Remodeled and rebranded, historic property opens in downtown area
After an extensive remodel and rebrand, Hotel Virginia Santa Barbara has opened its doors as the latest addition in Pacifica Hotel’s Tapestry Collection by Hilton.
Now offering 61 guest rooms and suites, the property includes personalized services and complimentary WiFi and more.
Guests can dine at the new on-site eatery, Brisa Café + Bar, which serves coastal comfort dishes including a refreshing acai bowl and Californian favorite, the breakfast burrito.
For those on the move, Brisa Café + Bar is ready for whatever the day will bring with grab-and-go options, cold pressed juices and a special focus on coffee culture with selections from local roasters.
The newly renovated Hotel Virginia Santa Barbara is a far cry from the original structure, which was built in 1916 at 17 W. Haley St. as a two-story brick hotel by Charles Maas.
According to an informative bronze plaque on the hotel’s exterior, “Haley at this time was a residential street with small redwood homes set on large lots. The construction of the hotel, just off State Street, Santa Barbara’s primary commercial street, marked the entry of commercial buildings on Haley Street.
“In 1922, Maas’s next door neighbor, Freas Hayman, demolished his home and constructed a three-story hotel adjacent to the Virginia Hotel at 21-31 West Haley Street. Although separate buildings, the hotels were linked on the upper floors and functioned as a separate unit.”
When the 1925 earthquake in Santa Barbara damaged the buildings but did not destroy them, Mr. Maas and Mr. Hayman hired the Los Angeles architect, C.K. Denman, to make repairs.
“His Spanish Colonial Revival design unified the facades of the two buildings and was applauded by the city of Santa Barbara as part of its on-going desire to create an image for itself as a romantic Spanish town,” according to the plaque.
“As early as 1909, Santa Barbara was looking for a visual image with which to link its Spanish past to future development within the city.”
During the many decades after the 1925 reconstruction, the hotel fell into a state of disrepair.
“In 1998, Laurie and Marc Recordon, local Santa Barbara investors, bought the Virginia hotel property and completed a major renovation. In keeping its link to the Spanish past, the hotel reopened with much of the original character of this historic hotel.”
In March 2000, the hotel was designated by the city of Santa Barbara as a local landmark.
“We are excited for the opening of Hotel Virginia Santa Barbara as we continue our partnership with Tapestry Collection by Hilton,” said John Pedlow, chief operating officer at Pacifica Hotels. “Santa Barbara is such a special destination, and this hotel will truly immerse guests in all that the California coastal lifestyle has to offer.”