Travel Destinations

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hotel Review: Central California’s Radisson Santa Maria

Radisson Santa Maria

We were recently invited by Club Carlson to stay at one of their hotels, so we chose to enjoy a weekend getaway to Santa Maria in Central California and stay at the Radisson Santa Maria.  When I was researching which property we would visit, I was impressed to find the Radisson Santa Maria was listed number one of 20 hotels in the city on TripAdvisor.  I was also intrigued that some of the prime rooms have runway views. 

Runway Views

Santa Maria Airport Runway Radisson Santa Maria
The view from our room complete with runway and cows.
Granted an airport hotel isn’t usually one that is sought after unless you have an early flight.  Airport hotels are usually more for convenience and far away from where you want to be on vacation.  However, the Radisson Santa Maria is different.  Seeing the blue lights lit up on the runway at night is a perk, not a detraction.  Plus, Santa Maria is a small town so nowhere in town is far away.

The Santa Maria Airport is not a bustling airport with commercial flights flying in and out all day.  In fact, the tiny airport has only two small ticket desks, one for United and the other for Allegiant, and one baggage carousel.  The majority of the flights coming in and out of the airport are small, privately owned planes.  So, if you have a room with a runway view, it’s not unusual to see a private plane or two, or three, hanging out on the tarmac.  AV Geeks especially will love this view.

Large Comfortable Rooms with Amenities

Radisson Santa Maria Business Class Room
Business Class room complete with robes and slippers.
The Radisson Santa Maria is a business-class hotel with 184 spacious hotel rooms and suites.  All rooms have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi (something all hotels should have but don’t), refrigerators, coffee makers, and safes.  Coffee and bottled water are provided every day free of charge.

We got to stay in one of the Business Class rooms which have a few extra amenities.  These rooms have extra space for the business traveler.  They also include nice little extras like bathrobes and slippers.

Radisson Santa Maria Bathroom Amenities
Sometimes it's the little things in life that make me happy, and in this case it was the provided shower pouf.
What I really appreciated were the bathroom amenities.  All hotels provide soap, shampoo, lotion, and sometimes conditioner.  The Radisson Santa Maria provides a few extra amenities like shower gel, mouthwash, and a sewing kit.  But the amenity that excited me the most was the shower pouf.  I can’t travel without one even though they take up valuable luggage space.  I can’t remember ever staying at a hotel that provided one, but I think it’s a trend that should become popular.

Inviting Common Areas

Radisson Santa Maria Atrium
The atrium provides wide open spaces.
When we first walked into the Radisson Santa Maria we were greeted by a spacious atrium in the center of the hotel.  The common area of the hotel is very inviting for hanging out and relaxing.  The hotel is four floors and the lobby is open all the way up.  Some of the rooms have balconies that open into the hotel’s atrium, which I thought was unique and unusual and for some reason reminded me of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Land.  Another fun touch is the glass enclosed elevators.

Vintner's Bar & Grill Radisson Santa Maria
Vintner's Bar & Grill.
The Radisson Santa Maria has a very good in-house restaurant called the Vintner's Bar & Grill.  Since we drove in from San Diego on a Friday night after work, there wasn’t enough time to bring everything to the room and then head out again to find dinner.  It was so convenient to have a restaurant on the property and a very good restaurant at that.

Vintner's Bar & Grill Mac and Cheese Radisson Santa Maria Baby Greens Salad Vintner's Bar & Grill Radisson Santa Maria

I ordered a very simple meal of mac and cheese and a green salad, but that simple meal not only hit the spot, it also surprised me with the quality and flavors.  The mac and cheese has five cheeses and every forkful caused stretchy strings of cheese.  The salad was fresh and flavorful, probably because the vegetables came fresh from the farms that surround Santa Maria.  The green goddess dressing was delightful and the salad had some unusual tasty toppings like pickled yellow shallots and shaved vegetables as well as goat cheese.  Next door to the restaurant is the bar which has live music on the weekends.

Sunday Brunch Seafood Radisson Santa Maria Sunday Brunch Dessert Table Radisson Santa Maria

A breakfast buffet is served every morning for an additional cost.  On Sunday mornings the Radisson Santa Maria hosts a very impressive Sunday brunch.  As we rode down the elevator the first thing we noticed from a few floors up was a table completely covered in crab legs, shrimp, and oysters.  There was also a carving table with prime rib and ham and a dessert table covered with slices of cake.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Pet Friendly Radisson Santa Maria Henry Belarmino
The Radisson Santa Maria is Henry approved.
Another favorite feature of mine is that the Radisson Santa Maria is a proudly pet-friendly hotel.  Santa Maria isn’t necessarily known as being a pet-friendly destination, but we found our two small dogs were welcome at a number of places, including our hotel.

While the hotel doesn’t encourage leaving pets unaccompanied in the rooms all day long, it is possible to leave them when visiting some of Santa Maria’s not so pet-friendly attractions or when dining in the restaurant.  Just be sure to provide a cell phone number so the hotel can contact you right away if there are any issues.  Also be sure not to abuse the privilege as it is so hard to find hotels that allow this.  Call ahead if you’re bringing your pet to confirm the hotel’s current pet policy.

Henry and Charlie decided they also approve of the Radisson Santa Maria.  They were very comfortable in the room.  While there were a number of people staying in the hotel, it was very quiet and not much outside noise could be heard in our room, which meant the dogs were never disturbed or made to feel nervous and, therefore, weren’t tempted to bark.  They also enjoyed all of the grassy areas outside and the walk from the hotel to the airport, which is a nice sidewalk along a quiet street perfect for dog walking.

Santa Maria is a small town in Central California wine country.  Since it is small, there aren’t a huge number of hotels from which to choose.  The Radisson Santa Maria is a great choice for travelers who want to enjoy a Santa Maria weekend getaway in spacious comfortable rooms close to Santa Maria’s barbecue joints, wineries, and berry stands.  If you can get a room with a runway view, that’s a bonus in my book.

Thank you to Club Carlson for hosting our stay at the Radisson Hotel Santa Maria and making this post possible.  As always, all opinions are my own.

For a chance to win 75,000 points to use towards a stay at one of Club Carlson’s properties anywhere in the world, enter Club Carlson’s #AroundTheWorldIn75Days contest by commenting on their Instagram post with one destination still on your travel bucket list.  The last day to enter the current entry period is July 16, 2015.

Travel the World: Hotel review of the Radisson Santa Maria in Central California.

Katherine Belarmino and Romeo Belarmino are the authors of Travel the World, a travel blog for the everyday working stiff. They work full-time in non-travel related jobs, but take every opportunity they can to travel the world during their limited vacation time.