Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara

Rubbing shoulders with Santa Barbara’s hip Funk Zone neighbourhood, Hotel Californian isn’t afraid to do things differently. A luxury 121 room hotel, Hotel Californian is setting out to redefine the American Riviera with its unique blend of Spanish Revival and Moroccan inspired architecture complemented by flawless Martyn Lawrence Bullard design. Sleek and sophisticated, there is a calming effect to a stay here with a rooftop pool overlooking the ocean, innovative yoga classes held in sun-dappled courtyards and Turkish inspired treatments set to revitalize in Majorelle spa.


Caught between the oceanfront and iconic Route 101, Hotel Californian boasts a quintessential California address. Stop off as part of a West Coast road trip, with the property an hour and a half’s drive north of Los Angeles and five hours’ south of San Francisco. Alternatively, Santa Barbara Municipal Airport is just a 15-minute drive away. Once you’re settled in, it’s time to get out and explore. Grab one of Hotel Californian’s custom bicycles and head out to explore the graffiti murals and wine rooms of the Funk Zone or head further afield and explore this stunning stretch of coast.

Your Room

Whilst there is an overarching aesthetic of Spanish Revival meets Moroccan flair, each of the 121 rooms has something distinct to offer. Be that the view they look out onto, the option of Juliet balconies or private verandas, or a fireplace to cosy up by. The design is undeniably bold with a monochromatic colour scheme lifted by opulent dark blues and accented by gold tones and mosaics of tiles that have come all the way from Morocco. But our favourite feature? The selection of local spirits and small-batch mixers. There to refresh, yes, but also to remind you this is no ordinary hotel.

Why we like it

Santa Barbara boasts an impressive set of culinary credentials – you need look no further than the Urban Wine Trail and smattering of bohemian restaurants to prove it. Nor do you need leave Hotel Californian to get a taste of it. Start your day with an alfresco brunch at Goat Tree, perhaps picking up a picnic for later. If you’re staying in, an afternoon at the rooftop pool awaits with handcrafted cocktails courtesy of Tan Tan to keep you refreshed. Once the sun has set, it’s onto Blackbird, Hotel Californian’s signature restaurant. Here, you’ll find finger-on-the-pulse Mediterranean cooking with locally sourced, hyper-seasonal ingredients. End the night with an ever-inventive nightcap at Djinn and you have the perfect taste of Santa Barbara.