With its exemplary Mission architecture, historic wharf and easy-going, cultured atmosphere, Santa Barbara might just be the most attractive city in Southern California.Less
There’s no better spot for watching the sun go down over Miramar Beach than the Rosewood, whether from an elegantly appointed Beach House Suite or one of the several world-class eating and drinking establishments. Michelin-star chef Massimo Falsini serves Santa Barbara spiny lobster at Caruso’s, while Malibu Farm is the place to linger over eggs benedict and mimosas. After an afternoon beside one of the two outdoor pools, head to the Scoop Shop to cool off with a gelato.
This boutique hotel dates back to 1874, and an air of Victorian stateliness is still evident in the luxurious rooms, housed in either the old Manor House or standalone cottages. The gardens, with their neat box hedges and manicured lawns, have a similarly English feel and make the perfect setting for relaxing with a cup of tea. A range of massage treatments, offered in your room, will help you relax even further.
Enchantment is the word at this classic Santa Barbara hotel, which has been luring Hollywood stars and travelers of good taste since 1918. Just a walk through the grounds, along arbors hung with bougainvillea to serene lily ponds and wishing wells, is an attraction in itself. Add in a terrace and pool overlooking the ocean and mountains, exquisite Californian cuisine and luxurious Spanish-style suites, and you have one of the finest hotels in town.
The white adobe walls and terracotta roofs of this waterfront hotel are classic Spanish Mission style, but colorful tiled domes add a dash of Moorish design – a fusion of styles that extends to the rooms, and to the Mediterranean-Middle Eastern Convivo restaurant. The honey-hued sand of East Beach is just steps away from the hotel, as is the technicolor landmark of the Chromatic Gate – an unmissable photo op.
Canopied four-posters, in-room yoga mats and furnished balconies are some of the standout features at the Kimpton Canary, while upgrading to a suite will get you a dark-wood writing desk and a gourmet honor bar. Fresh local produce is whipped up into top-class cuisine at Finch & Fork – the dived scallops with chorizo vinaigrette come recommended – while the Santa Barbara Historical Museum is just around the corner.
Quality and service are inextricably entwined with the Four Seasons brand, and the Biltmore is no exception. Spanish bungalows open onto terracotta patios and private plunge pools, palm trees shade garden pathways and ocean-fresh seafood is served overlooking the beach at this luxurious bolthole, while the full complement of wellness and beauty treatments are on offer at the spa, to the soundtrack of Tibetan singing bowls.
Housed in an attractive khaki-hued house in downtown’s historic theatrical district, the Upham has an unfussy elegance which fits in well with its surroundings. Choose a Fireplace Room for those chilly winter nights, or upgrade to the Master Suite in the warmer months to enjoy a private, two-level patio. The concierge will help you arrange whale watching, sailing and surfing trips.