In coming years, Santa Barbara could be getting as many as 10 new hotels, with more than 500 new rooms. Bear in mind that some of these projects are still very early in the process and a lot can change.
DRIFT / 524 STATE STREET
TMC Hospitality’s Drift brand has a flagship in San José del Cabo, Mexico, and two hotels in the works—one in Nashville and one at 524 State Street (Cota/Haley), both shooting to open this summer. Rates are presumably low, because you pay 50 percent when you reserve and the rest a week before your arrival; check-in is via text message; and housekeeping costs extra. According to the website, each hotel offers “a limited menu alongside delicious locally inspired drinks,” along with a coffee bar.
812 GARDEN STREET
Ziprent founder Arvand Sabetian has at least two hotel projects in the pipeline, both of which are like a cross between a hotel and a vacation rental—i.e., staff is reachable by phone rather than on site. At 12,163-square-foot 812 Garden Street (Canon Perdido/De La Guerra), three units will have full kitchens and the other 27 will have kitchenettes.
513-517 DE LA VINA STREET
Sabetian’s second project is the conversion of the 8,065-square-foot property at 513 and 517 De La Vina (Cota/Haley). Similar to 812 Garden Street, four rooms will have kitchens and the other 11 kitchenettes.
801 STATE STREET
A collaboration between the Miramar Group, Kim and Tammy Hughes, and Good Lion Hospitality, the hotel at 801 State Street (at De La Guerra) will have a full-service restaurant on the ground floor, a basement cocktail lounge, and a rooftop cocktail bar.
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT / 1601 STATE STREET
The La Quinta Inn at 1601 State Street (Valerio/Arrellaga), formerly the El Prado Inn, is being expanded and converted into a Courtyard by Marriott. When completed, the new hotel will have 122 hotel rooms, a lobby entrance on State Street, a roof deck, and 123 parking spaces. It’s shooting for early fall.
101 GARDEN STREET
On hold for a while, the large resort coming to 101 Garden Street in the Funk Zone looks it’s like going to start progressing again, having presented an archaeology report to the Historic Landmarks Commission in December. From that agenda: “The project consists of a new 250-room, 231,300-square foot (net) hotel located on a 4.53-acre site at the southwest corner of Garden and E. Yanonali Streets, in El Pueblo Viejo Landmark District. […] The hotel would consist of 119 standard guestrooms and 131 extended-stay guestrooms. Amenities for the hotel guests would include restaurants, bar, lounge, library, media salons, meeting rooms, fitness rooms, market, laundry rooms, a pool, and a roof deck with trellis. A total of 267 parking spaces would be provided (39 surface and 228 in an underground parking garage). All existing structures and uses on the site would be removed.” The Cearnal Collective rendering below is out of date, but it gives a sense of the scale.
35 ANACAPA STREET
The three-story development proposed for the southwest corner of Anacapa Street and E. Mason Street includes a corner market, myriad restaurants, a tasting room, an art gallery, and, on the third floor, 12 hotel rooms. Note the shower facing a mini garden and the hot tub in an enclosed area abutting the courtyard.
302 AND 308 W. MONTECITO STREET
Rooms: Around 60.
Outspoken developer Ed St. George is working on two hotel projects. The first, at the corner of W. Montecito Street and Bath Street, was approved by the Santa Barbara City Council in late 2019; at the time it was 32 rooms, but the word is that it’s now closer to 60.
517 CHAPALA STREET
Rooms: Around 35.
St. George has also floated the possibility of a three-story hotel at the 517 Chapala Street (Cota/Haley), currently home to the Carzoid used-car dealership. The plan for a 16-room hotel had been approved in 2019, and in November 2021, it reappeared on a Historic Landmarks Commission agenda in a revised version with 22 rooms total—but then got tabled before the meeting happened. And St. George’s company says that the number of rooms will likely grow to around 35.
433 E. CABRILLO BOULEVARD
On land owned by the Fess Parker family, the Robert Green Company is developing an 86-room resort—with a ground-floor restaurant and a rooftop pool and bar—at 433 E. Cabrillo (at the corner of S. Calle Cesar Chavez). It will be positioned somewhere between the Rosewood Miramar Beach and the Hotel Californian, and construction could start as soon as the third quarter.
And in other hotel news…
••• The renovated and expanded Inn at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, run by Auberge Resorts, opens in June with 67 rooms.
••• Hotel Santa Barbara on State Street (Cota/Haley), purchased by Diane Hendricks’s Geronimo Hospitality Group in December 2021, is almost certainly headed for a makeover of some kind.
••• The Kimpton Canary at Chapala and Carrillo is undergoing a rolling renovation, to be completed in January 2023.
••• The Kimpton Goodland Goleta got sold and rebranded as The Leta (short for Goleta).
••• Eric Goode—of the turtle sanctuary and Tiger King—bought the former Oaks at Ojai spa (before that, it was El Roblar hotel) with Warner Ebbink (Little Dom’s Seafood) and Ramin Shamshiri. They’re renovating the property with the goal of reopening as El Roblar.
••• In November, Carpinterians will vote whether the Surfliner Inn should be built downtown. Vote yes!
••• A 99-room “farm resort“ with restaurant and spa has been proposed for the Carpinteria bluffs.
••• The historic Biltmore on Butterfly Beach will likely reopen at some point but under a brand other than Four Seasons, with whom owner Ty Warner is feuding.
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