Our History

THE STORY OF THE SPANISH GARDEN INN

Santa Barbara is home to exceptional museums and historic attractions, within walking distance of the Spanish Garden Inn, including the iconic Santa Barbara Mission and grand Courthouse.

Art and architecture are ingrained in every aspect of the Spanish Garden Inn, which also has a rich history— one that exemplifies the lush landscape and spirit of the region. As distinctive as the name suggests, the hotel is a true piece of art in its own, with expressions of contemporary sophistication and Spanish-style that captures the essence of Santa Barbara.

Originally the site of the Santa Barbara School of the Arts, the property brought a remarkable collection of first-rate sculptors from around the world who dreamed of experiencing the renaissance of the early 1900s. The school struggled after the Great Depression and closed in 1938.

Purchased by a wealthy student, this lot remained mostly vacant until 1997. Since then, the bronze sculpture studio—one of the earliest structures built in 1928—has been renovated, and thirteen beautiful olive trees have been carefully relocated to two sites: the oldest adobe in Montecito and a private botanical garden in Summerland.

The present-day owners designed the buildings, marked by graceful arches, tiled floors and colors that reflect a serene oasis. Knee deep in boots and mud, they brought their vision to a reality. Artists themselves, they wanted to allow guests to live within the creative process surrounded by captivating art and architecture.

The Spanish Garden Inn opened in 2001, and it reflects the charm and romance of Old California. Surrounded by Spanish, red-tiled buildings, gardens of climbing bougainvillea, ever-blooming flowers, and original watercolor and oil paintings created by the owners, our hotel is a home for art once again.

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Acclaimed Santa Barbara Wineries

Spanish Garden Inn is ideally situated in downtown less than five minutes’ walk from more than a dozen Santa Barbara wineries.

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Santa Barbara Museums

Santa Barbara is home to some of the West Coast's most acclaimed museums, many of which are within easy walking distance of Spanish Garden Inn.

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Taste Santa Barbara

From locally caught seafood to mouthwatering ravioli, wood-fired pizza to sizzling steaks, Spanish Garden Inn is surrounded by an eye-opening collection of Santa Barbara restaurants.

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