Santa Barbara offers an effortless blend of laid-back Californian cool and rich Spanish influences. From its pristine beaches to renowned food and wine, Santa Barbara is a destination you’ll never get tired of.
The unique accommodation in Santa Barbara is as eclectic as its list of things to see and do. Whatever your travel style or budget, you’ll find something to suit your needs here.
Among them, you’ll find a growing number of eco-resorts. These ensure that you won’t need to compromise your commitment to environmental sustainability while you’re on holiday. Whether you’re staying in a beachfront chalet or a secluded treehouse, you can rest assured knowing that you’re not harming your surroundings.
We’ve listed the best eco-resorts in Santa Barbara to help you navigate the variety of options on offer. We’ve included something for every travel style, so you can spend less time researching and more time planning your itinerary!
In a Hurry? Here’s Where to Stay in Santa Barbara for One Night
Is this amazing Santa Barbara Eco Resort booked for your dates? We’ve got your back with our other favorite properties below!
Why Stay in an Eco-Resort in Santa Barbara?
California is known for trailblazing environmental awareness in the United States, and the focus on sustainable living is strong here. As a visitor, choosing an eco-resort allows you to experience nature up close in a unique and memorable way. Options can range from refurbished historic homesteads and forest hideaways to modern high-tech villas. And, while they all look very different, they share a common desire to leave a minimal footprint on the planet.
Initiatives include recycling, reducing energy and water consumption, or using renewable energy. Whatever their methods, these eco-resorts in Santa Barbara will allow you to travel sustainably. In addition, eco-resorts are also committed to uplifting local communities through supporting local artisans and businesses. They offer guests the opportunity to explore local culture and heritage in a more meaningful way.
What is an Eco-Resort?
An eco-resort can be any kind of unique accommodation that strives towards being sustainable. Using solar energy or water-efficient toilets and showers, recycling, and composting waste are all popular methods. Any activity that aims to minimize the impact on the environment contributes to eco-resort status.
In addition to this, an eco-resort can also strive to uplift and support local communities by purchasing from local producers. They also use services from local businesses such as tour guides and transportation.
Private Tiny Studio
- > $
- > 2 Guests
- > Compact living in a convenient location
- > Modern and minimalist micro-apartment
- > $
- > 2 Guests
- > Urban living in a great location
- > Great views from the deck
Stunning exclusive yurt
- > $$
- > 2 Guests
- > Pristine natural surrounds
- > Soulful space close to nature, but not too far out
Fantastical cottage on large epic dream land
- > $$
- > 2 Guests
- > Quirky eco-cabin in the woods
- > One-of-a-kind and off-the-grid
Santa Barbara Beach Estate
- > $$$$
- > 10 Guests
- > Exquisite luxury villa with sweeping views
- > Airy and light, built to honor nature
Under the Oaks
- > $$
- > 8 Guests
- > Family estate featuring antiques and collectibles
- > Surrounded by lovingly tended gardens
- > $$$
- > 6 Guests
- > Sophistication and comfort at the beach
- > Serene retreat with easy access to top attractions
Top 10 Eco-Resorts in Santa Barbara
In this list, we’ve included eco-resorts to suit every travel style and budget. All options offer a comfortable and well-operated stay while remaining sensitive to the local people and planet.
Overall Best Value Eco-Resort in Santa Barbara – Private Tiny Studio
- 2 Guests
- Compact living in a convenient location
- Modern and minimalist micro-apartment
This private tiny studio apartment in Santa Barbara offers all the modern conveniences for a comfortable stay. Perfect for single travelers or couples, the apartment is small in size but big on comfort.
The apartment is built from natural materials, including wooden floors and ceilings and a pebble shower. It minimizes water wastage using a dual-flush toilet. Its proximity to top sites means that guests can walk to most places of interest.
Guests can relax on their private deck or head out to explore the vibrant neighborhood. State Street and the popular Funk Zone are all within a 10-minute walk. The waterfront and beach are also close by, where you’ll find many restaurants and bars.
Best Value Eco-Resort in Santa Barbara – Papa Dux
- 2 Guests
- Urban living in a great location
- Great views from the deck
Located on the top floor of the Dux, a three-floor boutique hotel, Papa Dux is a quirky loft space. The accommodation offers all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
The apartment is built into a landscaped compound with fruit trees that guests can pick from. There’s a water-filtration system that guests can fill reusable bottles from, and bicycles to get around.
The apartment sits on the urban wine route of Santa Barbara within easy walking distance of top attractions. It’s situated on the border of the Funk Zone near State Street, close to the beach and waterfront.
Best Eco-Resort for Couples – Stunning exclusive yurt
- 2 Guests
- Pristine natural surrounds
- Soulful space close to nature, but not too far out
Revitalize in pristine natural settings in a unique yurt. Each yurt has a lounge area, bathroom, private deck, and a small nook with a fridge and a coffee station.
The yurts are made from heavy canvas and natural materials including wood and stone. Tucked away in vegetation, the yurts allow guests to enjoy an escape to nature. Guests are encouraged to reconnect with the surroundings and revitalize in this peaceful location.
The yurts are within easy reach of Santa Barbara’s top attractions (5 mins by car) and various other sites. Those wishing to explore the various wineries in the area will find the property perfectly positioned.
Most Ecological Eco-Resort in Santa Barbara – Fantastical cottage on large epic dream land
- 2 Guests
- Quirky eco-cabin in the woods
- One-of-a-kind and off-the-grid
Located beneath towering oaks and sycamores, this magical retreat offers a modern stay with a vintage twist. The cabin is lovingly renovated and updated to offer guests a comfortable stay in the midst of nature.
The cabin is made from natural materials, and glass designed to blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors. Guests can enjoy fresh organic eggs daily from the chickens on the property.
The cabin is close to various attractions and sites, including the wine trails. Downtown Santa Barbara is just a few minutes away by car, so you can easily explore the city.
Over-the-top Luxury Eco-Resort – Santa Barbara Beach Estate
- 10 Guests
- Exquisite luxury villa with sweeping views
- Airy and light, built to honor nature
Located on a hillside overlooking the ocean, this spacious and grand villa is perfect for families and groups. Featuring an exceptionally modern design and luxurious extras, the villa is the retreat of choice for the discerning traveler.
The décor of the house pays homage to the natural surroundings. Muted tones offset the vibrant blue of the ocean, and the large windows provide stunning views. Rain chains direct and maximize rainfall to potted plants, while the swimming pool is purified using salt rather than chlorine.
Guests can walk down to the secluded beach, or head into Santa Barbara to explore the waterfront and pier.
Best Eco-Resort for Families Visiting Santa Barbara – Under the Oaks
- 8 Guests
- Family estate featuring antiques and collectibles
- Surrounded by lovingly tended gardens
Stylish family home-away-from-home located in Mission Canyon, one of Santa Barbara’s oldest neighborhoods. This lovingly refurbished home is the perfect getaway for families, offering everything needed for a comfortable stay.
The house features many antiques, family mementos, and collectibles accumulated by visitors over the years. Towering oak trees provide a cool oasis where you can enjoy the outdoors. Filtered water is provided for guests to fill reusable bottles instead of purchasing plastic ones.
Walking through the neighborhood, you will see many beautiful homesteads dating back as far as 1880. The beach, Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, and downtown are all a short drive away.
Another Great Eco-Resort for Families Visiting Santa Barbara – Blackrock Beach House
- 13 guests
- Refurbished home with a modern feel
- Family-friendly environment with private beach
Enjoy plenty of living space and a variety of family-friendly amenities in this artfully restored and refurbished home. From the spacious and airy interiors to the outdoor decks, there’s plenty of room for the family to relax in.
The house features natural building materials including stone and wood and plenty of greenery. Bikes are provided for guests to use to get around and explore the area.
Enjoy access to one of the few private beaches in the area and spend days enjoying the Californian sunshine. The house is situated adjacent to the More Mesa Open Space which offers excellent hiking trails and views.
Amazing Luxury Eco-Resort in Santa Barbara – Harbor Retreat
- 6 Guests
- Sophistication and comfort at the beach
- Serene retreat with easy access to top attractions
Harbour Retreat offers a sleek and stylish retreat in a prime location in West Beach. The three-story house offers a warm atmosphere and homey feel with excellent views from the rooms.
The house has been made using sustainable natural materials throughout, and green construction practices. In addition, the award-winning design features innovative rainwater cisterns.
The beach, shops, restaurants, and wine tasting venues of State Street are a short walk away. The harbor is also nearby, where you can enjoy some seafood and watch the boats go by. West Beach is one of the best places to stay in Santa Barbara for nightlife, so you’ll have plenty of bars to explore during your stay.
Best Eco-Resort for a Weekend in Santa Barbara – Spanish Mission style private home
- 6 Guests
- Hacienda meets Mid-Century
- Peaceful residence in the foothills
This home is located in a peaceful residential suburb just outside of Santa Barbara. Ideal for families traveling with children, the house is perfectly equipped to meet all needs.
The house features original features and a distinct Spanish influence. The pool is heated using a solar blanket and lies within landscaped gardens. There’s also a wooden treehouse for the little ones to enjoy.
When you’re not poolside enjoying the views, put on your hiking shoes and check out the scenic trails nearby.
Eco-Resort with an Epic Location – Dreamy glass cottage
- 2 Guests
- Unique glass-walled cottage
- Forest location with easy access to the city
Tucked beneath towering sycamores, the cottage features two walls of glass that reflect the outdoors. On the outside, two mirrored walls give the illusion that the cottage disappears into the forest.
The cottage is cleverly designed to invite guests to get closer to nature. It’s located on three acres of pristine land. Outside the cottage lies a partially enclosed deck made from redwood.
The cottage’s location makes it a perfect retreat for those wanting to explore the Santa Barbara wine trails. While the cottage is remote, it’s still within easy reach of downtown Santa Barbara.
Final Thoughts on Santa Barbara Eco Resorts
Santa Barbara is blessed with exceptional beaches, superb nature, and exciting city attractions.
Our list features the best eco-resorts in Santa Barbara to illustrate the options for a sustainable and environmentally friendly stay. No matter which one you go for, you’ll get to enjoy a memorable stay with a conscience.
Once you’ve finalized your travel plans, we’d encourage you to take out some travel insurance. You’ll be able to enjoy your travels so much more knowing you’ll be covered if things don’t go to plan.
And have you thought about getting Travel Insurance for your trip? We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Find out how YOU can support the site.
We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers (that’s you!). Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂
For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a piece of gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only link to stuff that members of the Broke Backpacker team has actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support!