A hotel with yoga in the morning, deejays at night; two bars, one with billiards and a patio, one with views of the mountains and pool; an indoor-outdoor restaurant run by a globe-trotting chef; and a record player, backgammon set, and drawer-handle bottle openers in each room?
It sounds like Santa Barbara or, for that matter, even Los Angeles or New York, but this consciously designed coolness is coming to the heart of suburban Goleta, where the boutique Kimpton Hotel chain is remodeling the old Holiday Inn on Calle Real. When it’s opened, which is optimistically set for July 1, The Goodland will be the most talked-about hotspot ever to hit what we call Goleta the Good Land, a place for both tourists and locals to hang out, sip drinks at The Good Bar, and fine dine at The Outpost S.B., as Chef Derek Simcik’s restaurant will be known. (He was last at the Atwood Café in Chicago.)
The property was purchased last year by Makar Properties, whose president, Paul Makarechian, is a UCSB graduate. “This is a personal thing for him,” said General Manager Jeremy Wilhide during a recent tour through the property’s very active construction zones. “He wants to see it the way it should be.”
That includes an aesthetic that mixes retro-cool style popularized by the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and similar properties (the spinning vinyl, Americana items in the mini-bar, etc.) with beach-house touches of surf magazines and driftwood. It also means good food, fun drinks, a.m./p.m. programming, and a vibrant pool scene — so much to do, in fact, that they imagine many folks, specifically their “Kimpton loyalists,” will just come to stay at the hotel for the weekend and never leave. “We identify an individual, a muse, who will most likely stay with us,” explained Wilhide, “and we build the hotel room around that.”
Beyond that attractiveness, Wilhide believes steady occupancy (rooms will start around $229 a night) will come from the many visitors to UCSB, clients from the bigger companies in the area, like Citrix and Deckers, those seeking to be 10 minutes closer to wine country, and what he and many Goleta boosters would like to see most: people who come to explore the Good Land itself, from the quintessential seashore experience of Goleta Beach to surfing at Campus Point to exploring the authentic vibe of Old Town.
“Goleta seems like it has an opportunity,” said Wilhide, who came to Santa Barbara to work at The Canary, which Kimpton also manages. “It seems ripe, and it feels right at least.”