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“Lovely stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Sands Motel

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Blue Sands Motel
2.5 of 5 Motel   |   421 South Milpas Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 60 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Bagenalstown, Ireland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Lovely stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My husband & I had a lovely 1 night stay here. Lovely room with fireplace, microwave, fridge and wine cooler. View of the beach slightly obstructed by a tree. Hotel is right across from beach so perfect for a sunset stroll. Plenty of parking and a nice sized pool. Very friendly receptionist, beach towels, chairs available from reception.

Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    98
    75
    22
    5
    2
See reviews for
60
91
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Palm Springs, California, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My partner and our dog had a very nice stay...friendly staff and clean rooms and very dog friendly with nice park and ocean view right across the street! More of small quaint motel....than a hotel...we loved it!

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with family
    • 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.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

The location across the street from the beach is good. Although they are building next door and was noisy during the day it didn't affect us. The rooms are small for 4 people (2adults, 2 kids aged 8 &10) with suitcases. The rooms are clean and the reception staff were very friendly. I think we were the only people staying here without a pet and I was concerned that the room might smell because of the animals but I needn't have been.

  • Stayed September 2014
    • 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.
Helston, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

We stayed for 2 nights in this hotel and our room was better than we expected, although by no mean luxurious. The beach location was perfect for us and we walked into the main town in 20 - 30 minutes each day. The staff were friendly and helpful when we checked in and for the price is a good quality motel to stay in. There is building work going on next door, but we weren't affected by this as we were out most of the day.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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La Quinta, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

After two previous stumbles with corporate hotels, we ironically were forced to change our plans which found us staying at a motel - OMG. I read some reviews that made it sound like this was a dump and so on....completely the opposite!
We stayed for 2 nights and we're on the 2nd floor with King with a fireplace. This should be called a boutique motel as it has allot of special little things not even found in larger hotels let alone your basic motels! Most of the rooms have had major remodels...see their website for descriptions.
Not only having the pleasure of a view of the ocean, we were literally across the street from the ocean! There were two comfortable chairs with cushions (not plastic) with a small table just outside each room. All top floors look down over the very clean pool. The outside steps led downstairs along side of the pool area to a small cozy lounge area with padded chairs and sofa seating with tropical plants surrounding it.
We absolutely loved our room...all tiled bathroom with walk in shower...bar area with wine chiller, microwave, refrig next to the fireplace and large flat panel TV above. There were two new large vinyl windows in our corner room that opened wide with a desk that looked outside all the way out to the ocean.
...what a nice surprise!!!

Room Tip: The manager will advise you of the construction of a large corporate hotel next to their hotel. Ther...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

Given all of the comparable options in the area, I would stay elsewhere next time. The motel wasn't quite what I was expecting. There was nothing wrong, and the staff was helpful, but it isn't how it looks based on the website. The rooms are more worn than we were expecting. There was also a relatively large gap under the door, so we had a creepy spider makes it way in. The location is a bit far from the "main drag" of Santa Barbara, but we chose to stay here because of our expectations, so I wouldn't return.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueSandsMotel, General Manager at Blue Sands Motel, responded to this review, August 4, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We are very sorry that we did not meet your expectations. We strive to keep our rooms as up to date and well maintained as possible. We wish you had brought any problems to our attention during your stay so that we may have had the opportunity to resolve them for you. We were not aware of any gaps under our doors. They are all supposed to have a metal/rubber strip along the bottom to prevent rain and other things from getting in. We thank you for bringing this to our attention, and will go through each of our rooms to find out which one has the gap and remediate it.

It is true that we are located one mile from State Street (the “main drag”), but we are a beach hotel and located only about 100 yards from East Beach. We don’t claim to be a downtown hotel. East Beach is arguably one of the nicest beaches in Santa Barbara and is also home to the Hyatt and the Fess Parker Double Tree Resort. You can easily walk to State Street in about 20 minutes along the beach front, or for 50 cents, you can take the electric shuttle which runs up and down both the beach front and State Street. If you prefer to drive, State Street has abundant parking which is free for the first 75 minutes and only a $1.50 an hour after that.
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Munich, Germany
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 via mobile

We were at dinner in downtown Santa Barbara with our family and the front desks calls saying that our dog was barking while we were at dinner. Since we were in the middle of dinner and had to call a taxi afterward, it took a little under an hour to finally arrive back. On the way back, we received a call threatening to bill us $400 while they touch and board out dog up. While we are on the phone and arriving at the same time, we hear NO peep from any type of dog upon arrival. We enter our room and the dog is sleeping on the bed...we then hear a knock on our door and the employee acts confrontational and actually scared my younger daughter into the kitchen. There was pee on the floor and my dog was shivering. I don't know what happened while my family was gone but I have a horrible feeling about this hotel's "dog service." I was threatened and felt extremely uncomfortable. I do not recommend this hotel at all, but I do recommend the location.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
BlueSandsMotel, General Manager at Blue Sands Motel, responded to this review, August 4, 2014
It is important for guests to remember that we are a dog friendly hotel, not a dog kennel. Our guests are both dog owners and non-dog owners. For the comfort and enjoyment of all of our guests, we find it important to put in place “common sense” rules that all guests with dogs are asked to read and initial during check-in. Even other dog owners may not enjoy hearing a dog in the next room barking late into the night.

The reviewer read and acknowledged their understanding of the following rules by initialing them at check-in on the sign-in sheet:

Rule #1: “Guests will notify front desk if they leave their dog unattended in the room.”

The reviewer failed to notify the front desk that they would be leaving their dog unattended in the room.

Rule #2: “Never leave your dog alone in the room after 10 pm.”

The night manager had to call this reviewer at 10PM because we were receiving complaints from other guests getting angry about the reviewer’s dog barking loudly. The dog appeared to be panicking because it had been left alone in an unfamiliar environment and kept jumping up and down trying to look out of the window. This is unfair to the dog and to the other guests.

Rule #3: “You must agree to come back immediately if we call to notify you that your dog is causing problems”. (Not as soon as it is convenient.)

After an hour, now 11PM, the night manager had to make a second call to the guests because they still had not returned and other guests in rooms near theirs were becoming agitated.

Rule #4: “In the event my dog is disturbing other guests and I cannot be contacted in a timely manner, I authorize the BSM to either board my dog or hire a dog sitter at my expenses.”

I’m not sure where the guest got the number $400. In fact, we have no idea how much it would cost since we have never had to board a dog before. The night manager did tell them it would probably be expensive at 11PM on a Saturday night.


At 11:15PM, the guests finally returned to their room. The night manager was speaking with another guest outside at the time and walked over to explain why he had asked them to return. He was initially speaking with one of the women in the group when a young man came out and began acting aggressively towards him. The night manager, not wanting to get caught up in a dispute, simply said “OK then, enjoy the rest of your night” and walked away. A short time later, the young man came back outside and went near to where the night manager was sitting. He then proceeded to have a loud, profanity laced conversation about the entire situation with one of the rooms other occupants - seeming to indirectly direct it at the night manager. The night manager just continued to ignore him.

Since the reviewer’s claim that the night manager had been aggressive towards the guest was such a serious accusation, management later reviewed the security cameras and verified that the night manager had only been at the guest’s door for just over a minute and never once appeared even slightly aggressive or antagonistic. If the dog peed on the floor, it was probably because it was frightened and panicked about being left alone in an unfamiliar environment and which was probably the reason it was barking in the first place.

In addition, there seems to be an apparent inconsistency with the reviewers own version of events. I’m not sure whether the dog was sleeping comfortably on the bed when they got back or shivering and peeing because of events which transpired while she and her family were not there. For the record, no one went into their room or in any way interacted with their dog while they were gone.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Sands Motel

Address: 421 South Milpas Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
#23 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Blue Sands Motel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Blue Sands Motel is a small property only a quarter of a block from some of the best beaches in Santa Barbara. Close to shopping and restaurants, we strive to provide you a clean comfortable room at an affordable price. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Sands Hotel Santa Barbara
Blue Sands Santa Barbara

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