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“Do not go here if you can help it!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel

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Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel
134 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101   |  
Hotel amenities
A TripAdvisor Member
“Do not go here if you can help it!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2005

This hostel looks ok from the outside but looks can be deceptive! We stayed in this hostel for 2 nites and were not impressed by it at all!This hostel was unclean and infested with ants. 'breakfast" consisted of toast with either peanut butter or jam. Staff were not very helpful. The facilities are also very limited and the fuse kept on going anytime the kettle or toaster was being used. We also got greeted in the morning by a mouse outside our room. The location is very central but every time a train passes by it wakes you up with the horn blaring.We would advise others to look elsewhere if possible.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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122 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2005

This place was a dump - nothing like in the pictures or the description. They say it's brand new...when, in 1973? We paid over the odds ($70) for a private room with no bathroom or television after the receptionist told us that was really cheap for Santa Barbara. When we walked in we walked straight back out again. It was filthy. The carpet was dirty and ragged, the ceiling seemed to be coming in and the bed sagged in the middle. No effort had been taken to make it nice or inviting, and the bed sheets didn't look clean at all. The bathrooms were mouldy and disgusting.

We tried to get our money back, and the guy at the counter was so rude and unhelpful, that we just had to write it off as a bad experience and walk away without our money. We ended up staying at 'Motel 6' just down the beach, which was great and had a pool, aircon, private bathroom and cable TV, and at $65 it actually cost LESS than this tatty, dirty hostel. I've stayed in hostels all over the world and this was by far the worst, and the most expensive as well! Shop around before you stay at this place.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2005

Loved the place, great location, very friendly staff, fun activities, just what we wanted!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2005

I stayed there in July of o4. It is now December and they are still charging me excess amounts of money! A headache waiting to happen to everyone!!!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2004

I used my credit card to make a reservation on phone on Nov 8,I thought the rate of santa barbara tourist hostel is reasonable,cos I can have a private room with double bed for $49 per nite,but that's not true!

When I got there with my boyfriend on Nov 10,the black guy at the front desk said according to the public holiday on Nov 11,the room rate would be raised to $60,it was late and I didnt want to look for another motel,so I laid down $60,and decided to settle down first,but the 'private room',is terrible,the room has no double bed but a dorm,I told the guy I reserved for a double bed room but not a dorm,then the guy said he never say there're double bed room in the hostel,the bed sheet was sandy,everything just not like the pic on their website,so I requested to refund and the guy said he can offer me another 'fully make up'room in haley cottage as the same rate,he sounds so helpful and keep saying that it's impossible to find another motel room in SB at this rate,so we went to haley cottage,the room was bigger but smelly,no light ,no fluch in the washroom,bed sheet was dirty and stained,when we decided to go for another hotel,the guy said I have to pay $40 for cancellation charge,we refused to pay that cos we thought we were cheated,finally the guy refund my $60,but then he said he will charge me $40 by my credit card,(cos I gave them my secure code when I made the reservation on phone),I tried to call the card centre next day,and I found out they already charged me $68!!!

  • Stayed November 2004
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2004

This place is ideal for young travelers. It's cheap, great downtown/beach location, and a good time. Very friendly staff and people. Haley Cottages on the other hand was not as impressive. The rooms were dirty and not very well kept up. But as a whole, a great deal for fun people who are up for something new.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2004

Boyfriend and I stayed here and had a negative experince. Dorms were $23. and a $5. cash deposit for the key. To go out late at night they expected you to give them another $10. for a different "night key". Being right next to the train station like their website advertises mean you HEAR the stupid trains!! They are 100 feet away as is the station itself. First thing in morning to midnight you have train noise. When we first got there you could drink. That, and no curfews are why we choose independent backpackers and avoid H.I. The second night the manager made a big speech that alcohol was being banned because the town fathers were trying to close down the hostel for being too loud. A huge crowd of youn Irish were there at the time and they said the hell with that! They checked out next morning. We didn't like that either so we moved to private cottages owned by the hostel called Haley Cottages. The place is a dump! It is in aa seedy part of SB, not good at night walking from the bars on State St. back. So...at least we can have a couple of days privacy after the dorm and no drink right? Wrong. While sitting in the courtyard having a chat at ten in the evening we were asked by staff to go inside our cottage so we don't disturb the other guests!!!! It's part fo a hostel, for gods sake!! Ten!!?? So, after we take our drinks back in and sit down a huge rat runs across my feet!! I go outside to find staff and the girl from E. Europe says rats ate up the woodwork in their room and the owner said he couldn't control the local wildlife!!! They added that the guy broght them over on visas and said they would get 6 per hour and free housing. In fact, they have to work 20 hours each week just to barter the dorm housing..with NO money. SB Tourist Hostel and it's cottages are run by a greedy unethical man. They are NOT clean, contrary to the website. Plus at the dorm no alcohol. Forget it. just go throught to San Francisco or LA, whichever direction you're going. It's too bad because SB is a classy city with nice beaches and good looking people, but if you have money get a hotel. Mid week you can find them for $49. We paid $59. and got childish treatment and rats.

  • Stayed June 2004
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel

Address: 134 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A beautiful new hostel located two blocks from the beach and one block to State Street, famous for it's nightlife, restaurants, Spanish architecture and shopping. We are directly opposite the train station and walking distance from the bus station, with plenty of bike parking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Santa Barbara Tourist Hotel Santa Barbara

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