A glamorous old school dame brought back to life with a thoughtful face lift.
The Montecito Inn has undergone an amazing transformation in recent years. Once so down at the heels that original owner Charlie Chaplin would have been mortified, it now gleams with marble and warm colors. The 52 rooms, some a bit small, are tastefully done, and the nine luxury suites are truly lovely. Each is decorated with earth tones and rich woods, and suites have separate bedrooms with Italian marble fireplaces and French doors. All have modern amenities like high-speed Internet, refrigerators, flat-screen TVs and VCRs. Fans of Chaplin will enjoy access to a library of the artist's films on video. The hotel has an exercise facility, and continental breakfast is included in the room rate. The pool and spa are surrounded by greenery. One of the best features is the excellent Montecito Café on the ground floor, offering nouveau Californian cuisine. The meeting room accommodates up to 56 people, with audio-visual equipment included. There's a two-night minimum stay on weekends.