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“Was pleasantly surprised - so good for a motel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marina Beach Motel

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Marina Beach Motel
21 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
97 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Was pleasantly surprised - so good for a motel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Well, it's just a motel, so don't expect too much. But for a motel it is very good. Well located (not 37 steps away from the beach as they advertise, but really close), clean and with positive and helpful people at the reception. It was above my expectations and I liked it

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Dan W, Owner at Marina Beach Motel, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Thanks for your review. We do advertise 37 steps from the beach, it is our effort to be lighthearted, we are VERY close to the beach. I like to joke that Kobe Bryant paced off those steps, though it really never happened. I am sorry if we misconstrued the actual number of steps. I am glad you enjoyed our property.
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413 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    27
    10
    9
See reviews for
72
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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 (53)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Fair Oaks, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

this is such a cute property - i am typically wary when there is "motel" in the name - but this place is great! clean and comfortable rooms (if dogs were ever in this room, i wasn't able to tell), glad to have the small refrigerator. great location to the beach, wharf & shops. we didn't use the free bikes, but that is a great offering. The staff was extremely friendly and they were very responsive to e-mails prior to the stay.

The hiccup we had was that the room type we originally booked through booking.com (2 queen beds) wasn't available, so they put us in a King bed with sofa sleeper.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan W, Owner at Marina Beach Motel, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Thanks for reviewing our seaside motel in Santa Barbara, we appreciate your comments. Some travelers are turned off by our classic 'motel' designation, but when they read TripAdvisor, it is clear that we are a comfortable lodging facility, consistently in the top ten in Santa Barbara.
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Fremont, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012 via mobile

They allowed our dog, and the room was clean. It was nice to have a kitchen sink. I liked the paint color too and the quiet fan. The room was cramped. It is close to the beach. Breakfast is okay, but hardly any protein. A pet peeve is all the garbage created with disposable dishes and utensils.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan W, Owner at Marina Beach Motel, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Thanks for taking time to give our motel a review. We are currently remodeling our rooms, enlarging bathrooms, new carpet and bedding. Thanks for staying with us, come and see our improvements!
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Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

The location is pretty good to ride by the sea front path. It´s possible to go by walk to the center of the city.

The motel lends swhim bikes for free!

But the sheets were rough and overused (with stains...). The worst thing was that there was ants over my pillow.

I think they should improve bed´s confort.

Thank you.

Maria.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan W, Owner at Marina Beach Motel, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Thanks for giving us a review, even if you did not find everything suitable to your tastes and needs. Unfortunately it was very rainy around the time that you visited our property, once in awhile the ants will be searching a dry area (like can happen at home). We continually check our bed sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. We buy a minimum 400 thread count for our sheets, but we must have missed some older ones in your room, I apologize. We are currently undergoing an overall remodel at the Marina Beach, I hope you give us one more try.
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Lagos, Nigeria
Level Contributor
25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

I stayed here while on vacation with my Mum. We were looking for somewhere clean, safe and fairly centrally located. Marina Beach Motel is all 3. I booked it mainly based on the reviews on Trip Advisor and I had to say that the reviewers I read were spot on.

Santa Barbara is an affluent city and this is reflected in the room rates of many of the hotels in the area. Many of the hotels I checked out cost an arm and a leg and offered very small rooms. Our room at the Marina Beach Motel was warm and cosy though on the small size. There was no kitchenette, but a small fridge and microwave, which was really what we needed.

The room looked like it had recently been done up - the walls seemed to be freshly painted and the bathroom (which I'm very fussy about) was spanking clean. The shower pressure was great.

Marina Beach Motel is located on Bath street, which is adjacent to the beachfront and a 10 minute walk to State Street, the heart of the downtown Santa Barbara shopping neighbourhood. So, you enjoy the benefit of being fairly centrally located without paying the exorbitant rates of some of the State Street hotels. The reception staff were also friendly and helpful.

I recommend this hotel as a cosy base from which to explore Santa Barbara. If a large room is important to you, perhaps the MBM might not be your best best, but if you want an affordable place, then check this place out.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Dan W, Owner at Marina Beach Motel, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
Thanks for taking time to do the recent review. Our location is excellent, 1/2 block from the beach, 2 blocks from State Street. We are currently expanding and upgrading 14 bathrooms and will be completed by end of January 2013.
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Las Vegas
Level Contributor
57 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Located on a side street less than a block from the beach, the Marina Beach Motel is absolutely clean and neat as a motel can be. The property and grounds are well manicured with pavers and flowers.

We went as a group of six couples traveling up the coast on motorcycles for Thanksgiving weekend.

The rooms are generally spacious, typical of a motel of this vintage and have been renovated and modernized. Our unit, #28 had a nice kitchenette that we used mostly as a secondary sink since the bathroom was so tiny. There was no tub which is fine but the shower was so small that when I turned around to rinse my hair and back my nose was less than an inch from the other side of the shower. I'm not a big guy at 5'11 178 pounds. Others in our group reported the same shower situation but some did have a bigger shower. If you're a big person you should ask upfront since based on the tile count the shower was only 28x28 inches.

Also, there was no remote for the flat screen TV and the remote the desk clerk cheerfully brought to us didn't work with the TV. We're not big TV watchers so it was a minor inconvenience.

The deal killer for us was that the bed and bedding was like it was stuffed with cardboard and the pillows were about the same. We didn't expect the Ritz Carlton beds but they went cheap on the mattresses and it shows.

Lastly, the carpets are cheap, old and worn. This is $5 a yard stuff which is fine, but they need to replace it more frequently.

I hate to bag on this charming little place but with such charm it is a shame to see them miss the easy bits. The showers they can't change but they cut corners on the bedding and carpeting and that means we won't be back until they do.

Room Tip: A good nights sleep and comfortable bed / pillows is important to us. Only stay here if that is not...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Dan W, Owner at Marina Beach Motel, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Thanks for your review of our property. I agree with some of your comments, especially the size of some of our bathrooms/showers. As a coincidence, the very same room you stayed in is going to be completely reconstructed this winter. We have begun a long planned construction project that will completely remodel and expand the remaining small bathroom/ shower units at the Marina Beach. This will include new carpet and bedding in the living area. Unfortunately there was no working remote for the flat screen television, though some guests just think that those items are a gratuity or are disposable. We will follow up on replacing the remote in all units where missing. As far as your comments about the bed, I am sorry that you did not find it to be comfortable. I can only say that we order good quality hotel beds regularly from Serta. It is very difficult to choose one style of bed that is comfortable for all guests. Some people find them to be too firm, but most others think they are very comfortable. Some guests have requested that we order those same beds for them to purchase and take home. We have discussed changing our beds to a pillow top style and we will discuss it again. Thanks again for your review.
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Colorado
Level Contributor
43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

This nice motel was a great find. We read the reviews and this was better. Located close to the waterfront, marina and wharfs. Some rooms have been recently updated and were nice. Great shower, fridge in the room. Small kitchenette was included. Did not have any utensils, dishes etc at this point. Great shower. Continental breakfast included was satisfying. The last hook that got me to book here was the complimentary "cruiser" bikes that are available to guests. We drove along the water, easy ride to State street for lunch or happy hour. Great little place to stay. We will return again.

Room Tip: Ask for an recently updated room if available
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan W, Owner at Marina Beach Motel, responded to this review, November 14, 2012
Thanks for taking time to give us a review. It is a good way for us to hear an unfiltered opinion. FYI, we are updating more bathrooms and kitchens this winter to be completed by end of January '13. When you return for a visit, please remember to let us know if you need utensils for the kitchens, they are available upon request. Thanks again!!
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Additional Information about Marina Beach Motel

Address: 21 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Santa Barbara
#9 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#18 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family owned since 1976, Marina Beach Motel is located in the heart of Santa Barbara's harbor, wharf, and beach district. At only 37 steps from the beach, Marina Beach Motel is the ideal spot for couples, families and the occasional lone traveler to immerse themselves in the beauty and leisure of Santa Barbara. At Marina Beach Motel, we understand the importance of providing excellent amenities at an affordable price. We focus our efforts on catering to the needs of the customer while striving for a high level of satisfaction, making us one of the best places to stay in Santa Barbara. Our dedicated, family-owned business promises to become one of your favorite vacation spots in California. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marina Beach Hotel Santa Barbara
Marina Beach Santa Barbara

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