Thursday, April 4, 2013

Santa Barbara hotel sanctuary

When we booked our hotel accommodations in Santa Barbara, we mostly went by price and reviews on sites like Travel Advisor. We ended up choosing the Ramada Limited because they had suites a very decent price, especially for Santa Barbara. We really needed the extra space because in addition to the four of us my mother was traveling with us.

Our expectation were far exceeded. While the hotel has been around for a while, the rooms are large (ours even had two balconies!) and everything was ultra clean. However, what really blew me away was the landscaping. There are two lagoons surrounded by plantings so lush, you might think you’re in Hawaii.

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Lagoon at Ramada Limited in Santa Barbara

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Lagoon at Ramada Limited in Santa Barbara

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View from our balcony

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Bamboo and hibiscus growing right below our room

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And I thought our Clivia minata at home was pretty!

You all know how much I love agaves, and the foxtail agave (Agave attenuata) is one of my favorites. Imagine how thrilled I was to see Agave attenuata literally everywhere!

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These are plants that have been around for a long time. Check out those trunks! Agave attenuata is one of the few agave species that forms a trunk over time.

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What a strange sight: an agave suspended over a body of water!

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These Agave attenuata were right below our room.

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More exotic plant life:

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Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

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Jade tree (Crassula ovata)

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Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)

Even the trees were spectacular:

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And what’s not to like about a mature sago palm (Cycas revoluta):

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The far wall of the parking lot is covered with bougainvillea in different colors:

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And did I tell you there were lots of Agave attenuata?

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Check out this baby growing right out of the trunk of the mother plant!

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When we first checked into our hotel I had no idea that Agave attenuata is as common in Santa Barbara as geraniums are in other towns! You’ll see what I mean in future posts.

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8 comments:

  1. Lucky find Gerhard, this hotel looks so fab! And the lagoon looks gorgeous! You can almost feel the lush ambience of the place just by looking at the photos.

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    1. If a relatively modest hotel (for Santa Barbara standards) has this kind of landscaping, I wonder what the upscale places look like? This truly is a spectacular city, and its wealth is evident everywhere.

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  2. Beautiful! Love the trees and trunks on the Jade and Agaves. This landscaping must certainly have contributed to a more relaxed stay, right? (Except for the fact that you were exploring, photographing, and IDing plants instead of relaxing)

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    1. I'm always out and about, even if it's just exploring the hotel grounds, especially when there is so much to see! That's my idea of relaxing.

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  3. Your Santa Barbara hotel looks to be a much better choice than where we stayed (the heater was on nonstop when we arrived (and it was hot outside!) and I got trapped in the bathroom), gorgeous! And you've brought back memories...indeed Agave attenuatta grows like weeds around those parts. Andrew compred them to tulips up here in the PNW (and not in a good way), I on the other hand LOVE them.

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    1. You got trapped in the bathroom? My younger daughter got trapped in a restaurant bathroom yesterday. Talk about weird coincidences!

      I don't like I'll ever get sick of Agave attenuata either. They literally are everywhere. We walked by a house in downtown Santa Barbara that had A. attenuata lining the entire perimeter of the property--and passers-by had stuffed garbage inside the rosette of one of them.

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  4. Thanks for this look at the hotel landscaping. I'm always curious about that kind of thing when I check out Trip Advisor, but hardly anyone ever mentions it. I've heard that Santa Barbara is a really beautiful city.

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  5. Do miss the bougainvillea up here! Lolo had such a beautiful one by her front door in Salinas! What a fantastic find of a motel!!

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