The Canary, Santa Barbara, California $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
The Canary (formerly the Hotel Andalucia) is the sister hotel to Shutters and Santa Barbara's newest downtown luxury hotel after reopening in 2008 following an extensive renovation. The secret weapon here is the location, a user-friendly spot just blocks from the beach and steps from the town's main drag, State Street. Like the name, the hotel's decor (nicely handled by designer-to-the-stars Michael Smith) is a riff on the Canary Islands. Think ethnic and eclectichand-painted Spanish tiles, Indonesian ikat-upholstered chairs, and regal four-poster beds of spiral-carved walnut. For the price ($400 and up a night), the standard rooms seem a little snug, and the service could use a little finessing, but there are plenty of thoughtful and unexpected touches, from the yoga DVDs and mat in the closet to the electrolyte-enhanced jelly beans in the minibar. Just don't expect any breezy ocean views: This 97-room property is more city than seaside, and chances are your room will offer restricted vistas of one of the nearby parking lots. For a peek at the Pacific, you'll have to head up to the rooftop pool.
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