La Entrada, Santa Barbara’s long-awaited entry way to downtown, may have to wait a bit longer to be complete as its centerpiece, the 62-room Hotel Californian, continues to prepare to receive its first guest.
Last year, the plan was for the hotel to reopen in May 2017 after more than a decade of being a derelict eyesore. However, it seems heavy winter rains — that eased the drought — prompted a delay in construction of the project on the south end of State Street.
Things are moving along after some 20 years of being a “hole in the ground,” as developer Michel Rosenfeld last year called the area from Cabrillo Boulevard to the railroad tracks along State Street. Although apparently several months from completion, it’s come a long way since 2012 when three of the four walls of the Hotel Californian were demolished. Built in 1925, the hotel’s façade at the corner of State and Mason streets was maintained.
The hotel will be a complete spa and resort when finished, including three buildings in separate areas offering an acre of gardens, gated paseos, fountains and plazas. The entire resort will include the main Californian building and separate structures across the street and on Mason Street. The resort will be comprised of a total of 121 guest rooms and a two-bedroom presidential suite with loft and guest rooms with fireplaces, patios, verandas and balconies with ocean views.
A Mediterranean-style restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating will be on the first floor of the hotel. A grocery market and casual restaurant with craft beer, coffee, salads, sandwiches and beach picnic baskets will be situated inside the hotel.
The hotel’s rooftop will feature 360-degree views of the mountains and coast. A
third-floor, outdoor jacuzzi and pool will offer a view of the ocean. A Turkish spa with blue-and-white tile will include a waterfall and private garden.
Plans call for the hotel to also house a fitness center, fashion boutique, a ballroom, an outdoor grass plaza and an elevated rooftop deck that can accommodate up to 300 people.