May is the month for Anna’s birthday and Mother’s Day, so I wanted to spoil her with an amazing weekend in Santa Barbara. I used a couple of free night certificates to book our room at the Kimpton Canary, and we had a fantastic weekend of food, wine, and family time.
Booking our room at Kimpton Canary
With the free nights earned through the Kimpton Karma program, you cannot book them online, like you can with other hotel loyalty programs. Instead, you have to call the customer service line at 800-KIMPTON (or 800-546-7866) to book your rooms. If you are an Inner Circle member, you have a dedicated line at 888-695-4678.
You can earn free nights 3 main ways:
- One free night every 7 stays
- One free night every 20 nights
- Two free nights for 10 unique stays in a calendar year
There are more ways to earn free nights, so check the Kimpton website for further details.
If you see space available online, it doesn’t always mean that there are rooms available for the free nights. You have to call to check for availability. For instance, I have two more free nights that are expiring in August 2016. We really wanted to return to the Kimpton Canary, and rooms are available online, but when I called to reserve, they didn’t have any weekend nights available for the award redemptions until well past their expiration.
Some properties require a two-night stay on more popular weekends. Since we wanted to stay at the Kimpton Canary over Mother’s Day Weekend, we were required to do a two-night minimum stay, so we used two free night certificates to book our stay.
To book a standard room with cash, it would have been about $600 a night, or about $1300 for the two nights after taxes. Our upgraded King Suite room would have been even more at $800 a night. So, we received fantastic value when redeeming the free night certificates.
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Check-in at Kimpton Canary
When we arrived on Friday night, we were greeted at valet. Valet parking is $30 a night vs. parking nearby at $20 per night. We have a Chevrolet Volt, and they offered to plug it in for us to charge overnight, which was completely unexpected! The valets loaded our bags onto the cart while we walked inside to check in.
Ian, the front desk agent at the Canary, provided us a superb check-in experience. Not only did we get upgraded thanks to my Kimpton Karma Inner Circle status, but Ian also provided us a map with his suggested wineries to sample and coupons for either free or 2-for-1 tastings. Since we arrived after Wine Hour had passed, we were provided a couple of glasses to enjoy as we made our way up to our room.
Our King Suite room at Kimpton Canary
Plain and simple, our room was fantastic. If I had magic scissors, I would have cut it out of the Kimpton Canary and using magic duct tape to replace our Master Bedroom at home!
When you walk into the room, there is a bathroom to the left, with a long hallway leading to a sitting area before you pass through double-doors leading to the bedroom.
The bathroom had both a tub and a separate shower. It was pretty spacious and very relaxing. On the morning of Mother’s Day, I drew a hot bath for Anna with the The Grapeseed Company’s Fresh Cut Herbs Pinotherapy wine infused bath salts that Kimpton Canary had provided while I walked Timmy and Scarlett to the nearby donut store to grab some breakfast goodies. Anna was one happy woman!
In the sitting area, there was a pull-out couch, a chair, and coffee table set in front of a desk/tv cabinet combination. Timmy slept on the couch the first night. He’s getting to the age where he wants to be a Big Boy and do his own thing. But, by the second night, he was back in bed with us and his baby sister. He’s growing up, and soon we won’t be able to cuddle with him because “it’s not cool.”
We had a lovely Welcome Amenity waiting for us. When I made the reservation I told them we would be celebrating both Mother’s Day and Anna’s birthday. So, in addition to the normal local beers (Stone IPA and Saison du Buff), yogurt or white chocolate covered pretzels, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that is my custom amenity, a nice bottle of Laetitia Brut Cuvee was chilling on ice and ready for us to enjoy.
Scarlett and Timmy munched on the pretzels, so we only ate a handful of them. Instead, Anna and I nibbled on the Jessica Foster Confections assorted truffles that paired nicely with the chilled sparkling wine.
The bedroom was so inviting. It was a four-post bed that was so comfortable.
Inside the bedroom area, there were “hidden Mickey’s” that carried the Canary theme throughout the hotel. For example, I found a pair of Canary binoculars set atop a stack of bird watching books. Hidden touches like that are rarely found in other hotel brands. Another reason I love the Kimpton brand so much… every stay is so unique.
Beyond the bedroom were double doors leading out to a Juliet balcony that looked down upon the valet area. The kids enjoyed looking down, but the bars were not open enough where we were concerned for their safety (although we stayed next to them the entire time the doors were open).
Each morning, our King Suite room included complimentary French Press coffee service that room service would deliver for us. I don’t drink coffee, but Anna loves it, so that was another special touch that was unexpected.
Wine Hour at Kimpton Canary Hotel
Although we were too late to enjoy the Wine Hour on Friday night, we came back from our wine tasting adventures down the street in Santa Barbara to partake in the fun on Saturday evening.
The wines being poured were Camelot Cabernet Sauvignon and a Camelot Chardonnay. There was also a special treat of Deviled Eggs available to nibble on.
We met a family that was in town for their child’s graduation from college. They had their cute dog with them as well. As a dog lover, I appreciate the fact that pets are welcome at Kimpton.
Dinner at Fork & Finch
I had looked at reserving a spot for Mother’s Day breakfast for us, but when I saw the price was about $85 a person, the frugal side of me said, “let’s make a reservation for dinner instead.” I used the OpenTable app to book our reservation on my iPhone.
After wine tasting in the local Santa Barbara wine shops and having a glass during Wine Hour, we were starving. We ordered an appetizer of Garlic & Herb Fries because we couldn’t wait until our main course arrived… the fries were on point and totally delicious!
While waiting for our dinner, Timmy fell asleep. We ordered the New York Strip steaks to celebrate Mother’s Day and Anna’s birthday. We were too hungry to remember to take a picture of how good they looked.
As a Kimpton Karma Inner Circle member, you are supposed to receive a Chef’s Special benefit when dining at the on-site restaurant. It is usually a unique appetizer from the Chef. We were so tired from our day of walking the city and sampling all the delicious wines, that we completely forgot until the end of our meal. When we mentioned it to our server, she said that she could bring something out to us (but we were totally full from the fries and steak) or could just remove the appetizer from the bill. We chose to take the discount and will be sure to try the Chef’s Surprise next time we stay at the Canary.
Afternoon lounging at the Canary rooftop pool
Before we left, I knew that we had to spend some time at the rooftop pool. I had stopped by to explore the pool on Friday night, and it looked like so much fun.
We checked out of our room, but kept a spare set of clothes to change into once we were done.
At poolside, there is a mini-fridge stocked with waters free for you to enjoy. There is also a full-service bar to have a few drinks to chill the mood and keep you refreshed in the California sun.
I walked down the street to Patxi’s Pizza to grab a deep dish pizza for us to enjoy while swimming in the pool and relaxing in the hot tub.
On Sunday morning from 11 am to 1 pm, Alchemy Wellness Spa offers a free 10-minute massage. You kept your clothes on and it was in one of those weird-looking chairs where you sit backwards with your chest is against the chair and your face is through a hole. Either way, Anna and I both are all about getting massages whenever we can. And free makes them even better!
Timmy had a great time swimming in the pool and making friends in the hot tub. Getting some energy out while swimming and having a belly full of great pizza made for a quiet drive home to Orange County while everyone slept and I caught up on some podcasts.
We had an amazing experience at the Kimpton Canary. It was a special treat to be upgraded to a King Suite and have such great service by the hotel staff. We enjoyed walking the city and exploring the wine tasting rooms that Ian suggested. Best of all, it was a weekend full of awesome memories for Mother’s Day and Anna’s birthday. Now, I just have to figure out how to top it for next year!