San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property Rating: 4.5 Pearls
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.
Bacara Resort & Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls
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.
Simpson House Inn Rating: 4.0 Pearls
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.
Spanish Garden Inn Rating: 3.5 Pearls
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.