Just on the outskirts of Santa Barbara off Highway One sits The Leta Hotel. This recently renovated boutique property is built following a classic motel design: pool in the center, rooms with individual exterior doors wrapping around the courtyard. The face of the property is a beautifully decorated lobby building that shares the space with CAYA Restaurant, The Leta Bar, and a mini art gallery. Situated just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown the Leta Hotel is a more relaxing take on a Santa Barbara vacation.

A short taxi will take you Downtown but the truth is, you could spend your entire weekend here at The Leta. Between hotel amenities, hiking trails, and multiple beaches nearby there is plenty to occupy your time with. 

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The stay was hosted by The Leta Hotel, which did not review or approve the story.

The Leta Hotel is a more relaxing take on a Santa Barbara vacation

The Vibe & Shared Spaces 

During our visit, the weather has taken a turn to bleak and stormy but upon entering The Leta lobby we felt nothing but warmth. A cozy yet modern leather couch divides the room in two, leading your eyes to the decorative fireplace. A short, informative interaction with the hotel clerk informed us about the property essentials: restaurant, pool, record store, “and here [she gestured at the lobby] you can get a complimentary welcome drink”. We arrived during the social hour, walking into groups of guests scattered throughout the lobby filling the room with white-nose conversation.

One of the unique features of this property is the tiny record store. It is a small room where you can purchase new records to take home or borrow a stack to play in your room during your stay. Upon request, the attendant hands you a Crosley portable turntable and you’re free to set your own soundtrack to your SoCal stay.

The decor is a well-matched mix of ranch roughness with cottage coziness, accented by an occasional modern piece. A print there. A neon sign here. Somehow it all comes together and makes sense. Lush greenery fills the outdoor common spaces, creating privacy curtains between rooms and comfortable shade around the pool. Flowers are in full bloom if you visit early in the season, their soft fragrant scents follow you along the walking paths. 

Inside the Suite 

Rooms on the ground floor face the pool courtyard. All of them have a sitting area by the entry. Some rooms have semi-private patios, and quite a few are fully accessible. We stayed in the Classic King with a pool view, shaded by the greenery from the walking path. The rooms are fairly minimal, complete with all the necessary hotel amenities including a range of storage options. Having a closet and a large cabinet is something I personally very much appreciated. 

All rooms are similarly decorated with dark wooden beams adding dimension to the space. The bathroom is separated by a sliding door which matches the natural wood and rope accents well. A dash of bright colour can be spotted in the lighting fixtures sitting next to the bed.

The property is fully non-smoking and dog-friendly.

The Leta Hotel is a more relaxing take on a Santa Barbara vacation

Dining & Entertainment 

CAYA Restaurant and Bar is a hot spot for the locals and a must-visit during your stay. Restaurant guests are invited to sit inside or out. The kitchen offerings are focused on local and sustainable ingredients serving up a “fresh take on coastal California cuisine”. The exterior patio spills out into a casual sitting area with loungers set around fire pits.

As a neighborhood hub, The Leta and CAYA host a range of family-friendly activities from live music on the weekends, to corn hole tournaments, and sip-and-shop market popups. On the menu, the diners will find locally sourced shrimp, fresh crisp vegetables, and juicy sliders, among many other approachable selections. The breakfast menu naturally includes egg dishes like the traditional Benedict and smoked salmon sandwiches, to name a few. 

The Leta Bar was unfortunately closed this weekend. Will have to visit it another time.

The Leta Santa Barbara Goleta, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
Rooms start at $199 USD per Queen
5650 Calle Real, Goleta, CA 93117, United States
Book directly on hilton.com* or your favourite booking website: Booking.com* | Expedia* | TripAdvisor* | Hotels.com*

Prepare for your trip

Refresh your bathing suit collection

Plan for the sunny weather with a range of styles and shapes of bathing suits. Body Glove* are perfect for water sports, Peony Swimwear* offer a nice luxury selection and good coverage while Boho Beach Hut* also offer cute summer dresses.

Update your primary travel gear

Between airline handling, tossing around in the back of the car, and dragged across Europe a suitcase can take a hit. So, we have your classics with Samsonite*, something a bit more elevated with Away* or Royce and Rocket*.

Update your capsule staples

What’s in your capsule wardrobe? Granted you might not call it that but it is that set of pieces that can stand time and are easy to mix and match. A lot of my basics are from Levis* (jeans are jeans!), Uniqlo* for a pop of colour, AllSaints* for the more stylish pieces and leather, and Vince Camuto* for the shoes.

In the gear bag: In the gear bag: Fujifilm X-T100 with a Fuji XF50mmF2 R WR and XF 23mm f/2 R WR lenses. To see the trip on Instagram find a “California 🌴” highlight on my feed  @katerryna.

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  1. I’ve never been to Santa Barbara so will definitely be keeping this property in mind. I love the chilled decor and vibes and the style of the suites too. Plus there’s a pool- perfect!

  2. What a cute spot! I’ve stayed in SB before right Downtown, this seems like a really great alternative.

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