There’s a new type of hotel out there, one that combines all the good parts of pampered travel (think Apple TVs and fireplaces), with the homey touches of a traditional bed and breakfast (like an actual breakfast). They’re called boutique luxury hotels, and one is about to open a few blocks from West Beach on Montecito Street.
Housed in a converted 1908 California craftsman, the nine-room Hideaway Santa Barbara is the fifth property operated by the Culver City–based Kirkwood Collection, which recently took over and spruced up the Blue Sands Inn on East Beach. Their other locations are in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and San Luis Obispo, and operator Alex Kirkwood has his eye on two more Santa Barbara buildouts with dreams of expanding into Solvang and Ojai. “This is where we want to be,” he said.
The Kirkwood Collection started with a family conversation around the dinner table in 2010. Kirkwood, at the time a marketing executive at 20th Century Fox, caught the hospitality bug from producers who’d done well investing in real estate and from Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso, who had an office nearby. Kirkwood admired how Caruso was trying to bring a high-end residential feel to the commercial setting of the new Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito. “We were making the same bet, but with a lot fewer zeros,” he explained.
The $10,000 of family money Kirkwood pooled together nine years ago has since grown into $22 million in assets. The boutique luxury niche isn’t for everyone, he admitted, but that’s also the point. “If you build something for everybody, you build it for nobody,” he said. “My marketing mentor at Fox always used to tell me that.” The Hideaway is for the discerning traveler who wants a little more character, comfort, and flair out of their stay, he said. “It’s a home away from home.”
Natural light is the Hideaway Santa Barbara’s defining feature, with big windows and skylights letting in the Central Coast sun. There are views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, and the breakfast room, lit by triple-height windows, doubles as a co-working space during the day. The guest rooms each have a wine cooler minifridge and are furnished with a modern, coastal aesthetic. The grand opening is June 15 and nightly rates start at $350.
For more information, visit hideawaysantabarbara.com.