Coolest Boutique Hotels in Santa Barbara California

13 Best Boutique Hotels in Santa Barbara California

The chic enclave of Santa Barbara draws visitors from all over the world. And a vacation in paradise is even better when you stay at one of the best boutique hotels in Santa Barbara, California.

Get ready for fantastic beaches, stunning Spanish-style architecture, a thriving food and wine scene, and awesome Santa Barbara resorts.

The coolest hotels in Santa Barbara range from charming inns to chic beachside resorts. You’ll definitely find the perfect place to stay from our favorite Santa Barbara hotel picks.

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Planning your trip to Santa Barbara last minute? Here are the tours and hotels we recommend. For more California coast inspiration, check out the 13 Prettiest Beaches in Southern California and the top 12 beach towns in California!

Best Boutique Hotels in Santa Barbara California

Where to Stay in Santa Barbara

This part of California offers a little bit of everything, but there are a few things to think about when it comes to the best area to stay in Santa Barbara. Here’s our recommendations.

Downtown Santa Barbara

Downtown is the ideal choice for those who prefer being close to everything.

The area is home to many shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, and it is within walking distance of the beach. Visitors can find a range of hotels in the downtown area.

Funk Zone

Santa Barbara’s trendiest neighborhood is an artsy area known for its colorful murals, wine-tasting rooms, and warehouse-style boutiques.

It is located close to the beach and is a great place to explore on foot. The hotels in the Funk Zone tend to be boutique in style, with unique designs and personalized service.

State Street

State Street is home to some of Santa Barbara’s best shopping and dining options, including local boutiques and international chains.

The hotels in this area tend to be more upscale, with luxurious amenities such as spas and fine-dining restaurants.

West Beach

For a prime oceanfront neighborhood in Santa Barbara, West Beach is a lovely place to stay where you can take in stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and easy access to the beach.

The hotels in West Beach tend to be more resort-style, with pools, fitness centers, and other recreational facilities. It is a great choice for those looking to relax in a beautiful setting.

The Coolest & Best Boutique Hotels in Santa Barbara, California

El Encanto Cool hotels in Santa Barbara
Photo: El Encanto

El Encanto (Top Luxury Boutique Hotel in Santa Barbara, California)

El Encanto (9.1), a Belmond Hotel is a luxury resort in Santa Barbara’s hills. It boasts excellent views, a landscaped garden, and Spanish colonial-style architecture.

The rooms and suites are designed with luxury in mind with fireplaces, and sitting areas. All have garden views, and some have balconies.

Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, get a workout at the fitness center, or indulge in the range of treatments offered at the spa.

There’s a fine dining restaurants offering delicious cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients, as well as a cozy lounge and bar, which serves up craft cocktails and small plates.

What guests like most: scenic location, cocktails, delicious food • Consideration: pool area is small

Palihouse Boutique hotels Santa Barbara
Photo: Palihouse Santa Barbara

Palihouse Santa Barbara (One of the Coolest Hotels in Santa Barbara Downtown)

Set in the historic Presidio District of downtown, Palihouse Santa Barbara (8.8) is a beautifully restored 1920s property featuring spacious and elegant suites,

Each room is uniquely designed with a blend of modern and vintage elements, offering luxury linens and toiletries, plus flatscreen TVs and coffee makers. Some have private balconies or terraces, minibars, or kitchenettes.

The outdoor pool, patio area or bar are great places to unwind. The hotel manages a very secluded feel mixed with a cool vibe. Grab one of the complimentary bicycles if you want to cruise around the area.

What guests like most: relaxed atmosphere, pool area, comfortable rooms • Consideration: breakfast not included in price

Hotel Californian best hotels in Santa Barbara
Photo: Hotel Californian

Hotel Californian (Unique Luxury Santa Barbara Hotel on the Beach)

On a palm tree-lined street in the Funk Zone neighborhood, Hotel Californian (8.5) is just a few steps from the beach.

This upscale Spanish Colonial Revival hotel offers one of the best Santa Barbara hotels on the beach.

The spacious and well-designed guest rooms and suites have luxurious Egyptian cotton linens, rainfall showers, and coffee machines. Some include private balconies or patios.

Take in the ocean views from the rooftop pool and lounge bar, work out at the fitness center, relax at the full-service spa, and indulge at one of the three gourmet restaurants.

What guests like most: scenic location, cocktails, delicious food • Consideration: pool area is small

Rosewood Miramar Beach Santa Barbara Boutique Hotels
Photo: Rosewood Miramar Beach Santa Barbara

Rosewood Miramar Beach (One of the Most Luxurious & Coolest Hotels in California)

The Rosewood Miramar Beach (9.4) is where luxury meets relaxation in the exclusive Montecito enclave near Santa Barbara.

This 5-star property boasts exemplary service and encompasses 123 rooms and 35 suites on a breathtaking 16-acre property.

Take a dip in one of the two pools, whether it be the Cabana Pool for adults or the family friendly Mano Pool. If you’re not a guest, no worries, day passes are available!

Multiple restaurants and bars await your taste buds, and the Miramar Beach Bar is the perfect place to watch the sunset (even if you’re not staying at the hotel).

Relax in spacious oceanfront or garden rooms and suites or indulge in a treatment at the Sense, Rosewood Spa. And if you want to break a sweat, check out the fitness studio or go on a guided hike.

Sunset yoga and Pilates are also available for those looking for a more zen experience. Indulge, and escape at the Rosewood Miramar Beach, one of the best hotels in California.

What guests like most: 5 star experience and staff, location, bespoke hotel experience • Consideration: expensive

Kimpton Canary Luxury hotels Santa Barbara
Photo: Kimpton Canary Hotel

Kimpton Canary Hotel (Great Hotel in Santa Barbara for a Girls’ Weekend)

At the heart of downtown in a Spanish colonial-style building, Kimpton Canary Hotel (7.5) offers one of the coolest hotels in Santa Barbara for a girls’ trip.

The guest rooms are spacious with 4-poster beds and Italian linens. Some rooms offer stunning views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the cityscape.

One of the highlights is the rooftop pool with lounge chairs. You will also find a fitness center, complimentary yoga mats, and bike rentals.

The proximity to State Street restaurants and shops is ideal for visitors. There’s also an onsite restaurant serving delicious Mediterranean cuisine and cocktails, plus a Californian wine-tasting room.

What guests like most: beautiful design, rooftop pool, great location • Consideration: breakfast costs extra

Hideaway Santa Barbara Boutique hotels
Photo: Hideaway Santa Barbara

Hideaway Santa Barbara (Boutique Hotel in Santa Barbara Near West Beach)

On a picturesque street with mountain views, Hideaway Santa Barbara (8.1) offers an amazing Santa Barbara getaway with its West Beach location near the ocean.

The vibe at this hotel is like staying at your friend’s very stylish Hampton’s beach house infused with California cool. The coastal inspired design features airy rooms with flatscreen TVs, desks, walk-in showers, and plush bedding.

Some upgraded rooms have mountain views, balconies and spacious sitting areas.

Savor Californian coastal cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant. Breakfast is served every morning in a beautiful sunroom. The cozy fireplace lounge is also a perfect spot to relax.

There’s free parking and the hotel is walking distance to Ledbetter and West Beach.

What guests like most: homey spaces, great breakfast, good service • Consideration: located on a busy road

Hotel Milo Santa Barbara hotels on the beach
Photo: Hotel Milo Santa Barbara

Hotel Milo (Beachfront Santa Barbara Boutique Hotel with Heated Pools)

Hotel Milo Santa Barbara (7.3) is a charming oceanfront hotel that serves up a perfect blend of Mediterranean and Californian styles.

Cozy rooms and suites come with a range of creature comforts from flatscreen TVs to minibars. Some boast ocean views, and the family suite sleeps up to 6 guests.

The highlight of Hotel Milo is its excellent location across the street from famed West Beach, the most ideal spot for your California vacation.

Either head to the beach or set up at one of the poolside cabanas for a little R & R. Additionally, you can take one of the hotel’s complimentary beach cruisers to explore the coast or for a jaunt around town.

What guests like most: location, nice facilities, decor • Consideration: a bit dated

Agave Inn Boutique hotel in Santa Barbara
Photo: Agave Inn

Agave Inn (Best Budget-Friendly Boutique Hotel in Santa Barbara)

Nestled on Upper State Street, the cozy Agave Inn (8.5) is one of the best hotels in Santa Barbara for budget-friendly, bright rooms in a central location.

Colorful, Modern-Mexicana rooms come with flatscreen TVs and iPod docks, as well as microwaves and minifridges. Upgraded rooms add kitchenettes and lounge areas with pull-out sofas, sleeping up to 4 guests.

Parking is available, and there are coffee makers in all rooms. No breakfast.

What guests like most: clean and cute rooms, price, location • Consideration: not many amenities

Harbor View Inn Santa Barbara hotels with pools
Photo: Harbor View Inn

Harbor View Inn (Best Santa Barbara Hotel on the Beach)

Harbor View Inn (8.7) is one of the best oceanfront boutique hotels in Santa Barbara’s trendy Funk Zone neighborhood, just a 7-minute walk from the Santa Barbara Winery.

This family-friendly resort’s rooms each include a balcony or patio. Many have ocean views, and all have comfy guest robes, a minibar, Keurig coffee maker, and a work desk.

Indulge in the onsite spa or fitness center, take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, or relax in the hot tub. There’s a poolside grill and bar, a coffee bar, and a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant.

What guests like most: oceanfront rooms, location, exceptional staff • Consideration: steep parking fees

Santa Barbara getaway Inn
Photo: Santa Barbara Inn

Santa Barbara Inn (Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara)

The Santa Barbara Inn (8.9) is a luxurious beachfront hotel located in the heart of the city, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Warmly decorated rooms and suites are styled with contemporary furnishings, plush bedding, and balconies. Suites provide whirlpool tubs and living areas/rooms with sofas.

This property’s elegant decor and many offerings, create a sophisticated and relaxing atmosphere for guests. In addition to the heated outdoor pool, fitness center, and courtyard with a fire pit, the beach location warrants a stay here all on its own.

The on-site restaurant, Convivo, serves delicious Italian-inspired cuisine with oceanfront views.

There’s also room service, complimentary breakfast, and private parking.

What guests like most: stunning location, spacious rooms, great chefs • Consideration: no in-room coffee machines

La Playa Inn Santa Barbara Resorts
Photo: La Playa Inn Santa Barbara

La Playa Inn Santa Barbara (Top Santa Barbara Getaway on a Budget)

Just a few minutes from the ocean, La Playa Inn Santa Barbara (9.2) offers an terrific base to explore Santa Barbara with its peaceful atmosphere.

Spacious guest rooms offer comfortable extra padded beds, blackout curtains for a great night of sleep, coffee makers, TVs, refrigerators, toiletries, and desks. Most have balconies or patios.

There’s a complimentary continental breakfast, free parking, and accessible rooms.

What guests like most: near Stearns Wharf and State Street, peaceful, great rooms • Consideration: no amenities

Mason Beach Inn Best area to stay in Santa Barbara
Photo: Mason Beach Inn

Mason Beach Inn (Old Mission Style Santa Barbara Boutique Hotel with Pool)

Just a few minutes from West Beach in an excellent area, Mason Beach Inn (8.2) is a newly renovated Spanish style Santa Barbara hotel with modern rooms and vibrant details.

Well appointed rooms offer Keurig coffee makers, flatscreen TVs, and work desks. Suites add kitchenettes and/or pull-out sofas.

Complimentary breakfast is served daily on the outdoor patio or dining room. There’s also a cozy garden courtyard with a heated pool and a hot tub.

What guests like most: good area, very comfortable stay, clean • Consideration: paid parking

Circle Bar B Guest Ranch Unique stays in California
Photo: Circle Bar B Guest Ranch

Circle Bar B Guest Ranch (Great for Unique Stays Near Santa Barbara)

If you’re looking for an off-the-grid, rustic getaway, check in to the Circle Bar B Guest Ranch (8.6) in the Los Padres National Forest that offers one of the most unique stays near Santa Barbara.

This California dude ranch has western-style rooms with patios, private bathrooms, and outdoor decks.

From ranch rooms to creekside cottages, you’ll find wood-burning stoves, separate living spaces, and mountain views. For larger groups, there are 2-story houses with stone fireplaces.

All accommodations come with breakfast and dinner including a bar and live dinner theater. Also, enjoy an outdoor swimming pool, games room, and library.

Of course the best part of staying here is the opportunity to visit the horses and go horseback riding, Hikers will love the nearby trails and there are a plethora of excursions nearby.

What guests like most: horseback riding, great food, authentic ranch feel • Consideration: spotty Wi-Fi

Final Thoughts on Best Boutique Hotels in Santa Barbara, California

Overall, these hotels and resorts in Santa Barbara offer some of the best experiences this charming city has to offer.

Whether you want to stay in the scenic hills or soak up the beachfront, consider these when planning your next southern California getaway. Don’t miss a day trip to nearby Carpinteria too!

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Coolest Hotels in Santa Barbara California

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