Hotels in Santa Barbara

As the world tentatively reopens after the pandemic, the Santa Barbara hotel scene is buzzing with change. One of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, the hotel industry is finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And with new optimism, they are using this time to renew or even restart their properties to entice visitors and residents to return to their spaces. Here is an overview.

The Leta (5650 Calle Real, Goleta): Formerly known as Kimpton Goodland, this property was acquired by AWH Partners and is now managed by Spire Hospitality. The charming, beach-chic property retains much of what made the hotel an area favorite, including the Airstream, the Woody, and longtime general manager Barry Dorsey. Property updates include high-speed Wi-Fi, better bedding, and big-screen TVs in every room, with the inviting lobby, pool, and fire pits still at the heart of the property. Dorsey hopes this new redesign will retain much of the cool, hip, and carefree California personality the hotel is known for, while leveraging the significant investment in renewing the guest experience for everyone. The dining area is set to expand, and live music is already back at the property, along with art, food, and wine, and other events are also returning. Although individual record players no longer reside in each room, they are still available upon request, as is the quaint vinyl room in the lobby.


Canary Hotel (31 W. Carrillo St.): In the heart of the city centre, the Kimpton Canary Hotel has undergone a refurbishment under new general manager Richard Cox, who expects to complete the project in January 2023. Changes start in the lobby and Finch Restaurant & Fork, where lighter tones will be noticed. , a more open environment and a color palette that reflects the California cuisine of the new menus, with lots of seafood and Central Coast wines. The private event and meeting spaces, the 97 rooms and even the rooftop will be transformed over the next few months. Los Angeles-based interior design firm Beleco was tapped to reimagine the Canary Islands interior in an effort to channel an elegant California estate while paying homage to the property’s Mediterranean inspiration. Even the art in the hotel’s public spaces is updated, thanks to Austin’s Eaton Fine Art as well as in-room artwork featuring unusual and playful pieces.


Credit: Kimpton Canary Hotel

The Riviera Beach House (121 State St.): In another name change, Hotel Indigo is being transformed into Riviera Beach House. The new property is a collaboration between the family that owns the historic Culver Hotel in Los Angeles and the team behind Pacifica Hotels, which claims to be the largest independent owner of design-inspired hotels on the Pacific Coast.

The hotel’s update draws inspiration from Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean style while vaguely dreaming of its quintessentially California beach roots. Located just off the monotony of the Funk Zone and a few blocks from the beach with the on-site restaurant, Santo Mezcal, the new design hopes to impress with curated programming and personalized experiences. More details to come.


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