Ultimate Guide to the Best Hotels in Santa Barbara

Best Hotels in Santa Barbara California



Where to Stay in Santa Barbara

Nestled between the towering Santa Ynez Mountains and the glistening Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara makes it easy to see why this southern California city is often referred to as “America’s Riviera”.

Whether you’re a fan of walks on the beach, water sports, or just some old-fashioned surf and sun, there’s plenty to do while you’re here.

Keep reading for our favorite places to stay in Santa Barbara, California!




Best Hotels in Santa Barbara, CA

To summarize, here's a handy chart of our recommended Santa Barbara hotels. All include free wifi and are known for comfort, great locations and great customer service.


Best Santa Barbara Hotels – Summary Comparison Chart

Name Location Best For Price
Four Seasons Biltmore Coast Luxury Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com
Belmond El Encanto North Santa Barbara Luxury Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com
Spanish Garden Inn Downtown Couples Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com
Kimpton Canary Hotel Downtown All Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com
Castillo Inn at the Beach Coast Families Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com

Below is more information about each hotel and why we recommend it!




Four Seasons Resort at the Biltmore

Located on 22 acres of teeming jungle and manicured gardens, the Four Seasons Resort at the Biltmore Santa Barbara redefines the luxury hotel experience.

Just steps away from a private expanse of Pacific Ocean-facing beach and offering private bungalows with terraces overlooking the famed Channel Islands, it’s easy to see why the Four Seasons is truly the crème de la crème of Santa Barbara hotels.


What makes this one of the best hotels in Santa Barbara?

Despite an unmatched level of luxury throughout its grounds, the Four Seasons Resort at the Biltmore Santa Barbara isn’t just a pretty face, as it were.

Guests at the Four Seasons are treated to seemingly every earthly delight, including local winery tours, surfing lessons, and access to the posh Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club.

Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com

Read reviews: TripAdvisor




Belmond El Encanto

Set high among the Santa Barbara hills, the Belmond El Encanto has been treating its guests to a luxuriant hotel experience since the 1920s.

Don’t be fooled by the age, however, as the Belmond has been remodeled and refurbished with all the trappings of a modern hotel, including 92 gorgeous Spanish revival bungalows, a zero-edge swimming pool, and lavish boutique spa.


What makes this one of the best hotels in Santa Barbara, CA?

Many a hotel suggests it is able to treat its guests like kings and queens, but nowhere does a hotel make this simile more a reality than at the Belmond El Encanto.

Like those at many luxurious hotels, guests at the Belmond enjoy access to lovely gardens and complimentary bicycle use. But do guests at those other hotels enjoy complimentary access to anywhere in a five-mile radius via chauffeured Mercedes-Benz Sprinter?

Didn’t think so!

Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com

Read reviews: TripAdvisor




Spanish Garden Inn

If you’re interested in supremely appointed boutique hotels, look no further than Santa Barbara’s Spanish Garden Inn.

Lucky guests of the Inn’s 23 rooms and suites will enjoy everything from deep-soaking tubs, private balconies and garden patios, and even French press coffee makers – a gorgeously secluded oasis still just a few minutes away from State Street and downtown Santa Barbara.


What makes this one of the best hotels in Santa Barbara, California?

While many boutique hotels offer premium accommodations but not much in the way of amenities, the Spanish Garden Inn is simply not your typical boutique hotel.

Guests at the Spanish Garden Inn enjoy everything from private gardens, in-room spa treatments, a heated outdoor pool, and even a complimentary hot breakfast that features quiche! If quiche for breakfast doesn’t broadcast luxury, then I don’t know what will!

Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com

Read reviews: TripAdvisor




Kimpton Canary Hotel

Nestled between downtown Santa Barbara and the lovely beach, the Kimpton Canary Hotel is truly one of Santa Barbara’s hotel crown jewels.

Guests at the Kimpton Canary Hotel enjoy everything from a stunning rooftop pool, private tastings of local wine at surrounding vineyards, and award-winning farm-to-table fare at Finch and Fork restaurant.


What makes this one of the best hotels in Santa Barbara, CA?

Despite being a typically luxurious Kimpton hotel, the Canary Hotel always seems to offer great deals that make a life-changing stay here that much more accessible.

One of the best deals going right now is the “Summer Swoop” promotion, where guests enjoy an upgraded Mediterranean style room, 15% off Sunday through Thursday rates, and a complimentary bottle of Central Coast wine. Talk about romantic!

Check rates: Booking.com, Hotels.com

Read reviews: TripAdvisor




Castillo Inn at the Beach

Located just steps away from the Santa Barbara beach, the boutique Castillo Inn at the Beach offers its guests choice of 20 rooms that are replete with Mediterranean décor, including Italian tile floors.

Throw in complimentary breakfast, parking, and even dry cleaning, and guests at this boutique really will feel like king and queens in a castle!


What makes this one of the best hotels in Santa Barbara?

Of all the hotels anywhere on this list, the Castillo Inn at the Beach may have the best location of them all. Guests here are just steps away from Stearn’s Wharf, the restaurants and shops of State Street, and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean!

Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com

Read reviews: TripAdvisor





And that's it! Our guide to Santa Barbara's best hotels to make the most of your stay.

Whether you're looking for a luxury hotel in downtown, a boutique hotel for couples or a family friendly hotel for kids, these top hotels in Santa Barbara are sure to please.



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