Nadine Turner
Paul Wellman

At a time when corporate chains keep buying and transforming our hometown hotels, it’s refreshing to see a small, privately run one continue to thrive at the corner of State Street and Cota. Hotel Santa Barbara is a particularly charming and cozy oasis in the heart of downtown, and that’s thanks in large part to Nadine Turner, the sales and marketing manager who’s been instrumental in its success for the past decade. She’s quite the ambassador for all the great things that this city has to offer — self-effacing but extremely solicitous to all the needs of both guests and staff.

Two of the things that keep impressing me about Ms. Turner for all the years I’ve known her: She’s constantly introducing you to her staff, from housekeepers to parking valets, as if they were a close family member, and she has a remarkable ability to speak and attentively listen to anyone about any particular subject. She’s also heavily ingrained in different organizations in town, including the Greater Santa Barbara Lodging & Restaurant Association.

I was happy that she was willing to answer the Proust Questionnaire.

What is it you like about your job the most?

It’s rewarding to “take care” of a group from start to finish. First, earning their trust to confirm an event and then to follow through and offer the guests a positive experience and for them to return. I enjoy working in Downtown Santa Barbara and interacting with local business and nonprofit reps in this great community.

Who do you most admire and why?

I salute the housekeeping staff at all our local hotels. They are often “behind the scenes.” They work hard and with great pride to present clean and welcoming guest rooms to our many visitors at our busy hotels!

What is your most marked characteristic?


What is your idea of perfect happiness in Santa Barbara?

Walking along our coast: Shoreline Park, the Wilcox Property, More Mesa, and other open spaces. I enjoy being with people, and I also crave quiet moments outdoors.

What is your greatest fear?

Public speaking. I need to communicate in my job; however, I am an introvert by nature.

What is your current state of mind?

Gratitude. Three family members have passed recently, and I embrace each day in good health and count living here in S.B. as a blessing.

What is the quality you most like in people?

A generous spirit towards others, and an open mind.

What is the quality you most dislike in people?

Self-centeredness, entitlement, narrow-mindedness, rudeness.

What do you most value in friends?

Integrity, a giving nature, positive energy.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Honey,” for my husband or with children, which surprises me but I say it all the time.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Singing for sure. I love to sing in the car to “old school” music. It’s not pretty!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To be less anxious. Kundalini yoga is helping. It’s an intriguing practice.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I was painfully shy for much of my life, and it’s taken work to shed some of that. I always thought I would work in a library and never in sales and marketing!

Where would you most like to live?

Santa Barbara. I thank my Dad for moving us here in 1968, and he said it was because he read about S.B. in a Raymond Chandler novel. He was from England, and he raved about the weather here, which I did not appreciate at the time. Now I do!

What is your motto?

We’re all in this (life) together; let’s work together.


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