When you look at this painting, what do you see?
Do you see a rose? Do you see a beach with waves crashing? Do you see beauty and color? Do you see Santa Barbara? Do you see a piece of art or a colorful mess that your child could have painted?
What do you see?
Last month I went on a business trip to Santa Barbara, California. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore downtown, but I did go for a walk on the pier and spent a few hours just enjoying the sun and surf.
There’s something about Santa Barbara that speaks to me. It might be the beautiful weather or maybe the palm trees. Or maybe the colorful accents that so perfectly contrast the white buildings that line the streets. Some places just get under your skin and stay there; Santa Barbara is one of those places for me. Anna Maria Island is another.
But like the painting above that I found in the Hotel Indigo art gallery, it’s possible other people don’t see what I see.
That’s the beauty of travel and having different destinations around the world to explore. While I think Santa Barbara is unique, charming, artsy, and colorful – you might just see it as another beach town in a world full of beach towns. And that’s okay. When it comes to travel, there is no wrong answer. Everyone’s answer is right because it’s right to them. In art and in travel, that’s really all that matters – what do you see?
So why the life lesson in art and travel?
While I was in Santa Barbara, I had the chance to stay at a Hotel Indigo property for the first time ever. And I’ll be honest, when I first stepped into my room – I didn’t immediately love it. But all I needed to do was look a little closer to see why Hotel Indigo was everything I loved about Santa Barbara – unique, charming, artsy, and colorful.
Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara
The Hotel Indigo brand prides itself not on being the biggest or the most luxurious hotel on the block, it prides itself on being individual. On being authentic. On being a reflection of the neighborhood around it.
It took me taking the time to walk the streets and beaches of Santa Barbara to appreciate Hotel Indigo for what it is – a place to stay that allows you to really stay in your destination, not just stay in a hotel located in your destination.
From the small art gallery inside Hotel Indigo representing the nearby Funk Zone to the tiled artwork on the patio reminiscent of the street benches on the pier, every inch of Hotel Indigo is planned out with the surrounding community in mind. Even the bright pink and orange colorings of my room matched flowers and plants down the street.
It doesn’t stop there.
The staff members are from the local area and can give you real suggestions on the best food to eat, things to do, and places to wander. And the snacks available are ones sourced from local vendors and produced in the area. When those snacks didn’t cut it for breakfast, the staff member at the front desk told me about a little local bakery around the corner that serves killer pastries. It was almost like she could read my mind.
That wasn’t the only tip they gave me during my stay. They knew how long it would take me to walk to the Funk Zone, they knew the schedule of the Santa Barbara beach shuttle, and they even gave me a great suggestion on somewhere I could go look for red carpet dresses in downtown after I got invited to the Thor red carpet premiere. It’s like when you go to a grocery store and all the team members know what aisle things are on – except the Hotel Indigo staff knew an entire city, not just a grocery store.
If you’re looking for the biggest hotel in Santa Barbara or one that’s right on the beach, Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara may not be for you. But who knows, it still may be. All it takes is a little change in perspective to discover a different side of things and maybe that other side is actually what you were looking for all along, you just didn’t know it.
And like I know I’ll be back to Santa Barbara again soon, I’ll definitely be booking another stay at Hotel Indigo wherever my travels take me.
In addition to Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, the Hotel Indigo brand has 94 other properties throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and one location in Central-America. Every property is in a vibrant location that will let you truly experience and discover what your destination is all about. Find a location near you or near a place you’d like to explore here.