A revamped oceanfront resort hotel that appeals to business travelers and tourists.
Take Santa Barbara's glorious oceanfront with a long, palm-studded park across the street, then build a hotel. Wonderful, right? Unfortunately, the result here used to be more Las Vegas than Santa Barbara --- that is, until renovations realized the potential of what was always meant to be a gracious resort. The 337 rooms and 23 suites that once felt dated now have a sleek, modern look adorned with a seaside color palette and artistic panache that recalls the Bahamas. Conference-goers and tourists flock here for in-room basics that go beyond the call of duty (from Bose stereos to wet bars to 42-inch flat-screen TVs to Crabtree and Evelyn bath and body products), as well as the expected resort amenities --- an outdoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, putting green and three tennis courts. The DoubleTree has a great location across from the beach, but it's a long way from downtown; that said, the 25-cent shuttle will take you there and all along the waterfront. House restaurants include Rodney's for fresh grilled fare and the casual Roundhouse serving buffet breakfast and lunch with terrace dining. Airport transportation is complimentary.