Colorful Avocado Toast at Saint Remy’s | Credit: Courtesy

Even a June-gloomy marine layer doesn’t dull the charm of the poolside location of Saint Remy, the newish (debuted on Boxing Day 2022) restaurant at the heart of State Street’s Courtyard by Marriott. (Old-timers will know the spot, beyond its expansion and extensive spiffing-up, as La Quinta or El Prado.) Looking a bit like a David Hockney painting sprung to life with its midcentury modern design, the location hopes to lure locals as well as hotel guests.

The spot is also a boon for “an enormous contingent of Marriott fans” who now get a hotel in downtown Santa Barbara. At least that’s how Tim Billing, vice president of operations for the AZUL Hospitality Group, explains it to me. AZUL operates this hotel for StonePark Capital, the hospitality development company led by Andrew “The Bachelor” Firestone and Jess Parker. StonePark and AZUL hope to become bigger players on the Central Coast, for along with this location there are two in-transition projects: Hotel Cerro, about to become an Autograph Collection with Marriott in S.L.O., and the Waterman, formerly the hostel Wayfarer, about to become a Moxy with Marriott. And yes, Billing made sure to clarify that it’s “M-O-X-Y, not M-O-X-I,” given its Funk Zone proximity to the museum of exploration and innovation.

Poolside dining is one of the charms of Saint Remy | Credit: Courtesy

Although Courtyards by Marriott tend to come with a corporate call for a bistro concept featuring grab-and-go food, Billing says, “We were afforded the luxury of a waiver, and the branding team got their teeth into it.” They opted for a melding of the French Riviera and the American Riviera, hence a Mediterranean-inspired menu and the name Saint Remy for the restaurant. Alas, there’s no secret backstory like the fact that Remy was the name of Andrew Firestone’s childhood dog or anything.

One of many Saint Remy house libations | Credit: Courtesy

Billing ran through the menu’s highlights and diner favorites so far, pointing to breakfast’s shakshuka benny — a poached egg bathed in cream cheese hollandaise with a red pepper sauce and feta crumble over sourdough — and the all-day menu’s crispy short-rib hummus — think of it as a bean dip with a beefy, crispy kick on lavash. Beyond some baking, everything is made in-house.

As an indoor-outdoor space, cocktails are paramount, and Billing praises director of the beverage program Sarah Watson for what she’s been devising. “She makes what we have here ridiculously unique,” he points out, “She can source whatever she wants.” One instant favorite is the Stevie Nicks, a refreshing spin of gin, grapefruit, Aperol, lime, and simple syrup. But then there’s also the provocatively named Fever Dream in a Mexican Airport for the adventurous — blanco tequila, Ancho Reyes, crème de cacao, and lemon.

Saint Remy is also eager to work with local purveyors, having recently held a bar takeover by Re:Find Distillery up in Paso Robles. It’s a natural connection, as Re:Find makes its rye using the leftover mash from Firestone’s 805 beer. “Such events are a good benefit for us,” Billing asserts, “and it allows for tremendous exposure and significant real estate for companies to promote their products.” They hope to do more, and perhaps even bring in high-profile chefs to do pop-up evenings.

Some of those happenings could be held on the expansive third- and fourth-floor patios that Billing hopes entice locals for their special occasions. That top floor has a stunning 360-degree, ocean-to-mountain view that, given the spot’s “elevation” at 1601 State Street, makes you want to reach for the pano feature on your iPhone, and Billing says they are open for all sizes of events. 


Seasonal Charcuterie Boards pair perfectly with wine, cocktails, and Saint Remy’s rooftop view | Credit: Courtesy


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