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“Charming and quiet two blocks from the State street” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Upham Hotel & Country House

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The Upham Hotel & Country House
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1404 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101   |  
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Ranked #15 of 61 hotels in Santa Barbara
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Charming and quiet two blocks from the State street”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Nice and charming B&B two blocks from the State street. Our room looked like it was recently remodelled or at least had a fresh coat of paint. There is free parking on site though it overflowed on Saturday night and so we had to park on adjacent lot (in the rain unfortunately). In general this is a great hotel for people who want to take it easy, relax, read a book on a porch. It might be a bit too expensive to call it a great value though.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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358 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (62)
Date | Rating
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English first
Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

I had stayed at this charming hotel previously and was happy to return. This time I was booked at the Country House which is located just across the street from the Upham. Our room was small but very comfortable. A lovely and delicious breakfast is offered daily as well as afternoon wine and cheese and evening cookies! YUM! We loved coming back after a day of sightseeing to this welcoming home to just sit and relax with a nice glass of wine. Alex and Maureen were a delight and really made our stay so wonderful.
This hotel is also perfectly situated. Just a couple blocks from State Street but far enough away to enjoy some peace and quiet. We never got in our car the whole weekend. Just walked everywhere.
I look forward to my next stay here.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

My daughter and I spent a Mother/Daughter weekend here and it was lovely.
We stayed in the Hibiscus cottage on the second floor and the room was a good size. We had two queen-sized beds which were quite comfortable, a Queen Anne chair, a large desk and an additional chair and table. Lots of shutter covered windows that we could open and let in the spring air. The bath was big enough to hold a small two tiered table for toiletries. We even had a walk in closet which again had a window.
The complementary wine in the afternoon was nice, but the cheese is a spread which was ok.
The wine and cheese were available for about 90 minutes and ideally was self serve.
The breakfast included oatmeal, fresh fruit, hardboiled eggs, bagels, toast, muffins, and yogurt along with juice and coffee.
We especially liked the location; just a short two block walk to State Street where all of the shops, restaurants, and trollies are located. I would suggest taking the trolley to the waterfront, although one morning my daughter did run there on her morning jog.
The grounds of the hotel are lovely. One can sit in the garden or in the gazebo which is quiet and buffered from any traffic noise.
As in most cases, staying on the weekend was more expensive than during the week but we didn't have a choice. Also, parking was very close to our cottage which was an added bonus.
Yes, I would stay at the UPHAM again.

Room Tip: Choose a second floor room for better ambiance.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oliver, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

I was delighted by the Upham Hotel. It was easy to get to from the freeway, with free parking onsite. It was all level access for getting my luggage to and from my room to my car, which is always a consideration, especially travelling alone. The room, #40 in Iris cottage, had a gated access with its own patio complete with chairs and a table. It was like my own private domain. The room was tasteful and comfortable, with artistic touches like hand-painted ceramic plates on the walls and bright California paintings. The cottage has a vintage feel, but all the amenities. The bathroom was more than ample, with a large marble vanity and a small glass table beside the tub for toiletries, or even to put my bathtub reading on a handy shelf.

I love the sociable atmosphere once inside the property. Besides the main building with its lobby and sunroom, there are several cottages arranged around gardens, with lawn chairs, a gazebo, and other outdoor features. It feels like an old-fashioned resort. In the afternoon, people sat out on the lawn or on their porches, chatting or reading, others were in the lobby getting the free wine and cheese. The feeling is so relaxing, I hardly wanted to leave the hotel!

The restaurant was wonderful. I had dinner there both nights of my stay and the food and service were superb.

A light breakfast is served in the lobby daily. For me, it was only adequate because I have dietary restrictions. Giving them advance warning would have been wise, but I still managed just fine. The selection for most people's needs is ample, ranging from hot oatmeal and hard-boiled eggs to toast, pastries and fruit, several different juices, coffee, decaf and an assortment of teas.

And all of this nearly pastoral comfort is only two blocks from State Street. I happily managed to max out my credit cards within walking distance of the hotel. The shuttle that runs down State Street can expand your range for day trips without moving your car.

This was one of the finest hotel stays I've had in my life, and I hope to return to the Upham again for a longer stay.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Fremont, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

Overall the properties (main and country house) are pleasant and picturesque, as you would expect in the spring while in Santa Barbara. This is an historic hotel, as I understand it, the oldest continuously operating hotel in California. The main building is the oldest property (I think originally constructed in 1871), and you do see the impact of limited space and a lot of redesign work to fit modern conveniences into this rustic setting. Both the main building and the country house are of this era. Other surrounding buildings on the property used for rooms etc. are more modern.
We stayed at the country house property, in the Darcy room. This room is on the second floor and faces the mountains. It has a private balcony overlooking the front entrance of the house and a very nice view of the front garden. Other rooms in this house have various views of gardens (which were all well maintained) from either porch or balcony. Our balcony was pleasant, but did feel a little shakey at times with two full sized adults. Also, access to this balcony is via the bathroom so coordination may be required. Not so much more than using the whirlpool bath-tub/shower which looks directly out/in the open door to the balcony. The tub was very well used/beat. So much so, that we opted to forego it's use as a whirlpool. Too bad, as it was the deciding factor in choosing this property/room. I think if I were to stay here again, I would go with the penthouse. It has a much better view (western/sunset) and the bathroom is much nicer.
The included breakfast at the country house was nice. The young lady preparing baked goods an/or scrambled eggs did a nice job of adapting to our requests. Also, the aroma of baked breads with cinnamon wafting up through the stairways and into the rooms is a compelling call to rise.
Location is good if you are planning to shop-to-you-drop on State St. 2 blocks slightly uphill to State St. and then 10+ blocks of stores/shops/restaurants all the way downhill to the shoreline.

Overall the room itslef was acceptable, but really needs a deep cleaning. Closet doors and bathroom doors all showed excessive wear and dirt. As mentined, the tub was pretty beat too with cracks etc. showing around the drain. Dust under the end tables and bed accumulates pretty quickly when you leave windows open to capature the prevailing pleasant breezes. And with this corner of the building you have a very nice cross breeze from front to side windows.

Parking at the country house is in a small private drive area. It is pretty tight. If you have a larger vehicle spaces are limited.
We did not use the restaurant in the main buidling.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

The hubby & I came here for a long overdue "just us" getaway. This was my first time visiting Santa Barbara so naturally, I was very excited. I found this place thanks to Trip Advisor's rating system. I believe Upham is #3, which makes me want to stay at 1 & 2 even more! Anyhow, we booked the midweek special and received a $30 dining credit at Opal Restaurant and a $50 credit at their on-site restaurant, Louie's Bistro. We fell in love the minute we arrived in the parking lot. The grounds are well kept, the property is small but spacious enough that you don't feel crowded in by your neighbors. We stayed in a fireplace king cottage, Iris room 37. It was beautiful - right next to the waterfall area. The room was very clean. The bathroom, while small, which spacious enough for us. I know some complain about the size, but really, it's big enough. How big do you want for a bathroom on vacation? Anyhow, the bed was super comfy, with LOTS of pillows, both firm & soft. We loved the terry cloth robes and used them as often as we could. The fireplace was clean and very easy to use. They even provided us with matches! Check in was a breeze - super easy. They gave us quarters to use the shuttle to State Street - that blew me away. The location is far enough away from State Street so that you can have peace & quiet. It's close enough to walk or take a shutle

Let's see, daily continental breakfast, wine, cheese & crackers in the afternoon (all deeelish), and milk & cookies in the evening (Oreos - and c'mon, who doesn't love Oreos dipped in milk?!?!). The service from the staff was top notch from check in to check out. They were accommodating in every single way possible. The hubby, who isn't a chatty guy, was even chatting it up with the owner. He was very impressed, and that is not an easy feat. Way to go Upham! We will be back, for sure!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

I suppose my review might be a bit biased because our room didn't cost us anything. We won a room from a Christmas party and decided to use it as we were going whale watching the next day and thought it would work out perfect. With that aside, the property was beautiful!

Amazingly parking wasn't too bad, even for being so close to downtown. We found a spot right on the property. We were staying on a Thursday night, so it might be worse during the weekend. We arrived around 8:30 p.m. and there were still one or two more spots left. From parking the car to the registration desk the walk was amazing! Very beautiful property and well kept.

We were given a room in the Rose Cottage, and it was everything you would need. Bed, TV, Couch, Desk, Bathroom, and even a wood burning fireplace. It is an older building so the heating consists of a small wall unit between the bed and bathroom. Also not everything is in excellent condition, but I would assume this from something over 100 year old. My only real disappointment was there was no blow dryer for my hair in the morning. I used the wall heater and stood next to it while reading a magazine for 10 minutes instead.They do provide all normal toiletry items though, shampoo, soap, lotion, body wash, Qtips, etc...

In the morning there is a continental breakfast. Typical juice and coffee with bagels, muffins, toast, fruit and cereal. My husband is type 1 diabetic, so sadly there wasn't one thing he could have (but we don't expect that from any hotel). There isn't a pool or spa, but the garden makes up for it. We easily walked to the wharf, but I could see it being too tiring for some people as it was probably a little over 2 miles.

There is also a restaurant connected to the main building, but we didn't eat there.

I don't know what the normal rate is for the room, but it is definitely worth it if you are visiting Santa Barbara for a few days and want to be close to downtown, and have a nice garden to look at while relaxing. There are definitely cheaper hotels in more "boring" parts of town, but if you are looking for a quite get away with a relaxing vibe to it, this is the place to go.

Room Tip: It seemed as though there really weren't any bad rooms. They all are near the garden. Maybe one...
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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
    • 4 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

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 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#13 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#24 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Upham Hotel & Country House 3.5*
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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Also Known As:
The Upham Hotel Santa Barbara
Upham Santa Barbara
Upham Hotel Santa Barbara

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