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“Bad experience” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Santa Barbara Family Vacation Center

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Santa Barbara Family Vacation Center
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San Rafael Residence Hall, Ucsb, Santa Barbara, CA 93106   |  
Hotel amenities
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Bad experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012 via mobile

We just came back today. I was so happy to leave. The rooms were terribly dirty, the beds are so hard. The food was cafeteria food.
The staff was very friendly and nice, it's good source of baby sitting if you looking for that, every extra activity cost extra money we ended up paying $640 it top of our $4000 that we payed.
Not worth the value of the money.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
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123 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    103
    17
    2
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sacramento, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

Last year was my family's first time attending the UCSB Vacation Center. We organized this event with 3 other families as a 40th birthday/college reunion. All of our kids ranging from 1 to 12 were incredibly happy, as they met with children their age every day in organized activities. We were so impressed with the ENTHUSIASTIC STAFF who also doubled as fabulous, trustworthy BABYSITTERS BY NIGHT so we adults could enjoy some additional festivities. The FOOD WAS BEYOND AMAZING, too - totally health conscious while being incredibly tasty! It was no trouble feeding the kids while being high-end restaurant quality food for the adults. The Vacation Center also makes sure to the best of their ability that you will have APARTMENTS CLOSE TO YOUR FRIENDS; we were all on the same floor so even on the last night when we opted not to have sitters, the kids could still play in each other's rooms while the parents packed. Once the kids were in bed, the adults could get together for a final toast while keeping an eye on all of our rooms! Needless to say, we are going back again this year!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

I was surprised at how well me and 3 very young children did in the room and asked for the same this year.

Room Tip: depends if you need an elevator or first floor...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Mountain View, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

We started going to SB FVC because our friends said it was so fun that we had to join them. That was 5 years ago and the kids say we have to go back every year. We participate in every event but our favorites are Family Carnival (good old fashion picnic games), bike ride to downtown, tennis instruction every day (my husband learned how to play on this trip, basically), indoor rock climbing, and kyaking. Our kids love the independance of hanging with their age group 'kids group' with their councilor. They have their own dining commons meal pass and sometimes it feels like we barily see them because they are having so much fun. We also enjoy the adult fun acitivies such as Cssinio Night, Adult Night out (dinner downtown), and a new one last year was a Chef Challenge or something. We are very excited to spend another week this summer in the dorms of UCSB in July.

Room Tip: You definitely want to plan to convert your twin set up into a King. We bring bedding and a foam pa...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Tustin, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

My family and I are soooo excited to vacation this summer at UCSB. Both my husband and I went therer for
college so we are excited to share this experience with our three children, ages 8, 7 and 3. We will be staying in a comfortable 3 bedroom suite right on the beach for a whole week! It is all inclusive which means that I don't have to spend any of my vacation time worrying about which restaurants we are going to eat at and what activities we will have to plan for our children. All activites are planned for the children and meals are taken care of too!!! This sounds like the perfect vacation for us. My husband and I will have quality time together without the kids while they are having fun playing with other kids their ages. We will spend lots of fun time as a family riding bikes, playing at the pool and beach and meeting new friends. Can't wait!!!!

Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Mira Loma, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

http://familyvacationcenter.com/

This is the best family vacation deal out there.

This will be our 5th year. We barely found this vacation, it was just a fluke. We love it so much we want others to know about it.

UC Santa Barbara opens up their dorms like a Hotel. It is summer camp for the kids, and Adult camp for the adults. I like to describe it, as . . . "Just like going to college, but without the studying part getting in the way."

It is reasonably priced. It includes food and drinks. And TONS of activities.

The kids are are in their camp from 8am to 5 pm. and you can get counselors to baby sit in the evenings for a reasonable price.

http://familyvacationcenter.com/fvc/kids/

The evenings are where the party happens. There is Pub Trivia, beer and drinks included. On another night there is wine tasteing. Another night has Karaoke. Each night usually ends up at the local bar until they shut it down.

During the day is where the fun happens. There is organized bike rides, Yoga, surfing lessons, Kayaking, Jogging, There is a Santa Barbara winery trip, and much much more.

http://familyvacationcenter.com/fvc/adults/

And through it all is the GREAT staff.

The other good thing about the FVC is that it is a social vacation also. Everyone who comes your week become like family. So each year when vacation comes around again, it is like a family reunion.

We LOVE it.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
La Mesa, California, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

My daughter just asked when we are headed back to Santa Barbara. She's only 4 and she remembers what a great time we've had the last two summers. All of us. It was the first time since kids that I felt rejuvinated and relaxed after a vacation. I walked the beach without my little one and I painted (a painting. really). My husband had a great time, falling out of his kayak and making a soap box derby car. The staff is tremendous, especially the camp counselors. My daughter wanted to be with her camp counselor every waking minute. I almost felt sorry for the counselor. They had a bunch of activities scheduled for the kids, and the adults. The first year, I tried everything and I was tired when I got home. Last year, I brought a book, which I actually read and I did some activities. I really like the arts and crafts stuff. This coming year, we're joining some friends and I can't wait!!!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Santa Barbara Family Vacation Center

Address: San Rafael Residence Hall, Ucsb, Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Santa Barbara
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Summer Camp for the whole family! The Family Vacation Center offers week-long Family Camp experiences on the beachside campus of the University of California Santa Barbara. This all-inclusive experience includes daily child care (kids camp), family activities like Smores on the Beach, Pool Parties and Family Carnivals as well as nightly adult only activities that include a hosted bar.This hassle free family vacation is perfect for the family who loves spending time together, and also enjoys the option of kids camp and "parents night out" time! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Santa Barbara Family Vacation Hotel Santa Barbara

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