The Best Hotels with Suites to Book in Santa Barbara, California

Avoid the madness of LA and unwind in your own space with a wonderful stay in the Harbor View Inn
Avoid the madness of LA and unwind in your own space with a wonderful stay in the Harbor View Inn | Courtesy of Harbor View Inn /
Sarah Warwick

Just 95mi (152km) from LA, Santa Barbara is often visited as a day trip from the City of Angels – but it’s worth at least a few days on its own merit. Right on the beach and enveloped in the Santa Ynez mountains, the stunning scenery invites all kinds of adventure sports from hiking and biking to surfing and paddle boarding – while its architecture is historically colonial. Must-sees in the city include the Funk Zone cultural quarter and the stunning colonial-era Mission, which dates back to 1786 and is still a functioning place of worship. The city is also known for great restaurants and seafood – try the local specialty of sea urchin. Whatever you get up to, these great hotels with suites in Santa Barbara, California, will provide you with ample space to relax and enjoy your holiday – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach, for a sense of Mediterranean bliss


A double room at the Brisas Del Mar Inn at the Beach
Courtesy of Brisas Del Mar Inn at the Beach /

There’s a lovely Spanish feel to this hotel and it’s not just the exotic name – which translates as “sea breezes”, in case you were wondering. The pink, vine-covered building in the Spanish colonial revival style, tiled stairways and terracotta poolside provide a distinctly Mediterranean feel. Suites here are very well equipped, not just with full kitchens but with fireplaces, free movies, bottled water and plush robes. When it’s time to explore, borrow one of the free beach cruisers and get out there – but remember to be back in time for the hotel’s complimentary afternoon wine hour.

2. Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, for a nod to tropical


The beachfront exterior of the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Courtesy of Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort /

The only thing separating this low-rise Hilton from Santa Barbara’s East Beach is a line of nodding giant palms – which gives this place a bit of a tropical feel. There’s a crowd-pleasing resort vibe here, thanks to the extensive facilities on-site – two restaurants, outdoor pool, tennis courts, gym and spa. There are opportunities to book watersports and other adventures through the concierge, too. Spacious suites come with living rooms, sea views, wet bars, alarm clocks and robes.

3. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, for coastal dreams


A double room at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara /

For those who like their coastal landscapes windswept and interesting, this Ritz-Carlton Bacara offers something very special. Located on 78 shoreside acres (31ha) to the west of the city, it affords guests opportunities to really get away from it all on its two beaches, three infinity pools and huge spa – while still just a 20-minute drive from the bright lights and amusements of downtown Santa Barbara. Most suites have balconies with sea views, plus extra living and sleeping areas – some have fireplaces and their own poolside cabanas.

4. Santa Barbara Inn, for nomadic cuisine


The outdoor pool and terrace with palm trees nearby at Santa Barbara Inn
Courtesy of Santa Barbara Inn / Expedia

This feels like a very grown up hotel, imbued with a particularly European style of luxury. The domes and towers of its Spanish colonial building dominate its prime East Beach location – providing an imposing first impression. It feels exclusive in terms of numbers, too – there are just 70 rooms and suites here and quantity has been swapped for quality. Even the basic rooms feature HDTVs, heated bathroom tiles and balconies, while the Inn’s suites offer extra living space, ocean views and hot tubs. Restaurant Convivo is worth a mention for its nomadic Italian menu – informed by influences from global cuisine.

5. Montecito Inn, for classy amenities


A double room at the Montecito Inn
Courtesy of Montecito Inn /

Designed in tones of chocolate and champagne and clothed in rich, opulent fabrics, the one and two-bedroom suites at this inn look good enough to eat. The additional amenities are pretty tasty, too – think extra living space, double sinks, automated curtains, soaking tubs and balconies. When you tear yourself away from it all, you’ll find an in-house spa, a French-inspired restaurant. Coast and Olive and a sparkling heated outdoor pool and hot tub – which will top your stay off with several cherries.

6. Harbor View Inn, for laidback luxury


A family room at the Harbor View Inn
Courtesy of Harbor View Inn /

You couldn’t describe a hotel this well put together as casual, but it’s certainly on the laidback side of luxury. This 4-Diamond-rated resort-style complex is centered around the pool, where lounger service invites lazy days – you barely have to look up from your book to order lunch or another daiquiri. The inn’s suites are all over 750sqft (69sqm) and come with private balconies or patios, king-size beds, separate living rooms and wet bars. Venture out and you’re just a few steps away from West Beach, Stearns Wharf and, inland, the wine trails and arty shops of the Funk Zone.

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