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
- 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
The room was small but okay...Until, I got into bed and it felt like someone had ate a cookie in my bed. I pulled back the covers and there was a pile of dirt. The next day I had room service change the sheets and I came back to a room with the full trash bag sitting on the ottoman. The room is old, smelly, and drafty (1 inch crack in the door jam) and they heater barely functions. On top of it, the receptionist at the front desk leaves a lot to be desired in terms of hospitality.
The Kimpton Goodland has tried VERY hard to make you forget that this is just a side of the road motel in a town without much going on. They parked a cute car out front, they put record players in every room, they have bikes you can use...but this is still very much just a motel in a cocktail dress.
The rooms are extremely average. The walls are T-H-I-N. You can hear EVERYTHING people are saying in the next room, even if they're not being overly loud. I had the no so great fortune of being next to some players from a boys high school basketball team who brought their video gaming system so I got to hear first person shooter noises all night long. Don't forget, this is a motel that allows dogs. So if your neighbor leaves their dog in the room, guess what? You get to hear a sad, crying dog for as long as you're in your room next to it. The record player was a cute idea. However, their record "library" had less than 100 records to choose from and only 2 records from artists that I knew. They have lots of recognizable records for purchase, but the free library leaves much to be desired. There is a small fridge. It is stocked full of things that are not just overpriced, but ridiculously priced. Ex: A regular sized Twix bar is $5. There IS a hair dryer. There is no microwave, coffee maker, etc.
The restaurant is fine, but nothing to write home about. Just a heads up - their "fried" items (ex. brussels sprouts) are not actually fried so not sure why they're describing pan roasted things that way. Considering there aren't a lot of dining options in Goleta, it wasn't the worst we could do.
There were two things I did like about this motel - the social hour and the fire pits. During the social hour you can get a free glass of wine and a snack in the lobby. We played backgammon while enjoying our wine. The fire pits right outside of the restaurant were nice because the nights were chilly. We brought our wine out there and made some friends chatting around them.
It's about a $20 uber ride each way to the pier in Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is definitely worth checking out, but if you can stay in Santa Barbara for a reasonable price, do it. This is not a Motel 6, but it's priced well over its value.
hello,we have been coming to this location since the early 60s when it was owned by another company. since the changeover, the kimpton goodland is really outstanding. the whole makeover is part of so cal culture and history. the rooms have the latest home decorating ideas, great style and carefree ambiance. we definitely will be back since our introduction last year to the wonderful upgrade in the whole facility. the driveway with the airstream travel trailer and the ford woody just makes this place stand still in time. a place to remember and stay for the next vacation. thank you kimpton goodland. it is close to everything without being too far out. beaches, airport, downtown, the colleges, etc.
Lets start with no coffee in the room. Really, it is kind of ridiculous that there are no standard coffee makers in the room, then no room service to bring coffee (why do you have a full restaurant, but no room service? don't you want to make money?). When we called the front desk, they told us 1) yep no coffee makers, 2) nope no room service, 3) we'll have some coffee in the lobby, but oddly we're out right now so need to make more... Duh the hotel is full and the only place for coffee is a trek to the lobby for a couple of pots of coffee!?! Just no excuse. Some people don't want to face the day before coffee. All reasonable hotels respect that.
Front desk staff is woefully undertrained and much too immature/lackadaisical for the hip, efficient, stylish brand they are trying to pull off. They seemed stoned on multiple visits for assistance and unknowing how to do basic things in their systems.
The restaurant is crazy slow, staff barely knows what it means to be a server. We waited for over an hour for breakfast at the bar!
I won't be staying again, because with this, the hotel simply is not justifiably a $300 a night (at a discounted rate) property. Not even close.
I typically love Kimpton hotels and am always charmed by their design aesthetic. I chose to stay at the Goodland for two nights for business instead of my normal hotel in Goleta because I wanted to be charmed again and maybe find a new regular spot for business trips. As soon as I checked in though, I was underwhelmed.
My room was in building C, but the directions the front desk attendant gave were lacking in specifics and after walking down a few wrong halls I had to ask someone else. Walking through the lobby to the rooms is strange and I ended up walking through a part of the restaurant where waiters enter their orders. It was odd and I couldn’t tell, still, if I was going the right way. (I was handed a map at the front desk, but it’s not great.)
When I got to building C I looked all over for room 79, which was written on my card sleeve... there is no room 79. It was actually 179, but the person who checked me in just wrote 79. Was I supposed to know the 1 was implied? In any case, I deduced my room was actually 179 and then was immediately disappointed because this room and all the rooms on this whole side of the building face, and open directly onto, a parking lot complete with cars, their alarms, headlights pointing into the room etc. This is not a hotel. It’s a motel. Full stop. So, that’s a good thing to know when booking, as it’s an important note that I missed entirely.
I decided to walk back to the front desk and asked to change rooms, to one not facing the parking lot. As a woman who travels alone for work, rooms on the ground floor with direct exterior access are not the safest option so that’s what ultimately tipped my decision to go and ask to change. But I was told there were no available rooms, however, tomorrow morning I could preregister for one that might be coming available later in the day. No, thank you. I’ll be checking out a day early and going back to my tried and true hotel in town.
I should say though, the flowers on the trees by the pool smell devine when walking by, and the design in the common areas and rooms is modern, beachy, cool. But it still feels like a motor inn from the 50’s that just got a surface make-over.