The Best Hotels in Santa Maria, California

Be within easy reach of Pismo Beach with a stay at one of the best hotels in Santa Maria
Be within easy reach of Pismo Beach with a stay at one of the best hotels in Santa Maria | Courtesy of Candlewood Suites Santa Maria / Expedia
Photo of Dave Stamboulis
13 December 2021
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Endless sunshine and world-class wineries make Santa Maria a must-visit in the Central Coast region. It’s also regarded as the best barbecue town in California, home to the famed tri-tip steak. Check into one of these top hotels in Santa Maria for your next trip – we’ve rounded up everything from regal grande dames to family-friendly boltholes.

Santa Maria Inn, for traditional grandeur

Spacious room with two king beds, traditional furniture and royal-blue armchairs at the historic Santa Maria Inn
Courtesy of Santa Maria Inn / Expedia

Both a registered historic landmark (dating from 1917) and a celebrity retreat, Santa Maria Inn has attracted the rich and famous for decades. Choose from 146 boutique guest rooms and 18 luxury suites. There’s a more modern and snazzy new tower with rooms, but if you like the old-fashioned, opt for the historic inn rooms with European charm; some have fireplaces, and the suites have whirlpool tubs. Make sure you dine in the romantic Century Room, which serves California cuisine and arguably the best Sunday brunch in wine country.

Radisson Hotel Santa Maria, for easy access to the airport

Spacious king room in warm tones with desk and armchair at Radisson Hotel Santa Maria
Courtesy of Radisson Hotel Santa Maria / Expedia

The Radisson Santa Maria is ultra-convenient for short-trip travelers, just minutes from the Santa Maria Airport. Check into a queen or king room – many of which are pet-friendly – before diving into the heated outdoor pool or slipping into the hot tub. Santa Maria Country Club is just across Waller Park if you’ve got time to squeeze in a quick round of golf. There are also bistro and grill restaurants on site, so you don’t need to leave the property to dine.

Wine Stone Inn, for vino lovers

Stylish modern king room with a double bed with a wooden bed frame against a concrete gray accent wall at Wine Stone Inn in Santa Maria
Courtesy of Wine Stone Inn / Expedia

This 12-room boutique gem is located in charming and historic Old Town Orcutt, just 15 minutes’ drive from Santa Maria. Rooms have a country-meets-industrial decor, with the top choice being the deluxe king, with its walk-in shower and treetop views. The Vintage Room is a communal drinking and light deli hangout, where you can sample all of Santa Maria’s top wines. Ask the knowledgeable concierge to help you to book the ultimate regional wine tour.

Best Western Plus Big America, for a no-frills stay

Sunny pool and jacuzzi area at Best Western Plus Big America in Santa Maria, California
Courtesy of Best Western Plus Big America / Expedia

This two-story hotel sits just north of downtown Santa Maria. Highlights include an outdoor pool and sunbathing deck, plus a fitness center. Francisco’s Country Kitchen restaurant lets you fill up on self-serve Farmer Brothers Coffee and bottled water all day, and there’s a free shuttle to anywhere within a 10mi (16km) radius. Traveling with kids? The king suites have pull-out sofas for the little ones. The hotel also has mobility-accessible rooms with roll-in showers or wheelchair-accessible bathtubs.

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Santa Maria, for quick highway access

Guest room with two beds, patterned yellow feature wall at Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Santa Maria
Courtesy of Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Santa Maria / Expedia

Conveniently positioned right off Highway 101, the Fairfield Inn is a handy pitstop for exploring the region – especially if you plan on visiting Hearst Castle before the crowds. Inside, you’ll find a pool, whirlpool spa, and fitness center to complement the regular rooms and fancier suites, which feature sofa sleepers in the separate living room. If that’s not enough to entice you, the inclusive breakfast buffet seals the deal.

Hampton Inn and Suites Santa Maria, for a convenient base

Modern carpetede room with two beds and pops of color at Hampton Inn and Suites Santa Maria
Courtesy of Hampton Inn and Suites Santa Maria / Expedia

You’ve got 110 guest rooms to choose from at this pared-back hotel, close to Highway 101. Each room comes with a microwave and fridge, while the suites include a wet bar and work area. Take advantage of the complimentary daily hot breakfast and large heated outdoor pool. Wine lovers can visit Presqu’ile, Rancho Sisquoc, and Foxen, all within a 30-minute drive.

Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Santa Maria, for a family vacation

Chain Hotel, Hotel
Large pool area with blue lounge chairs at Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Santa Maria
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Santa Maria / Expedia

Perhaps the top family choice in town, this Holiday Inn lets kids aged 18 and under stay with their parents for free. There are also complimentary meals for under 11s at the hotel’s on-site restaurant. This means big savings to spend on nearby attractions. Rooms here are some of the most spacious in Santa Maria, with all categories boasting separate living rooms, work desks, and microwaves/toasters, while the suites offer full kitchens. There’s also a seasonal outdoor pool and whirlpool tub, along with a gym.

Candlewood Suites Santa Maria, for an extended stay

Exterior of pale yellow building of Candlewood Suites Santa Maria with jacaranda trees in front
Courtesy of Candlewood Suites Santa Maria / Expedia

This Candlewood Suites outpost offers more than the surrounding competition. All suites here come equipped with full kitchens featuring full-size refrigerators, stovetops, dishwashers, and microwaves. Beds are topped with plush mattresses, plus there’s a range of complimentary movie channels and a DVD player in each room. Oh, and these suites are pet-friendly. Grab a steak from the store to make the most of the barbecue grill and covered patio.

Thinking of extending your California vacay? Head to Santa Barbara, and check into one of the best cheap hotels and inns.

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