Whisk yourself away to another world at Hotel Californian, a Santa Barbara hotel with a difference.
This boutique bolthole showcases a stunning design that draws influences from Morocco and southern Spain, all white-wash walls topped with terracotta roofs, and interiors encrusted with almost a million tiles across the entire space. There are also nods to Moorish architecture through keyhole arches, plush drapes, hanging lanterns and star motifs, among many other enticing design elements.
This exquisite look is coupled with top-end features, such as the dazzling rooftop deck with swimming pool and Jacuzzi tub, overlooking the beach and Santa Ynez Mountains.
Then there’s the Majorelle Spa, twinkling with blue and white mosaics which provide the backdrop to Moroccan treatments, steam room sessions and beauty therapies.
When it comes to dining, Hotel Californian presents three haunts: Blackbird, a sophisticated restaurant and bar; Djinn, the hotel’s resident cocktail lounge; and Goat Tree, a more casual affair serving lip-smacking breakfasts and brunches. It’s also within touching distance of Santa Barbara’s top restaurants and wine tasting bars, so you really are spoilt for choice.
Rounding it all off are the elegant guestrooms and suites, every one of which displays the same Moorish style interspersed with contemporary artwork. Many also come with balconies, views of the Santa Ynez Mountains or ocean, plus deep-soak, egg-shape bathtubs big enough for two, just going to show that Hotel Californian really does stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Hotel Californian guestrooms are indulgent, design-conscious affairs that exhibit a stylish fusion of Andalucian influences and contemporary fixtures. Expect ornate latticework, monochrome palettes, a mix of materials including marble, bronze and leather, plus eye-catching fittings like colourful artwork and bold furniture. Meanwhile, the mod-cons come thick and fast in the form of 65-inch TVs, Nespresso machines, bespoke toiletries, and a minibar laden with larger-than-usual bottles of various top-end tipples; a nice touch.
Fine drinking and dining await at this smart bar and restaurant, a bronze-gilded space where white and black shades rule supreme. Choose from a menu brimming with Mediterranean dishes, sip a perfectly concocted cocktail or high-quality wine, and finish with an irresistible dessert like the semifreddo with white chocolate and sorrel sorbet.
This is a relaxed, café-style eatery where you can pop by for a freshly brewed coffee or just-made pastry, pick up treats for a picnic lunch or linger over a long brunch. Come back for the generous happy hour from 3-7pm, offering wine, beer, small plates and more.
Expert mixologists draw on their creativity to concoct inventive cocktails at this sleek bar, found in the hotel library.
Activities and Entertainment
Hotel Californian is well-placed to make the most of Santa Barbara’s many delights, whether you seek culture, adventure or nature. Stroll through the pristine 37 acres of Ganna Walska Lotusland, beautiful botanical gardens, or head into the Santa Ynez Mountains nearby. Try a surf lesson, or delve into the farmer’s market to pick up local produce and soak up the atmosphere. What’s more, Hotel Californian is irresistibly close to Santa Barbara’s acclaimed Funk Zone, a neighbourhood brimming with art galleries, restaurants, boutiques, artisan workshops and other creative haunts, with tasteful graffiti emblazoned on the wall to enhance a quirky atmosphere. Also, in the area are wine tasting bars and cellar doors, so visitors can head out from the hotel to sample all that Santa Barbara’s winemakers have to offer.
This beautifully designed boutique hotel houses an irresistible array of facilities, starting with the rooftop deck, pool and hot tub. Perched up on the fourth floor, this elevated sanctuary boasts panoramic views of Santa Barbara and the coast, with terracotta-coloured daybeds positioned to face the heated swimming pool and Pacific Ocean. Then there’s the Majorelle Spa, a blissful hideaway starring just four treatment suites, steam rooms, a hair and beauty salon plus therapies influenced by Moroccan techniques and elixirs. Finally, Hotel Californian also sports a gym where you can opt for personal training, yoga classes and meditation sessions, helping you reach that zen state.
1/12 - Exterior of Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
2/12 - Lobby at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
3/12 - Almeria King Room at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
4/12 - Pool from Miradore Deck at Hotel Californian
5/12 - Architecture at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
6/12 - Majorelle Spa at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
7/12 - Blackbird Restaurant at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
8/12 - Couplesspa Treatment room at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
9/12 - Lobby at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
10/12 - The Goat Tree at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
11/12 - Alcazar Suite Living Room at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
12/12 - Aerial View of Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
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