What We Love
- Nightly lobby wine hour
- From hammocks to fire pits to poolside beds, the space is made for hanging out
- Playtime is emphasized, whether cornhole on the lawn or pics in the lobby photobooth
- No fuss, no muss service with a smile—and a relaxed noon checkout time
- Join Kimpton's Karma Rewards for perks like free WiFi
- READ MORE: 72 hours on Highway 1
What To Know
- Just north of Santa Barbara in Goleta, the hotel is the destination in this case
- It’s a few minutes from the UCSB campus so the non-guest clientele is young
- The inner garden rooms feel tucked away and are best for light sleepers
- A $25 (plus tax) resort fee per night will be collected at the property
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The inviting interiors combine ‘70s-era macrame and historic artifacts with graphic textiles and modern photography for an adorably whimsical effect. Cramming every nook with something interesting, the hotel begs discovery. You just might learn something new, for instance that James Dean used to race nearby, or revisit something old while sitting at one of the two backgammon tables in The Good Bar. The Goodland’s organic vibe saves the nostalgia from being overwrought, and the chalkboard with the daily surf report, hanging surfboards and large art pieces from a surfing great, Herbie Fletcher, retain a sportiness that is the essence of the Santa Barbara lifestyle.
Bed and Bath
The rooms have a more rugged, undone chic look than other slicker hotels in the Kimpton boutique chain. Twee touches endow the minimalism with warmth and personality, like the portable Crosley turntable with a few classic selections from the hotel’s own archives, perhaps Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours or OutKast’s Stankonia. The shower stalls in the average-sized bathrooms have stone bottoms and a weathered mosaic wall, suggesting an outdoor shower. And, of course, you’ll find the fresh-scented C.O. Bigelow products that are Kimpton exclusives.
Outpost, the hotel’s restaurant, could be decorated by Wes Anderson, it’s that cute. Its menu reads like a list of Southern California cuisine’s greatest hits: You’ve got your fish tacos, your fresh oysters, queso, kimchi pork belly and, of course, kale salad. With all of the nibbles, don’t neglect unfussy mains like the perfectly pan-seared halibut with Israeli couscous. The lagoon pool, heated year-round, is decked out enough for an afternoon lounging on a poolside bed without being a scene. No reserved cabanas here. The Goodland emphasizes its burgeoning street art collection with a gallery off the lobby and outdoor murals. Further proof this hotel wants you to have a weekend of quirky fun? The vintage Woodie and Airstream trailer out front. (But they’re not for hire—yet.)
In the Area
Goleta is the outdoorsy “sister city” to Santa Barbara, about 20 minutes south. Commandeer one of The Goodland’s free commuter bikes for a spin on the Obern Bike Trail, which winds through the grasslands down to Goleta Beach Park. There, have lunch at the Beachside, a popular little cafe straight out of another era. In fact, cyclists have it made in Goleta with all of the road biking and mountain biking options around. Did we mention that The Goodland has a surf theme? So, there’s that, along with standup paddling at the shore. Inspiration Point is an easy hike a short drive away that features an excellent lookout over the ocean and surrounding hills. And just over those hills, find the Santa Ynez wine country about 45 minutes away.
How to Get There
From the street, this is an unassuming-looking motel. The first sign that this place is more than what it seems are the vintage car and camper trailer parked outside the front doors. Upon entering through the front doors you're immediately greeted by a cozy lobby and a fireplace. To one side is a lively restaurant and to the other side is a bar. There's also a small room with a collection of vinyl records and a phonograph player. That said this place has a very hipster vibe--or as a Gen X-er, very nostalgic. Whatever renovations and decorations that were done do a very good job of masking the fact that structurally this is just a very ordinary motel. Most of the rooms surround a pool and outdoor lounge area. All the first-floor rooms have their own small patio in near proximity to the pool. With all the palm trees it has a very tropical feel. The rooms themselves are equally hip, each with their own phonograph player and a couple records to play. Both the restaurant and bar are very good. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. The one complaint I have is unfortunately becoming more and more common at places of the same quality. So while I understand The Goodland may be following the market, I'll still call it out whenever I see it. And that are hidden fees that aren't disclosed until check in. I've seen "resort fees" or "destination fees" becoming more and more common as if it's automatically tacked on regardless of how unresortlike the place is. So The Goodland adding on a "Good Life Fee" (plus tax) doesn't make it sound any better.
I must say that the customer service at this hotel is awesome but that’s about it. I respect that Kimpton has tried to take an old holiday inn and make something of it by adding some groovy paint on the walls and putting an old 1960’s Station Wagon and Airstream in the driveway but it’s still just an old holiday inn once you see past the marketing and fluff. The room walls here are so paper thin you can hear everything and everyone outside of it plus add in the window shades don’t block out the light and the beds are not very comfortable and you can forget sleeping soundly. We were just totally exhausted after our stay here for 3 nights from lack of sleep. Had we not prepaid a non refundable deposit for 3 nights we would have checked out after the first night. The food was good at the restaurant but expensive for what you got. On top of this when we checked out I was informed of a $75 resort fee for the pool and fitness room the size of a hotel room. I understand a paying a resort fee but this is far from a resort. The pool is nice but nothing special. So don’t be fooled by the marketing gimmicks. For the same money you can stay in a much nicer more comfortable hotel like we will do when we return to Santa Barbara again, which we will just not here. Sorry to write this staff as all of you were absolutely awesome and the nicest people around.
From the minute we arrived at this hotel, the customer service was very good. The room was quirky and extremely comfortable. Didn't eat in the hotel but the bar service was very good. Even though located in Goleta there was a very efficient bus service into Santa Barbara or if driving a number of parking lots were available Downtown. Would recommend this hotel.