We stayed here over veteran's day weekend. We enjoyed our stay and would definitely stay here again when visiting the Santa Barbara area. That said, like all hotels, this one had pluses and minuses.
- Our room (junior suite with king bed) was a step up from most Marriott Courtyard's. Very spacious, with a sitting area somewhat set off from the bed (but not a true suite), and two television sets. The room also had a microwave and a refrigerator. I have to agree with the previous poster about the pillows - unlike most courtyards, this hotel had nice, full sized pillows that were very comfortable. The bathroom was large with a huge shower with incredible water pressure from the large shower head. Loved the fact that they provided a real hair dryer, not those silly mini-hairdryers stuck to the wall.
- the lobby of this hotel is very nice for a courtyard - it looks more like a resort lobby than a courtyard. There is a courtyard bistro in the restaurant, but breakfast is not included in the room price.
- the courtyard of this hotel was truly beautiful! It has lovely landscaping, considering it has only been open a few months, with two fire pits that are lit every night (and, a pool as well). Wonderful cushioned furniture - even a small minature putting green. Very nice.
- We found this to be a very convenient location for driving into Santa Barbara or heading up to Solvang-area wineries. Be aware, however, that getting to downtown Santa Barbara will take about 15 minutes, depending on where you're going. Still, it's a very easy drive.
The minuses (none of these are major minuses, in my opinion):
- The setting of this hotel is just OK. It sits surrounded by a large apartment complex across the street, a major thoroughfare in front, a large school soccer field immediately behind, and a large shopping center and fire station on the other side. If you have a room facing the courtyard, as we did, you will truly not be bothered by any of this, but if you have a room facing out, you may be. For instance, we noticed that from early morning on Saturday throughout the day there were children's soccer games happening on the soccer field; if you happened to be in one of those rooms, you might get a bit of noise, or at least not feel like that was the most attractive view. So, if you stay here, definitely request a room that faces into the central courtyard if at all possible.
- Although we couldn't hear anything from the people enjoying the courtyard, we COULD here doors slamming shut throughout our stay. At one point, it sounded like someone in the room below us was opening and slamming their door repeatedly for half an hour -- this was very early on a Saturday morning. This was probably the biggest negative of our stay for us.
- The room was very clean overall, but, yes, we did see a FEW ants in the bathroom at one point during our stay This was not a major issue for us, but it was surprising in a brand new hotel.
- The room rates at this hotel were significantly higher than those at most courtyard marriotts. But, having stayed in Santa Barbara many times before, we know that decent hotels in this area are expensive in general. Overally, this was a good value for the area.
- We wish Marriott's would consider the number of people staying in a room and add extra shampoo when more than one person is staying! Those tiny little shampoo bottles just dont' cut it!
Finally, be aware that this hotel is NOT in Santa Barbara. It is in Goleta, very close to the University of California SB campus. You will need a car here.
Again, we would definitely stay here again, and enjoyed our stay. We have stayed at many Marriott hotels over the year, and this is one of the nicer ones we've stayed at (even nicer than some of the JW Marriotts). The hotel does have a few minuses, but, for us, they were note deal breakers. This is a great option in the Santa Barbara area.