Santa Barbara, CA - Review
By Sara Benson
Casually chic locals mingle with guests on the Canary's rooftop bar—the only one in town—with its ocean view, glowing fireplace, open-air pool and regular food and wine events throughout the year.
Canary Hotel Review
With a nod to its hip sister hotels in Santa Monica, Canary revels in the role of Santa
Barbara's most stylish property. Casually chic locals mingle with guests at the rooftop bar, where an ocean view, a glowing fireplace and an open-air pool with Jacuzzi complete the prototypical California scene.
While a rambling waterfront and Mediterranean
climate undeniably are the city's top enticements, beach-going
tourists often overlook its thriving arts and cultural
scenes, boutique shopping and wine-country bistro cooking,
all of which can be easily enjoyed by staying downtown
at the Canary Hotel, just steps away from the action.
With fewer than 100 rooms and suites, the luxurious boutique hotel is relatively petite. But nevertheless, it thinks big. Owned by the Edward Thomas Collection (ETC Hotels), the same hotel group as Santa Monica's glamorous Casa Del Mar and Shutters on the Beach, Canary Hotel shares a similar California cool style, but with a Spanish Mediterranean twist that belongs entirely to Santa Barbara. The architecture echoes the hotel's namesake region of the Canary Islands (off the coast of Africa), with a lobby that also gracefully recalls Mission-era California, with wrought-iron chandeliers, decorative tiles, and overstuffed couches and chairs for convivial lounging, thanks to interior designer Michael Smith.
A muted palette of red and gold warms guestrooms. Everything is presented with an artistic eye, from the imported bath tiles and hand-painted ceilings to the unique headboards and window treatments. Soft cotton-waffle bathrobes, locally made Forest Essentials organic bath amenities, pillow top mattresses and in-room spa treatments enhance a tropical-plantation air. Modern high-tech amenities haven't been forgotten either: flat screen TVs with DVD and CD players, multiple telephone lines and both wired and wireless high-speed Internet access. Junior suites have partially partitioned living rooms.
The property's meeting and event areas total 5,000 square-feet and accommodate up to 170 people. Finch & Fork restaurant is a well-designed space on the hotel’s ground floor.
Canary Hotel succeeds in what it sets out to
do: to capture the essence of a California beach resort
while incorporating savvy urbane accents. From the property,
it's a quick shuttle bus ride down to the ocean (complimentary
tokens are available from the concierge), where you can
laze away a sunny SoCal day. Or you can drive the winding
back roads of Santa
Barbara's wine country, as seen in the movie Sideways.
(Updated: 05/21/13 CT)