Concierge.com's insider take:
A fixture in Santa Barbara history books, this downtown Victorian hotel has been operating continuously since 1871. No doilies, frills, or flowered wallpaper here: The beautifully restored Upham has a stylish vibe, with antiques and contemporary furniture, flowering gardens, and a charming wraparound porch with outdoor seating. While the original hotel advertised "hygienic food for invalids," today's guests eat very well at Louie's, known for its tuna Caesar salad and halibut with wild-mushroom risotto. There are 50 rooms and suites, including five garden cottages that have working fireplaces. Choose the master suite, which comes with a private yard and whirlpool tub. Nightly wine and hors d'oeuvres are served between 4 and 7 p.m., followed by bedtime milk and Oreo cookies for the kids.