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“A Classic” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Santa Barbara

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Hotel Santa Barbara
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   533 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #26 of 54 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Danville, California
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“A Classic”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

This hotel is a throw-back to the lifestyle of Southern California during the 20's and 30's. Centrally located and updated, it is clean, affordable and in the middle of all the great shopping on State Street. Our room was close to the laundry shoot, so I would recommend getting a room away from that as it's a bit noisy starting around 6:30 am. The continental breakfast, included, is impressive with great pastries, coffee, waffles, and fruit. The bed and pillows were perfectly comfortable for those with distinct preferences. I would stay here again for sure!

Room Tip: I wouldn't recommend anything over the second floor as the elevator is an antique and very slow...
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  • Stayed August 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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354 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
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English first
Stourbridge
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

After staying in several hotel chains this holiday, HSB made a welcome change. The location is unbelievable - right on the middle of State Street with a whole array of bars and shops to suit all manner of tastes and budgets. Valet service only $7 - usually way more than this, and check in nice and smooth. The rooms are lovely too - some reviews on here have complained about noise etc but I heard absolutely nothing and I am a very light sleeper. Breakfast was included - it's fairly modest but does the trick of setting you up for the day.
I definitely recommend Santa Barbara and would stay in this hotel again.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the top floor overlooking the rear if you are worried about noise. We has 422 and...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

This is the 2nd time I've stayed here. You really can't beat the location, it's absolutely perfect. Everything you need is walking distance and it's the absolutely ideal place to stay for Old Spanish Days.

The building itself is older, but it's old Santa Barbara/old California style so it does have a certain charm. For example, check out the old-style elevator if you're there.

I have to give big props to the valet on duty today. It's one of their busiest days with Fiesta and the parade going on, but he took the time to try and help me with my car. My battery decided to totally die and he jump-started it for me. When it didn't start later in the day he stopped what he was doing to try and help me again with a jump (but it was toast by then). While I was waiting for AAA he checked on me and asked if I needed water, etc. When his shift was over he stopped to find out how everything worked out for me. Super nice guy and never once acted like it was any trouble. You've gotta love good service!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013 via mobile

After looking extensively last minute to find a hotel that wasn't rediculously priced or booked we decided to stay at the HSB cause it seemed the nicest, it had a/c and the price was very decent. The hotel is very clean and well furnished. The rooms even came with robes. Although the hotel is not that close to the beach it IS still walkable or you can take the trolley for .50. There are lots of restaurants, shops and night life are right at your door step. We ate at the Sand Bar that night, the food was ok but the atmosphere, music and crowd were great. Lots of young people at night. The only problem I'd say we had was there is a no noise rule after like 10pm so the minute we got to our room that night we got a knock on my door with a pamphlet reminding me of this rule. No biggie. On check out valet let us keep our car there all day till we decided to leave town. Would definitely stay here again if ever in the area.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Love this hotel! Finally got to stay here for my first anniversary. The location is unbeatable in the heart of the city right on State Street. The location is a walker's paradise. I prefer this location over the "breach front" hotels in SB (most of those are not actually beach front either and require crossing a major road to get to the beach). The clerk at the front desk was extremely friendly. The room felt a bit dated, but got the job done. The hotel interior is very nicely decorated with attention to details (e.g. tiling). And you just can't beat the price/value.

Room Tip: May want to request a back-facing room. It seems that on weekend nights State Street can get noisy...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Clarita, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

I don't even know where to begin in sharing my UNSATISFACTORY experience with this hotel! I've never stayed @ any hotel in my life where a hotel manager was so inept when it came to their job. I know this may sound harsh but my experience with this hotel was beyond ridiculous and disappointing. My boyfriend and I checked into the HSB on Friday @ 3:00pm. and this is when all the issues began. We were told in an email after booking the room that the first nights rate would be charged a day before we checked in which was fine with us. Well when we checked in, I informed the front desk agent that I'd like to use my Visa to cover the charges of the room instead of my AMEX which is what I used to reserve the room with. The front desk agent said that would be fine and asked if that would include the first nights rate that was already charged to the AMEX? I said if that was at all possible that would be great. AMEX changed their points reward system so it would've been more beneficial to us rewards points wise to transfer the charges over.

The front desk agent said no problem and that the charges would be reversed and they will just charge my VIsa instead. I was told that the amount to be held on the Visa until checkout would be the first nights stay with taxes and fee's plus $150 for incidentals which would make the total held $411. PERFECT! The next day after we returned from our wine tour, I checked my AMEX account on my IPAD to make sure the charges were reimbursed and found that they hadn't been. I went to the lobby and spoke with front desk agent to inform her of the issue and she said "yeah, my manager tried to reimburse the charges yesterday but for some reason wasn't able to do so". So I proceeded to ask her, "then why wasn't I ever notified and if she had issues reimbursing the charges then why did they proceed in charging my VISA"? She said someone should've called me to let me know but the manager will call me on Monday as she doesn't work on weekends and she 's the only one who can reverse the charges. I asked her who was in charge then and she said "nobody really". I was very frustrated at this point and told her that I've never been to any hotel where there wasn't a manager or at least one supervisor on duty. I told her that I was due to check out on Sunday and didn't feel comfortable waiting until Monday while both of my cards have been charged.

So I called AMEX on the spot, and the customer service rep said she could see NO attempts in their system that anyone from the hotel had ever tried to reverse the charges. She said she would be more than happy to talk to the hotel agent. So I passed the phone along and AMEX verified with the agent that they are ok with reimbursing the charges so AMEX had to do it for them! Everything is fine now right? WRONG! So when we checked out on Sunday, I called down to find out what we owed on our bill (such as parking etc.) and told them we will pay the remainder with cash. We went down to check out, paid the rest cash (didn't want them to charge anything else to either of my cards) and left. Well this morning @ work, I checked my account and saw that I was charged $209 on July 29th which is a day AFTER I had already checked out. Needless to say I was LIVID and I called HSB to speak with a manager and was transferred to a vm. I called right back and said I don't want the VM I want to speak with manager now. The agent said she was busy and I told her I don't care I want to speak with her immedietly. When she got on the phone, I asked her about the charge and she said it was the charge for the first nights stay when I checked in on Friday. I told her the bill has already been payed in full and why would they charge a first nights rate a DAY AFTER the guest has already left and paid in full. She said she apologized and if I talked to my bank they could reverse the charge. I told her why can't she do it, and she said it's easier if the bank does it. Well I called my bank and they released the funds no questions asked.

I don't know if this place was trying to pull a fast one or they just have NO CLUE or CARE in how to do their jobs. In addition, the hotel in and of itself is WAAAAAAAY overpriced and basically all you're paying for is the location. Thats the ONLY draw and the ONLY amenity other than the free continental breakfast. Yes the location was great but for what they charge and their POOR service, I just can't justify ever staying here again. The room was cute but VERY small, you can HEAR everything in the surrounding rooms from conversations, toilets flushing, doors slamming etc. The beds are not Queen sized as advertised but FULL sized, the tv was no bigger than a small computer monitor and because of where the hotel is located and how poor the isulation is, they make you sign a paper informing you that the hotel enforces quiet time between the hours of 10:00pm -8:00am. Trust me after the first night it was clear why as this hotel has virtually NO INSULATION.

I'm glad to hear that there were others who enjoyed this hotel because I REALLY WANTED TO, but this was one of the worst hotel experiences I've ever had even though the rest of our trup was AMAZING. I hope whoever plans to stay here has a better experience than we did but we WILL NEVER RETURN!

Room Tip: Make sure you check whichever account you charge your room to and make sure they don't over char...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reuver, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

The location right on State Street is great. All the fun is just around the corner or on the frontdoor.
The room was not very big, but who cares about staying in your room when visiting Santa Barbara. The staff was very friendly and helpfull. All in all a great stay and certainly a hotel to remember when visiting the area again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Santa Barbara

Address: 533 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 54 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Santa Barbara 2.5*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Hotel Santa Barbara, where the atmosphere is alive and the options are endless. Be our guest and discover the personal service and incomparable downtown location that is Hotel Santa Barbara. Experience world-class shopping, fine dining, theaters, galleries, entertainment, great beaches, and so much more...all within walking distance of our front doors. Downtown Santa Barbara beckons from this beautifully restored Spanish/Mediterranean-style hotel mingling historic charm and contemporary comfort. ... more   less 
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