There is a reason why Santa Barbara and neighboring Montecito have long been referred to as the American Riviera. A beautiful coastline, winding roads up the hills offering spectacular views and … Mountains meet the ocean.
But I will let you in on a secret – This enclave two hours (depending on the traffic of course) north of Los Angeles simply crushes its French counterpart. The beaches are much nicer, the town with architecture and independent theaters (Santa Barbara Film festival a serious matter), the resorts are all updated and you have vineyards right at your polished feet. The only thing missing is a direct flight from NYC
There are a myriad of exceptional places to stay in the Santa Barbara, from the luxurious new beachside resort Rosewood Miramar Beach to the uber-romantic San Ysidro Ranch in the hills of Montecito to the conveniently located Hotel Californian right in town. And we have special rates, amenities and perks for you at all of them!
Rosewood Miramar Beach: A Little over a year old, this luxury beachside resort is a welcome addition to the Santa Barbara scene. Opened March 2019, the 161-room resort sits on 16 acres of beachfront and features two pools, four dining options (including Malibu Farm), spa, James Perse studio and a diving ice cream and candy shop, SCOOP. A sophisticated all-American vacation ideal for a family vacation for kids of any age or for just adults. This was the last resort we stayed at before COVID-19 havoc hit and we are still savoring our stay (read about it here).
Belmond El Encanto: The 7-acre stunning property is legendary at much for its 100-year old history as a secret hideaway and mainstay for movie stars as it is for its location high up on the hills with drop-dead views of the Pacific Ocean. Discreet, understated and luxurious, Belmond El Encanto is ideal for a romantic weekend hunkered down in one of its bungalows. Read the detailed review of our stay here.
San Ysidro Ranch
Hotel Californian: The 2018 opening of the Hotel Californian filled a long-standing void of luxury accommodations near Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, an insanely popular arts district of wine tasting rooms art galleries and restaurants. Expanding on the factade of the original 1925 building (which was destroyed two weeks after its opening by an earthquake) and bringing a Moroccan design schematic to the interiors, the owners have brought new life to a prime intersection in this bucolic beach town. Steps from the beach and its jogging and bike paths, State Street shopping, the Funk Zone and the urban wine route, the reasonably priced hotel is located in a centrally situated location as a base to explore Santa Barbara. Read our review for more about Hotel Californian here.
Four Seasons Biltmore:
No shortage of incredible places to eat. Keep our full list close to vest for our clients but some of our favorites are Superrica, Lark and Loquita. Italian Olio e Lemone.
Cocktails at beach, Belmond Esencia
So much to offer hard to know where to start. Whether family vacation, girls trip, only thing difficult is figuring out what to do (of course, lounging on the beach is an option). one on one time with partner, Santa Barbara Bowl open air concerts in the summer. Miles of trails on beach or hills. Beach. Funk Zone and Urban Wine Trail. Even wild horses 30 minutes away.