Drift Santa Barbara boutique hotel opens on State Street
Drift Santa Barbara has opened in the heart of downtown with minimalist interiors, a café, and a Baja-inspired agave and raw bar.
The 45-key boutique hotel at 524 State St. on the site of the longtime Church of Scientology building is the first U.S. property to open under TMC Hospitality’s Drift Hotels brand, following Drift San José del Cabo’s November 2021 opening.
Drift Palm Springs is slated to also open in early 2023, followed by Drift Nashville soon after.
“We’re proud to introduce the Drift Hotels brand to our home state of California,” said Philip Bates, co-founder and CEO of Irvine-based TMC Hospitality. “Drift is a unique hotel experience geared toward bringing travelers and the community together, and the Santa Barbara locale is an harmonious addition to the energetic State Street.”
TMC Hospitality’s vision was executed in partnership with the award-winning local architecture firm Anacapa. Modern interior design complements and contrasts the carefully preserved and restored, traditional Mediterranean architectural bones.
At the entry, a bold, minimalist aesthetic creates a relaxed ambiance reminiscent of the Drift brand’s San José del Cabo roots while paying homage to California’s breezy, coastal vibe.
Guests will notice a strong juxtaposition of old and new throughout the space with suspended floor joists salvaged from the original build featured on the first floor as well as in the Penthouse Suite.
Throughout the hotel, floor-to-ceiling windows embrace natural light and the shoreside breeze, framing views of both the bustle of State Street and the tranquility of the Santa Ynez Mountains. This uniting of interior and exterior elements includes design details made from materials including oak, concrete and brass.
Local touches such as artwork by Will Adler and Anacapa Ceramics further tie the property to Santa Barbara.
Drift Santa Barbara’s guest rooms feature neutral hues and custom handmade millwork. Room types include the Bunk, Standard (city view and mountain view), Premium (city view, mountain view and State Street view) and the Drift Penthouse.
Each offers room amenities including custom-scented bath products with notes of desert marigold and sandalwood and with balconies offered in both the Premium city view guest room and the Penthouse Suite.
The Penthouse Suite is outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor lounge and fire pit overlooking State Street, the Santa Ynez mountain range and the Santa Barbara coast.
Drift Santa Barbara is home to two first floor eateries, Dawn and Dusk, which greet guests upon arrival. Dawn is a bright and airy café inspired by Southern California and its surf culture.
The café serves Good Citizen Coffee Co.’s products, local pastries and savory house-baked treats in a light and inviting space adorned with warm textiles, natural wood and white walls.
In contrast, Dusk is a moody Baja-inspired agave and raw bar ensconced in dark steel and raw wood. The rotating menu features signature cocktails like the Picante Amante, made with pink peppercorn tequila blanco, mezcal, prickly pear, lime and habanero as well as an assortment of frozen cocktails, agave classics and non-alcoholic libations.
The seasonal food menu features lighter fare such as roasted corn nuts and guacamole in addition to coastal favorites like a ceviche tostada made with a daily market catch.
Both Dawn and Dusk extend into State Street’s promenade with communal tables that invite guests and locals to enjoy each other’s company.
Drift Santa Barbara sits conveniently in the heart of downtown on State Street’s expansive, 10-block pedestrian-only promenade. It is located within walking distance to city favorites such as West Beach, Alameda Park and the Funk Zone.
To provide the ultimate coastal stay, Drift Santa Barbara offers complimentary experiences for all guests including:
— Yoga Serenity: Yoga mats and yoga blocks are available for rental in the lobby.
— Surf Package: You can hit the lineup with a 9’2” Almond longboard and catch some waves early and often. Universal soft racks for cars are available upon request.
— Explore by Bike: You can rent Dutch-style city bikes in the lobby and enjoy the moderate year-round climate on wheels.
In 2021, Drift emerged as the second brand from TMC Hospitality founded by Mr. Bates. Drift encourages authentic travel experiences that draw from the surrounding area with services that seek to engrain guests into the culture.