This article was written and produced in partnership with Visit Santa Barbara. All opinions expressed within are my own.
After my family and I spent two glorious nights at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara (here’s my review), it was time to pack up and travel 12 miles down the road to the 158-room Kimpton Goodland. It’s Kimpton’s second boutique property in Santa Barbara County and is a real gem. The hotel offered us everything (and more!) that we needed for our family and was a great discovery that I’m excited to share with you.
Here are 10 reasons to stay at The Kimpton Goodland:
The Retro Chic Lobby
From the outside, the Goodland looks like a motel, which it technically is. But it’s so much more that that, which you realize the moment you walk into the lobby. Once you pull up and see the Woody Wagon parked out front and then walk through the front doors, you feel like you’re on the set of The Brady Bunch or maybe a Beach Boys album cover photo shoot. In a word, it’s hip. It’s got lots of curated art, surf-inspired design and oozes laidback vibes.
Good Check-In Experience
The staff are friendly and when you check in, they offer you a free draft beer and a PPE kit with a mini hand sanitizer and two face masks. TIP: Since Kimpton is a member of IHG Resorts and Hotels, don’t forget to give them your IHG Rewards Club points. There’s free WiFi for IHG members, a program that’s free to join. Here’s how to sign up.
When IHG bought Kimpton, many people were concerned they would do away with a lot of guest favorites, like the daily wine hour … but they didn’t. At 5pm, The Goodland hosts a wine hour, as Kimpton does in many of their hotel living room lobbies.
There Are No Hallways
Prior to the pandemic, I was never a huge fan of motels because I felt they weren’t as safe from intruders as your typical hotel. However, during COVID-19, when everyone is trying to limit their exposure to shared indoor air, this is exactly the type of place you want to stay in since every room door is outside and there are no indoor hallways to walk through. There are only two levels so you can either take the stairs or elevator.
Another reason Kimpton has such a passionate following is because their hotels are pet-friendly, which is why you will see plenty of dogs walking with their owners around the property. Good news: They have dedicated rooms for pets so if you have allergies, just let them know. The two nights we were there, I didn’t hear any barking or see any poop on the ground.
The rooms are small but thoughtfully designed and have hardwood floors throughout, so they feel so much cleaner than wall-to-wall broadloom. The beds are low to the ground (great for kids) and comfortable, as are the pillows.
There’s a small table to work at, eat at or, in our case, set the kids up with their colouring books and crayons. The walls are a tad thin and so is the bathroom sliding door so there’s no sound privacy if sharing. The showers have built in shampoo, conditioner and body wash dispensers and a half-door, which I typically hate because water usually goes all over the floor. But miraculously, that didn’t happen so they’ve done something right. European hotels take notice. The rooms also have a small outdoor patio with a couple of chairs to sit out on – a nice touch! Good to know: Our room had a mini fridge, which is key when traveling with little kids.
Without a doubt, one thing you will remember about staying at The Goodland is that they have vintage Victrola record players in each room with three records to play. It’s a unique room amenity that everyone will get a kick out of. My four-year-old certainly did! Kids these days have it too easy just asking Alexa or Siri to play whichever song they fancy. If you like playing vinyl records, then you will appreciate that the hotel also has a record shop located just off the lobby called VNYL.
When we were there, the weather was a bit chilly, in the low to mid 60s, so I didn’t see many people in the pool. But I imagine that in the summer, it’s packed. They do a good job laying towels out on each chair and the surrounding palm trees give the whole pool area a quintessentially California feel. On our last day, we jumped in and the water was warmer than the air, so the kids loved it. We had a hard time getting them out in time to check out!
FYI: There’s also a really nice grassy area beside the pool, where the kids can run around and play. It’s a great spot for little ones to run off all that steam. This hotel had beautiful and surprising offerings at every turn.
Many people recommended Goodland’s on-site restaurant Outpost and they were right – the place is popular with locals, the food is really good and the service is friendly.
Location to Shops
The Goodland isn’t close to the beach but it is very close to the 101 Freeway and a ton of restaurants, grocery stores and shops. There’s a Trader Joe’s just a few blocks away.
Random: The hotel left us some Pastel Mints from Robitaille’s Candies in our room and they were gone in a heartbeat. They reminded Natalie of Misty Mints, a Canadian Christmastime candy from her childhood. According to their website: “For over 50 years, these creamy handmade mints have been a Santa Barbara tradition. In 1985, we were chosen the ‘Official Mint of the 50th Presidential Inauguration.’ Today, we specialize in the multi-colored creamy mints. Each mint is individually hand made and packaged on our premises in Santa Barbara county.”
They were a special treat – just like our entire Goodland experience.
Room rates begin at $179 and there is a Guest Amenity Fee of $10 + tax per night, which includes the following:
-Digital Check-in & Checkout
-Unlimited Newspapers via Pressreader