After the envelopes have been opened and the champagne has been drunk, many industry folks head out of Hollywood to decompress from all the Oscar stress.

For some, it’s a trip back home to visit family, while others jet off to alternate climates like Maui or Los Cabos.

And these days, even Oscar winners go on “staycations,” opting for the relatively short drive to one of Santa Barbara’s choice properties.


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Winners and losers all come here,” says the Maui Film Festival’s director, Barry Rivers, of the island’s popularity with industryites. “It’s a five-hour shot to Maui and a great escape from the madness and excitement of awards season.”

Maui’s south shore hosts much of the showbiz action centered around the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, where a summer-camp-for-adults atmosphere pervades. Yoga on the beach, daily tennis clinics and familiar names like an inhouse Spago and facials by Hollywood skin-care guru Kate Somerville add to the industry cachet.

The recently renovated Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa welcomes families and the more budget conscious to the same stretch of coastline.

On west Maui, the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua draws Hollywood’s golf-crazed to its two championship golf courses and annual Mercedes-Benz tourney.

Topping Maui’s fanbase are Helen Hunt, Kate Hudson, producer Gary Goetzman, Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford.


Resorts here have well-chronicled star appeal. Halle Berry celebrated her Oscar win at the ultra-exclusive Las Ventanas al Paraiso, where a romance director is on call and suites come with fireplace and sunken tub.

At the One&Only Palmilla, the newly built 8,500-square-foot, four-bedroom Villa Cortez is outfitted with its own screening room for 12 and editing suite. In November, Gotham star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened Market at the resort, his take on regional cuisine along with a ceviche, sushi and sake bar.

Also of note and with excellent views of Land’s End, the ME Cabo resort is loaded with party extras like poolside day beds and DJs for the social crowd.

Golf, deep-sea fishing and world-class spas make Los Cabos popular with such industry heavyweights as Will Smith, Michael Douglas, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, George Clooney and helmer Wolfgang Petersen.


Santa Barbara has been a Hollywood chill-out spot since the silent-film era (Charlie Chaplin once owned a hotel in Montecito). The freeway-close getaway, 90 miles north of Los Angeles, offers proximity, great weather and luxurious lodgings.

“People can feel like they’ve totally escaped but stay connected and be back to town quickly,” explains Nick Davaz managing partner of the Simpson House Inn B&B. Across from Santa Barbara’s pier and harbor, the Hotel Oceana has a beachy and relaxed vibe and makes for an unfussy stay.

At the end of a long guarded driveway, the San Ysidro Ranch, nestled in a wooded Montecito canyon, offers super private, ultra-posh cottages and has long been a go-to destination for Hollywood’s elite. The heated terrace at the ranch’s Stonehouse restaurant is one of SoCal’s most magical dining spots.

Those who’ve recharged in Santa Barbara include Josh Brolin, Diane Lane, Kate Winslet, Mira Sorvino and helmer Danny Boyle.