Cheshire Cat Inn in Santa Barbara Review - A Purr-fect Place for Romance and Relaxation


Santa Barbara is known as the American Riviera. It has glorious beaches, picturesque sights, and excellent shopping. The city offers an abundance of arts and culture, outstanding food and wine, and outdoor activities galore, making it a wonderful place to visit whether for a week or a quick weekend getaway.


The Cheshire Cat Inn is warm & welcoming


Living in Los Angeles, I wanted to find a romantic spot to go for two nights, and Santa Barbara was the perfect choice. The icing on top of the cake was staying at the Cheshire Cat Inn.


I love bed and breakfasts because they are intimate and cozy, and the Cheshire Cat Inn didn’t disappoint. There are many things that make it special in the world of B&Bs.


The theme of Alice in Wonderland is carried out throughout the lovely interiors and outdoor areas of three Victorian homes that make up the Inn. The guest rooms are named after characters in the popular story. They include the White Rabbit, March Hare, Dormouse, Mad Hatter, even Tweedledum and Tweedledee. 


The Queen of Hearts Patio Room


My boyfriend and I stayed in the Queen of Hearts, comfortably appointed with a king-size bed, a sitting room, and its own outdoor patio facing the beautiful gardens in the back yard.


Patio of the Queen of Hearts Room


There are oak trees, flowers, fountains and a gazebo for guests to enjoy on a sunny California day.


Back garden at the Cheshire Cat Inn


It was cool and drizzly on the days we were there, so we enjoyed our morning repasts in the dining room in window seats facing the street. One morning meal included lox and bagels along with a choice of cereal, fruit, and croissants. The second morning, in addition to fruit, cereal, and English muffins, they served a homemade egg and sweet potato casserole that was delicious.


Mmmm...breakfast in the dining area


In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland story, the Cheshire Cat appears and disappears. Here, at the B&B, we noticed him “appear” in various places throughout the property. There are whimsical touches of the Cheshire Cat and other Alice characters inside and out. We saw delightful sculptures in the garden and numerous thematic photos and illustrations on the walls in different rooms.


Ooh, look - it's Alice in the garden!


One of my favorite things was their afternoon happy hour of wine and appetizers. They served a Santa Barbara wine along with crackers, cheese, ham, deviled eggs, rollups, and some hot hors d’oeuvres. I love meeting new people and happy hour is great for that.


It's wine o'clock at the Cheshire Cat Inn


Sitting by the fireplace in the main room, we shared stories with a couple visiting from Germany. The wife works for the Frankfurt Book Fair and I’m an author, so we had lots to chat about regarding, books, films, and even that verboten subject, politics.


Cozy fireplace in the main room for guests at happy hour or any hour


After happy hour, we headed to State Street for a late dinner and entertainment. The Inn is conveniently located, another attribute that makes it so desirable. The center of town is just a few blocks away – a healthy little jaunt and you’re at busy State Street with all kinds of restaurants and shops.


Dusk at the Cheshire Cat Inn


Then, you can return to the Cheshire Cat, back in its quiet, residential neighborhood. Before bed, you can even snag some tea and cookies in their refreshment center in the Eberle House, one of the three buildings that houses their 18 guest rooms. There’s a variety of rooms, including some with large jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces, and some that are suites with one and two-bedrooms.


Soak in a tub & get warm by the fire in the Eberle Jacuzzi Room


The gracious owners of the Cheshire Cat Inn are Jack and Christine, who have been in the hospitality business for decades. Their Inn has been operating as a B&B for some 32 years, so it’s no wonder that they know how to please their visitors. Jack told me that 80 percent of his guests are from the US, especially Los Angeles, and 20 percent are from England, Germany, Japan, China, and other foreign countries.


Whether it’s for a two-night or two-week stay, it’s a lovely, romantic, and welcoming bed and breakfast. It makes sense that it’s named the Cheshire Cat Inn because you’ll be grinning from ear-to-ear when you stay there.


Photos by Jumping Rocks Photography

36, West Valerio
Santa Barbara, CA.  93101
United States

(805) 569-1610

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