Oyster knows what travelers look for in hotels. When we review properties in person around the world, we evaluate how every feature stacks up against the competition, from the rooms to the pools to the restaurants. So if you’re planning a posh getaway and need a place to start, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at our expert top picks for luxury in Santa Barbara and get inspired!
With stunningly beautiful grounds, a secluded location in a well-heeled neighborhood, and top-tier amenities, this is one of the most exclusive, romantic luxury options in Santa Barbara. The cottage-style units are individually furnished with brick fireplaces, stone walls, and four-poster canopy beds (some with private Jacuzzis and outdoor showers). Most units have dazzlingly white tiled bathrooms with walk-in showers and large soaking tubs. The rustic, romantic ambiance has attracted everyone from JFK and Jackie to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.
It’s hard to go wrong with the Bacara—the property is an exclusive Mediterranean-style destination resort with top-notch amenities, including a gorgeous spa, organic fine dining, three lovely saline-filtered pools with ocean views, and a private ranch with hiking trails and picnic areas. Lovely rooms are comfortable and clean, with elegant decor, plush beds, and peek-a-boo bathrooms with separate showers and soaking tubs. The hotel provides free shuttle service to two respected golf courses nearby, and there’s a tennis club on-site, featuring private instruction and adult and junior clinics.
This quaint, upscale property is a lovely bed and breakfast with charming rustic rooms featuring a little patio or balcony, as well as a fireplace. The decor is consistent with the late 1800s, with lovely antiques and brass bathroom fixtures, though at times the floral carpeting or bedding may feel a bit dowdy. The free breakfast, evening wine tastings and hors d'oeuvres, and the in-room spa treatments are all nice perks.
For visitors seeking a quiet, convenient Spanish-style retreat, this charming 23-room property delivers. Amenities are scarce, but it’s three blocks from Santa Barbara’s main drag, and it has all the essentials –namely, continental breakfast, free parking, free Wi-Fi, a small pool, and a fitness center--. Rooms, though not quite high-end, are comfortable, with fireplaces and up-to-date amenities.