Santa Barbara Accommodations

We have been trying to vacation in Santa Barbara for years and always get overwhelmed with the price and limited options for families.  Any recommendations for finding a 3 bedroom outside of Airnb and VRBO, ideally walkable to downtown?   We are two families of 4 and need at least 3 bedrooms if we're together.  Alternatively, if we could find two bedroom suites/hotels, that are ajoining or nearby, that would also work.   A hotel room for everyone will not work as baby cannot sleep with toddler and kids and we want to be able to hang out after kids go to bed. 

Appreciate all suggestions, thanks!

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Hi - The Best Western Plus on Bath Street includes the adjacent apartment building, which they list as suites on their website. We had 2 bedrooms & a kitchen. Not fancy, but spacious and very clean. Kids loved the pool and hot tub … even in November! Walkable to downtown, and McConnell’s ice cream is only 2 blocks away! 

We faced the same issue and ended up with two "family suites" at Hotel Milo.  Each suite has one main room with a king bed and then an adjoining room with bunk beds. The hotel is nothing fancy, but is right across from the beach and walking distance to a lot in downtown.  The family suites we had were next to each other, and we were comfortable being in the courtyard with fire pit directly outside the suite doors after the kids went to bed (with the baby monitors we brought). It's worth looking into!

The Best Western Plus on Bath Street in Santa Barbara has some apartments with one and two bedrooms -- literally apartments, since they expanded to include an apartment building behind the main motel property. We often stayed there to visit family when our 3 kids were young. It's been a long time (the kids are in their 30's now), but the reviews still look good. You won't find charm or local character, but we chose it because it was a good space for a young family and the apartments were clean and quiet. It's not quite walking to downtown and not close to the beach, but there is coffee, ice cream, and some informal dining nearby. Also a major hospital across the street, which explains the extended-stay type of options, but the emergency room entrance is a couple of blocks away and the apartments are in a quiet spot off the street, so hospital noise was not a problem.

Regular Santa Barbara visitor here... I can relate to how hard it is to find good places to stay there! Have stayed in the apartments/suites at the Best Western. They are a little shabby and very small, in my experience. There are some beautiful, spacious apartments at the West Beach Inn - large and comfy and right on the beach. And there are a few new ones at the Villa Rosa (cheaper, smaller, a little more personality). We've also stayed in suites at the Hotel Milo, which is very nice and has two pools and welcomes pets but is much more pricey.

I have had success in the past by searching on booking.com, which is a hotel site; there are a lot of hotels in SB that have large apartments/suites affiliated with them, and they show up on booking.com if you search by group size. As you probably know, it's not legal to rent a vacation rental in SB for less than 30 days, so lots of hotels have gotten into the business that would otherwise be occupied by airbnb, vrbo, etc. Good luck!