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“Very good hotel, but still a work in progress” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Canary, a Kimpton Hotel

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Canary, a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   31 West Carrillo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (Formerly Canary Hotel Santa Barbara)   |  
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Ranked #4 of 60 hotels in Santa Barbara
GreenLeadersGold level
Dover, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Very good hotel, but still a work in progress”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We chose Canary over other high-end Santa Barbara hotels in part because it is a member of the Kimpton chain. It certainly is a high-quality facility in a fabulous location, but it only recently joined Kimpton and still has a way to go before getting fully up to what I view as Kimpton standards.

First, the good. As already noted, the location is great! The facilities are spotlessly clean, and the canopy bed in our room was both beautiful and supremely comfortable. The room was a bit cramped, but adequate in size.

Our first disappointment was that the members of the staff, while very friendly, simply did not seem able to be as helpful as they perhaps wanted to be. They were very short on information. I suspect it is a generally inexperienced staff, and improvement will come with experience.

Perhaps our biggest complaint was with the in-room lighting. The light both in the bedroom and the bath was simply inadequate. I will admit that lighting is a pet complaint of ours, but I am continually mystified that hotels, especially expensive hotels like Canary, fail to understand that lights are for the primary purpose of allowing people to see.

As my wife was quick to point out, they also came up short on some of the decor. In particular, we were amazed that they could have possibly chosen that particular wallpaper to go with the lovely tile work in the bathroom. Both the style and the color failed to match, or even blend. Perhaps that's a nit-picking point, but it is after all a rather expensive facility.

That all said, were we returning to Santa Barbara, we would probably return to Canary because of the location. And, I feel confident that, given more time, Kimpton will iron out the wrinkles.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Caroline_Dyal, General Manager at Canary, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Dear Ronald G,
First off, thank you for all the kind words – both about The Canary and Kimpton! You are right, our location and facilities are wonderfully situated in the middle of the action as well as clean & comfortable – especially our beautiful canopy beds! While I am grateful for the compliments, I am sorry you experienced our growing pains and so appreciate the optimism for change and our opportunities to grow here. Our team is especially friendly and indeed still learning a bit so their true personalities and “Kimpton-ness” will show through in time. You will also be happy to know that our design team has already been hard at work here and we have some new installations to enhance both design and lighting so you will have to come visit us again to see all we are up to! So again, thank you for the feedback and the confidence. I look forward to welcoming you back soon!
All my best,
Caroline
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422 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (103)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We stayed at The Canary Hotel as part of trip from San Fransico to Los Angeles - and completely loved it. It's right in the centre of Santa Barbara, close to everything - but the real enjoyment is in the detail.

The staff are friendly and welcoming: there's free wine in the lobby every evening (hurrah!) and there are free gym passes for all guests to next door's Spectrum (more Average Joe's than Global Gym for Dodgeball fans).

But this is a hotel where we wanted to touch everything and pick everything up, such is the attention to detail. The fabulous Spanish/US design combination is complemented by tiny touches: a plastic frog to play with in the bath: funky zebra-striped bath robes: a yoga mat and yoga DVD in the closet: beautiful mirrors in the hall and some lovely art in the bedrooms.

But the real joy is the rooftop terrace. Sitting up here with a glass of wine watching the sun set over the Santa Ynez mountains was one of the standout moments of the trip. Thank you for a wonderful stay.

Room Tip: Room 416 was absolutely lovely.
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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.
Caroline_Dyal, General Manager at Canary, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Dear Trainers1,
We are so glad you had such a lovely time here at the Canary! We really have a great time coming up with the little details that make a big difference and I am thrilled that you loved them as much as we do. As you found out, fun and balance are both important to us too, so I’m glad you took advantage of the yoga and fitness opportunities next door as well the wine hour! Capped off by a gorgeous rooftop sunset? It really doesn’t get any better than that. Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I hope we get to see you again soon!
Best,
Caroline
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stanmore
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We have just spent a couple of days at this wonderful hotel. As you walk though the door you are greeted by the most friendly staff who cannot do enough to help you. I don't think I have ever stayed in a hotel with friendlier staff. The rooms are beautiful as are all the common parts of the hotel. The rooftop pool is gorgeous and the sunbeds are so comfortable.
Breakfast too was lovely, this hotel is a real gem!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Caroline_Dyal, General Manager at Canary, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Dear Melissa1611,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a wonderful review! Our team takes pride in taking care and connecting with our guests and I am so glad you felt the love! We are incredibly fortunate to have the perfect combination of a great team, beautiful hotel and restaurant and gorgeous views. So glad you enjoyed it! Can't wait to have you back!
All my best,
Caroline
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San Diego
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

I went to Santa Barbara with two 'girlfriends' for a get-a-way. We picked the Canary Hotel because it's a Kimpton and it's location. The hotel is located right in the middle of the wonderful State Street shopping area! We arrived to a most welcoming staff who couldn't have been kinder. As our rooms were not ready (we were early) they recommended we have lunch up on the roof where we could enjoy the 360 degree view of Santa Barbara. We ordered our lunch in their restaurant and went up top to enjoy the sun and view. Spectacular and the food was wonderful. Our rooms were lovely with four poster beds, beautiful ammenities such as a warm robe, slippers, turn down service - and the most comfortable hotel! I especially want to compliment David who was our bellman. He was charming, helpful and very kind. He's a wonderful young man and the represents the hotel in a most gracious way.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Jeremy W, Manager at Canary, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Hi there San_DiegoJoan,

It was such a treat having you and your girlfriends stay with us. From the moment you checked in we could tell you were here to enjoy everything we could offer to you and I am glad to see you took full advantage! Thank you for the kudos regarding David as well! It is our employees who go above and beyond that truly make a difference. We hope to see you and the rest of the ladies the next time you decide on getting away.
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Lancashire
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

From the moment we arrived, this place exceeded any and every expectation. Parents were upgraded to a suite as a birthday treat and even got cakes! We were lucky to arrive on the last wine tasting evening of the season, which was on the roof top terrace. What a superb sophisticated evening to set off our stay.
The bedrooms were beautiful. I'm not sure the pictures even do them justice.
We got to use the free bikes to ride around SB - great fun.
Any and every staff member encountered genuinely behaved with care and service was exceptional.
I can't recommend this place enough.

Room Tip: There can't be any bad rooms at this hotel!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeremy W, Manager at Canary, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Hi handif,

We are so happy to hear about your wonderful experience with us. I am sure the cupcakes from one of our local faves didn't hurt but it is great to hear how much you enjoyed your time. It is memories like yours that we take great pride in creating. Thank you so much for the phenomenal review!
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Los Angeles, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

This hotel certainly lived up to it's "Kimpton" standards, which keeping withing the traditional Spanish vibe of Santa Barbara. Everything was clean, lovely, staff was very attentive and helpful, and wine hour is always a plus (everyday from 5-6, wine is served in the lobby!). Our room wasn't ready when we arrived at 3, but they checked our bags and being so close to State street, we decided to walk around a bit. When we came back to finally check in, they had upgraded our room for being so patient. Nice touch and a great start to a getaway. The rooftop pool area was the perfect quiet lounge (and would be a great party spot). We took full advantage of having "room service" deliver us lunch while we lounged one day.

The only negative I can think of was, there was a strange smell to the tap water in the bathroom. Otherwise, our stay here couldn't have been more perfect. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeremy W, Manager at Canary, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Hi o_nate_o,

Thanks for sharing that we meet the high expectations of being a Kimpton hotel. We are new to the Kimpton brand but have enjoyed adding the nice touches like wine hour. Our staff is extremely grateful when they hear how much their kind efforts help make people's stay and we couldn't be happier to hear you enjoyed your time with us! Thanks again!
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

Great welcome from the team and we were immediatley moved when seeing that our room was on the corner of the main street and we feared traffic noise. The add-on was USD205 and we charged USD75, a nice touch. Room was very efficient and clean, bed comfortable.

Great roof terrace with pool and wonderful views.

This place is a little gem in the heart of town, giving easy access to explore.

Super efficient staff, go there if staying in Santa Barbara. We had to ove on the the Harbor View Hotel, see seprate review and would have preferred to stary here.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Jeremy W, Manager at Canary, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Thanks for the review WFN!

We sincerely appreciate the recommendation and are happy you were able to move to a room that met your needs. While we are located in a downtown location which brings louder ambient noise at times, it is nice to hear we could find a quieter spot for you to enjoy your stay from.
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Additional Information about Canary, a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 31 West Carrillo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (Formerly Canary Hotel Santa Barbara)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
#2 Green Hotel in Santa Barbara
#3 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Canary, a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Looking for the most stylish place to land in Santa Barbara? Come to the Canary Hotel. Nestled near State Street’s galleries, shops and restaurants, this fun-filled, full-service boutique hotel is a short stroll from beautiful beaches and a quick drive to wine country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Canary Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Canary Hotel

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