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Venue Spotlight

Hotel Californian

Our founder and Senior event planner, Chrissy, had an opportunity to visit the Hotel Californian in Santa Barbara as part of a recent MPI Southern California (WE)Con event, an industry event for event professionals in SoCal. The welcome reception was held on the rooftop at the Hotel Californian, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. “It was a wonderful start to a weekend of learning and networking, and after doing a site visit, it was clear that Hotel Californian had to be our next venue spotlight!”

With 121 rooms and nearly 1 million tiles patterning the building, this newly-renovated hotel features dazzling spaces from celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard and has become a top destination for sophisticated travelers around the world. With its modern Moroccan flair and attention to detail, this hotel will undoubtedly win you over the way it so seamlessly won Chrissy over.

Nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the property rests in the heart of California’s most picture-perfect landscapes, Santa Barbara. With its prime location on State Street, guests can walk almost anywhere in town. Really! You’re a block away from the beach and Stearns Wharf, and a 5-minute walk to the ever-so-trendy Funk Zone – home to nearly 20 wine tasting rooms, multiple restaurants, breweries, and a distillery.

The Deets

Hotel Californian 1

Total Meeting Space: 8650+ sq ft
Nearest Airport: Santa Barbara Airport, SBA (10-20 minutes depending on the time of day)
Great Alternative: You can arrive by Amtrak train (the station is just a block away) and abandon your car for the weekend.

Why We Love It:

1. It’s Beautifully Designed

Hotel Californian - 2

Built in 1925, the Spanish Colonial structure has had its fair share of ups and downs. Destroyed by a massive earthquake a week after opening and abandoned in the late 1990s, it wasn’t until LA developer Michael Rosenfeld bought the hotel in 2011 that things finally turned around for this Santa Barbara gem. Nearly eight years and a complete interior overhaul later, the Hotel Californian has earned a reputable name for itself for its stunning Moroccan- and Moorish-inspired interiors.

Noted for consistently ranking among the world’s top 100 interior designers by Architectural Digest, LA-based designer, Martyn Lawrence Bullard is the man behind the design. And, with art deco and Italian mid-modern embellishments, it seems he left no room (or ceiling) untouched.

We can confirm: Even after a week-long stay, you won’t get enough of the graphic wallpapers, mid-century furniture, Moroccan accessories paired with Portuguese antiques, or the terracotta and jewel tones throughout each room.

2. They Have Locally Sourced Catering

Hotel Californian - 4

As environmentally-friendly practices sweep the events industry, the ability to source local ingredients can be the defining factor for selecting a venue. Luckily for us, Hotel Californian has got their sustainable sourcing game down pat. They’ve developed close relationships with local wineries, breweries, and farmers to create a local culinary experience. From event finger-foods, meals, or an all-day menu, the hotel prides itself on helping you create a customized and truly local food experience.

3. It’s Made For Events

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When it comes to meeting spaces, Hotel Californian has it all; a meticulously designed 2,850 square foot ballroom, together with an adjacent 4,500 square-foot plaza, a 3,670 square foot rooftop event deck and five flexible meeting rooms with private patios, perfect for corporate meetings and exclusive retreats. And, with the hotel’s beautiful location, why not add oceanfront views and a Santa Ynez Mountains backdrop to the mix?

The best part? With three separate buildings, they can easily accommodate uber private and exclusive events by allowing planners to rent out entire buildings.

Here’s a closer look at some of the spaces this beautiful venue has to offer:

The Californian Building

2 Indoor Spaces: Total of 4,220 sq. ft.
1 Outdoor Space: 2,000 sq. ft.


The Californian Building from Hotel Californian

The State Building

3 Indoor Spaces: Total of 7,250 sq. ft
1 Outdoor Space: 4,500 sq. ft.

The Alhambra Ballroom

Part of the State Building, this jaw-dropping ballroom is quite easily one of our favorite rooms. With black and white North African tiles covering the ballroom and foyer, you’re bound to be dazzled. It’s located beside the hotel’s Court of Califia lawn and ready to accommodate just about any event!

The State Building from Hotel Californian

The State Building from Hotel Californian

The Mason Building

4 Indoor Spaces: Total of 2,300 sq. ft.

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Pretty special, huh?

Contact us today to help get availability and pricing for your next event at Hotel Californian. We’ll all be ready for a little coastal meeting once we get past this pandemic.

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