though the weekend rates were still pretty low. The paper said that Blue Sands Motel's $79 weekday and $129 weekend starting rates, which check out.
UPDATE: See the comments below for an update on our review.
We stole a few days to head to Santa Barbara for a beachy retreat. Since we enjoy chillaxing at Hotel Oceana Santa Monica, we decided to bunk at its sister property, the on-the-oceanfront Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara.
How did the SB hotel stack up? We'll give you the lowdown on the rooms and more below.
Year after year, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts win all sorts of awards and garner spots on all different sorts of hotel lists for their attentive services to guests. But recently, we were impressed by their speedy response to a comment we had made last month on our Twitter page. (@Global_Gourmet).
Here’s what happened: We were staying at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore in Santa Barbara to attend Alaska Media Road Show--a get-to-know our 50th state kinda speed dating for writers and Alaska marketers. We've actually stayed at this Four Seasons before and this time, Katy Perry and Russell Brand had checked in together right before us. (We Tweeted that too, and received a "Juicy! xoxo" response from none other than Perez Hilton.)
But back to our hotel service story.
While temperatures dip this time of year, Santa Barbara basks in 70-degree weather during the fall. If you want to squeeze in a little more sun time before winter hits, Bacara Resort & Spa is offering OctoberBest, a month-long deal that'll get you a room at a discount of more than $120.
Aside from the savings to your wallet, we think the "Best" part of the package is that it allows you to sleep in, since each night you pay for entitles you to 24 hours in your room. Meaning, you won't have to wake up at 8 a.m. and scramble to pack to make the noon checkout time. If you check in at 8 p.m., you don't have to check out until 8 p.m. the following day.
Two things are for certain concerning the reports that
former? actor Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi were arrested for allegedly stiffing the San Ysidro Ranch in Calif, out of a nearly $6,000 hotel bill. One, Randy and Evi are most likely crazy. They posed for their mugshots like it was a Facebook profile photo shoot and then scribbled off some letter to TMZ about how they in fact did pay the bill. Two, TMZ got way too excited about their mugshots.
But we still aren't sure if they actually did skip out on their hotel bill on August 20th. TMZ says the couple have done this sort of thing before at the Hotel Bel-Air but Evi sent a copy of a cashier's check they sent to the hotel with the amount requested. She also said:
I promise the state of California, Texas does not bother people over hamburgers ordered by room service, supposedly burglarized."
Um...ok. Either way, the duo have posted bail and are free to check into new hotels now. But we're not so sure hotels will be eager to accept them now. Remember, hotels do have a blacklist.