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The 10 Best Winery Hotels in Santa Barbara, California (2023 Guide)

Kurt Norris
Last Updated: August 18th, 2023

Known as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara occupies an idyllic valley along California’s Central Coast and is tucked away between the Pacific Ocean and the picturesque Santa Ynez Mountains.

The region’s unique landscape has resulted in pristine geographical and climatical conditions that have produced multiple diverse American Viticultural Areas within the relatively confined area.

The region has become world-renowned for its cool, Mediterranean-like climates, awe-inspiring landscapes, delicious offerings of wines, and rolling vineyards, which have attracted visitors to the area since the Spanish first founded Santa Barbara in 1786

Today, the city’s vibrant colonial architecture and awe-inspiring landscapes, combined with hundreds of miles of breathtaking vineyards, attract over 7.2 million tourists annually. As a result, the city has developed its infrastructure around its tourism industry, and visitors to the region now have a massive selection of accommodations.

But, with so many hotels and resorts catering to unique experiences, visitors to Santa Barbara seeking to explore the region’s wine country will want to ensure they book a winery hotel best suited to servicing guests to the nearby vineyards.

From luxury resorts in the city to quaint boutique hotels in the county, these are the ten best winery hotels in Santa Barbara you will want to stay at.

Winery Hotels in Santa Barbara — Tips and Advice

  • Staying directly in the city of Santa Barbara is one of the most convenient ways to explore the region by remaining within close proximity of the Californian Central Coast and attractions while being only a short drive from several world-class wineries.
  • Alternatively, visitors can stay directly in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country by booking accommodation in one of the region’s seven American Viticultural Areas.
  • Founded in 1981, the Santa Maria Valley is the region’s oldest AVA. It is the ideal destination for visitors wishing to explore the history of the wine industry in the area.
  • The region’s second oldest and most recognized AVA, the Santa Ynez Valley, features a unique shape that facilitates the production of cool-climate wines and is home to the highest concentration of wineries in Santa Barbara. As a result, it is the best wine region for sampling diverse flavors in a single destination.
  • For a quieter, less-touristed wine region in the Santa Barbara area, visitors should book their accommodation in the St. Rita Hills AVA. It is a fantastic destination for sampling local varietals away from the region’s heavy crowding.
  • Located towards the east of Santa Barbara and featuring a high-rolling terrain, the Happy Canyon Is unique within the wine country as a producer of warm-climate varietals. It is the perfect destination for visitors seeking the delectable flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
  • The Santa Barbara wine country is constantly expanding, with Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Alisos Canyon all having been established between 2013 and 2020. While newer and less renowned, these AVA’s each feature their own varietals and vintages and are worth a visit when exploring the region’s vineyards.

The 10 Best Santa Barbara Winery Hotels

  1. Rosewood Miramar Beach
  2. Hotel Californian
  3. Pali House Santa Barbara
  4. Bacara Resort
  5. Palihouse Santa Barbara
  6. Ballard Inn & Kitchen
  7. Kimpton Canary Hotel
  8. The Leta Hotel
  9. Upham Hotel and Cottages
  10. New Haven Inn
rosewood miramar beach
Image: Rosewood Miramar Beach

1. Rosewood Miramar Beach $$$

The pinnacle of luxury accommodations in Santa Barbara, the Rosewood Miramar was rated a Five-Star Hotel & Spa by Forbes and is one of the most exclusive resorts in California. The hotel features six onsite restaurants, a five-star sense spa, ample meeting rooms, and a one-of-a-kind resort retail center.

In addition, the resort’s exclusive beachfront location makes it a superb destination for relaxing on the American Riviera’s soft sands while embracing the most luxurious amenities Santa Barbara has to offer.

When it comes to exploring the region’s wine country, Rosewood Miramar Beach offers several guided and independent excursion options. In addition, the resort’s location in the heart of the city places it within close proximity to many tasting rooms, including a selection of beachfront facilities that provide breathtaking views of the Pacific to enjoy over a glass of your favorite varietal and vintages.

Home to over 16 acres of maintained lawns and verdant landscapes, the Rosewood Miramar Beach features 123 rooms and 35 suites, each boasting the epitome of modern amenities and exceptional comfort services directly on the beach. All rooms offer views either overlooking the ocean or the property’s manicured gardens.

2. Hotel Californian $$$

hotel californian
Image: Hotel Californian

Another excellent resort option along Santa Barbara’s idyllic coastline, the Hotel Californian promises opulent accommodation in one of the city’s most famous corners.

The hotel is located directly next to the Funk Zone, which has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region thanks to its abundant tasting rooms, boutique shopping centers, and a plethora of galleries, cafes, and restaurants.

But of course, while visitors are steps away from several fantastic services, the hotel Californian is also home to several amazing onsite vendors and restaurants. Located onsite are five restaurants, bars, and cafes facilities, each offering guests samples of the region’s diverse flavors.

Additional onsite amenities include an extensive meeting room, one of the most sought-after wedding and event venues in Santa Barbara, and a full-service spa that features a steam room, salon, and indoor and outdoor lounges.

The Hotel Californian features several room options starting at $729 per night for its Standard King Room. All rooms at the hotel feature luxury amenities, including small kitchenettes with a refrigerator and coffee machine and even a private balcony in select rooms.

3. El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel $$$

el encanto
Image: El Encanto

Offering one of the most unique stays in Santa Barbara, the El Encanto is a luxury boutique hotel that promises breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean while delivering exceptional accommodation services and amenities.

Located on the coastline of Central Santa Barbara, El Encanto offers visitors easy access to many of the city’s tasting rooms, other boutique shopping centers, and fine dining restaurants. However, for those who prefer to stay at the property, the hotel also offers its own onsite bar, restaurant, and even its own wellness center and spa.

Also featured within the hotel’s complex is a lavish outdoor pool, a convenient business center, and an extensive fitness room. Meanwhile, popular attractions such as the Santa Barba Botanical Gardens and the Santa Barbara Mission are only a short walk away.

For an even more extensive exploration of the region, El Encanto offers plenty of excursion opportunities, multi-day tours, and specialty events, including guided trips to many of the region’s top wineries.

Accommodations at El Encanto start at $750 per night for a Superior King Room. All rooms feature opulent lavishments that include a minibar and a private fireplace with a seating area.

4. The Bacara Resort $$$

the bacara resort
Image: The Bacara Resort

Owned and operated by the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, the Bacara Resort boasts the full-service opulence that the luxury hotel conglomerate has become famous for. Known around the world for its extravagance, the Ritz Carlton Bacara Resort features an extensive outdoor pool, several dining options, and even an onsite golf course.

For a casual dining experience, guests are invited to the Bistro to sample many of the region’s culinary flavors. At the same time, the O BAR + Kitchen serves signature cocktails and local varietals. Meanwhile, for a fine dining experience, the resort offers its Angel oak restaurant that promises a delectable menu of modern steak and seafood dishes.

Additional facilities within the resort complex include onsite tennis courts and hiking trails, a fitness center, a rooftop terrace, and one of the largest spas on the west coast.

The Baraca Resort features several room and suite options, all luxuriously furnished and boasting a spacious seating area, bathrobes and slippers, and a private patio with awe-inspiring views of the coast and surrounding cityscape.

5. Palihouse Santa Barbara $$

palihouse santa barbara
Image: Palihouse Santa Barbara

Promising a coastal hideaway tucked within the city’s historic Presidio Neighborhood in downtown Santa Barbara, The Palihouse offers a fantastic way to stay in the area on a mid-range budget while still enjoying the fabulous amenities and additions of a luxury boutique hotel.

The pet-friendly hotel features many onsite amenities and services, including an in-house pantry, a large pool area with lounge chairs and poolside services, an extensive fitness room with Peloton Bikes, and an onsite restaurant serving up some of the region’s most delicious dishes.

The hotel’s facilities and 24-hour concierge service are all operated by attentive, multi-lingual staff well-versed in everything about the Santa Barbara region, from the best places to get seafood to the top vineyards in the countryside.

While the facilities are teeming with calming services, fun activities, and dining options, the hotel is also within close distance to many of the city’s other attractions.

Destinations such as Antioch College, Amtrack Station, and the Granada Theatre are all easily accessible from the hotel.

6. Ballard Inn & Kitchen $$

the ballard inn and kitchen
Image: The Ballard Inn & Kitchen

The Ballard Inn & Kitchen is a AAA four-diamond winery hotel in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley. It promises one of the best locations for exploring the epicenter of Santa Barbara’s wine country.

The Ballard Inn’s onsite restaurant features a wide selection of locally inspired cuisines and is an excellent spot for sampling several offerings of the nearby wineries and vineyards.

But of course, when staying in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country, visitors will want to enjoy their favorite varietals directly from the source. Luckily, Santa Ynez Valley features the region’s greatest concentration of world-class vineyards, many of which are only a short distance from the hotel.

The Ballard Inn features 15 uniquely designed guest rooms, each featuring one-of-a-kind antiques to facilitate a relaxing and intimate stay. Every room features a private bathroom, while many others include private fireplaces and balconies. Rates start at $425 per night.

7. Kimpton Canary Hotel $$

kimpton canary hotel
Image: Kimpton Canary Hotel

A Spanish-styled hotel in the heart of Santa Barbara, the Kimpton Canary Hotel offers a one-of-a-kind experience staying in a luxuriously rustic colonial accommodation while boasting some of the most opulent services and amenities in the city.

The hotel features an onsite restaurant serving farm-to-table coastal cuisine, an extensive wedding venue, and the largest rooftop pool in the city that promises some of the most jaw-dropping views of the surrounding idyllic landscape.

While the hotel offers superb onsite amenities, the Kimpton Canary is conveniently located near downtown Santa Barbara. In addition, it is only a short walk from Gold’s Gym Santa Barbara and FLOAT Luxury Spa.

Hotel rates start at $470 per night for the Essential King Room. All accommodations at the Kimpton Canary Hotel feature luxury amenities. These include en suite bathrooms with spa-quality bath amenities, an honor bar stocked with gourmet treats, and a yoga mat for a relaxing morning.

8. The Leta Hotel $

the leta hotel
Image: The Leta Hotel

A budget-friendly winery hotel in Santa Barbara, The Leta Hotel offers one of the greatest value stays in the wine country, providing a myriad of comfort amenities and additional services at an affordable rate.

The hotel is located only a 15-minute walk from Goleta Beach. It features many onsite attractions, including a private pool, a communal firepit with breathtaking views, and an onsite bar and restaurant serving delicious local wines and cuisines. Additional services can be found nearby along State Street, including over 150 restaurants and shops.

All rooms at The Leta Hotel feature en suite bathrooms, seating areas, pool or courtyard views, and a complimentary yoga mat. Rates start at $152 per night for the hotel’s King Room.

9. Upham Hotel and Cottages $

upham hotel and cottages
Image: Upham Hotel and Cottages

First opened in 1871, the Upham Hotel and Cottages has served as one of Santa Barbara’s most popular accommodation options for over 150 years. Today it continues to provide top-of-the-line housing for tourists and is one of the most historic stays found anywhere in the state.

The boutique hotel features 50 rooms and suites as well as several cottages riddled throughout the acre property of surrounding gardens. The hotel is also situated in Santa Barbara’s downtown theatre, arts, and historic district and is only a short drive to the Santa Ynez Wine Country.

While several services and attractions can be found throughout the surrounding region, the hotel also boasts a complete collection of onsite amenities, including an onsite restaurant and several communal areas.

Rates at the Upham Hotel start at $239 for a standard Queen Room.

10. New Haven Inn $

new have inn
Image: New Haven Inn

Located away from the big city in the smaller community of Solvang, the New Have Inn is a fantastic, budget-friendly accommodation that promises a quiet stay as visitors explore the many vineyards of the nearby Santa Ynez Valley.

The quaint hotel is only a few blocks from the historical Solvang city center and promises a rustic stay in one of the region’s oldest communities. Other nearby attractions include the Alisal River Golf Course and several fantastic tasting rooms.

All rooms at the New Haven Inn were newly renovated in 2015 and featured several modern comfort amenities, including vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, and double walk-in tiled showers. Additionally, several rooms at the hotel feature private patios and fire pits.

Also available at the hotel are complimentary bicycle rentals, allowing easy access to nearby countryside attractions.

Rates start at $155 per night for the hotel’s Queen Room with a Sofa Bed.

Conclusion

Nestled along the Central California Coast and engulfed by the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara boasts one of the most diverse and historic wine regions in the state and attracts millions of visitors each year to sample its varietals.

The result is an accommodation catalog as diverse and vibrant as the vineyards that dot the landscape, each offering its own services that cater to different travelers.

From top-of-the-line luxury resorts to budget-friendly bed and breakfasts, these are the best Santa Barbara winery hotels for your visit to wine country.

About The Author

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. He began his professional writing career while in school as a sports journalist. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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