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When you think Santa Barbara hotels, you probably imagine luxurious appointments. And, dollar signs.
The region's top hotels can command rates of several hundred a night at minimum while others, like the Four Seasons, can clock in at the four-digit range. But, that doesn't mean the beachside community is too pricey for those on a budget or those who'd rather indulge in other areas. In fact, some may be surprised to learn the very first Motel 6 was founded here.
If you look beyond the posh, you'll find dollar-saving possibilities in the form of a respectable inns with rates under $100 midweek and around $200 on the weekend. And, yes, Motel 6 remains an option. Among your choices is the family-friendly, and family operated, Franciscan Inn.
Depending on which way you approach the Franciscan, you'll turn into one of its two parking lots. Exclusively for guests (they'll ask you for your license plate number to know who to tow), either lot is accessible to the lobby. Check-in was smooth and effortless on our visit, taking only minutes to complete. The only slight inconvenience was parking in the wrong lot when it came to proximity to our room. A quick 30 second drive out of one lot and into the other quickly solved that problem.
Known for a hotel scene that bears a burden on the budget traveler, Santa Barbara's newest hotel, which is actually a hostel, looks to fill that void. Opened this week in the Funk Zone neighborhood, The Wayfarer is a 31-room hostel that offers both private and shared accommodations.
The opening of the Wayfarer is especially interesting given its location in the Funk Zone. An "artsy" neighborhood filled with murals, a surf museum, wine tasting rooms, breweries, a distillery, and small restaurants, it displayed a touch of grit in its early days that Santa Barbara had always lacked. But as its popularity has grown, so have the price tags on its restaurants and urban wineries.
Last year, our bro Jaunted noted that the local media was concerned that the growing gentrification of the neighborhood would ultimately be what killed it as higher-end concepts and projects, including hotels, looked to capitalize.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The hotel is offering guests a second night at the hotel for 50 percent off. Sadly, it's only for stays from Sunday-Thursday. But with room rates starting at $159 for a superior room with a king bed, a two-night stay is only $267 with taxes. Junior suites with a king bed and pull-out sofa bed were just $189 for the first night and $94.50 for the second.
That's not bad for a hotel that recently completed a renovation and who used to charge around $250 for weekdays stays. Even staying over the weekend is more affordable. Weekend rates (not included in this half-off deal) start at $200 for a king bed with an advance, non-refundable rate.
The 122-room Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara, sister property to the Hotel Oceana Santa Monica, is undergoing a major renovation this year. Guests may expect to see changes pretty soon, as a few upgrades are scheduled to be completed by this month, including:
simple, clean walls, inspired by the traditional white adobe style of Santa Barbara, new hardwood floors evoking the region's old world charm throughout the guest rooms, the addition of high-definition flat screen LCD TVs, and all new furnishings and accessories.
When the renovation project is 100% finished, the hotel feature 14 new junior suites and an "updated boardroom."
Need more incentive than a newly renovated beachfront property? The ultra-posh Bacara Resort and Spa, a quick 20 minute drive, is a hotspot for vacationing celebrities like Nick Lachey, Victoria Beckham, and, uh, Heidi and Spencer.
So, you can either head over there and stargaze or...chill at the Oceana and be thankful that your hotel is Speidi-free. Rooms at the Oceana run about $250 during the week and around $400 on weekends.
Santa Barbara's got a new hotel but judging from this review of the Canary Hotel by the LA Times' Valli Herman, the place still has a long ways to go before it's on the same level as some of its famous neighbors. And we don't mean Oprah. We mean Ojai, Bacara.
The Canary Hotel is actually the new incarnation of the Hotel Andalucia, a five-story boutique hotel that opened in 2004 just a block off State Street. The place got a gigantic facelift courtesy of the group behind two of our fave Santa Monica hotels--Casa del Mar and Shutters on the Beach--the Edward Thomas Collection (ETC Hotels).
As for the name, it really has nothing to do with the bird but rather the Canary Islands off Morocco's coast. Thus the decor is mix of Spanish and Morrocan but the bird makes an appearance in the logo and the hotel offers binoculars in each room and named the rooftop poolside bar, the Perch.
Despite all this cuteness and a great downtown location. Herman was severely displeased with the service.
The Hotel Oceana, located across from the beaches of Santa Barbara, is offering a $125 special for Sunday through Thursday night stays till May 26.
If you book this deal, don't expect a five star gem, however, for the price you might want to give it a go. Besides, Santa Barbara is damn gorgeous, we would stay there in a tent and be happy.
They are even throwing in a free room upgrade, but you will still have to shell out $30 for an oceanfront view.
We say forget oceanfront, take a park view pool, and just think, from Santa Barbara is just a short drive to Neverland.