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“Cute inn and cottages 30 minute walk from downtown” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Upham Hotel & Country House

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The Upham Hotel & Country House
1404 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101   |  
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Ranked #16 of 59 hotels in Santa Barbara
Droitwich
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Cute inn and cottages 30 minute walk from downtown”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

Upham House is the oldest inn in SB. There is the main house, with a separately run restaurant serving really tasty food, and cottages set around a sweet rose garden at the rear. Parking is available out back too, it's tight but fine. Each cottage contained 4 suites with a large bedroom and decent bathroom. The cottage rooms varied in price up to $300, we negotiated to $225 per night for 2 nights as late arrivals. Our room had a queen bed which was a bit soft and a gas fireplace with real flames, we lit it up to get a roaring fire going as the room was cold in March. The wifi connection was good also. Breakfast was an ok continental, I always expect some cooked sausages or bacon at a B&B so that disappoints. It was a safe 30 min walk to the shops and beach down State Rd though there is plenty of parking in town if you drive in. Plenty of homeless along the way but not pushy or aggressive at all. Enjoyed sitting out in the garden for an hour to relax. All in all a good stay, perhaps a little pricey considering the average breakfast.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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333 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

I would like to share my experience TRYING to book this hotel. After another family Australian recommendation I contacted The Upham via email to make a reservation for an up and coming family holiday. Note that I LOVE Tripadvisor and have pretty much pre-booked my entire holiday for 3 weeks myself via TripAdvisor recommendations via email with credit card pre-payment from Australia and have found all hotel managers to be delightful - except The Upham! After 3 weeks of SLOW correspondence (they won't answer an email for 4 days or more), they tell me my credit card has bee declined! I've asked then to try again and the same.I've checked my card and contacted the bank. I have an excellent credit rating and every other booking has been an easy transaction. I asked for other ways such as a direct debit to an account or maybe an online booking service but no - they tell me it can only be done via the front desk. And not even a booking form! What kind of backwards place is this??? I truly suspect this was their way of stringing me along to wait for a longer booking more than 1 night. So my advice - AVOID a pre-booking of this hotel and look for one with some structure and rigour around how they handle overseas bookings.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerSantaBarbara, General Manager at The Upham Hotel & Country House, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
The Upham Hotel enjoys many international visitors and there is rarely a problem in making reservations. We are extremely sorry for the difficulty this guest experienced. During email correspondence, we advised the guest that we were unable to process a deposit on the credit card provided. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to receive credit card authorization, we advised the guest that we were unable to confirm her booking without a deposit. In the end, this guest was successful in booking on our website and the funds were approved by our credit card processor. We find it interesting that despite the difficulty in making this reservation she still wishes to stay with us.
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Santa Barbara, California
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

One of the oldest if not the oldest hotel in Santa Barbara. Our room was recently updated but the historic elements were maintained. Located in the center of Santa Barbara make walks to cultural venues and prime restaurants and shopping a breeze. The grounds are beautifully maintained and many private areas available in which to sit and converse or read or to just enjoy the beauty. Unfortunately our morning was interrupted at 6:00am by the trash pickup outside our particular building but hopefully it did not disturb most of the other interior bungalows and probably doesn't happen everyday. The continental breakfast was ok. The afternoon refreshments were ample but I always wonder about the quality of the wine when served in a decanter. All in all a very good experience.

Room Tip: Obtain an interior room if possible and not on the street.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marina del Rey, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We decided at the last minute to escape LA and drive to Santa Barbara for one night. Because the weather seemed iffy we made a decision to save some money and not stay at the beach. The Upham was perfect. Bed was good, floors and bathroom clean--couldn't be better. We had a little cottage with a private patio. The sun did come out so that was a happy bonus for us.
Scones, muffins, bagels and hot and cold ceral were available for breakfast. The setting was lovely with charming seating inside in the loby and outside in the beautiful garden. Later in the day wine and cheese was set out. When we came back from dinner they had milk and cookies for us.
The location is great--two blocks from State Street and another block to the Santa Barbara Museum. The Museum is delightful, and we had a wonderful docent tour.
Our two days, one night stay refreshed us and reminded us why we love Santa Barbara. The Upham would be ideal for a longer stay as well.

Room Tip: Don't forget to turn off the heater before you go to sleep. We didn't and had to turn the h...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solvang, California
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We have stayed at this property on numerous occasions and find it consistent and enjoyable. The grounds and buildings are spotless and very nicely decorated. The buildings have retained their charm from decades past yet seem solid and well maintained. The colors and decorating are sophisticated and highlight the original architectural design. The rooms are spread out between several buildings with walkways/paths between them. Be sure and take advantage of the wonderful Louie's Restaurant off the lobby in the main building. Regardless of where you eat sit in front of the gas fire at the end of the day and have an Oreo cookie and glass of milk -- charming! Walk to the Arlington Theatre just a block away for a live performance or to the nightclub SoHo for live music with or without dinner, your choice. Walk to Santa Barbara Museum of Art (lovely museum and gift shop and small but yummy luncheon restaurant) or Paseo Nuevo (Nordstroms and Macys are the flagships there) high end shopping mall six or so blocks away. If you are wanting a bit more of a walk you can continue on down to the beach and pier! Traditional cabs or pedi (bicycle) cabs available also. And get ready, so many restaurants to choose from! One of our favorites (besides Louis's) is Opal, just below the Arlington Theatre. Other favorites include Blue Agave (try their Mezcal [high end agave beverage] with their authentic Oaxacan chicken mole "To Die For!". Or if you are in the mood for Cajun right next door to Blue Agave is the very popular and fun Palace Cafe -- super friendly service and great food! When you are done come back to enjoy a comfortable and quiet sleep, My husband and I have only stayed in the various building on the main property which we highly recommend, so I cannot comment on the Country House Inn that other reviewers mention. I predict you will want to come back here again! If the property had a hot tub (which it seems to me they could most easily place in the garden) I would have rated it Excellent. But don't let that stop you, we know you will enjoy your stay here!

Room Tip: The hotel's location is one and a half blocks off the main commerce area (State Street) so we ha...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dana Point, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013 via mobile

I was interested in staying at this bed an breakfast after dining at the in house restaurant. The grounds are small but beautiful and well kept. It is within walking distance to downtown SB, but parking is a bit tight. Unfortunately, the heat/AC is of the window box variety, noisy and inefficient. Room was pleasant enough, clean, bright and small. Robes were a nice touch, as well as the adjoining patio. But with narrow grounds close to parking, the 5 a.m. trash pickup and conversations in the lot were quite noisy.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

This is the second time I've stayed at the Upham, and both times have been wonderful experiences overall! The Staff members are super friendly and helpful....and trustworthy - I left my iPad Mini in my room and the Upham called me right away and mailed it to me! The Inn is lovely and I especially like sitting in the adirondack chairs in their gardens. Each night they put out complimentary wine and cheese which is a nice touch. The restaurant (separate owner but located in the Inn) is excellent! I also love that the Upham is only a 2 block walk to the main street. I prefer staying in the cottages vs. the main hotel, but both were great. All is all, a great place, with charm and character.

Room Tip: Rooms in the main hotel are a bit noisier due to street traffic.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Upham Hotel & Country House

Also Known As:
The Upham Hotel Santa Barbara
The Upham Hotel
Upham Santa Barbara
Upham Hotel Santa Barbara
Address: 1404 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#12 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Victorian treasure in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, the Upham Hotel and Country House is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Santa Barbara, Southern California. Constructed of redwood with sweeping verandas, the 58-room 1871 landmark is surrounded by an acre of gardens and combines the intimacy of a bed and breakfast with the convenience of a full-service hotel and conference facility. ... more   less 
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