The Santa Barbara Area

Hotels in The Santa Barbara Area

Seven years and $134 million in the making, Orient Express Hotels' takeover of the storied El Encanto (the brand's first West Coast resort) is reinventing a genteel slice of California history.

Back on the mainland, treat yourself to a stylish night (and a hot shower) at Ojai’s mid-century-mod Capri Hotel. A recently renovated century-mod motel (with pool), it now has a Rat Pack vibe, with sleek white-on-white rooms.

This Spanish-style inn, located in the Presidio District, is only three blocks from Santa Barbara’s main drag, State Street. Each of the 23 rooms has a sitting area with a fireplace, and all reservations include a daily complimentary continental breakfast with quiche and espresso drinks.

The sun is setting and you’ve got a front-row seat on the 1,800-square-foot terrace—plus a pool, two fireplaces, a quietly trickling fountain, and panoramic views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and Santa Cruz Island, 26 miles offshore.

These comfortable cedar cabins—outfitted with Wi-Fi and other 21st-century amenities—are near El Capitan State Beach, a 17-mile drive from Santa Barbara. This elegant camping spot is set in a 2,500-acre nature preserve.

The 220-acre Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, situated in a mountain valley that aptly portrayed Shangri-la in the 1937 film Lost Horizon, has long been known for its classic 18-hole golf course and for its Native American–culture- inspired spa.

The Madonna Inn California has 110 themed rooms, ranging from the Caveman Room (think animal prints) to the Yahoo Room (cowboy, not Internet). It’s all tongue-in-cheek fun, including the garish hot-pink steakhouse.

Mediterranean-style oceanfront villas sprawled over 78 lush acres between the Pacific and the Santa Ynez Mountains, offering a laundry list of activities.

This hip and trendy boutique in downtown Santa Barbara uses colorful customized vinyl decals of peacocks, chandeliers, grandfather clocks, giraffes with parachutes, and other playful images to create a modern and individual style for each of its 16 guest rooms.

The property offers heated indoor pool and complimentary breakfasts; guest rooms all have their own fireplaces.

No wonder this was JFK's honeymoon spot: The 500-acre property, which got a $150 million re-investment in 2011-2012, gives the impression of stretching on forever (even if a few neighboring mansions creep into the picture), and when you arrive at the long driveway lined with olive trees and laven

Despite the name, which references a "bear" (oso) in Spanish, it’s all about horses at Rancho Oso. Join a guided trail ride in the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains, or set off on foot if you’re horse averse.

Many private homes don't have the wiggle room provided by the villas at this contemporary-Mediterranean resort on a bluff above a beautiful central California coast beach, just off Highway 1.

A 207-room property on Butterfly Beach with the area’s signature 1920’s-style tiles and gardens.