Santa Barbara Beachfront Hotels

by Joanne Thomas
Mission Santa Barbara, the city's original Spanish-style landmark

Mission Santa Barbara, the city's original Spanish-style landmark

mission of santa-barbara image by Ary from

As one of Southern California's premier beach vacation destinations, Santa Barbara offers ample lodging options to suit all budgets and expectations, but only a small number of hotels boast a coveted oceanfront setting. These hotels include cozy inns, a big-name chain hotel and a luxury boutique property; thanks to a city mandate for Spanish-style architecture, they all complement the aesthetic of the picturesque city.

Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara

Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara boasts mountain views and landscaped gardens surrounding its six Spanish-style buildings. Its beachfront location is minutes away from the shops and restaurants of State Street and the Santa Barbara Pier, and guests are welcome to borrow beach cruiser bicycles for two hours, free of charge. The guest rooms include high-end touches such as LCD-screen televisions, plush down bedding and natural-tone decor with bright, colorful fabric accents. Many rooms offer direct ocean views; others overlook the gardens or pool area, or offer panoramic mountain views. On-site features include poolside cabanas and lounge chairs and a fitness center. The Bistro restaurant offers European continental breakfasts, which guests can enjoy inside or out on the patio.

Best Western Beachside Inn

This hotel offers 60 guest rooms, most of which overlook the ocean or parkland; some feature a private balcony. Other rooms offer views of the hotel's central courtyard and heated outdoor pool. They all feature elegant, contemporary decor and a flat-screen television. All room rates include a complimentary continental breakfast, and high-speed Internet access is provided free of charge. With two of Santa Barbara's most acclaimed beaches -- East Beach and West Beach -- on the same street, the Best Western Beachside Inn is an ideal choice for an active beach vacation.

Cabrillo Inn at the Beach

Cabrillo Inn at the Beach directly overlooks Santa Barbara's long, sandy East Beach and offers views of Channel Islands National Park. Guests can take in the expansive panorama from the hotel's second-floor sundecks or lounge. The inn offers a choice of 40 guest rooms, all with ocean views, or Spanish-style vacation cottages that are available for weekly or monthly rentals. The cottages have two bedrooms and a full kitchen. The guest rooms feature tropical decor and include a refrigerator and premium cable channels. A daily continental breakfast is included. Guests enjoy year-round access to a heated outdoor pool with ocean views. Cabrillo Inn at the Beach regularly offers a range of incentives, such additional nights for free and dinner packages combining accommodations with meals at local restaurants.

Santa Barbara Inn

Santa Barbara Inn is a luxury boutique hotel set steps from the Pacific Ocean and within walking distance of Sterns Wharf, a historic pier with restaurants, stores and wine-tasting rooms. The guest rooms and suites are decorated in a formal, elegant style with tropical accents. Every room has a private balcony, and many have ocean views. Luxury touches include high-end bedding, plush terry bathrobes, complimentary bottled water and an in-room video game system. The most spacious options are the Anacapa Suite, which offers a large lounge area, separate bedroom and oversize, ocean-view balcony; and the Penthouse Suite with a large living room and a private deck with ocean views.

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  • mission of santa-barbara image by Ary from