A mesmerisingly unique fantasy-style haven, with curved walls and a 75ft lap pool that flows into the guest house, architect-crafted and perfectly located for Santa Barbara’s best attractions.
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 4
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights

When creating Whale House back in 1978, innovative architect Michael Carmichael took two forms of inspiration: the iconic Catalan architect and designer Antoni Gaudí, and the line, “…and then, the whale swallowed the entire ship!”

With free-flowing lines and curved walls throughout – straight surfaces simply don’t exist here – you will indeed feel as though you’ve stepped into the belly of a whale… in the most enjoyable and intriguing way imaginable.

Secluded in Mission Canyon, one of Santa Barbara’s most naturally beautiful districts, the house is mesmerisingly crafted from Venetian plaster, river rock, and soaring wood columns, peppered with huge, eye-catching Belgian stained-glass windows and a warming stone fireplace.

There’s something new and exciting to discover on each of the four storeys, from the 360-degree circle of kitchen, living, and dining spaces on the second floor, to the kingsize master suite with its jetted spa tub on the third!

Don’t worry if you miss out on bagging that room, though: the fourth floor is home to a stunning queen room with a twin day bed… and a bathroom that boasts a gorgeous claw-foot tub that will make you feel like you’re bathing right amongst the oak and sycamore branches.

With Santa Barbara enjoying long, warm summers, you’ll naturally want to spend ample time outside, and this is where Whale House really delivers.

The inner courtyard is a unique wonder: flanked by lush plants and luminescent lighting, and featuring a shimmering 75-foot lap pool that flows into the whale’s ‘tail’ – a detached Guest House equipped with a downy kingsize bed. There’s also an enclosed al fresco shower that will turn you off freshening up indoors forevermore!

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At a glance

  • A unique, architect-crafted haven, inspired by a blend of fantasy-story and the work of iconic Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
  • Boasting free-flowing lines and curved walls, the artistic house comprises four storeys and three bedrooms – one secluded in a detached guest house in the courtyard – sleeping up to 6 guests in total.
  • Take a dip in the 75-ft lap pool in the inner courtyard, or watch the sunset from the furnished front patio, which features a barbecue.
  • Located in Mission Canyon, the house is just five minutes’ walk from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, with plenty of attractions close by and downtown Santa Barbara accessible in a 10-minute drive.


  • Swimming Pools


Front patio with furniture and barbecue. Inner courtyard with furniture, lighting, plants, enclosed outdoor shower, 75ft lap pool flowing into detached first-floor guest house with kingsize bed. Open courtyard stairwell connecting all four storeys. 2nd storey: kitchen, living and dining spaces with stone fireplace. 3rd storey: master suite with kingsize bed, jetted spa tub, balcony that overlooks the pool, master bathroom with shower. 4th storey: queen-size bed, twin day bed, bathroom with claw-foot tub. Separate WC.

Local Activities

Hiking, picnic spots, botanical garden, historic sites, shops, cafés, bars, restaurants

More information

Later, watch the sunset out on the front patio, which you’ll find is gainfully equipped with a barbecue and plenty of comfy furniture.

What to do once you’ve enjoyed a sound night’s sleep? The magical woodland surroundings are a joy to hike through, with trails that wind into the Santa Ynez foothills and promise the most spectacular coastal views.

Meanwhile, it’s an easy five-minute stroll to the spectacular Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: a 78-acre sanctuary festooned with over 1,000 species of rare and indigenous plants.

What else? Pack a picnic and choose a spot in the grassy, tranquil Mission Rose Garden, or drive three miles to downtown Santa Barbara and explore the impossibly hip cafés, al fresco wine bars, and bustling independent shops completely at your leisure.

Things to note

Check in from 3pm, check out by 10am. Pets are not permitted. Please note: the person in charge of booking must be aged 40 or over. The house features a lot of stairs, which may render it unsuitable for very young children and guests with additional mobility needs.

Where you'll be staying

Mission Canyon, California

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