Holiday Inn Express Hotel Virginia
Historic architecture, a great location and terrific value.
This historic property has undergone more than one major renovation/upgrade and is now a stand-out hotel in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. The Mediterranean-style stucco building, with its red tiled roof and wrought-iron balconies, fits in perfectly with its surroundings. Originally built between 1916 and 1925, its 61 rooms give a nod to classic California Spanish Revival décor. All accommodations are unique and have modern amenities such as complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access, dual line phones with data ports and expected niceties like irons and hair dryers. In some rooms, the brick has been left exposed and/or French doors lead to balconies; in a few others, there are refrigerators, microwaves, LCD flat-screen TVs and CD players. Those in the annex facing the street can be noisy. Throughout the hotel, original details have been preserved; of particular note is the Malibu and Catalina tile work in murals and the lobby's mosaic fountain. A free continental breakfast buffet includes fresh baked goods. The hotel has city and mountain views (check them out from the second-level balcony), and it's just around the corner from State Street, the heart of Santa Barbara's downtown shopping district. While you can't swim on the property, it's an easy walk to the beach.