Fall in Love with Santa Barbara's Most Romantic Hotels

If you're choosing a romantic vacation destination, look no further than Santa Barbara. White sand beaches beckon, red tile roofs span the horizon, and brightly colored hibiscus and bougainvillea bloom on nearly every corner. You'll spend your days shopping, dining and wine tasting, but the real question is: where will you spend the night?

Fortunately, Santa Barbara is also home to dozens of romantic hotels. Whether your relationship style calls for a luxurious, full-service resort or a more intimate bed and breakfast, there's a place that's just right for you.

To help you narrow down your choices, we've created this list of the 10 most romantic hotels in Santa Barbara. Book an ocean view room at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara for a weekend you won't forget. Looking for a cozy place with a great restaurant? Get a room at The Upham, the oldest continuously operating hotel in Southern California. From there, it's an easy walk to downtown shopping and nightlife.

Take a tip from us and reserve your hotel room early, especially if you want to visit around the holidays or during the summer. Since Santa Barbara is such a short drive away from Los Angeles – and so beautiful – it attracts a lot of weekend visitors. The best hotels fill up quickly!


The Goodland has all the perks of a big hotel, paired with all the charms of a small one. Hip couples looking to hunker down for the weekend will find everything they need onsite: a gorgeous pool, great food and, of course, cocktails! Feel like going out? Borrow some beach cruisers from the front desk and explore the surrounding neighborhood. Rooms are decorated with a laid-back surf vibe and include high-end amenities like flat screen TVs as well as retro comforts like record players. The Goodland is extremely pet friendly; as long as your pet fits through the door of your room, he, she or they can stay for free. Located in Goleta, this hidden gem of a hotel is not far from the Santa Barbara airport and a 10-minute drive from downtown.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Listen to records in your room, pop into the bar, lounge by the pool or borrow bikes and go to town. Perfect for active couples.

Read more about Kimpton Goodland →

Burnt out on the beach scene? Lucky you. Switch it up and spend some time in the nearby town of Ojai, an artsy community just a bit south of Santa Barbara. The Ojai Rancho Inn is a revamped vintage motor inn that's located conveniently close to a very strollable downtown area. Rustic decor and charming touches give the property a true "California getaway" feel. Rooms include king beds, free Wi-Fi and music docks. There is both a pool and a sauna. Free bicycles are available for guest use. Some rooms even have their own private jacuzzis! The Ojai Rancho Inn is available to reserve as an event space, as well, and live bands often play here on warm evenings.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Been there, done that in Santa Barbara? Drive south to this inn in Ojai for a very cool change of scenery.

Read more about Ojai Rancho Inn →

The Landsby
Photo courtesy of David Tsay for The Landsby

Craving a memorable overnight getaway? Nestled in the heart of the Danish village of Solvang, The Landsby is a stunning boutique inn featuring a clean, contemporary design inspired by traditional Scandinavian aesthetic. There's a scrumptious restaurant and great bar onsite, but our favorite perk is the complimentary and 2-for-1 wine tastings! Perfect for a romantic weekend, with many fun sights in easy walking distance. See the windmills and shop the charming main street of this picturesque town less than an hour's drive from Santa Barbara. Pet-friendly rooms are available upon request (so you can bring the other love of your life with you, too).

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: For local couples who want to really get away, The Landsby is the ticket. It's just far enough away to feel like a journey.

Read more about The Landsby →


For a romantic weekend (or week) of wining and dining in Santa Barbara, book your stay at the iconic Hotel Californian. Located steps from the beach and just a block or two from many of the best wine tasting rooms and restaurants in the area, this luxury hotel is a great choice for couples who want to do it all, no car necessary! A rooftop pool with a view of the ocean, onsite Turkish-inspired spa and two restaurants add to the appeal. Beautiful tile work and lighting throughout make this one of Santa Barbara's most photogenic hotels. If you stay at the Californian, your vacation snaps are practically guaranteed to make everyone jealous.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Location, location, location... the Hotel Californian is close to it all: shopping, dining, wine tasting and the beach!

Read more about Hotel Californian →

Cuddle up at the Kimpton Canary Hotel, and we'll tell you a secret: this hotel has the nicest mattresses of any Kimpton. Slip into pillow-topped comfort wrapped in Frette linens at the end of a lovely day spent sightseeing in downtown Santa Barbara. Less than a block off the best part of State Street, The Canary features five floors of beautiful decor (handpainted tiles! custom wrought iron!), dining and entertaining amenities, and gorgeous rooms. Four-poster beds, hardwood floors, plush robes and private balconies are just the beginning. And did we mention the rooftop pool with amazing views? The Canary is also extremely pet-friendly so go ahead and bring your four-legged sweetie too.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: The Canary is a downtown dream, combining great views and luxe amenities with a convenient location and great Kimpton service.

Read more about Kimpton Canary Hotel →


If your sweetie likes historic, old town charm, The Upham Hotel and Country House is a must-visit destination. Built in 1871, The Upham is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Southern California. It's located just two blocks from downtown. Great shops, theaters, parks and restaurants are all within easy walking distance. The main hotel features 58 rooms to suit every size need, from cottage rooms to master suites, all beautifully furnished. The onsite restaurant, Louie's Bistro, celebrates Central Coast flavors in an intimate setting. There's even a wine bar that seats just three or four people. Across the street is their Country House, featuring bed and breakfast style accommodations with luxury accents like waterfall showers and sunny verandas.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: This charming hotel clearly has class. George Clooney has been spotted at the wine bar here more than once.

Read more about The Upham Hotel & Country House →

Hey lovebirds, ready to escape the hustle and bustle of city life? Look no further than the Ritz-Carlton Bacara. Located on 78 acres of pristine coastline on Santa Barbara's northern shore, the Bacara offers you and your date a taste of unbridled luxury. Each guest room has an ocean, garden or mountain view. Many have fireplaces and soaking tubs. And did we mention that adorable bunnies are often spotted hopping along the grounds? Visit their world-class spa for a rejuvenating treatment or trip to the sauna. You can take a dip in one of the saline pools or simply walk down to the beach for a romantic stroll. There's a tasty steakhouse, fresh bistro and cozy cafe onsite. In fact, there's almost no reason to leave the property.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: The Bacara has gorgeous views, multiple pools and a top-rated spa where you can pamper yourselves silly.

Read more about The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara →

Palihouse Santa Barbara
Photo courtesy of Palisociety

Snuggle up in peace at this hidden gem. Los Angeles-based Palisociety has added to its west coast footprint with the debut of Palihouse Santa Barbara. Now open in the city's Historic Presidio neighborhood, this 24-room residential-style boutique hotel was formerly the site of The Santa Barbara School of the Arts. The Spanish Colonial-inspired property is a hideaway in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. Couples can look forward to in-room cozy fireplaces, deep bathtubs, a quiet pool area with an intimate vibe and a jewel-box bar for evening cocktails. Everything wonderful is just a short walk away, from pastries and boutiques to museums and theaters.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: This secluded boutique hotel is just blocks from downtown, but the Wes Anderson-esque aesthetic feels worlds away.

Read more about Palihouse Santa Barbara →

Book a bungalow at the Belmond El Encanto to experience one of Santa Barbara's most legendary properties. Perfectly situated in a secluded, quiet part of town, the El Encanto is famous for its romantic views and luxury standards. Long a favorite of the Hollywood crowd, the recently renovated El Encanto treats every guest like a VIP, right down to outfitting your bed with appropriately monogrammed linens. Book one of the El Encanto's exclusive experiences, and your stay can include a gourmet sailing trip, hilltop picnic or outdoor movie night. There is a spa, restaurant and bar onsite. Stroll the lush grounds or pause for a refreshing cocktail, and you'll feel transported above stress of daily life, exactly the goal at the El Encanto.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Book a weekend at the El Encanto for breathtaking views as far as the eye can see in a private, upscale setting.

Read more about Belmond El Encanto →

Rosewood Miramar Beach
Photo courtesy of Rosewood Miramar Beach

What's chic, gorgeous and rosy all over? The Rosewood Miramar Beach, a deluxe beachfront resort in Montecito, just minutes south of Santa Barbara. If you want a destination that's guaranteed to impress your sweetie, this is it. Enjoy posh accommodations, stroll along the white sand and catch a ride on their signature pink golf cart. Complimentary chairs and umbrellas, a beach butler and sports equipment are at your service. Beach house and bungalow suites will make your getaway that much more memorable. An onsite spa offers every massage as a couple massage if you like. There's even a Couples Retreat package for a totally private spa experience. Don't feel like leaving the grounds? You don't have to! The resort has multiple restaurants on the property, including Caruso's, a Michelin-recognized restaurant where you can watch the sun set over the Pacific from your table.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: This beachfront resort is the hotel version of a pair of rose-colored glasses. You won't stop smiling your whole stay!

Read more about Rosewood Miramar Beach →


Meet Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives moved to Santa Barbara in 2000 on a whim (ok, and to go to college) and never looked back. She loves Santa Barbara because it’s really one of America’s greatest small towns - it...  More About Geneva