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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Ablitt House - Art Meets Architecture in Downtown Santa Barbara

Bedrooms 1
Half Baths1
Space 700 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

1 Bedroom, 1.5 Baths, Sleeps 2-4

The Ablitt House is a wacky, wonderful, work of art! With a sense of humor and adventure, this one-of-a-kind home is the creative collaboration of architect Jeff Shelton and contractor Dan Upton. Both had complete design control over the entire project, and the result is a spectacular example of "less is more"!

The award winning interior consists of intricate custom tile, original art, and stone carvings representing the work of six local artists. Each and every room in the home boasts panoramic views of the city lights, coastline, and Santa Ynez Mountains. Strong Mediterranean and Moroccan themes play out with colorful exotic tiles, white stucco walls, custom shaped key-hole windows, hand sculpted surfaces, and custom iron work. The signature hand carved black walnut hand rail is 108 feet long and winds up 77 marble steps that ascend the 5 floors of the tower.

This whimsical residence sits on a 20 by 20 foot lot in the heart of Old Town Santa Barbara, where the sights and sounds of city dwelling are palpable. Overlooking local eateries, night clubs and an eclectic mix of retail businesses, the location invites guests to park their car and explore the city on foot. Local beaches, Stearns Wharf and the Harbor are just a quick 10 minute walk, with something for everyone to see along the way.

Enter the home on the ground floor where a cozy garage offers laundry facilities and convenient parking for 1 compact car. An additional outside parking spot is designated for a second vehicle. Take a moment to read the plaque that dedicates this home to the people of Santa Barbara for their support of this unique project.

On the second floor, the nautical feeling of the Master Bedroom is like that of the Captain's Quarters on a yacht. Tall windows offer plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Storage is smart and compact with drawers under the queen-size bed. Two "reach-in" closets with hanging space and drawers flank the Bathroom entry.

The Master Bathroom features a walk-in shower and contemporary ceramic sink set in honed marble.

The hand rail now leads up to the third floor where the Kitchen is bright and fun with a variety of colors and textures. Professional style appliances make meal preparation effortless, and custom glass lighting over the rustic wood dining table echoes the whimsy found in the rest of the home. Views through tall windows reach beyond the red tile roofs of the city to the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains beyond.

Up the stairs to the fourth floor, the Living Room features a custom queen-size sofa sleeper. Imagine the expertise of clever installers to get this special piece up 4 flights of stairs! Once seated in the black leather chair and looking out the wall of key-hole windows, the city below seems to disappear, offering the illusion of vast open space between the viewer and the mountain landscape. A convenient half Bath is located on this floor.

Well worth the vertical efforts of the uphill climb, the ultimate views will be from the roof top Terrace. 360 degrees of spectacular panorama offer a bird's eye view of the entire city, stretching south to the ocean and sweeping around to the mountain vistas in the distance. An outdoor Kitchen area features a gas grill with side burner, prep sink and refrigerator. From sunrise to sunset, this perch is spectacular.

The Ablitt House is one of the most unique vacation homes in the Paradise Retreats collection, offering guests the fantastic opportunity to experience the remarkable blending of art and architecture. Bring your imagination, a camera to capture every design detail, and comfortable shoes!

(Note: Due to the location of this unique home, noise and activity associated with retail businesses, night clubs with live music, and restaurants should be expected. The home is located on a public shared alley behind these types of establishments as well as a Holiday Inn Express.)


Summer Season rates are in effect for Thanksgiving Week & Christmas Weeks.

Minimum Nights

-3-Night minimum stay with the following additional restrictions:

High Season (Jun 17 - Sep 2)

7-Night minimum for all bookings made before May 1st.

3-Night minimum for current year bookings made after May 1st.

Thanksgiving Week (Any dates booked within the week of Thanksgiving)

7-Night minimum for all bookings made before Oct 1st.

3-Night minimum for current year bookings made after Oct 1st.

Christmas Weeks (Dec 19 - 26 & Dec 26 - Jan 2)

7-Night minimum (in the fixed weeks above) for all bookings made before Nov 1st.

3-Night minimum (and flexible dates) for current year bookings made after Nov 1st.

Stays of less than 30 nights are subject to a 12% Lodging Tax + $2.20/night Tourism Tax.

$225 Cleaning Fee (14+ night stays require additional cleaning fees), Booking Fee (varies based on reservation cost).

Until confirmed, rates are subject to change.

More Details

Property Manager
Paradise Retreats
Speaks: english
Manager indicates their response time is:
Within 12 hours
Calendar last updated:
August 13, 2018

About Paradise Retreats

Paradise Retreats

World Class Vacation Rentals, LLC

16 E. Arrellaga Street

Santa Barbara, CA. 93101

+1 (805) 275-1851

Guestbook comments from the manager

(Transcribed from guestbook at property) Thanks for your kindness! I will bring to Bordeaux, France all these beautiful pictures of your beautiful house.
Nov 2017
  • 1 of 29


Santa Barbara House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 700 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Downtown
  • Mountain View
  • Near The Ocean
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area ...
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Master Bathroom - toilet , shower , 2nd floor Master Bathroom w/walk-in shower, sink, toilet
    4th Floor Powder Room - toilet , 4th floor enclosed toilet with common sink area
  • 2nd floor Master Bathroom w/walk-in shower, sink, toilet 4th floor enclosed toilet with common sink area
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Master Bedroom with queen-size bed
  • Master Bedroom with queen-size bed Living Room w/full-size sofa sleeper
  • Books
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge ...
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • paragliding
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • snorkeling
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
Award winning 5-story Artisan home, Roof top terrace with 360 degree views, Outdoor Kitchen, In-town location just off State Street, No elevator, Viking 4 burner range with single oven, Sub-Zero Refrigerator/Freezer drawers, Miele Dishwasher, Microwave, Toaster, Blender, Coffee maker, Cooking utensils 3rd floor Kitchen area with dining table seats 6, Roof top terrace bistro table seats 2, 4th floor Living Room w/sofa sleeper, Miele Front-loading Compact Washer / Dryer, Flat screen TV, Compact Stereo (Living Room)m Flat screen TV (Master Bedroom), Outdoor Kitchen w/gas grill, side burner, refrigerator, sink, Parking in garage for 1 compact car, Designated alley parking for 1 car, Street parking available, High speed Internet (wireless), Telephone (free national long distance), Half block off State Street with access to Santa Barbara's shopping, theater, and restaurant corridor. Due to nature of this home, no infant/toddler supplies provided


Good! 3.9/5 -
(8 traveler reviews)

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Ablitt House - Art Meets Architecture in Downtown Santa Barbara
average rating of 3.875 based on 37 reviews

Worst experience ever

  • 1 of 5

Located at the end of an alley called Skid Row by locals and directly across the alley from bars and a live music venue. Unbearable noise until 5am nightly plus public drunkenness and urination on the property, vomit, and sketchy people approaching me for money. Completely disgusting. My car was hit in the driveway and no note was left. I attempted to contact the local Santa Barbara affiliate of Homeaway, at least half a dozen different times to discuss these issues and they NEVER responded. I left the place after two nights and checked into a hotel even though I had paid for a week. I have spent over $30,000 on Homeaway vacation rentals in the past few years but never again. Completely unacceptable and unproffesional behavior. I'm very disappointed and displeased.

  • Submitted: Jun 30, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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5 0

Architecture + Art + Craftsmanship + Location

  • 4 of 5

Having visited Santa Barbara several times previously, we knew what to expect with regard to the location. As an architect and real estate broker, it seemed like the ideal 'temporary home' for our 9-day/8 night visit.

And, in most ways it was exactly that: an incredible piece of 'livable sculpture'. We were forewarned about nighttime noise from nearby bars and clubs; and we did not mind that at all. The property is beautifully maintained and clean. When we re-visit favorite locales for relaxation, we like to spend quiet time in our temporary home. As a result, especially since we visited in December, we were surprised by the instructions pertaining to the heating system (leave the programmed thermostat alone and live with the preset temperatures of 60 degrees in the daytime and 70 degrees for a few hours each night). And, while not television junkies, the absence of any tv signal for a couple of days and the availability of only a few (mostly unfamiliar) channels the remainder of the visit was surprising.

Will we come back to Santa Barbara? Absolutely!

  • Submitted: Dec 11, 2016
  • Stayed: November 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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2 0
Nevada City CA


  • 5 of 5

A surprise birthday trip for my wife, and a complete hit. Every level brings new surprises each time you go to that floor. Just a fun place to hang out, especially on the roof. Would go back in a second ! Food for the choosing a short walk away on State St.

  • Submitted: Apr 1, 2016
  • Stayed: March 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Gaudi in Santa Barbara

  • 5 of 5

To say that this is a very special property would be the ultimate understatement. If you are passionate about architecture or design, this will be a visit that you will never forget.

The flag of Spain once flew over Santa Barbara and if you have ever visited Barcelona or Seville, you will recognize so much of the architecture and style of those cities in Santa Barbara. And if you love the architect Gaudi, the stay at the Ablitt House will thrill you to no end. It is like stepping into a magical painting.

There is one full bedroom with a full bath (the shower is weak) and upstairs there is a sofa that converts to a very comfortable bed (but there is only a ½ bath there). The rooftop is magical and I think a BBQ there would be fantastic. Blair, with Paradise Retreats, did a fantastic job orienting us to the home. Safety and security was an issue for us, as this part of Downtown Santa Barbara is currently very overrun with the homeless and this home’s location is in the middle of it. I felt very good being able to put my car in a locked garage every night. There is an additional space for a car outside the home. The other issue is noise. There are a lot of restaurants and bars that stay open until 2 AM directly around the property. For me, this was part of the appeal. But for anyone seeking a quiet getaway, this property will not provide that opportunity. I cannot wait to re-book when the time is right.

  • Submitted: Jan 7, 2016
  • Stayed: December 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 1
San Pedro, CA

What a cool place to stay!

  • 5 of 5

The Ablitt House is a thoughtfully and artistically designed home. We loved the beautiful tile work on every level of the 5 story property. Be ready for a workout on the staircases! But, really it's not too bad and a lot of fun. We have stayed at another Jeff Shelton designed home and love the uniqueness. The view from the rooftop is the best. The weekends can be a little busy with local alley people doing their thing, but what do you expect, living in an alley?

What a romantic, cozy stay we had for our anniversary celebration.

  • Submitted: Aug 21, 2015
  • Stayed: August 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Were are so glad you enjoyed this unique and fun home. The special details of this home make any stay a treat! And it's nice to know that after dining out you can work of your dessert just getting to the bedroom! ;-)
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1 0
Los Gatos, CA

Great place, but the neighbors are loud.

  • 4 of 5

My wife and I stayed at the Ablitt House to celebrate our 15 year anniversary last weekend. The property was exactly what we were looking for. Different then a hotel and right in the heart of Santa Barabara.

The house itself is a real work of art. It was great to get a meet and greet from the property managers to give us the tour and to show us how everything works. We loved every level of the house. It was also funny to see tourists come down the alley specifically to find the house. We even gave two sisters a tour just for fun. You will not be disappointed in the property if you are looking for a fun eccentric place to stay.

The location is great too. Just off of State St. We enjoyed walking to Funk Town to do some wine tasting as well as walking to some nice dinners in town. We never took the car out of the garage.

The only negative was the noise. The bar across the alley is quite loud on weekends. We were OK with it and if you are a bar hopper, it would be no big deal.

  • Submitted: Oct 14, 2014
  • Stayed: October 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for spending your anniversary with us!! There can certainly be noise from the downtown bars nearby, but were glad you were aware of this and enjoyed the downtown location with easy access to so many things! We hope you can return again soon!
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3 0


Nearest Airport
12 Miles
Santa Barbara Airport
Nearest Golf
4.5 Miles
Santa Barbara Golf Club
Nearest Train
0.25 Miles
Santa Barbara Amtrak Station
Nearest Motorway
0.25 Miles
Highway 101
Nearest Beach
0.5 Miles
West Beach
Car: recommended

Wine Tasting, Shopping, Local Spas, Coffee Shops, Restaurants, Clubs, Stearn's Wharf, Sight Seeing, Channel Island Tours, Whale watching, Antiquing, Bird Watching. For detailed info on all local leisure activities, please visit our website.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional


  • From $300 - 3 night minimum

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