Santa Barbara, CA Hotels
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Nestled at the foot of the Santa Ynez Mountains, on a picturesque stretch of coastline referred to as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara is a city with many faces: shopping haven for fashionistas; paradise for surfers and beach lovers; hotbed for art and culture; chic summer playground for the rich, famous, and retirees; and laid-back college town with a sophisticated Mediterranean flair.

Hipmunk's Best Hotels in Santa Barbara, CA

Belmond El Encanto
Belmond El Encanto
|
4.7
800 Alvarado Place, Santa Barbara
from $425
San Ysidro Ranch
San Ysidro Ranch
|
4.8
900 San Ysidro Lane, Santa Barbara
from $695
Canary, a Kimpton Hotel
Canary, a Kimpton Hotel
|
4.5
31 W Carrillo St, Santa Barbara
from $265
Agave Inn
Agave Inn
|
4.1
3222 State Street, Santa Barbara
from $129
Harbor View Inn
Harbor View Inn
|
4.3
28 West Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara
from $220
The Fess Parker Santa Barbara - DoubleTree by Hilton Resort
from $199
Santa Barbara House
Santa Barbara House
|
3.4
424 Por La Mar Drive, Santa Barbara
from $189
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
|
4.5
1260 Channel Dr, Santa Barbara
from $345
Spanish Garden Inn
Spanish Garden Inn
|
4.7
915 Garden Street, Santa Barbara
from $278
The Presidio
The Presidio
|
4.0
1620 State Street, Santa Barbara
from $139
More About Santa Barbara, CA Hotels...

The Best Times to Book a Hotel on the Cheap in Santa Barbara

Summer is the most crowded and expensive time to visit Santa Barbara, but luckily the city enjoys a balmy Mediterranean-like climate all year round. High season runs from late May to August. During this period, Santa Barbara is bursting with events and the weather is perfect for hanging out on the beach.

Shoulder season, which runs from September to early November and from mid-March to early May, is almost as pleasant and way friendlier on the wallet, offering reasonable hotel rates, and quieter, yet still sunny beaches. Needless to say, Santa Barbara’s low season, which goes from November to March, is when both temperatures and travel expenses are at their lowest.

Where to Stay to Get the Best Rates

Accommodation doesn’t come cheap in Santa Barbara, but the farther you go from the beach the more likely you will find affordable hotels. The downtown area offers surprisingly decent room rates for such a prime location, and the action-packed State Street has everything from cheap and cozy inns to cost-effective boutique hipster enclaves to luxurious hotels. Some great value options on Santa Barbara’s main drag include the trendy Agave Inn, Presidio Motel, and the iconic Sandman Inn, often considered the city’s best budget hotel.

If the city center is too busy for you, other locations you might consider are the nearby city of Goleta and the area around Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. Most of the U.S. reasonably-priced hotel chains can be found here, from Motel 6 and Super 8 to Best Western, Hampton Inn, and Extended Stay America.

How to Sleep in Luxury and Pay Budget Hotel Prices

Your best chance to enjoy Santa Barbara’s luxury hotels - most of which are Spanish colonial gems with stunning landscaped gardens and lavish spas - is to have flexible travel plans. Whether you book well in advance or last minute, this will certainly increase your chances of getting the cheapest fares.

Another great strategy to experience the charm, opulence, and fantastic amenities of Santa Barbara’s upscale hotels is to travel off season, when all properties offer cheaper rooms due to the lower number of tourists.  

You can also find luxurious rooms at discounted prices if you choose to stay in the neighboring cities of Goleta, Carpinteria, or the exclusive Montecito, where the legendary San Ysidro Ranch, with its charming, individually-styled cottages and exceptional amenities, offers some fantastic midweek rates.

Find your Way to and from Santa Barbara Municipal Airport

Designed in a handsome Spanish Colonial Revival style, the small but well-equipped Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) is situated approximately 7 miles west of downtown, near Goleta. Five major airlines, including Alaska Airlines, US Airways, United, Frontier Airlines, and American Airlines, offer direct flights from Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle, making traveling to Santa Barbara a breeze.

From shuttles and rental cars to taxis and public buses (MTD), there are multiple ground transportation options connecting Santa Barbara Airport with the city center and many other points of interest.

Although free shuttle service is not particularly a common feature of the hotels near the airport, most of them do offer excellent amenities and easy access to the University of California, Santa Barbara Zoo, and Wine Country.

Santa Barbara Hotels near Landmarks

Most visitors come to Santa Barbara for the lovely beaches and swanky, laid-back vibe, but this elegant seaside town with Mediterranean influences boasts lots of other gems, too. A must see is the magnificent Santa Barbara County Courthouse, where people come to marvel at the intricate Moorish architecture and take in the glorious panorama of the city and the ocean beyond. The courthouse is steps away from the lively State Street and Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and accommodation options in the area range from affordable digs such as Presidio Motel and La Quinta Inn & Suites Santa Barbara to utterly exclusive retreats like the Spanish Garden Inn.

If you want to be close to the beach, there are a number of fine options to choose from along East Cabrillo Boulevard, including Parkside Inn and the chic Hyatt Santa Barbara. Another advantage of staying near East Beach is that you’ll also have Santa Barbara Zoo nearby.

Tools and Resources to Help you Plan your Vacation in Santa Barbara

Visit Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Airport App are some valuable travel resources that will help you make the most of your stay in the city.

 

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