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What to Expect When Santa Barbara's Hotel Oceana Turns Into The Hotel Milo

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  Site Where: 202 W. Cabrillo Boulevard [map], Santa Barbara, California, United States, 93101
April 10, 2014 at 3:36 PM | by | ()

The Biltmore, Bacara, and Davy Crockett's Fess Parker get a lot of the attention when it comes to Santa Barbara's hotel scene and full-service resorts, yet a drive through town, especially in the blocks adjacent to the beach, reveals clusters of boutique hotels and small inns that far outnumber the bigger brands.

One such property is the Hotel Oceana on Cabrillo Boulevard, which sits across the street from the beach and the harbor. Featuring a collection of cozy courtyards outside of rooms and between buildings, we were impressed with its colorful landscaping, the blues, reds, and yellows of the flowers and furniture bold against the backdrop of the green gardens. The rooms and views are just as eye-popping, as you will see in the following photos.

At the beginning of May, the hotel will undergo a name change from the Hotel Oceana to the Hotel Milo, pronounced "MY-loh." What does this mean for the future? For now, there will be only minor aesthetic changes, such as new bicycles, cabanas, and property furniture. There's a possibility that more renovations and upgrades could take place next year, but nothing official is being announced at this point.

The big push will come in terms of community involvement. According to the hotel, "the focus of [the change] will be programming and making friends with local companies, forging partnerships to make a stronger, more community-driven guest experience." The new name, Milo, is in itself a tribute to the town's history, named after Milo Potter, one of Santa Barbara's influential hoteliers who started the 400-room Potter Hotel in 1903 at the exact location of today's 122-room Hotel Oceana.

As another example, Hotel Milo will also pilot a summer health & wellness series to take place on the aforementioned green grounds of the hotel. There will be a monthly community yoga event on the second Saturday of every month, where local instructors will lead the sessions and other local brands, such as The Juice Club, will be in attendance. Regular stand up paddle board classes are also in the works thanks to the hotel's location across the street from the beach.

Assuming there's no reduction in quality after the change, we can absolutely recommend this hotel for your next visit to Santa Barbara. We'll be sure to pop in again on our next jaunt through and pass on any details/changes we see firsthand. As we all know, it's one thing to have a plan, it's another to execute it. We're expecting good things, though, and one thing the hotel has going for it is that, regardless of the name, the view of the beach will always be there. Below, we captured the sunrise from our room as it came up over the mountains.

Rates for the soon-to-be Hotel Milo will be the same as they are for Hotel Oceana: $239/night midweek rising up to $499/night over the weekend, including breakfast.

Disclaimer: Will stayed as a guest of the Hotel Oceana while on assignment for another publication, but all opinions are his own.

[Room Photo: Hotel Oceana; All Other Photos by Will McGough]

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