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“Best B&B I've ever been to!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Simpson House Inn

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Simpson House Inn
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   121 East Arrellaga Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 54 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Los Angeles
1 review
“Best B&B I've ever been to!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2009

My husband and I stayed at Simpson House Inn for our honeymoon and we had an amazing time! The service was amazing and the food outstanding. The staff was very attentive and friendly and made our stay something that we'll always remember. Nick had great restaurant suggestions and took amazing pictures of us after our wedding. Definitely order late night popcorn while watching one of the hundreds of movies available. We hope to go back again and again.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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279 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Northwest
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2008

In looking at the AAA Guide Book for Santa Barbara, we were taken by the photo of the Simpson House, the highest star rating, and the historic element of it.

We booked, via telephone, our room, and we were treated with wonderful care, and after much discussion, picked the Greenwich Cottage.

Due to a conflict in work schedule, we arrived at night, much later than anticipated, yet, the person came out immediately with a smile, and retrieved our luggage as we checked in.

We were excorted to our private cottage which is separate from the main house, and there was a fountain in the courtyard, along with actual firewood against the cottage. Upon entering the cottage there were compimentary refreshments (it was our anniversary), our name was on the entrance door, and it was very exciting to say the least. The room was beautiful, highly romantic. A large jacuzzi was nestled by a window. The ample bed was placed near the jacuzzi. In front of the bed was a small but ample seating area to warm yourself by the fire, that you can build, or request the staff to do so. There is a separate walk-in shower area, which there is built in soap, shampoo and conditioner dispenser built in to the shower area. The shower area is very ample for two people.

The cottage has it's own courtyard, private walkway, and is very secluded.

Since we arrived late at night, we needed dinner, and the host was very gracious to give us directions, within a short walk, to a marvelous restaturant for some outstanding italian food, and one of the finest bottles of white wine (CakeBread Winery) we have ever had.

Upon returning, we have a beautiful glowing fire. We settled in for the night, and the entire experience was of complete pampering. We we told before turning in that there would be a complimentary breakfast the next morning. Upon inquirying, we found out we could request to have our breakfast to be place underneath an arbor which was placed in the nearby grounds surrrounding the main house. (At night, there is food/wine pairings in the main house).

The next day we had a wonderful breakfast, including hot chocolate, underneath the arbor. We received a complimentary newspaper, and we were so sad that are time was coming to a close.

At that time we were charged approximately $500.00 for the cottage, an all time high for us, however, the entire experience was well worth the money.

The location of the Simpson House could not have been better. Secluded, yet suround by multi-million dollar stand-out Victorians, then just down the street local merchants.

The House is centrally located to everything, and a wonderful retreat/respite from a very hectic world.

If you want to pay less money, the main house has several rooms at a lesser cost. There are, I believe, two additional cottages which are off from the main house, but not sure as to their ambiance/cost, so it is best to check out their website directly.

  • Liked — A European luxurious feel, while preserving historic characteristics of the building. Fantastic location,close to local merchants and the beach. Secluded yet close to everything.
  • Disliked — No pets allowed (at least when we were there).
  • Stayed June 2005, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2008

Our first visit to this B&B. Wonderful, relaxing visit. Friendly, courteous staff took care of our every need. They made restaurant reservations for us where ever we wanted. Even took the extra step to inform the restaurant it was our anniversary! What a nice surprise! Breakfast was delicious each morning. Afternoon hors d'oeuvres were great as well. Location is easy walking distance to shopping on State Street. Highly Recommended!

  • Liked — Great Staff
  • Disliked — Rooms a bit small
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
215 helpful votes 215 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2008

Our stay at The Simpson House was a mix of delight and disappointment. First, the delight:

Our barn suite was beautiful and quite large. It was furnished in period style furniture and had a very comfy couch and king size bed. The floors were all wooden and there was a huge jacuzzi tub in the corner of our room which we relaxed in every night.
There is an adequate sized t.v. (about 20 inches) in the living area.

The property is on a small lot but it is beautifully decorated and the grounds are lovely and peaceful. They serve gourmet breakfasts every morning in the main living room or you can have it delivered to your room. The food was never enough! There were always cookies and scones in the living room to partake of in the afternoon. Then, there are hors d'oeuvres and wine served in the evening. The food wasn't as good as their breakfasts but it was still a lot of fun to try their selection of Santa Barbara wines and chat with the guests. We met a lot of very interesting people.

Unfortunately, there was plenty of unexpected disappointment. First of all, the path around our suite was also the maid's and house boy's path to their work room, whose wall was shared by our bed. So, we'd hear them chatting and laughing and had a earful of the washers and dryers going all day. Also, every time a male worker would walk around the outside of our room, he would stare in to it. The women never did stare in. All of our windows faced them, so it was a bit uncomfortable. Too late, I realized this could have been avoided by choosing another room. So, there's a tip for anyone interested.

I should note that while the barn suite is beautiful, it has a rather small bathroom. There is one sink, and the shower has no curtain. Being that it's floor is flush with the rest of the space, the whole floor gets wet when you take a shower. It became tiresome mopping it up after every shower. The bathroom was unusable if we didn't.

We had made plans for a 90 minute couples' massage, which was misordered as a 60 minute massage by the staff. Fortunately, our masseuses had an extra half hour to add on to the hour but it was a bit of a pain because they had to stop at an hour, clear the extra half hour with management, then start over again.

There was an incident with our waiter when he brought breakfast to our room one day. He was sick and was coughing up a storm, then proceeded to serve our breakfast. I tried to be kind but stopped him and asked him to please wash his hands before he served us. It appeared that he couldn't speak English. Just then, a lady who was his superior walked in and we asked her to translate. Instead, she defended him and told us what a hard worker he was. Then she sternly asked "what is it that you would like me to do"? (Um, ask him to wash his hands, is what I thought I was asking). He never did wash but a few steps over to the manager and the problem was quickly solved. Someone else served the breakfast. When the waiter who had coughed came back to the room with some other dishes, he threw them down and then knocked over the fireplace equiptment on his way out. Yep, we were pretty sure he was mad. But his actions were again defended when mentioned to management. And we found out that he does speak English. The whole thing was a situation that should have not become a problem, we thought.

All in all, there were a small few of the people who worked there who were genuinely nice. But we felt more like most of them didn't really care about us or customers in general, they just knew how to pretend. They were always courteous but brisk, efficient without being warm. So, despite the good, and my belief that it is possible that a better time could be had here, we still had enough disappointment to decide not to return to find out.

  • Liked — The looks of the property
  • Disliked — The insincere service
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventura, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2007

We stayed here for a romantic intown getaway. This is a private, beautiful small piece of property on a residential street in Santa Barbara. We stayed in the Greenwich Cottage. It was a small room but beautiful. The decor is very Shabby Chic/European. There is a huge jacuzzi bathtub big enough for two and a great fireplace with real logs. They provide some very nice touches such as having your name printed on name cards when you arrive welcoming you, fresh muffins in your room, china cups, plush linens, etc. This is defintely the place to go to for a romantic birthday, anniversery, etc. I was happy that downtown S.B. is within walking distance so my hubby and are were able to walk downtown for dinner and shopping. For elderly people, it would be too much of a walk as it is a 2-6 block walking distance but great for a mid 30's person like myself. If you are not familiar with the area ask to be directed to State Street and you will have everything from movies to shopping to great food.
We ordered the Inn spa package and had massages in our room. This was wonderful and very professional. We had Donna and she was prompt and efficient. Part of the spa package was rose petals and candles which were "ok". They were merely placed on a platter and we would have had to light them and place the petals somewhere so we just ended up leaving them and doing nothing with them. The breakfast is REMARKABLE. You can have it delivered to you room at the time of your choice and the food was to die for. It was more food than one can handle and is 5 star cuisine. We had a Mexican Egg dish, cereals, coffee, juice, etc. We did not make use of the main room, but they have happy hour, etc. We had two minor incidents that are not a big deal except this the "only 5 star B and B in North America" and this place is expensive that you should think of everything. 1) Our toilet did not flush after i had used it. Minor annoyance and a bit embarrasing. I had my husband fix it and did not even tell the Inn as it was late at night. 2) My husband went to the Main House to rent some movies and he rang the front door. He was heavily reprimanded by a woman who indicated that you never ring the front door at a B and B, but rather go around the back. He was embarrased and felt that she was quite rude to him.
However, this is a lovely destination spot for a special event. Men- you will wow your wife or girlfriend with this place for her bday or anniversery. It's too expensive for everyday travel or nonspecial events. We will be back and look forward to spending time there in the future.

  • Liked — Food and Rooms
  • Disliked — Small T.V.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County CA
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2007

Clarification of breakfast choices:

We were told that we could have a continental breakfast in the dining room at 6:30 AM, have breakfast brought to our room, or have breakfast in the dining room or on the porch between 8;30 and 9:30 AM.

Most B and B's only offer one choice!

The breakfasts were superb!

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County CA
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2007

Enjoyed our stay in the barn. We were on the 2nd floor in a charming suite and the maids kept the room spotless. The food at breakfast is superb and they honored our request to eat inside.

The pastries, food and appetizers during the wine hour are all homemade and unique.

We were treated better than family!!

Stayed October 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Simpson House Inn

Address: 121 East Arrellaga Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#2 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Simpson House Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Simpson House Hotel Santa Barbara

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