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Walnut Creek Magazine

Santa Barbara’s Mar Monte Hotel Reflects the Rhythm of the American Riviera

Oct 01, 2021 08:49AM ● By Fran Miller

With a nod to its past Spanish architectural glory, a Santa Barbara jewel gets preserved and revived. The newly remodeled oceanfront Mar Monte Hotel, just across the street from picturesque East Beach, is part of the Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, a compilation of independent, one-of-a-kind properties.

Bright white walls create an airy and welcoming atmosphere in the lobby and living room. Exposed beam ceilings and arches are complemented by chandeliers, terracotta tiled flooring, and Spanish-style tile art. Simple yet elegant guestrooms and suites offer spectacular ocean or Santa Ynez mountain views. Each is the epitome of elegant simplicity, featuring whimsical artworks and atural textures. 

Wake up to morning smoothies, stretch in a variety of yoga classes, or take a long seaside walk. Guests also enjoy access to the hotel's fleet of cruiser bikes, oceanfront bocce ball courts, and state-of-the-art fitness center. The seafood-driven menu by Executive Chef Nathan Lingle at the hotel's signature restaurant, Costa Kitchen & Bar, melds influences from coastal Italy and the Mediterranean. 

Standout dishes on the dinner menu include whole-roasted branzino with brown butter kale, fresh halibut crudo, and chanterelle mushroom risotto. The classically rooted craft cocktail bar juxtaposes lighter, refreshing drinks with more spirited libations. Winemakers from the Central Coast play a starring role on the well-rounded wine list. 

For more casual fare, onsite Café Lido is the go-to for poolside snacks such as marinated olives, shishito peppers and rosemary focaccia. Southwest Airlines can get you there with non-stop service from Oakland to Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) – a quick 45 minute flight that descends nearly as quickly as it ascends.

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