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5 Central Coast Boutique Properties

5 Central Coast Boutique Properties

These former roadside motels and hotels have transformed into trendy stays

Roadside lodging is having quite the renaissance in California’s breezy Central Coast, a prime thoroughfare for road trippers. From once-quirky inns to vintage-inspired resorts, these properties have been revamped into stylish boutique stays with elevated design and modern amenities. Pull off Highway 1 and rest your head at one of these five enticing coastal getaways—all worthy of a stay on your next trip to the Golden State.   

1. Skyview Los Alamos

Rumored to have hosted The Beatles and The Mamas & the Papas as they traveled Highway 101, Skyview is now a boutique stay for travelers looking for low-key luxury in the Santa Ynez Valley town of Los Alamos. The hotel is set on a 5-acre outpost overlooking Santa Barbara wine country. Guests will find a mid-century modern lobby with an orange enamel fireplace, vintage Scandinavian furnishings, a working vineyard, and restaurant Norman, which serves California cuisine with a country twist. While you’re in the area, check out Los Alamos’ incredible dining scene. Must-stops include local favorite Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, super chic Bodega, and Bell’s, which celebrated its first Michelin star in 2021.

California Central Coast Boutique Hotels

2. Cuyama Buckhorn

When New Cuyama was a booming oil town in the 1950s, this roadside motel served as the valley’s community hub. Today, the new and improved Cuyama Buckhorn is carrying on the tradition with vintage design and lots of western charm. Nestled in the Hidden Valley of Enchantment on the other side of Los Padres National Forest from Santa Barbara, it features 21 guest rooms with semi-private patios and a locally sourced mini bar. The property’s historic Buckhorn Restaurant & Bar offers craft cocktails and farm-to-table fare alongside classic bites like smoky pulled pork sandwiches, house chili, and a lineup of killer burgers.

3. San Luis Creek Lodge

Modern farmhouse meets beachy bohemian at the San Luis Creek Lodge in downtown San Luis Obispo. This Central Coast gem has transformed its once dark, “Old English” interior into 25 airy rooms with rattan chairs, custom cement tiles, and marble waterfall-edge countertops. Each morning, guests can expect local coffee and freshly baked pastries delivered to their doorstep before exploring the 80 plus miles of coastline and 200 some wineries around SLO CAL.

4. Hotel Ynez

Enjoy laid-back vibes and farmhouse chic ambience at this reimagined classic California motor lodge. Located just east of downtown Solvang, Hotel Ynez sits on two private acres of lush grounds complete with a garden, bocce ball court, and restored 1950s pool. Vintage touches include macrame hammocks, an in-room wood-stove fireplace, and a fleet of classic Linus bikes you can use to cruise around the picturesque town with Danish roots. Guests can grab a book from the in-room library and lounge by the fire pits in Adirondack chairs.

5. The Leta Hotel

Surf culture nostalgia and SoCal sensibility come together at this under-the-radar getaway in Goleta, just up the coast from Santa Barbara. A 1950s Ford Country Squire greets guests as they enter and a 1967 Airstream Tradewind completes the driveway. Guest rooms feature macrame wall art, TOGO-style seating, and a Crosley turntable with classic vinyl records available upon request. Music lovers will find the perfect souvenir at VYNL, The Leta’s on-site record shop.