our santa barbara hotel blog - hotel indigo at the state house


The stage is heating up this month — Center Stage, that is! The intimate Santa Barbara theater has a wide array of performances in May, from classic ballets to spoken word. Book your stay with us here at
Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara to make the most of it all. We’re conveniently located, just minutes away from the theater, with luxurious, eco-friendly accommodations and fabulous on-site amenities including a rooftop lounge and dry cleaning services. For an even bigger dose of culture, check out the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara across from Center Stage Theatre, and their satellite museum right here at our hotel.

Yankee Tavern

Award-winning Santa Barbara theater company, the Producing Unit, presents Yankee Tavern until May 21. Written by Steven Dietz, the play is set in a New York City bar where cynical regulars debate their ideas on some of America’s most controversial current events.

Literary Potpourri 

Two Literary Potpourri performances — an afternoon and evening one — will hit Center Stage on May 22. This spoken-word extravaganza presents a new piece from author Christina Winn; comedic relief from P.G. Wodehouse; a story from Nobel Prize-winner, Nadine Gordimer; and even a tale that inspired an episode of the Twilight Zone. The performers will be available after the show to discuss their performances over complimentary cookies and milk. 

Santa Barbara Bike Tour Hotel

We’re extremely passionate about preserving the environment in beautiful Santa Barbara and, here at
Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, we do everything that we can to help. We’re proud to be a one of the few green hotels in the area, with sustainable initiatives literally built into our foundation — energy-efficient double-pane windows and on-demand water heaters; a drip irrigation watering system; and an air-quality improving plant-filled living wall. Amenities including a filtered water bottle refilling station, earth-friendly toiletries, water-conserving showerheads, and complimentary bicycles give you, our guest, the opportunity to make your mark in the conservation movement, as well. And, if you’re visiting us in the month of May, there are plenty of fun green things to do around town. Here are a few of our suggestions!  

Do-It-Yourself Bicycle Tours 

The Goleta Bicycle Ride is flat, 21.2 miles long ride. This route begins at Goleta Beach County Park, where you’ll pass through quiet residential areas, beautiful lemon and avocado orchards, and finally return to your starting point by riding along the Obern Trail bike path. 

For more advanced riders, the 15.9 Mountain Drive Bicycle Ride us for you. This ride takes you 800 feet above Santa Barbara for sweeping views of the city and ocean from Mountain Drive. On a really clear day, you might be able to see the Channel Islands.  

Enjoy Locally Sourced Cuisine 

Mesa Verde Restaurant is a vegan and organic restaurant that features a Mediterranean-Inspired menu boasting locally harvested ingredients. Be sure to try the roasted mushroom and vegetables burger, which packs in winter squash, carrots, chickpeas, lettuce, tomatoes, cornichons, and cashews.

For those who can’t live without their morning smoothies, make a stop at Ah Juice Organics Cafe where they promise that if they "cannot find an organic source for all ingredients in a dish, you won’t find it on our menu.” Alongside freshly pressed organic juices and smoothies, you can enjoy organic, healthy, whole-grain pastries sweetened with honey and house-made soups and salads served with locally-made artisan sourdough. 


Earth Day is right around the corner! You may be looking forward to the annual festival for the music, food, and activities, however, there is more to Earth Day than a good time with friends and family. The Earth Day celebration originated right here in sunny Santa Barbara back in 1970 after a major oil spill rocked our seaside town. At the time, it was known as the largest oil spill in the country, resulting in devastating consequences for our oceans and beaches. From that moment on, the people of Santa Barbara knew that they had to take an initiative to make sure something so destructive would never happen again. That crucial moment put the future of our city into perspective.

Fast forward a little over thirty years and you’ll end up on lower State Street looking up at our historic, building adjacent to the Funk Zone. That’s right; you’re at the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. Here at the hotel, we understand the importance of environmental consciousness, and we take many steps to ensure that we leave as small of a footprint as we can on our environment. Protecting Santa Barbara and all of its natural splendors is one of our top priorities. Learn about a few of our green features below.

  • 1.     Living Wall and Green Spaces

    While roaming through our hotel to view the art exhibition, head up to the second floor to admire our ever-blooming plant wall. Our living wall, which we call a Vertical Garden, accurately reflects our harmony with nature and the care we take to keep our natural world flourishing. Our drought friendly landscaping saves water in the best ways we know how. You’ll even notice lovely succulents adorning our outdoor terraces; just perfect for our year-round warm and sunny weather!

  • 2.     Car-Free Initiative

    We take great pride in our environmental friendliness, and we also encourage our guests to help us with our efforts by using car-free methods of transportation. Whether you take a train, bus, or bike, let us know so we can hook you up with a sweet token of appreciation! We also offer complimentary bike rentals so you can see Santa Barbara through a local’s eyes.

  • 3.     Environmentally Friendly Bathrooms

    Bathing in style doesn’t mean you can’t be green and water-wise. We give you the best of both worlds with our renowned bathing amenities, such as our natural and fragrance free Aveda products as well as our on-demand water heaters. This way you can enjoy a luxurious shower without worrying about a thing. Don’t forget about our low-flow, dual-flush toilets as well as our water-conserving shower heads!

  • 4.     Efficient Cleaning System

    Our housekeeping services clean thoroughly with as little waste and chemicals as possible. We use select eco-friendly cleaning products, such as an ionized water cleaning system, to refresh our hotel the natural way.

  • 5.     Unique, Space-Saving Design

    By preserving the historic walls and foundation of our hotel, we established a precedent for an eco-friendly space from the ground up. We incorporated space-saving features, such as wet bathrooms with convertible showers and all-in-one storage closets. The intimate nature of our rooms result in a smaller carbon footprint and provide guests with a cozy yet comfortable stay, whether they are traveling for business or for pleasure!

  • January
    posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: January 19, 2016 11:29:12 AM
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    Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara International Film Festival

    Excitement fills the air in February in anticipation of the 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF)! Drawing in crowds of ninety thousand from both near and far, including the famous, those wishing that they one day will be, the film industry insiders, and movie buffs, this festival is uniquely local. Straying from the mainstream, SBIFF praises the unconventional and the exceptional and bestows the utmost compliments on foreign, documentary, and independent films that have caught the eye of film fanatics everywhere. An array of activities including public film screenings, panel discussions, and achievement awards with many well-known celebrities such as Johnny Depp, O’Shea Jackson Dr., Rachel McAdams, and Michael Keaton await. Some celeb-sightings from the 2015 festival include Rosamond Pike (Gone Girl), Logan Lerman (Fury), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), and Danny De Vito!

    This year, take a peek at the deets on our picks for the most memorable, interesting, or downright untraditional films that deserve to be seen and, hopefully, will awe and impress you as well.


    1.      Goodnight Mommy (2014)

    This Austrian psychological thriller plays with your head in more ways than one and promises to leave you on edge while you endure plot twist after plot twist. As you traverse into the world of two young, twin boys adjusting to their mother after she has severe facial cosmetic surgery, the tension rises as they suspect that the woman behind the bandages may not be the woman she says she is. Get ready for this film’s twisted rollercoaster ride of emotions.

    2.    Room (2015)

    Brie Larson, a future winner of the SBIFF 2016 Outstanding Performer of the Year award, stars in Room, a heart-wrenching drama, which tells the story of a five-year-old boy and his mother as they are held captive in a small room for years on end. Escaping their imprisonment is one issue, but learning to live freely again is another. Make sure to grab some tissues, because as this film takes you through the hostage survivors trials and tribulations and the heartbreak that ensues, it is sure to leave tears on the ground by the time it ends.

    3.      Joy (2015)

    Delve into Joy Mangano’s (Jennifer Lawrence) world as she struggles to make a name for herself in the business world and break down its barriers, while juggling her dysfunctional family, ex-husband, kids, and job. Through perseverance and sheer brilliance, she invents a self-wringing mop she believes will change the mopping world forever. However, after facing a series of issues, she’s compelled to give up on her dream, but instead pushes through the struggles towards the path of success.

    4. The Lost City of Cecil B. Demille

    After creating the film The Ten Commandments in 1923, Cecil B. DeMille buried its gigantic Egyptian city movie set in the Santa Barbara County Guadalupe sand dunes. Fascinated by this buried Hollywood treasure, Peter Bronson sets out to find the ruins and delve into their history. Follow his expedition as he takes a step back in time and uncovers a piece of the past that has remained untouched for the last 60 years right in our own backyard!

    5.      I Eat, Therefore I Am

    This South Korean drama focuses on an aspiring writer’s journey of rediscovery as she searches for success in a difficult field and finds solace in a hot meal at the end of the day. This film is not a film about food, but it’s about the people that eat the food; so open your minds and your stomachs as you follow this culinary adventure!

    Check out SBIFF's website for a complete schedule of events and film screenings.

    Phil Argent, Untitled (Go Between), 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 28 x 40 inches, Courtesy the Artist

    It’s one of life’s most undeniable truths — things change. Whether within ourselves or around us, no matter how subtle or obvious, things evolve, grow, and transform. The new Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) Satellite at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara exhibition Shift, Stretch, Expand: Everyday Transformations, on display here from January 30, 2016 until January 22, 2017, explores this inherent truth and the inconspicuous processes of the everyday. 

    Shift, Stretch, Expand: Everyday Transformations showcases the work of a group of nine Santa Barbara County artists: Phil Argent, Weslie Ching, Petra Cortright, George Legrady, Kyra Lehman, Rebekah Miles, Maria Rendón, Stephanie Washburn, and Russell Young. Through their diverse and multifaceted pieces, which will be displayed throughout our boutique hotel property, the artists inspect changes in various forms by questioning limitations, pushing boundaries, and dashing expectations.

    “Through MCASB’s distinct collaboration with Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, contemporary art becomes more accessible to the general public and those who are unfamiliar with the museum,” explains Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara Associate Curator Brooke Kellaway. “This exhibition, in a hotel, a space of ongoing transitions, features artists who cleverly riff off of these broad themes of movement and transition, processes that, however imperceptible, shape who we are, how we think, and relate to each other.”

    We invite you to stay with us at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara and experience this exhibition first hand at one of America’s top Art Hotels. Staying with us offers a refreshing escape from the everyday, with a dedicated Art Library, photo murals in every room and a location that puts you in the heart of Santa Barbara’s culturally vibrant core. There’s no better hotel in Santa Barbara for immersing yourself in the art, culture and hospitality of this amazing city. We look forward to welcoming you.

    posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: January 12, 2016 12:11:15 PM
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    The MCASB Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara exhibition Magic Mountain ran from March 8, 2015 to January 17, 2016

    For centuries, travelers to remote mountain villages, seaside escapes, desert oases, and elsewhere, have sought out nature’s curative properties. Whether it’s to find the elixir of life, or to practice sungazing; to harvest mud for beauty masks or to dig for healing rocks, the searches are motivated by a belief in nature’s bewitching attributes that often transcends scientific explanation. This exhibition investigates the inspiration for some of these quests and obsessions, and the truths, mysteries, antidotes, and rabbit holes that arise along the way. The artists’ works bring to light the mythologies and marketplace of nature cures—spiritual, physical, and psychological—at a time when humankind’s relationship to the environment is rapidly changing.

    Participating artists included Zachary Cahill, Alyse Emdur, Chris Johanson, Boris Mikhailov, Yunhee Min, Shana Moulton, John Newling, Johan Rosenmunthe, Truong Cong Tung, and Hannah Vainstein.

    Yunhee Min

    Yunhee Min, Mountains and Sea (for my father), 2015, Acrylic on brick wall, 27 x 81 ft., Courtesy the Artist. Photo: Rebecca Klapper

    Zachary Cahill
    Zachary Cahill, USSADREAM, 2014, 9 x 12 in., Watercolor on paper, Courtesy the Artist

    Truong Cong Tung
    Truong Cong Tung, Magical Garden, 2012-14, Photograph, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist

    posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: January 9, 2016 7:02:45 AM
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    SBIFF Follow$Flix Giveaway

    The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is gearing up for the 2016 season (February 3–13, 2016) and we’ve got your tixs! 4-film Minipaks will be given away to 2 new followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram each.  To win, follow us on the platform of your choice and like or favorite our #Follow4Flix post.

    Entries will be accepted from January 18­­–31, 2016. Winners will be selected at random and notified via social media. Winners pick up SBIFF minipaks at the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, 121 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 no earlier than February 3. Hotel may mention your handle, and use your likeness on social media and on our website blog in relation to the #Follow4Flix giveaway.  You will need to show your logged-in handle when you pick up your minipak at the hotel to verify your identity. If Minipak is not picked up by noon on February 5th, winner forfeits the Minipak.  No purchase necessary to win.

    Congratulations to our winners Ava Talehakimi, Vostok Bernal, @805BeachBoy, @mgmigt, @amandaalmada_, and @funky_fresh_felicia! Thank you for following us and we hope you enjoy SBIFF! We can't wait to hear which films you liked this year!

    posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: December 21, 2015 6:31:31 PM
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    Known for its charm and artistic flare, the Funk Zone, a small neighborhood located near the waterfront, draws in crowds both young and old. Whether you are a twenty-one year old eager to cultivate your palate or a mature connoisseur of fine wine, everyone can find a spot to suit in this quirky little pocket of Santa Barbara. However, there is more to the Funk Zone than wineries. Amidst the many wine-tasting rooms, delicious restaurants, both casual and fancy; art galleries; museums; and some peculiar Street Art flourish amongst the area’s signature warehouses.

    Although the Urban Wine Trail may be the Funk Zone’s most well known attraction, its underrated diverse and hip eating establishments stand out, vary in appeal from light to heavy wallets, and help put the “funk” in the Funk Zone.

    1.) The Lark

    Known for contemporary, upscale cuisine, the Lark’s delicately thought-out menu is the perfect choice for an extravagant night on the town. Ranging from the farm to the ocean, this restaurant’s Duck Liver Mousse and Pineapple, Habanero Glazed Spanish Octopus deliver unrivaled taste sensations. Remember to try the Honey Cremeux with a glass of their finest Sparkling Gamay!

    2.) Mony's Taqueria

    Whether you are on your thirty-minute lunch break or simply stopping by for some good company and grub, the next place on this list is a hidden gem that beckons locals and visitors alike with its mouthwatering (and affordable) tacos. There is no better way to celebrate Taco Tuesday than heading to Mony’s Taqueria where you have an abundance of Mexican favorites at your fingertips, as well as a self-serve salsa bar, in a low-key environment.

    3.) Lucky Penny

    Combining handcrafted technique with local, wood-fired ingredients, Lucky Penny  satisfies even the strongest craving for a slice of pizza or three. This pizza palace acquired its name from the outside of the building, which is covered in thousands upon thousands of pennies, giving it an extremely RUST-ic feel. When you are pizza’d out, Lucky Penny serves breakfast dishes such as House-made Granola or Lucky Penny Wood-Fired Eggs

    4.) Metropulos 

    Pop into Metropulos, a Mediterranean-inspired sandwich and charcuterie shop, that creates delectable sandwiches and breakfasts from the best of the best ingredients. Their homemade aioli sauces elevate sandwiches to a whole new level. In addition, browse their ingredients selection for picnic options that bring this trendy shop to the top of a foodie’s checklist.

    5.) Rebar Coffee

    Rebar coffee

    Rebar, a new coffee joint only steps away from our front door, provides the yummiest options if you are having one of those "breakfast in bed" kind of days. Whether you would like espresso chocolate brioche french toast delivered straight to your room or you want to go out for a coffee and a stroll, Rebar can accommodate either preference. It's simply the perfect spot for a little A.M. pick-me-up!

    Photo courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara / Jay Sinclair

    Santa Barbara is a haven for diverse cuisine, libations, and activities. What better way to enjoy all that the south coast has to offer than with a month-long celebration of culture? 
    epicure.sb does just that and shares Santa Barbara's bounty through a wide variety of exclusive experiences and events. Now in its seventh edition, the program features over 55 local businesses participating in this year’s Perfect Pairing theme. Take a look at some of our picks for epicure.sb below! 

    Relais de Paris 

    Opened in 1972, this elegant little French bistro is modeled after a 19th century French brasserie. The award-winning restaurant uses fresh, local ingredients to create simple, traditional French dishes like soupe à l'oignon gratinée and entrecôte, which uses a prized steak sauce for which the recipe has remained a secret since it was created in 1959. For epicure.sb, guests can enjoy a special three-course menu that features some of Relais de Paris’ favorite plates. Admission is $40 per person, $49 with a glass of wine. 

    Little Door Santa Barbara

    Along with live music every night, Little Door Santa Barbara offers an eclectic French Mediterranean menu and a serene ambiance — be sure to take a gander at their view of the Sunken Garden at the Sanata Barbara Country Courthouse. Discounted fixed lunch and dinner menus will be available from Tuesday to Saturday for epicure.sb. For $20, lunch will include Spanish paella and sangria; a sunset cocktail, appetizer, and entree will be offered at $40 for dinner. And don’t forget to take pictures of your meal and share them on social media! Use the hashtags #epicureSB, #littledoorSB, or #eyeseeSB. Lunch runs from 11:00am to 2:00pm; dinner from 5:00pm to 11:00pm. 

    Jaffurs Wine Cellars

    Craig Jaffurs has been making wines since 1989 and has received critical praise for his products by esteemed publications from Decanter to the Wall Street Journal. For epicure.sb, Jaffurs Wine Cellars has joined forces with the Black Sheep Restaurant for daily pairings of surf, turf, and vegetables with three wines for $49. Take a look at the full menu here.

    Tamales and Tequila Tasting 

    On October 25 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm, owner and chef of Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go Richard Lambert will teach the techniques he uses to make his award-winning tamales and salsas in an hour-long class. Participants will get to enjoy an array of tamales, each of which will be paired with Tequila Alquimia, a gold medal-winning sipping tequila. Tickets are $30 per person and include food, drink, and printed recipes.

    If you’re going to be in Santa Barbara for epicure.sb, be sure to book your stay with us here at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. We are offering a special day-to-night package for the program, which includes a Corks n Crowns two-for-one wine tasting, a night in a King guest room (valued at $350), and our handy drawstring, water-resistant backpack that’s filled with convenient and fun treats like Smart Water, a Santa Barbara Bar, baseball caps, and an Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara Frisbee and beach ball.

    Planning a visit in October?  October offers a perfect introduction to Santa Barbara's rich Asian American history and culture.

    Asakura Hotel, Ca 1915. Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, Presidio Research Center, gift of Julie Asakura Slagle.

    Asakura Hotel, Ca 1915. Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, Presidio Research Center, gift of Julie Asakura Slagle. 

    Nihonmachi Revisited: Santa Barbara's Japanese American Community in Transition, 1900-1940 is now on view at el Presidio de Sánta Barbara. The Presidio is located at a distinctive place in Santa Barbara, being both the site of a Spanish fort and a once thriving Nihonmachi (Japan Town). This insightful exhibition highlights our historic Nihonmachi with a collection of obscure photographs and accounts of daily life from local residents and families as well as fragments of elegant, Japanese ceramics excavated on site. Open Daily from 10:30am–4:30pm at 123 E. Canon Perdido Street in downtown Santa Barbara. For more info please call 805-965-0093 or visit their website here.

    Hosted by Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, the Asian American Neighborhood Festival kicks off on October 11 at 11am (goes until 4pm) also at the Presidio. Unfortunately, many of the early structures, which housed Chinese and Japanese residents during the late 19th and early 20th century in the Presidio neighborhood, were destroyed in an earthquake in 1925, but the influence of the communities live on. Celebrate with performances by local shooting star Jason Paris; Filipino American, guitar virtuoso Florante Aguilar; dancers from Sino West and the Camarillo Lion Dance Troupe; and demonstrations including taiko drumming, Japanese flute, calligraphy, origami, hula dancing, and more. Admission is free! Info and calendar...

     Asian American Neighborhood Festival 2014 by Dr. Paul Mori

    Asian American Neighborhood Festival 2014 by Dr. Paul Mori, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

    Grab a drink or a bite while admiring the history of the area at The Pickle Room, located across the street from the Presidio on East Canon Perdido Street. Formerly Jimmy's Chinese Restaurant, this is one of the few remaining structures from Santa Barbara's Chinatown and a trendy, fusion bar. Read up on its history and reincarnation as one of Santa Barbara's favorite bars here

    Supplement these explorations with an informative glimpse of Asian art and culture from abroad at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Asian Art Collection. Filled with ancient robes, wood and stone religious sculptures, ceramic works, textiles, ceramics, jade, and Tibetan art, the collection was started at the museum's inception in 1941. Currently on view, Visions of Modernity: 20th-Century Japanese Woodblock Prints shows the influence of Western artistic practices on Japanese printmakers. The museum is open Tuesday–Sunday from 11am–5pm, and Thursdays until 8pm and is located at 1130 State Street. For more information, please visit their website here.

    Arigato Sushi Restaurant

    Hungry for some Asian cuisine to compliment your day about town? China Pavilion offers dim sum on the weekends, 11 am to 3pm, and a Chinese menu with authentic specialties. Arigato is the place to see and be seen and star watch over sushi. For a unique Japanese dining experience, check out the traditional seasonally inspired, multi-course meals (kaiseki) at Yoichi’s.