Spanish Garden Inn

The Presidio District, Santa Barbara, United States Book from Book from £230 per night

Spanish Colonial jewel box with suite-style rooms and anything-you-please service, in the historic Presidio District
There’s luxury that struts. And there is the kind that anticipates what you want, even before you know you want it. Like Spanish Garden Inn. There is a fire going in the lobby, the scent of freshly baked cookies in the air and a smiling concierge asking to help. This is quintessential Santa Barbara with its Spanish Colonial adobe with lots of arches, beamed ceilings, painted tiles and ornate ironwork.

Beyond the Old World courtyard, your room waits - half-again bigger than it needs to be - with a private balcony, fireplace and deep soaking tub. There’s no scrimping on amenities in the rooms (300-count linens etc), but you’re more inclined to remember the French press and fresh-ground coffee in your room or the free popcorn with your choice from the DVD library. Themed packages run from the proposal-worthy “Night of Enchantment” to "Vine and Dine", complete with dinner at the Wine Cask and a wine tour of the Santa Ynez Valley. The Inn is bent on making every stay memorable by adhering to their motto 'no request too large or too small'. Which is exactly what keeps guests returning for special occasions and indulgent retreats.


  • Old World courtyard strung with white lights; tiled fountain, candlelit tables and tabletop fire circle
  • Lush grounds: palms, exotic succulents and climbing vines (the jasmine blooming below my balcony was intoxicating)
  • Extra-roomy rooms and suites furnished for romance (four-poster beds, fireplaces, oversized bathtubs)
  • Lots of little extras make you feel completely at home, such as wine bar serving local vintages by the glass or bottle
  • Free underground garage and an easy walk to Santa Barbara for shopping, historical and cultural venues


  • The room service menu is limited
  • Though children are welcome, there is more of a relaxing adult vibe
  • This is a non-smoking hotel and in-room smoking will be met with a heafty fine. Though this will be a plus for some
  • On the expensive side

Best time to go

With 300 days of sunshine a year and average temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s (Fahrenheit), Santa Barbara is a year-round destination. There are few winter storms, no blisteringly hot days, only about 18 inches (46 cm) of rain a year - no “off” season, really.

Ironically, the fall and winter months (October through March) can be nicer than the late spring and early summer when “May Gray” and “June Gloom” can set in. In the late summer, daytime temperatures can climb into the 80sF, with cool evenings. Inland (in the mountains and wine country), it’s typically 10-15 degrees warmer.

Our top tips

Gray whales pass by early spring until the end of summer on their amazing annual migration to Alaska from Mexico; pack your binoculars if you're coming during these months.

Great for...

City Style
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 23
  • Breakfast only
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room: Superior King


The 23 extra-spacious rooms and suites sprawl across 3 buildings. Each has a private balcony or garden patio (most facing the courtyard or pool). With well over 37sq.m. (400sq.ft.) of living space, they are cosy sanctuaries furnished with the owner’s own paintings and unique items. Some rooms have beamed ceilings, four-poster beds, comfortable sofas and leather chairs with ottomans.

Deluxe Rooms have a balcony or patio, Superior King rooms also have small seating area. Junior Suites are larger, with a half-wall separating the bedroom and living room area.

Mod cons are hidden away or blend discreetly into the background. The large leather covered desk is home to the French press (cafetière) and electric kettle. The minibar refrigerator is tucked into a chest of drawers. Excluding the Deluxe Kings, all rooms have a bathtub and separate shower - luxury details include Frette Italian linens, bathrobes, towels and Molton Brown bath products.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Minibar/fridge
  • MP3 player
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


A generous 'expanded' continental breakfast is served daily from 7.30-10.30am in the breakfast room off the lobby. Choose from a buffet including fresh fruit, quiche, cold cereal and granola, yoghurt, breads, fruit juice, coffee and tea, plus various specialty items which are served on request.

Take your plate to the courtyard. Better yet, ask for breakfast in your room and hang out on your balcony or patio in your bathrobe reading your free copy of Santa Barbara News Press (delivered Monday-Friday). Complimentary copies of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Los Angeles Times are also available. Check out the weekly Independent for the latest on the city’s current arts and entertainment schedule.

Pitchers of fresh water, iced tea, pots of coffee and fresh fruit are replenished all day in the breakfast room; freshly baked cookies are available in the late afternoon. Starting at 5.30pm, you can order select wines from the surrounding Santa Barbara, Santa Rita and Santa Ynez valleys by the glass or bottle, as well as domestic and imported beers, at the wine bar.

The concierge staff is ready to make recommendations and dinner reservations for you - you could dine at the romantic Bouchon or Opal restaurants. If you’re arriving late or just want a snack, the hotel has a small room service menu including soup, salad, a cheese platter and local organic ice cream. Treats from the honour bar include the usual fruit juices, soft drinks, beer, wine and snacks, plus a rubber duck for your bathtub!

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service


  • At the hotel. Hang out on your private balcony or patio or cosy up to the fire; watch a movie; spend some time on the treadmill in the fitness centre; swim or sunbathe by the dipping pool with umbrellas, sunloungers and towels supplied; sample some local wines

  • Pamper yourself. Schedule a private yoga lesson, massage, facial, manicure or pedicure in your room (3-hours notice required); indulge in a special treat such as The 'Inn-dulgence Bath Experience' - a hot bubble bath and tray of treats including fresh seasonal fruits, chilled sparkling water and a selection of the magazines you never have time to read

  • Explore. The Inn is in the heart of Santa Barbara’s historic Presidio District, established by the Spanish in 1782. Follow the Red Tile Walking Tour to see historic and architecturally important landmarks downtown. Visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Art

  • Shop. Boutiques, galleries, craft shops and major department stores are 3 blocks away on State Street, where you can also catch the electric shuttle to the beach

  • At the beach. Stroll along the shore, sunbathe, rent a kayak or sailing boat, surf the waves

  • Take a day trip. The concierge can help you book a Jeep tour of the wine country, a tee time at one of the spectacular local golf courses or a horse-riding expedition

  • After dark. Check out a world-class dance troupe, theatre, opera or symphony performance at the Lobero Theater (just around the corner), newly refurbished Granada Theatre or Arlington Theater

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Whale watching
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga


Children are welcome. Under 13s stay free of charge unless they are sleeping in a rollaway bed (see Rates).

Family friendly accommodation:

There are no adjoining rooms and families with small children may prefer a room on the ground floor. All rooms have space for a baby cot and, excluding the Deluxe Queen room, all can accommodate at least 1 child. The Deluxe Double Queen is a good option for families as under 13s stay for free if they are not in a rollaway bed.


Guest services can refer bonded/licenced babysitters.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

Children under the age of 13 may swim in the pool only with an adult present.

Kid Friendly: Deluxe Double Queen


Spanish Garden Inn is in the Historic Presidio District, 3 blocks from State Street, Santa Barbara, California.

By Air
Direct flights to Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) are available from most major cities in the Southwest and along West Coast. About a dozen flights a day arrive at from both Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. You could also fly to Los Angeles (LAX) - click on the links below for more information.

From the Airport
Transportation to downtown via taxi takes about 15 minutes (around US$40 one way).

By Car
US 101 runs right through Santa Barbara, the fastest and most direct route from north or south. Santa Barbara is 90 minutes from Los Angeles and six hours from San Francisco. See our car rental recommendations. The hotel has free covered parking.

By Train
Amtrak offers daily service to the rail station, at 209 State Street. Fares can be as low as US$40 (round-trip) from Los Angeles.

Guest services can make arrangements for taxi, limo, shuttle, car rental, public transit.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through

More on getting to California and getting around


  • Santa Barbara Municipal Airport 14.0 km SBA


  • Beach 1.5 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

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