Hotels Santa Barbara CA can be very expensive. But affordable hotel rooms do exist. Use this easy guide to find the best hotel deals in town.
Hotels can be found in 3 main areas of Santa Barbara CA:
No matter where you stay in the city, you are only a few minutes away from the nearest beach, museum or attraction.
As you might expect, the most expensive hotels are along the Santa Barbara waterfront. The most affordable hotels Santa Barbara CA are at the north end of
town, along Upper State Street.
A common complaint from travelers staying at various hotels Santa
Barbara CA is that there is no air conditioning. This
isn't so unusual along the California coast. Many homes, including
mine, do not have air conditioning. The weather is mild enough that an
open window is all you need.
Everyone staying near the ocean in Santa Barbara County should expect
hear trains passing through the night. There's no escaping it.
Train tracks run the entire length of the coastline in this part of
Bring earplugs if you're a light sleeper.
The Santa Barbara beach stretches for two miles between the Santa Barbara Harbor and the East Beach volleyball courts. I've separated the waterfront hotels Santa Barbara CA into three groups:
Oceanfront Hotels Santa Barbara CA are all those right across the street from the Santa Barbara beach. Cabrillo Boulevard is a busy street, so rooms with an ocean view may be noisy. Also, the fog horn sounds throughout the night, which disturbs some travelers.
West Beach Hotels Santa Barbara CA
are those clustered between Santa
Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf. These hotels Santa Barbara CA are nearest to
State Street and "Tourist Central." There's lots of activity here.
Wineries, bars & nightclubs are all within walking distance, so
this area can be "Party Central."
East Beach Hotels Santa Barbara CA
are removed from the hustle & bustle; about a
30-minute walk from State Street. It's more peaceful at this end of the
Some of the room rates near East Beach are more affordable
across from West Beach, too.
Within each section, I've listed hotels Santa Barbara CA from best to worst, summarizing many travelers' reviews from all over the internet.
ALL of these hotels Santa Barbara CA have a GREAT location. These are arranged in order of best to worst. If you want a hotel room as close as possible to the ocean, here are your choices:
Harbor View Inn - ★★★★ - 28 W. Cabrillo Blvd. This is my Top Pick for oceanfront hotels Santa Barbara CA. Travelers give high marks to this hotel. Clean & comfortable with fitness room & spa. This hotel really is a step above some of the older oceanfront hotels Santa Barbara CA. Expensive. Check reviews & book your room at Harbor View Inn.
West Beach Inn - ★★★ - At West Cabrillo Blvd. & Bath Street. Many visitors are repeat customers. Free wifi, free parking, a good continental breakfast and complimentary wine & cheese each afternoon. This is a great value. Read reviews & book your room at West Beach Inn.
Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort - ★★★ - 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd. Older rooms are large, shabby & smell musty. A 20-minute walk to State Street & Stearns Wharf. Pet friendly. Additional fees for parking & in-room wifi. Overpriced average rooms. Check reviews and book your room at Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort.
Santa Barbara Inn - ★★★ - 901 E. Cabrillo Blvd @ S. Milpas Street. This motel was built in 1959, so it's a bit dated & some rooms smell musty. Total renovation scheduled for Fall 2011. Many repeat visitors. Continental breakfast buffet. A 30-minute walk to State Street. Valet parking only. Considered a good value. Check reviews and book your room at Santa Barbara Inn.
Hotel Oceana - ★★★ - This is a classic Spanish-style Santa Barbara hotel right on the ocean. It's an older motel which some say is overpriced. Though, many travelers stay here year after year. Next to historic Ambassador Park. Close to Stearns Wharf and State Street. Check reviews and book your room at Hotel Oceana.
Hyatt Santa Barbara - ★★★ - 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd. Historic hotel built in 1931; formerly Hotel Mar Monte. Hyatt acquired this property in July 2011, and is in the process of remodeling. Mixed reviews. Remodeled rooms are amazing, original rooms disappoint. Ask for a renovated room for familiar Hyatt quality. Check reviews and book your room at Hyatt Santa Barbara.
Best Western Beachside Inn - ★★ - At the corner of West Cabrillo Boulevard & Castillo Street near the Santa Barbara Harbor. This is a busy, noisy intersection. This hotel is very basic and is one of the least expensive on Cabrillo Boulevard. Some reviewers would not stay here again. Reviews. Book your room at Best Western Beachside Inn.
Villa Rosa Inn - ★★ - 15 Chapala
Street @ W. Cabrillo Blvd. This inn has charming curb appeal. It's one of the older hotels Santa Barbara CA that needs renovation and better maintenance. Some felt the
rooms were dirty, smelly and overpriced. Others loved
this place. It's worth a try as a last resort.
Read reviews and book your room at Villa Rosa Inn, if you dare.
Ala Mar Motel - ★ - @ West Cabrillo Blvd. & Chapala Street. Travelers find this motel disappointing and overpriced. The only good thing about this hotel is its location on the beach. It is a shabby, dirty place. Read the customer reviews. There are many better rooms for your money. Stay away.
There are two secluded oceanfront resorts near Santa Barbara CA. They are:
The Four Seasons Biltmore - ★★★★★ - is one of the nicest resorts in Santa Barbara County. It's located in Montecito, CA just a few miles southeast of the Santa Barbara waterfront. Read reviews and book your room at the Four Seasons Biltmore.
Bacara Resort & Spa - ★★★★ - is 12 miles northwest on the coast in Goleta, CA. This is a wonderful place to get away from it all. Pamper yourself at the spa and fitness center. Read traveler reviews of Bacara Resort & Spa and check room rates and availability to plan your stay.
For groups of 5 or more, Santa Barbara vacation rentals make sense.
Just look at this amazing oceanfront vacation rental:
This adorable beach cottage sits on a legendary beach in exclusive Montecito, CA. It sleeps 7 and is right on the sand. Read reviews, check availablity and reserve this Miramar beach cottage for your next Santa Barbara beach vacation.
West Beach Hotels Santa Barbara CA are very conveniently located to Santa Barbara Harbor, Stearns Wharf, State Street shopping & restaurants and Funk Zone Wineries. It's so easy to lose yourself for a weekend getaway here.
These hotels Santa Barbara CA are sorted from best to worst value,
based upon travelers' reviews.
The Orchid Inn – ★★★ - 420 West Montecito Street. This is my Top Pick for West Beach hotels Santa Barbara CA. The main house was built in 1904. Rooms were renovated in 2010. Full hot breakfast cooked to order plus afternoon wine & cheese served daily. Highly recommended by all recent visitors. Check reviews and book your room at The Orchid Inn.
Harbor House Inn – ★★★ – 104 Bath Street. This is a single story motel, not a bed and breakfast inn. Most recent visitors love this place and give it high marks. This looks like a very good hotel in Santa Barbara CA. Read reviews and book your room at Harbor House Inn.
Harbor View Inn- ★★★★ - 28 W. Cabrillo. This Oceanfront Hotel is one of the newer waterfront hotels Santa Barbara CA. Some feel it's overpriced. Others think it's fantastic! This is my Top Pick for waterfront hotels Santa Barbara CA. Read reviews and book your room at Harbor View Inn.
Lavender Inn By the Sea – ★★★ - 206 Castillo Street. Most travelers give thumbs up to this great little hotel. Amenities include a pool & fitness room, continental breakfast, wine & cheese and milk & cookies each day. Some rooms are noisy. A superb value! Check reviews and book your room at Lavender Inn by the Sea.
West Beach Inn - ★★★ - This Oceanfront Hotel is conveniently located at the corner of West Cabrillo Blvd. & Bath Street. This hotel is a great value & a favorite of many Santa Barbara visitors. Read reviews and book your room at West Beach Inn.
Eagle Inn – ★★★ – 232 Natoma Avenue. Visitors say this is a "Great choice when visiting Santa Barbara." It's a HIDDEN GEM. Some traveler complaints: noisy, no elevator, no pool. Continental breakfast only. Parking can be a problem. Avoid first-floor rooms. Read reviews and book your room at Eagle Inn.
Inn by the Harbor –★★★ - 433 West Montecito Street. Above average motel and a great value! Located on a noisy, busy intersection next to a convenience store, liquor store, and gas station. Average continental breakfast. Ask for a second-floor room for more privacy. Check reviews and book your room at Inn by the Harbor.
Hotel Oceana - ★★★ - is an Oceanfront Hotel. It's next to Ambassador Park, which marks the former entrance to the Potter Hotel. This is an acceptable hotel which some travelers say is overpriced. Check reviews and book your room at Hotel Oceana.
Casa Del Mar Inn – ★★ - 18 Bath Street. Receives mixed reviews. Room quality varies greatly. Ask to see your room before signing the bill. Some travelers are very satisfied, others say this hotel is overpriced. Parking can be a problem. Check reviews and book your room at Casa Del Mar Inn.
Brisas del Mar Inn at the Beach – ★★ - 223 Castillo Street. This is a converted apartment building; more like a motel than a bed and breakfast inn. Rooms are dated, but comfortable & slightly overpriced. Average continental breakfast. Read reviews and book your room at Brisas del Mar Inn at the Beach.
Avania Inn – ★★ -128 Castillo Street. Good value. Free wifi, free parking, and a decent breakfast served daily. Clean and comfortable. Check reviews and book your room at Avania Inn.
Villa Rosa Inn - ★★ - 15 Chapala @ W Cabrillo Blvd. This Oceanfront Hotel was designed in 1931. Many of the rooms need renovation. The hotel is old & run down, but charming. Check reviews and book your room at Villa Rosa Inn.
Days Inn Santa Barbara – ★ - 116 Castillo Street. Run down. Dirty. Substandard continental breakfast. One of the cheapest and least popular hotels in Santa Barbara CA. Reviews. Book your room at Days Inn.
Do you enjoy learning learning about the places you visit? West Beach Santa Barbara has a long and interesting history...
For hundreds of years, the waterfront from Bath Street to Chapala, and back to Montecito Street was a Chumash Village. Owned in the late 1800s by a man named Burton, this 30-acre property became known as Burton's Mound.
Burton's Mound became Santa Barbara's favorite picnic spot and
gathering place. In 1903, the mound became the site of the grandest of all hotels Santa Barbara CA,
new Hotel Potter.
This magnificent hotel was built during the same era as the Del
Coronado in San Diego. The Potter attracted elite and wealthy
vacationers from all around the world.
Hotel Potter became The Belvedere,
and finally The Ambassador Hotel. It burned to the
ground in 1921. Remnants of The Potter's presence can still be seen if
Burton Circle is in the same place as the original circular
drive in the
This neighborhood is a wonderful place to explore. For more information about Hotel Potter and a glimpse into days gone by, you might be interested in this historic journal. Have a look at this gorgeous vintage map of Santa Barbara, circa 1853, too.
East Beach hotels Santa Barbara CA are near the Santa Barbara Zoo. It's about a
30-minute walk to Stearns
Wharf and State Street...
...or you could take the 25-cent shuttle that runs to State Street every 30 minutes.
So it's a little more peaceful at this end of the Santa Barbara
That's why East Beach is a locals' favorite beach.
Arts Pavillion provides public bathrooms and a restaurant.
HOT TIP: Don't miss the East Beach Grill for breakfast.
Here are my recommendations for the best hotels Santa Barbara CA on East Beach. In order from best to worst...
Blue Sands Motel – ★★ - 421 South Milpas Street. This is my Top Pick of all East Beach hotels Santa Barbara CA. A HIDDEN GEM! Pet Friendly. Some kitchenettes. New mattresses. A clean, safe, affordable room near the Santa Barbara beach. Room #5 has an ocean view & a fireplace. Highly Recommended. Check reviews and book your room at Blue Sands Motel.
The Inn at East Beach – ★★ -1029 Orilla Del Mar. Ask for a recently renovated room. Recent guests love this local favorite. It's friendly and affordable. A great continental breakfast is served each morning. And there is free wifi. DO NOT STAY IN ROOM 101 - Bad plumbing! Read reviews and book your room at The Inn at East Beach.
Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort – ★★★ – Cabrillo Blvd. This sprawling Oceanfront Hotel is pet friendly. Rooms are just average and overpriced. Additional fees for parking and wifi. Read reviews and book your room at Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort.
Santa Barbara Inn – ★★★ – 901 E. Cabrillo Blvd @ S. Milpas. This Oceanfront Hotel is slightly dated. Complete renovation scheduled for Fall 2011. Read reviews and book your room at Santa Barbara Inn.
Hyatt Santa Barbara (formerly Hotel Mar Monte – ★★★ – 1111 E. Cabrillo. This Oceanfront Hotel is undergoing a complete renovation. Be sure to ask for a remodeled room. Original rooms are disappointing. Read reviews and book your room at Hyatt Santa Barbara (formerly Hotel Mar Monte).
Parkside Inn – ★★ – 424 Por La Mar Street. Pet friendly. Perfect for the budget traveler. Do not expect Hyatt quality, even though the Hyatt manages this property. This is no frills lodging. Check reviews and book your room at Parkside Inn.
Old Yacht Club Inn – ★★ – 431 Corona Del Mar. This is a true Bed & Breakfast Inn comprised of two historic homes. The Craftsman bungalow actually served as the Santa Barbara Yacht Club in the 1920s (it was originally on Cabrillo Blvd.). Don't stay here if you aren't charmed by antiques. Check reviews and book your room at Old Yacht Club Inn.
Pacific Crest Inn – ★★ – 433 Corona Del Mar. The rooms are very basic, nothing special. Some suites have ocean views. Kitchenettes are available. Free wifi & covered parking. Inexpensive weekly rates. An older budget hotel. Read reviews and book your room at Pacific Crest Inn.
For families or groups of 4 or more, consider renting a condo or
home. Nothing makes you feel more at home than staying in a California beach vacation
Just look at this East Beach vacation rental:
This East Beach condo sleeps 4. There are two bedrooms & three bathrooms. This ocean view is from the master bedroom balcony. Visitors love staying here. Read reviews, check availability and reserve this East Beach Condo.
Soon, I'll post my recommendations for other hotels Santa Barbara
CA; those near Downtown Santa Barbara and along Upper State Street.
Future articles will recommend the best hotels in Santa Barbara County from Carpinteria to Santa Maria.