This is a beautiful property - low Spanish hacienda style buildings set in lush landscaped gardens overlooking the ocean. What more could one want? A little more warmth and professional welcome for one.
We stayed at this property fifteen years ago and loved it, so I was looking forward to returning for one night during a recent visit to the Californian coast. There were two girls on reception both looking bored. We were ignored. Eventually we were attended to for check in. Not five star service. The room we were offered certainly wasn't five star either although the price was. It was on the ground floor, and very dark as the lush foliage had overgrown against the windows, but worse still it looked out on a passageway so that people could just pass and look into the room if one left the curtains open. This was not acceptable. A return trip to reception and service improved some: we were offered a room in the main building with a sea view and balcony. This was the same room type as the room I had previously booked, but I was told that there were only '12 rooms with partial sea view.' This property seems to cater mainly for two types of client: weekdays - corporate events and team building meetings; weekends - weddings, weddings and weddings. If you are a private individual you are left out in the cold. In my book it is guests such as myself and husband that the hotel should be going the extra mile for. A poorly located room could easily be palmed off onto the corporate conference attendee - it is poor customer relations to try and palm off duff rooms to individuals booking via regular rack rates.
I'll get the other negatives off my chest before I return to the positives:
The room was beautiful, and definitely enhanced with balcony plus sea view. The bathroom was spacious with twin sink,spanish tiles and large bath and overhead shower. Soft plush towels but where was the coffee machine? This is now standard in virtually all properties and ranges from a basic drip machine to up-to-date Nespresso-type capsule varieties. Where was room information? Nothing to guide the visitor at all to any of the property's amenities. But the biggest no-no of all was lack of internet, or rather there was internet, they just expected you to pay top dollar for it. I expect free Wi-fi wherever I go: whether it's at Starbucks for Coffee, Waterstones for books, or in a hotel. If this can be provided for free in the remotest places, I find it hard to believe that the Four Seasons, Santa Barbara expects its guests to shell out $12.95 for 24hrs worth of access. I refused to pay and went to Coffee Bean in Montecito, both for breakfast the following morning and to use their free wifi. But of course, I bet all those corporate guests don't worry about add on costs for wifi - their company is picking up the tab.
Now for the plus points.
The property is gorgeous and beautifully maintained. The gardens luxuriant and the ocean awaits just across the road. The tide was right so we managed to walk along the beach to Santa Barbara and back which is only possible at low tide. It's a great walk - one my favourites. Just a few dog walkers and sea birds and pelicans swooping low down to the sea.
Coral Casino is also just across the road. Despite it's name it's not a casino but a fabulous swimming pool (Olympic size), health club and spa (plus a couple of restaurants) that overlooks the ocean in all its art deco glory. It's been given a complete makeover since I last visited 15 years ago and it's just fabulous. The weather was stormy, but it was exhilarating to join the other regulars pounding up and down the lengths. And for an early morning dip what could be better than sitting in the relaxing bubbles of the jacuzzi and watching life out to sea.
What a contrast with the grumpy staff across the road in the main hotel: the staff at Coral Casino Club couldn't have been nicer - I was welcomed warmly and shown the facilities and greeted like an old friend when I returned the next morning. That's how it should be.
This is our preferred location for a stay in Santa Barbara - you can walk (or cycle) either along the beach or by the cliff top road to town (or take the car, or even a bus),plus you can walk across the railway track that runs along the back of the property into the charming upscale village of Montecito and enjoy the individual boutiques and restaurants. We ate at Mollie's and found it to be one of the best in the area. Yummy authentic Italian cuisine ... and they had wifi for free!
Dont be put off you don't like the room location go back to reception and demand better. There...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your comments, we truly appreciate your feedback. I apologize for the poor service you encountered at our Front Desk and assure you that follow-up has taken place to address these issues. We are also looking into solutions for the room you mentioned. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the Coral Casino and other aspects of your stay. Thank you again for the review, and please feel free to contact me if I can ever be of assistance in the future.
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Phone: (805) 896-1419
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.