36 State Street
Photo courtesy of Hotel Californian
Hotel CalifornianOpened in September 2017, Hotel Californian breathes new life into the Santa Barbara waterfront. Where once was a parking lot now stand two Spanish Colonial Revival buildings, done up in Moorish-inspired décor by celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. The 121-room hotel also comprises the 1925 Hotel Californian across State Street (it retains its original façade but has otherwise been gutted) as well as another building across East Mason (which houses a ballroom and the two-bedroom presidential suite). In other words, the hotel is the new center of the neighborhood, partly because of its size but also due its many offerings, which range from a stylish boutique and Turkish-inspired spa to gourmet café Goat Tree and fine-dining restaurant Blackbird.
Spacious rooms mix Spanish colonial architecture, Moroccan influences, and custom furnishings for a modern take on Santa Barbara chic. All feature plush beds, marble bathrooms, and premium cocktail carts, while some have Juliet balconies or oversized verandas with views of the hotel courtyards, city, ocean, or Santa Ynez Mountains. Larger rooms even have seating areas and fireplaces for extra comfort. Should guests ever wish to venture outside, there’s a rooftop pool and event deck with sweeping views of the coastline, as well as a large lawn space for lounging. Also, the Funk Zone with its popular restaurants and Urban Wine Trail is right down the street, making the Hotel Californian one of Santa Barbara’s trendiest spots to stay.