Hotel Milo Santa Barbara
What We Love
- Free cruiser rentals to explore the beachfront bike path
- Steps from great shopping on State Street and right across the street from the beach
- Two serene cabana-lined pools, one with ocean views
- READ MORE: 72 hours on Highway 1
What To Know
- Nestled between Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara Harbor
- Each room is unique in layout and square footage; bathrooms are on the small side
- A $12 (plus tax) service charge per night will be collected by the hotel at checkout; continental breakfast stocked with pastries and coffee from local shops is included in the fee
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
The six red tile–roofed buildings comprising Hotel Milo spread out languidly over an entire beachfront block that runs between touristy Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara Harbor. The property has several peaceful garden courtyard retreats with comfy furnishings, gurgling fountains and blooming flora. The main buildings straddle a historic Chumash Indian site that was also once the grand entrance to Santa Barbara’s historic but long-gone Potter Hotel (built in 1903 but burned in 1921). Stately palm trees lining the original path are all that’s left of that era, when travelers first discovered the charms of this seaside tourist town.
Bed and Bath
Each of the 122 guestrooms is unique in size and shape but all are airy, colorful affairs. Wood floors are warmed up with tropical-hued rugs topped by beds with colorful throws and orange headboards. Bathrooms are smallish but up to date and are stocked with L’Occitane toiletries. Since the hotel is all low-rise buildings, property and pool views feel limited, but the picture windows in Ocean View rooms beg to be left open all day.
Milo’s amenities include two cabana-lined pools, one with an ocean view and Jacuzzi, the other with a bocce ball court, and a 24-hour fitness center with more ocean views. There’s also a delicious continental breakfast that features pastries and coffee from local hot spots Deux Bakery and SB Roasting Company, alongside fresh fruit and juice. Travelers can grab one of the free beach cruisers to work off the calories peddling along the beachfront bike path.
In the Area
Sure you can arrive by car or plane, but why burn gas when you can travel by train (the station is close to the hotel) and walk, jog or bicycle to nearby attractions. Located on Stearns Wharf, the new Deep Sea tasting room overlooking the Pacific has the best wine-tasting view in town. If you want to continue imbibing the region’s great vintages, the SB Urban Wine Trail continues nearby. At the end of Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara Shellfish Company is a cozy indoor/outdoor spot that serves fresh, live Maine and local lobster, clams and oysters. The harbor has local fave Brophy Bros., the Endless Summer Bar Cafe (great for kids; good surf memorabilia) and Waterfront Grill (for seafood in a nautical setting). The hotel “embraces” Sambo’s, the popular flagship coffee shop (and only survivor) in the Sambo’s restaurant chain, which was founded in Santa Barbara. Go whale watching on the Condor or visit the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in the harbor and the Ty Warner Sea Center (“feeling tanks” are popular with little ones) on the wharf.
How to Get There
This was our third or fourth visit to the Milo and each time our experience has gotten better. Great location, excellent amenities and facilities, wonderful wine hours where guests can get to know other guests. The breakfast room and patio are charming and the food selections are in tune with today's healthier lifestyle. Highly recommended.
Beautiful hotel experience in the most scenic (to me) part of Santa Barbara. The daily complimentary breakfast and evening wine appreciation session (cheese and crackers included) as such a welcoming experience. Loved sitting by the fireplace overlooking the beach while sipping on a great class of Cali's wine selection. Amazing value for money and I will be back again for sure if I ever go through Santa Barbara. I was sad to have missed out on trying out the free bike rentals!
WOW! I read the reviews and saw the photos and had low expectations for The Milo. It turned out to be a wonderful surprise. Definitely would stay here again!!!!
What The Milo does well is the outdoor intimate space that encourages relaxation and socialization. We met so many folks enjoying their happy hour wine over the many open fire pits. And bfast you can’t beat dining outside on the sidewalk tables looking out at the beach and the passerby’s.
Staff was warm and real from the moment we walked in to the point we drove off from the valet. Overall room was fine — nothing fancy. But walking out your door and looking beyond the fire pits at the beach made up for it. Again, we’re not buying the room and anyone who expects the Ritz should go elsewhere.
Thanks Milo for our three-night warm weekend escape!