Santa Barbara is known as the seaside American Riviera offering a coastal mediterranean atmosphere with ideal temperatures during the day, swaying palm trees, red tile roofs on white plaster buildings, and billowing sails skimming the Pacific Ocean.IMG_5807

The beloved Fess Parker Hotel in Santa Barbara recently had a multi-million dollar renovation and rebranding to the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.

The long-standing partnership with the Fess Parker family and Hilton remains intact. Eli and Ashley Parker, son and daughter of Fess Parker said, “The resort may have a new look and a new name, but will continue to provide the same first-class visitor experience that has made both locals and travelers feel at home for several decades.”


After staying for a weeknight, I discovered 10 Things To See and Do at the newest Hilton Hotel in Santa Barbara.

  1. The 360 newly-renovated guest rooms offer soothing sky-blue and ocean hues along with driftwood inspired interiors. Each guest room has a private patio or balcony. The rooms are located in eight buildings with floral names that include Bougainvillea, Fuchsia, Camellia, Dahlia, Eucalyptus, Fuchsia, Gardenia and Hibiscus.
  2. Room #334 in the Gardenia building has a balcony with two chairs and a table. The views include the heated swimming pool and Pacific Ocean. Inside is a spacious king size bed, sitting area with a sofa bed, mini refrigerator, safe, and bathroom with two sinks and full shower.IMG_0179
  3. A lively spot, especially at sunset to enjoy ocean breezes, is the bistro-style lounge – The Set. Guests gather around the flickering fire pits sipping cocktails and wine, while eating bites from Executive Sous Chef Patrick Clark’s bistro menu.Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Hotel The Set
  4. The fine dining Rodney’s Grill offers a new menu by Executive Sous Chef Patrick Clark. This talented chef uses sustainable seafood and naturally raised meats with the freshest local seasonal ingredients. The wine list offers an array of Fess Parker Wines, plus an array of California varieties to pair with his dishes.Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Hotel Rodneys GrillIMG_5845
  5. The resort charges a daily resort charge with perks. Guests receive internet access; two-hour bicycle rental; glass of house wine (up to 2 adults); in-room bottled water; 20% discount on Spa and tennis experiences and local and toll-free calls.
  6. The Spa del Mar near the heated pool and hot tub, offers a variety of massages, facial treatments and salon services.Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Hotel pool
  7. In front of the resort there are designated bike lanes for locals and visitors to ride along the beach, to the Santa Barbara Harbor, Santa Barbara Wharf, Bird Sancutary, Zoo and Funk Zone.
  8. The Hilton Santa Barbara is dog friendly. Next to the front door of the lobby are refillable water and dog treat containers. Guests can stay with a maximum of two dogs, up to 150 pounds. The fee is $50 per night.
  9. What also makes this resort so special is it’s semi-enclosed rotunda Plaza Del Sol. This flexible space boasts 180-degree lawn and beach views. It’s a premier event and meeting destination offering indoor and outdoor space for beach weddings, conferences and parties.
  10. For guests who fly into the Santa Barbara airport or take the train to the nearby Santa Barbara Amtrak Station, the resort offers complimentary shuttle service to the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Hotel.