by Lissa Poirot
For a truly California surfer vibe, head just up the coast from Santa Barbara to the small town of Goleta, where a converted motel – now a Kimpton Hotel — has become the epitome of surfer chic. The Kimpton properties are known for their whimsy, but this property is perhaps the most whimsical of all. It’s in the details at The Goodland, from the portable record players and record collection of LPs available in every room to pet rocks for guests (forgoing Kimpton’s pet fish amenity).
Arriving at what may seem to be a small motel resting on a corner street, guests first encounter the Goodland’s Woody and Silver Bullet trailers, the latter of which becomes an artist residence in the summer for artists who make unique pieces of the motel. Walk into the small lobby and to your right, you’ll find crocheted and beaded entry into the Goodland’s 1960’s- and surfer-inspired restaurant, with outdoor seating and live, local music on select evenings. Step into the main courtyard, where a lush landscape surrounds a pool with two floors of guestrooms surrounding both, with those on the ground level offering large patios feet from the fun. Enjoy movies on the lawn, live music on weekends and evening kid-friendly social hours.
Our Editor Loves
- Nostalgic beach environment
- Patios close to the courtyard
- Courtyard pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Formerly a motel, the Goodland was completely overhauled and redesigned to create a 1960's surfer experience for guests. The two-story motel features 158 eclectic rooms and suites, each with its own features and charm. Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi access (free only for Kimpton Karma Rewards members), sitting areas, and a portable record player and LPs; a Record Concierge is available if you would like more records. Beach chic-designed rooms feature hardwood floors, coastal furnishings and art by local artisans. The courtyard rooms are most in demand, as they walk out directly to the pool and feature a private patio. Rooms are also pet-friendly, free of charge - just notify the hotel before check-in. Cribs are available upon request.
The most traditional room choices are the Deluxe Rooms, which feature one king or two double beds. They can be found on the first or second floor. The rooms on the ground level do not provide patios.
Courtyard Deluxe Rooms
An upgrade from a Deluxe Room is one of these Courtyard Deluxe Rooms, which are located on the second floor and overlook the courtyard and pool. Rooms offer a choice of two double beds, one queen or one king bed.
Courtyard Premier Rooms
The most popular room option is the Courtyard Premier Room, which overlooks the courtyard and pool from the ground level. Oversized patios connect right into the courtyard. Like the second floor Courtyard Deluxe Rooms, bed types include two double, one queen or one king bed.
Courtyard Deluxe and Premier Parlor Suites
The largest room options, Courtyard Deluxe Parlor Suites and Courtyard Premier Parlor Suites offer up to 433 square feet of space with a separate living room that features a sofa bed.
by Alan S
From the street, this is an unassuming-looking motel. The first sign that this place is more than what it seems are the vintage car and camper trailer parked outside the front doors. Upon entering through the front doors you're immediately greeted by a cozy lobby and a fireplace. To one side is a lively restaurant and to the other side is a bar. There's also a small room with a collection of vinyl records and a phonograph player. That said this place has a very hipster vibe--or as a Gen X-er, very nostalgic. Whatever renovations and decorations that were done do a very good job of masking the fact that structurally this is just a very ordinary motel. Most of the rooms surround a pool and outdoor lounge area. All the first-floor rooms have their own small patio in near proximity to the pool. With all the palm trees it has a very tropical feel. The rooms themselves are equally hip, each with their own phonograph player and a couple records to play. Both the restaurant and bar are very good. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. The one complaint I have is unfortunately becoming more and more common at places of the same quality. So while I understand The Goodland may be following the market, I'll still call it out whenever I see it. And that are hidden fees that aren't disclosed until check in. I've seen "resort fees" or "destination fees" becoming more and more common as if it's automatically tacked on regardless of how unresortlike the place is. So The Goodland adding on a "Good Life Fee" (plus tax) doesn't make it sound any better.
I must say that the customer service at this hotel is awesome but that’s about it. I respect that Kimpton has tried to take an old holiday inn and make something of it by adding some groovy paint on the walls and putting an old 1960’s Station Wagon and Airstream in the driveway but it’s still just an old holiday inn once you see past the marketing and fluff. The room walls here are so paper thin you can hear everything and everyone outside of it plus add in the window shades don’t block out the light and the beds are not very comfortable and you can forget sleeping soundly. We were just totally exhausted after our stay here for 3 nights from lack of sleep. Had we not prepaid a non refundable deposit for 3 nights we would have checked out after the first night. The food was good at the restaurant but expensive for what you got. On top of this when we checked out I was informed of a $75 resort fee for the pool and fitness room the size of a hotel room. I understand a paying a resort fee but this is far from a resort. The pool is nice but nothing special. So don’t be fooled by the marketing gimmicks. For the same money you can stay in a much nicer more comfortable hotel like we will do when we return to Santa Barbara again, which we will just not here. Sorry to write this staff as all of you were absolutely awesome and the nicest people around.
Pool and Lawn Area
The Goodland's central courtyard features a small pool surrounded by lush landscaping that is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The lawn area is a hot spot for activities, games, movie nights and social gatherings. Poolside food and drink service is available seasonally on weekends from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., between mid-April and early September.
The hotel offers complimentary bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis.
Yoga mats are included in every room, with complimentary yoga classes available on weekends.
Goleta Beach is just 5 miles from the hotel.
Just off of the lobby is the Goodland's Outpost Restaurant. Just as the rooms have a laidback, beach vibe, so, too, does the Outpost. Large garage doors roll up to create an open-air dining experience, and the menu emulates the SoCal experience with popular dishes like fish tacos, all created with local, sustainable ingredients. The restaurant provides a killer brunch on weekends, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and serves dinner daily. Dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The Good Bar
The Good Bar is equally cool with a lounge where guests can enjoy backgammon, pool and outdoor seating around a fire pit. On weekend nights, live music spills out of the bar, while every morning, from 7 to 10:30 a.m., a grab-and-go breakfast is offered. Evening service is available from 5 p.m. to close.
Hosted Social Hour
Kimpton Hotels nationwide feature evening social hours, and the Goodland often offers its social hour on the lawn overlooking the pool.
Complimentary Tea and Coffee
Every morning, guests can grab a cup of tea or coffee in the lobby - it's on the house.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wi-Fi is available to all guests at a fee. However, members of Kimpton Karma Rewards receive free Wi-Fi. It's free to enroll in the rewards program, so enroll and save to be online during your vacation. Kimpton Karma members also receive other perks, including a $10 credit for in-room mini-bars.
The resort charges a $25 daily resort fee to all guests except Kimton Karma members. It includes self-parking, the evening social hour and local music.
Pets are welcome at the Goodland, including cats and dogs of all sizes. There is no additional fee, and pets receive amenities such as food and water bowls, pet beds and maps of dog-friendly parks and places in the area. Pets are even welcome at the hotel's social hour.
The hotel's "Forgot It? We've Got It!" program offers guests travel essentials onsite that they may need during their stay, such as toothbrushes and other personal items.
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at noon.
The Art of Smart Timing
Southern California enjoys mild weather, year-round, with lots of sun. While the hotel is booked most during the summer and weekends, the perfect weather makes it a great destination any time of the year.
For visitors arriving by plane, the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport is less than 10 minutes from the hotel. A taxi to the hotel will be inexpensive, but you'll want a car to explore the area. Goleta is 10 minutes from Santa Barbara and less than two hours from Los Angeles.
Having a car will allow your family to enjoy the many beaches in the Great Santa Barbara area, as well as the mountains for hiking and wineries.
For Mom and Dad
The Goodland's Good Spa may be small, but it still provides a place to relax with massages, body treatments and facials. The spa is open on weekends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. It does not offer a sauna, steam room or hot tub facilities, and only provides quiet treatment space. In-room and poolside massages are also available.