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“Adorable place with lots of charm, and a few challenges” 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 #13 of 60 hotels in Santa Barbara
fort myers
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Adorable place with lots of charm, and a few challenges”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

If quaint and charming were all that was required of a B&B, this would absolutely fit the bill. However, as with other independent accommodations, there are usually issues in the maintenance department, to include trying to get by with equipment that, while not non-functioning, really should be replaced. At the Upham, the window AC units are quite loud (thankfully not needed all that much), and some of the furnishings and soft goods, while they fit with the old-timey ambiance, are just downright worn and used. The breakfast was nice, as was taking it on the patio (more outdoor seating with tables would be great, since it's so beautiful!). Parking was difficult, so I was inclined to walk where I could so as not to have to troll for a space upon my return. While I enjoyed this facility, I will likely try another when back in Sta Barbara.

Room Tip: Ask for a cottage closest to lobby, steps away from the central courtyard area.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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345 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 (56)
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English first
Chino Hills, California, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Charming bed and breakfast atmosphere. Continental breakfast was served in the morning. Wine and cheese was served in the late afternoon but we weren't there for that. Centrally located close to good restaurants and shopping.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Media, Pennsylvania
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Upham in their smallest room, a bungalow queen (Lotus #41) for five nights in early July. This was our first stay here, in the past we have stayed at the Spanish Garden Inn but wanted to try a less expensive option (our room was $225 per night compared to the Spanish Garden prices of around $400). All in all, we liked the Upham very much but the Spanish Garden even more...positives for the Upham were the price, the beautiful garden, nice little perks like the breakfast, wine and cookies, and we really liked the location. Several mornings we skipped breakfast there and walked a couple of blocks to State Street to Renaud's for their great almond croissants and coffee. A few negatives include a musty smell to our room, it was very damp, probably because of the June gloom that was lingering into July. We found if we left the AC on all day it would help dry the room out...but the AC is a noisy window unit so we turned it off at night. The wall separating our room from the next must have been paper thin, because we could hear the couple talking and they weren't raising their voices...but that was ok, since that room wasn't occupied all five nights of our stay. Parking is a problem, especially because they seem to do some sort of business meeting business during the day, bringing a lot of non hotel guests, with their cars, to the space. We were lucky, but a really nice mother/daughter couple we met there from Phoenix said they were told to park on the street, and had to move their car in the morning, when they couldn't find a space. Spanish Garden has limited parking too, but they do have enough spots for their guests. So I have mixed feelings...I'd definitely come back for the location and price, but will ask for a better room next time.

  • Stayed July 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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North Carolina
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

Upon arrival we were disappointed with the so-called quaintness of the bungalow and toughed it out. The inn is in such disrepair relative to what we aid for. The room had a terrible stench of humidity and the shower made the bathroom so wet the steam hung in the air and I couldn't use the mirrors. You just can't trust the pictures. There are better places as we found out during our trips into town. I have stayed at other BBs--they need to reinvest the income. Ratty furniture and dingy bedding. Disappointment.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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jan1404, Manager at The Upham Hotel & Country House, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
We would like to extend our very sincere apologies to the reviewer for their disappointment. Sadly, we did not know of their extreme displeasure as we would have been happy to move them to a more pleasing accommodation.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Top Contributor
255 reviews 255 reviews
83 hotel reviews
Reviews in 102 cities Reviews in 102 cities
213 helpful votes 213 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Friends from Florida were booked at The Upham to attend a business conference. At the last minute we decided to join them for a couple days. Because the main hotel has only 50 rooms, pickings were slim. We elected to stay at the Country House Inn in order to get a king size bed.

My mixed emotions start there. As I was later to find out, the Country House Inn was an existing B&B when the owners of The Upham purchased it in 2000. Registration is at The Upham, but all other services are in this building. Case in point, instead of a hotel staff supporting 50 rooms like at The Upham, we have innkeeper (Maureen) overseeing 8 rooms. Instead of the cold continental breakfast buffet at The Upham, we get to choose a hot entree of either scrambled eggs or the entree du jour (in our three days it was quiche Lorraine, "fluffy" pancakes and shrimp crepes) whipped up by Maureen. Instead of the Oreo's served by tradition at The Upham, we get fresh baked cookies by.....Maureen!

We did spend some time at The Upham. In fact we had dinner at Louise's the first night and wine & cheese in our friends courtyard. Their room was gorgeous with a separate bedroom and living room, a soaker tub and the privacy of their own gated patio. But where they could expense their upscale room, our tastes ran to simply getting a king size bed.

Our room was more than nice. it had a wood burning fireplace that would be a nice feature in winter. It has a jetted Jacuzzi tub that we did not make use of. We had a view (see pictures) out the back of the house and could keep the doors open in the morning to let in the cool air and the cheery bird calls. But the room was worn in spots and I am not sure we had air conditioning (we never tried to use it). More than adequate for our needs but not to be confused with what we saw at The Upham.

Both facilities seem to have problems with parking. Our building only had 7 parking spots despite having 8 rooms. I am told this is rarely a problem because not everyone has a car. Even so I was disturbed to see some of the employees of The Upham breeze in like they owned the place, allegedly with full knowledge of management, because "Thursday is street sweeping day." Yeah, well what about me, the fare paying guest?

By now you can tell the beauty of the Country House Inn is Maureen (or the person she was training while we were there). She came on board in 2000 when The Upham purchased the inn. She spends a good part of the day baking for both this facility and the needs of Louise's at The Upham. She still finds time to say hello, put out breakfast in the morning, cheese & crackers in the afternoon and leave a plate full of cookies every evening. My emotions may be mixed but Maureen I am certain of.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We stayed at The Upham for one night in June. The property is lovely with a historic look and feel. We stayed in a bungalow queen and it was really lovely. This was one of the smallest rooms they offer but it wasn't small at all. It had a private terrace with double doors. Even though we were only staying for one night it was really nice to have some outside space. The double doors made the room feel very light and airy. The room also had a wall mounted flat screen TV.

The staff were very friendly and helpful. The hotel is located just a few blocks from State St so downtown is within easy walking distance and the harbour is about a mile away. A shuttle trolley runs up and down State St to/from the harbour area and cost $0.50 per ride if you don't feel like walking.

Breakfast was the usual cereals, fruit, pastries, toast etc but there was a decent selection to choose from. Complimentary wine, lemonade and nibbles are available between 4pm and 7pm in the lobby and after dinner cookies and milk are available.

We really enjoyed our stay at The Upham and were disappointed that we were not staying for longer. We would definitely stay here again and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

The Upham is a great hotel in a super location.The room we had was a little tired and the bathroom had hairs from previous guests which was a bit off putting. We didn't manage to put off the light on the balcony or block it out of the room. The air conditioning was noisy. The staff were lovely and the place had the look of the historical landmark that it is. Breakfast was fine.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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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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:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#13 Business 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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