8 Best Luxury Hotels in Santa Barbara 2024

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READY TO BOOK YOUR LUXURY SANTA BARBARA HOTEL?

You’ve come to the right place, because we visit Santa Barbara all the time and we have a massive amount of knowledge when it comes to staying at luxury hotels in Santa Barbara, California. Get your travel advice from a local! We’ll point you in the right direction to discover all the best Santa Barbara luxury hotels and resorts.

Hotel Californian

Don’t have time to go through the whole list?

I recommend Hotel Californian— a 5-star luxury hotel with the best location in Santa Barbara, close to the beach, Funk Zone, and State Street. 

Ready to discover the 8 best luxury hotels in Santa Barbara, California? Let’s get to it! After finding your perfect place to stay, check out our Santa Barbara Travel Guide so your travel to Santa Barbara is a breeze.

Top 3 Picks: Best Luxury Hotels in Santa Barbara

#1 TOP Pick

Hotel Californian

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hotel Californian
✔️ 5-star luxury
✔️ 9.2/10 Wonderful
✔️ Pet friendly

#2 Pick

Palihouse Santa Barbara

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Palihouse Santa Barbara
✔️ Boutique hotel
✔️ 9.4/10 Exceptional
✔️ Pet friendly

#3 Pick

El Encanto

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
El Encanto
✔️ 5-star luxury
✔️ 9.4/10 Exceptional


» Looking for more info to build your Santa Barbara itinerary? Check out our full Santa Barbara travel guide, the best times to visit, and see the top 25 Things to Do in Santa Barbara. Get active with these SB hikes.

1. Hotel Californian


⭐️ Rating: 9.2/10 | 🏘️ Neighborhood: 
Santa Barbara Beach | 🛌 View on Expedia.com

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Hotel Californian is a 5-star luxury hotel located in Santa Barbara Beach, a coveted location that’s close to everything. A mere 3-minute walk to the beach, and right in the heart of the Funk Zone and State Street.

The hotel has a poolside bar, a rooftop terrace, and a coffee shop/cafe. You can rent a bicycle at the hotel. Treat yourself to a deep-tissue massage, a body treatment, or a body scrub at the onsite spa. There are 3 onsite restaurants. There’s also a garden, a library, and dry cleaning/laundry services.

  • Self parking on site (USD 39 per night)
  • Valet parking on site (USD 39 per night)
  • Electric car charging station on site

WHAT PAST GUESTS HAVE SAID:

The staff was very helpful and friendly. The property grounds are immaculate and beautiful. Our room was super comfortable and very clean. The staff gives amazing attention to detail.

—TNTL777 (MORE REVIEWS)

Popular amenities

  • Pool
  • Pet friendly
  • Air conditioning
  • Spa
  • 3 restaurants
  • Gym

2. Palihouse Santa Barbara


⭐️ Rating: 9.4/10 | 🏘️ Neighborhood: 
Historic Presidio | 🛌 View on Expedia.com

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Palihouse Santa Barbara is elegant coastal hideaway in the heart of Santa Barbara’s downtown Historic Presidio neighborhood.

All 23 individually furnished rooms feature comforts such as fireplaces and premium bedding, in addition to thoughtful touches like laptop-friendly workspaces and air conditioning.

WHAT PAST GUESTS HAVE SAID:

This was our second stay, and just as wonderful, as the first. The atmosphere, location, and very friendly staff, are consistently, wonderful.

—nbhartist84 (MORE REVIEWS)

Popular amenities

  • Pool
  • Pet friendly
  • Air conditioning
  • Gym
  • Breakfast available
  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Room service
  • Housekeeping
  • 24/7 front desk

3. El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel


⭐️ Rating: 9.4/10 | 🏘️ Neighborhood: 
Upper Riviera | 🛌 View on Expedia.com

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, is a 5-star luxury hotel located in Upper Riviera with a poolside bar, a terrace, and shopping on site. Enjoy Californian cuisine, ocean views, and al fresco dining at the two onsite restaurants. Yoga classes are offered at the 24-hour gym; the property also has a garden, a fireplace in the lobby, and a bar. 

The outdoor pool has sun loungers and pool umbrellas. All 92 individually furnished rooms offer comforts such as free international calls and premium bedding, in addition to perks like pillow menus and laptop-compatible safes.

  • Secured valet parking on site (USD 40 per night; includes in/out privileges)
  • Electric car charging station on site
  • Free area shuttle up to 5 mi
  • Free beach shuttle

WHAT PAST GUESTS HAVE SAID:

Everything was perfect. My favorite hotel to stay at in Santa Barbara, less than 2 miles to downtown State Street, lovely ocean views, spectacular rooms and the most comfortable beds, and always welcomed by the friendliest, warmest staff.

—nk (MORE REVIEWS)

Popular amenities

  • Pool
  • Pet friendly
  • Air conditioning
  • Gym
  • Breakfast available
  • Bar
  • Parking available
  • Room service
  • Business services
  • 24/7 front desk

4. Four Seasons The Biltmore


⭐️ Rating: 9.2/10 | 🏘️ Neighborhood: 
Montecito | 🛌 View on Expedia.com

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Four Seasons The Biltmore is located in Montecito, a neighborhood in Santa Barbara, and is near the airport and on the beach.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara provides a poolside bar, a terrace, and shopping on site. This hotel is a great place to bask in the sun with a beachfront location, beach umbrellas, and beach towels.

Indulge in a massage, aromatherapy, and a manicure/pedicure at the onsite spa. Be sure to enjoy a meal at any of the 3 onsite restaurants, which feature Californian cuisine and ocean views. 

  • Self parking on site (USD 20 per night; includes in/out privileges)
  • Valet parking on site (USD 38 per day; includes in/out privileges)
  • Electric car charging station on site

WHAT PAST GUESTS HAVE SAID:

We have stayed at the Biltmore at least 6 times and always love it.
The service is amazing. The amenities are amazing. The gardens are beautiful.  

—Sally C (MORE REVIEWS)

Popular amenities

  • An outdoor pool with sun loungers
  • Pet friendly
  • Air conditioning
  • Gym
  • Breakfast available
  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Room service
  • Housekeeping
  • Babysitting

5. Santa Barbara Inn


⭐️ Rating: 9.2/10 | 🏘️ Neighborhood: 
Santa Barbara Beach | 🛌 View on Expedia.com

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Santa Barbara Inn is a 4-star hotel located near the beach, with golfing on site, a terrace, dry cleaning/laundry services, and an onsite Italian cuisine restaurant, Convivo. There are great ocean views, a fireplace in the lobby and a bar.

All 70 rooms feature comforts such as premium bedding and air conditioning, in addition to thoughtful touches like free WiFi and safes.

  • Valet parking on site (USD 25 per night; includes in/out privileges)
  • Electric car charging station on site

WHAT PAST GUESTS HAVE SAID:

First trip to Santa Barbara-extended weekend getaway with the hubby. Great town Loved the Inn-great location, super views, friendly staff, lots of character, top notch amenities!

—debbie H (MORE REVIEWS)

Popular amenities

  • Pool
  • Air conditioning
  • Gym
  • Room service
  • Bar
  • Free Wifi
  • 24/7 front desk
  • Valet parking

6. Kimpton Canary Hotel


⭐️ Rating: 8.8/10 | 🏘️ Neighborhood: 
Downtown | 🛌 View on Expedia.com

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Kimpton Canary Hotel is a 4-star, boutique hotel with a rooftop pool and 360 degree views. It’s a characterful hotel that’s not a cookie-cutter stay, like many other luxury hotels, but it might not be for everyone.

Located close to Lobero Theater and Paseo Nuevo Mall, Kimpton Canary Hotel, an IHG Hotel provides a poolside bar, a rooftop terrace, and dry cleaning/laundry services. For some rest and relaxation, visit the hot tub. Be sure to enjoy a meal at Finch and Fork, the onsite restaurant.

  • Valet parking on site (USD 40 per night; includes in/out privileges)
  • Electric car charging station on site

WHAT PAST GUESTS HAVE SAID:

Staying here added a lot to our Santa Barbara Experience. The rooftop for one is beautiful. We enjoyed the views both day and night – and especially relaxing by the rooftop fireplace. 

—nbhartist84 (MORE REVIEWS)

Popular amenities

  • An outdoor pool with sun loungers
  • Pet friendly
  • Air conditioning
  • Gym
  • Breakfast available
  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Room service
  • Housekeeping
  • Hot Tub

7. Simpson House Inn


⭐️ Rating: 9.8/10 | 🏘️ Neighborhood: 
Upper East | 🛌 View on Expedia.com

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Simpson House Inn is a 5-star luxury bed & breakfast located in Upper East. Take advantage of free full breakfast, a terrace, and a garden at Simpson House Inn. In addition to a library and dry cleaning/laundry services, guests can connect to free in-room WiFi.

All 15 individually furnished rooms offer perks such as air conditioning and bathrobes, as well as amenities like free WiFi and free bottled water.

  • Free self parking
  • Concierge services, free newspapers, and luggage storage
  • Smoke-free premises, a front desk safe, and multilingual staff

WHAT PAST GUESTS HAVE SAID:

Within this unique city is an oasis called Simpson House Inn, with its lush, well-maintained grounds, charming architecture and accommodations each more unique than the other. The staff, as friendly as they were professional, made it all the more pleasant. 

—Michael r (MORE REVIEWS)

Popular amenities

  • Free WiFi
  • Parking Included
  • Breakfast included
  • Air conditioning
  • Spa
  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping
  • Coffee & Tea in common areas

8. Hotel Santa Barbara


⭐️ Rating: 8.6/10 | 🏘️ Neighborhood: 
Historic Downtown Santa Barbara | 🛌 View on Expedia.com

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Hotel Santa Barbara is a 3-star hotel located in Historic Downtown Santa Barbara that is really on the edge of luxury, but is still a great hotel to choose, with clean, bright rooms.

It has an incomparable downtown location with world-class shopping, fine dining, theaters, galleries, entertainment, great beaches, and so much more all within walking distance of the front doors.

All 75 rooms feature comforts such as premium bedding and laptop-compatible safes, as well as thoughtful touches like laptop-friendly workspaces and air conditioning. 

  • Uncovered valet parking on site (USD 30 per day; includes in/out privileges)

WHAT PAST GUESTS HAVE SAID:

The hotel is in a charming historical building located on lower State Street surrounded by restaurants and stores. The minute we walked in the door we felt safe and welcomed. 

—Leslie N (MORE REVIEWS)

Popular amenities

  • Parking available
  • Pet friendly
  • Air conditioning
  • Free wifi
  • Laundry
  • Room service
  • Housekeeping
  • 24/7 front desk

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SANTA BARBARA

Is parking a problem in Santa Barbara?

Parking isn’t terrible in downtown Santa Barbara, except on busy weekends. You can find street parking, if you look for it. There are also a ton of beach parking lots. On the street, you’ll pay from to 9am to 6pm every day, but it’s free after that.

Some spots are metered with limited time, some are free with limited time during the day. Most hotels will charge anywhere from $25 to $45 a night for parking.

What are some good wineries in Santa Barbara?

There are a ton of great winery tasting rooms in downtown Santa Barbara in the Funk Zone and Paseo Nuevo shopping center. Our favorites are Riverbench and Pali Wine Co in the Funk Zone; Happy Canyon and Jamie Slone in Paseo Nuevo.

Outside of Santa Barbara, we like to visit Solvang, Los Olivos, and the Foxen Canyon Wine trail for wine tasting, especially at E11even, Bien Nacito Winery, and SamSara in Los Olivos, and Zaca Mesa and Riverbench up in Foxen Canyon.

Is Santa Barbara worth the money?

Yes, Santa Barbara is a very expensive city, especially if you want to stay in 4- to 5-star hotels or right on the beach. Whether that expense is worth it to you is very subjective. I feel that Santa Barbara is definitely worth a visit, though you don’t necessarily need to stay in the expensive downtown hotels.

The town has a lovely setting along the California Coast with beautiful surrounding mountains. The architecture is California Spanish Revival and there is year-round foliage of natural plants, flowers, and cactus to enjoy. If you like wine tasting, some of the best central coast wineries are located nearby.

How To Get to Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara has a lovely and very convenient airport that is only about 15 minutes outside of downtown. It’s one of the easiest airports I’ve ever had to get into and out of. Super simple.

Serving 69 international destinations and 87 domestic destinations, the airport offers flights on virtually every major carrier. So it’s pretty simple to get into SBO, though you may need a layover in a connecting city.

Once you arrive at the airport, you can rent a car from any of the major car rental companies and drive downtown in just 15 minutes. A variety of ground transportation options are available at Santa Barbara Airport. Uber and Lyft rideshare services are the most commonly used in the Santa Barbara area.

🚗 SANTA BARBARA CAR RENTAL

If you are looking to rent a car in Santa Barbara, the airport is the best place to get your Santa Barbara rental car — but remember that most hotels charge an exorbitant parking fee! Be sure to book in advance to get the type of car you need.

If you’re just staying in the city itself, skip the rental! It’s easy to walk most place. However, if you’re taking a few day trips from Santa Barbara, you’ll want to rent from Discover Cars, a reputable company for a rental car in Santa Barbara — which I always use! ▶︎ Book Now with Discover Cars 🚙💨

Before You Go

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8 Best Luxury Hotels in Santa Barbara 2024

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