Riviera Renaissance: The Hotel Californian's Luxurious Legacy

Where History Meets Modern Elegance on the American Riviera
Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara, CA
Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara, CACourtesy of Hotel Californian

In the heart of Santa Barbara, where the stunning coastline meets the picturesque Santa Ynez Mountains, stands the Hotel Californian, unapologetic in both grace and style. More than just a place to stay, the Hotel Californian is the embodiment of the rich history and luxury in, what is often referred to as, the American Riviera.

The story of the Hotel Californian is deeply entwined with the city's history. Completed in 1925, the hotel was an early example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style prevalent in Santa Barbara. Just a week after it opened,  a massive earthquake hit the city, necessitating extensive repairs to the brand-new building. Over the years, the hotel has undergone several transformations, reflecting both the changing times and fortunes of the surrounding area. Today, it’s owned and operated by the Foley Entertainment Group and stands as a 121-room symbol of luxury, elegance, and sustainability.

Hotel Californian - The Society State & Mason Interior
Hotel Californian - The Society State & Mason InteriorCourtesy of Hotel Californian

The hotel, comprised of three buildings at the intersection of State and Mason Streets, was rebuilt behind the façade of the original 1925 structure. It houses 62 guest rooms, each over 400 square feet and features balconies with ocean and mountain views. It also includes a 1,300 square foot rooftop pool and a 3,500 square foot event deck. The Mason building includes the lobby and 58 guestrooms. It also houses the Djinn library bar and meeting rooms. The State building offers event and social catering venues, the Presidential Suite, and underground parking.

Hotel Californian Interior
Hotel Californian InteriorCourtesy of Hotel Californian

The interior design by Martyn Lawrence Bullard combines California Spanish Colonial Revival architecture with Moorish-themed elements, creating an exciting and stylish atmosphere. Guest rooms are available in four color schemes: yellow, terracotta, emerald, and eggplant, each featuring patios, verandas, or balconies. Bathrooms are spacious, with stone shower enclosures and the highest-quality fixtures. The latest technologies, including 65-inch Wi-Fi-enabled TVs and high-speed internet, are integrated throughout the property.

Hotel Californian Guestroom
Hotel Californian GuestroomCourtesy of Hotel Californian

The hotel’s signature Alcazar Suite is a 1,700 square foot space located in the State building, featuring two bedrooms, two and a half baths, and two outdoor decks offering both ocean and mountain views. It also includes a full bar, hospitality kitchen, and direct access to the rooftop event space.

For relaxation and rejuvenation, the 2,500 square foot Moroccan-inspired Majorelle Spa offers a wide range of treatments, steam rooms, a manicure and pedicure station, and hair and makeup services. Featuring personal consultations with spa experts, Majorelle invites visitors to discover one-of-a-kind spa experiences including aromatherapy and treatments with oils inspired by Moroccan opulence, creating a one-of-a-kind oasis in the heart of the city. Majorelle Spa has also partnered with Corc Yoga, introducing sustainable yoga mats for any fitness routine. These mats are made from hypoallergenic, antibacterial, 100% sustainable and biodegradable materials.

Hotel Californian Majorelle Spa
Hotel Californian Majorelle SpaCourtesy of Hotel Californian

Additionally, there is an 800-square-foot fitness center equipped with the latest equipment allowing for a daily workout that includes indoor and outdoor spaces.

The rooftop and pool deck atop the Californian building provide expansive views and features a pool, Jacuzzi, and the Mirador rooftop events deck, which can accommodate up to 180 guests for evening events.

Hotel Californian Pool
Hotel Californian PoolCourtesy of Hotel Californian

The State building hosts unique event and social catering venues, including a 3,800 square foot plaza lawn, a 2,900 square foot ballroom, and a 2,900 square foot rooftop deck, suitable for groups of 200 or more. The hotel also has five meeting rooms, ideal for various events from small meetings to private dinners.

For dining, the hotel offers several options. Blackbird, the signature restaurant, features a menu of sustainable, seasonal dishes. The Djinn library bar, known for its handcrafted cocktails, offers a warm and unique atmosphere. The Society: State & Mason, a recent addition, is a tasting room featuring a selection of wines and bites, along with the exclusive Caviar + Bubbles experience which includes Sterling Caviar paired with Foley Sonoma Winemaker Series Brut Sparkling wine. The Society: State & Mason also offers a weekend Four-Course Brunch and Wine Pairing available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM. This sophisticated brunch features a four-course meal expertly paired with wines, including dishes like lobster quiche and braised beef brisket benedict, and can be enhanced with Sterling private label caviar and a wine and cheese course. Goat Tree café serves craft coffees, pastries, and light meals, while the Tan-Tan pool offers poolside drinks and dining.

DjinnCourtesy of Hotel Californian

Conveniently located 90 minutes from Los Angeles and 15 minutes from the Santa Barbara Airport, the hotel is steps away from the Pacific Ocean and the Funk Zone neighborhood, a vibrant area with wine tasting rooms, breweries, boutique shops, art galleries, cafés, and restaurants. The hotel also offers 250 parking spaces, including underground and VIP spaces.

The Hotel Californian isn't just a place to stay; it's an experience; a perfect blend of history, culture, and modern luxury. Whether you're looking to explore the local area, indulge in fine dining, or simply relax in luxurious surroundings, the Hotel Californian offers a unique and memorable stay in one of California's most beautiful cities.

Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara, CA
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