In the end, we took a one-night trip to the Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara, part of the Hyatt Unbound Collection. It represented a perfect “compromise” to my Thanksgiving travel dilemma.
A Return To The Mar Monte, A Hyatt Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA
With new cases of COVID-19 growing at an alarming rate in California, I wanted to balance caution with a desire to enjoy some socialy-distanced family time free from the distractions of Los Angeles. In the end, we chose to spend one night in Santa Barbara, which turned out to be a lovely stay.
The drive up US-101 along the ocean to Santa Barbara is a pleasure in itself. We arrived in the late afternoon and found the hotel not nearly as crowded as last time.
We were upgraded to an oceanview room in the Santa Cruz building with two queen beds…this was a complimentary stay (remember the neighbor incident last time?). Inside, we not only found a nice ocean view but a beautiful charcuterie plate and some cookies with a gracious note from the GM.
While my wife and I shared one bed, four-year-old Augustine had a queen bed to himself…
Last time, the pool was full. This time we had it to ourselves. Last time we had a long wait for a breakfast table. This time, there was no wait at all.
A Tasty Breakfast
Speaking of breakfast, instead of bacon and eggs, I ordered a “multigrain bowl” with kuroda carrot hummus, quinoa and black rice, a soft-cooked egg, tuscan kale, and pistachios.
It was delicious…and healthy. We also enjoyed some berries and avocado toast. My wife ordered Mediterranean chicken salad and my son had a couple eggs.
The espresso, from Spearhead Coffee in Paso Robles, is tremendous and I enjoyed a cappuccino and a green drink (apple, kiwi, pineapple,
coconut milk, baby spinach, kale, orange blossom honey, spirulina, wheat grass, chlorophyll) as well.
Not only was the breakfast tasty, but we experienced excellent service from Erik, who was attentive, diligent, and courteous. My wife really felt like salad from the lunch menu and technically we were too early. But he asked the kitchen for us and they obliged. Same with our request for berries (versus the usual dates + grapes).
One other recommendation. The scones are truly wonderful. They’re from a local bakery and simply delicious. I had mine with coffee in the afternoon.
We took a walk around State Street and enjoyed some more great coffee at Caje on 416 East Haley Street. Back at the hotel, we went swimming again before heading home.
The rest of the weekend we spent at home and were able to complete many household tasks and enjoy quality time around the table. But the 36-hour escape to Santa Barbara, giving us easy access to both a swimming pool and ocean as well as a break from cooking, proved to be a relatively safe, relaxing getaway.
My return to the Mar Monte Hotel was a great one. Have you stayed in this hotel? How was it?