Recently I had the pleasure of a perfectly short and sweet staycation at Hotel Santa Barbara. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, staycation refers to a vacation in one’s current home town, and is increasingly becoming a popular vacation option for busy people.
As the Director of Sales and Marketing at Hotel Santa Barbara I had been planning to do this for quite some time, but the unveiling of our newly renovated bathrooms at the Hotel was the perfect excuse to book a room.
My staycation involved a one-night stay at Hotel Santa Barbara with two of my closest friends, Gabby and Tessa, and a fun night out on the town.
We booked a spacious Double Queen room on a Tuesday night. I picked a mid-week stay to break up the week, and because of the awesome secret that is the mid-week rate. Sundays-Thursdays hotel guests will find great deals on rates with all the same great experiences of a weekend, minus the crowds. And often, because the mid-week isn’t as popular as the weekends, guests will receive perks like complimentary room upgrades. In fact, I gave myself one.
All three of us live in Santa Barbara and while my friends could have easily driven, they opted to leave their cars at home and Uber over the hotel. We met in the Hotel lobby at 5:30 pm on that Tuesday and what happened next was exactly the type of night we didn’t even know we needed. Here’s our timeline of the night.
After we checked in at the front desk, we rode the beautiful vintage elevator up to the fourth floor. Our Double Queen room was spacious, plenty of room for three of us. The room had a small table with two chairs, a dresser and desk. And the refrigerator kept the chill on the bottle of rosé I’d picked up from World Market (right across the street). We got settled, opened the wine and started to get ready.
Tuesday nights are farmers’ market nights right in front of the Hotel on State Street. The downtown area is bustling with families and farmers. We left the Hotel and walked down the center of the farmers’ market, taking in the sights and smells, tasting a few samples along the way.
Our first stop of the night was Mosto Crudo on Haley Street, one block away. This dainty wine bar and kitchen is one of Downtown Santa Barbara’s best kept secrets. Owner’s Tiziano Fioretti and Alejandra E. Garcia have created an exceptional wine list and small menu of cheeses, crudo and fresh from the farmers market small bites. The gals and I each ordered a glass of wine and the mixed cheese and charcuterie board, which was brimming with nuts and seeds and drizzled with local honey. We could have easily stayed there the entire night, but we had big plans on our staycation. Next up, dinner.
We left Mosto Crudo and headed north on State Street. The farmers’ market was closing up as we passed by on our way to Bibi Ji, the hot new Indian restaurant and wine bar on State Street. Just two short blocks up from the Hotel, Bibi Ji is the brainchild of Jessi Singh a successful restauranteur with popular restaurants in New York and San Francisco. We ordered a bottle of Gamay from their robust wine list curated by sommelier Rajat Parr. Bibi Ji is usually crammed with people with reservations, but the mellow nature of a Tuesday night made it easy to get seated.
We dined on the beet and fennel salad, a selection of their self-proclaimed “unauthentic curries” with hot naan bread right out of the tandoori oven. We also ordered the entire array of their chutneys which were bursting with flavor and a variety of textures. Staff was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and made sure we had a great meal.
On our walk back down to the hotel we decided to stop in at the Red Piano just a few doors down from the hotel after hearing some lovely live music coming out their front doors. We got seats at a great booth near the local talent singing at the piano. The atmosphere at the Red Piano is comfortable, with red lights and red vinyl booths. We finished up our night caps while listening to the musician of the evening belt out classics on request and then headed back to the hotel for some extra comfortable rest.
After an eventful night, all three of us welcomed comfortable sleep. The beds were fantastic, with ultra-comfortable linens and two types of pillows of varying firmness (!). With the morning light streaming into the room we slowly woke up ready for coffee and breakfast.
All three of us got ready for the day and were pleasantly surprised that the counter space in the bathroom could accommodate three women and all our products. The new bathroom was beautiful, and I loved the addition of the light-up make-up mirror. While Tessa had to run off to work, Gabby and I decided to head across the street to Joe’s Café for a hot breakfast in a classic, locals favorite restaurant.
While Hotel Santa Barbara offers a very delicious, and complimentary, continental breakfast for guests (Hello, Renuad’s croissants!) we wanted to take our time and enjoy a full service, hot meal. Joe’s offers fantastic all-American breakfast options and we always recommend it to our guests when they are looking for a hot breakfast.
We got comfortable in a booth with some hot coffee. I ordered the Pancake Sandwich (pancakes, eggs and bacon) and Gabby got The Champion (2 eggs with avocado toast and bacon). Needless to say, we were full, but felt revitalized. It felt luxurious to sit down to a hot breakfast before work, something I never make time to do.
My entire staycation experience was fun and relaxing. I found it to be a great exercise in disconnecting from my normal routine. And so enjoyable to experience Downtown Santa Barbara with fresh eyes.
While we didn’t get to do everything on our list, we have an idea for next time including getting a quick foot massage at the Relaxing Station just a few door down from the hotel, enjoying a little shopping at the hotel gift shop Asher Market and trying out the hip new Cuban restaurant in Kim’s Service Station, a space shared by various dining and drink establishments.
We are already picking a date for next time.
If you’re in need of a little pampering with a staycation now is the time right before the holidays ramp up! Call (805) 957-9300 and book today.