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“Centrally located gem of a hotel” 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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New Year's Treat
Ranked #7 of 54 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
Lakeville, MN
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Centrally located gem of a hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

We spent 4 nights at the Canary in March 2013 - booking two rooms for my sisters 50th birthday. Upon arrival we hit their happy hour wine tasting - a wonderful thing I must say! We loved our rooms - EXCEPT please put a solid door on the bathroom. At present it's a slotted door so you can hear EVERYTHING. The view from our balcony and the rooftop was exceptional. The service at the hotel was also stellar. We used their free hotel bikes to cruise around but low and behold one of them broke and one of my sisters had to walk/run the rest of the way back to the hotel (we were over a mile away). Other than that we had a wonderful stay at the Canary and would choose them again if visiting Santa Barbara - the location is key and the only one in walking distance to everything. P.S. My sister whose birthday we were celebrating and travels all over the world for business found a few weird items stuck between the mattresses - a crushed soda can and some unknown substance was on the bed ruffle so she had to call the front desk to have the whole bed remade again - which they did immediately.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, April 20, 2013
Dear Carla S,
Happy belated birthday to your sis! Though after reading your review, it really was us who got the gift. Thank you so much! Even though there were a few anomalies, it sounds like the stay was overall a fun one. And don’t worry; we are actively working on a solution for the slats on the bathroom doors – especially in the shared rooms. Hope to see you again soon!
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544 reviews from our community

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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 (130)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Anselmo, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

On a late Feb automobile trip to southern California we stayed twice in Santa Barbara, at the Canary Kimpton on the way down, at the Harbor View Inn on the way back. The Canary Kimpton is downtown, just off State Street, the Harbor View is across the street from the beach, looking at the Santa Barbara pier.
The Canary Kimpton both looks feels like an integral part of Santa Barbara's romantic Hispanic inspired downtown. The Kimpton chain is noted for acquiring older hotels and sensitively renovating them to enhance their existing period style designs while updating the details of guest comfort. When modern interior design styles are used, they are carefully inserted with the period styles. The Canary Kimption is particularly successful in that effort. Enter the lobby and it's 1923 all over again. There is a comfortable seating area with nicely padded chairs and couches in period prints, a sideboard for the afternoon wine service, and casual displays of Hispanic, all ceramics surrounded by thick plaster walls with tile accents around openings. The adjacent bar and restaurant opens immediately off the lobby, exposed through a very wide, glassed in opening, inviting you inside most attractively. It is in a modern style using a lot of exposed wood in large timber to recognize the wood beams in the adjacent lobby area. We had both drinks and dinner there, both were excellent.
Our room was a standard King, at about $275 per night including taxes. The room size was quite comfortable though not generous. The room was lighted by a pair of narrow french doors which led to a narrow balcony overlooking the street. Interior light from the doors was very good thanks to light painted walls. Street noise was modest in the late afternoon, not intrusive, and by nine PM it was gone. The bath was likewise efficiently laid out, with a single sink in a tiled countered, adequate counter space for toilet kits, a combine tub and shower and toilet in an alcove. The bathroom doors consisted of a pair of french louvered types. The King bed came with a canopy. The interior finishes were generally well maintained, a few small nicks here and there but nothing major. Overall, I considered maintenance above average.
The proximity to State street, only about 50 feet away, invites strolling through on of the most colorful small town main streets in the country. There are many inviting small buildings, courts and windows. The ambiance works despite the presence of a few dull chains like CVS and Walgreens. The roof top spa looked wonderful, though we were not able to try it.
Though we may spring for the deluxe King next time (about $345, my wife prefers more "spreading out" room), we definitely would stay here again and encourage others who want that small scale urban experience to do so as well.

Room Tip: Don't be afraid of the rooms facing the street. They can be fun and the noise dies quickly after...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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, April 6, 2013
Paramount81, you painted the loveliest picture of our beautiful property! Thank you so much! I truly appreciate your wonderfully evocative review and hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back. Would you ever consider guiding a tour of our property? Kidding! Love your descriptors and sincerely appreciate your taking the time to write. Hope to see you soon!
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Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

This is our many in a row with Kimpton. Recently stayed at the Muse in NYC. Great hotel and staff.

This visit started off on the downbeat. The front desk checkin person (very attractive, but very young red head) had no clue. Found out later she was working there only a month or so. Wasn't told anything about my dog check in and the requests I had for him. Wasn't told anything about the hotel. Dog name not on the check-in board for dogs (a trite thing, but important to my kids). And every time I asked her a question about Santa Barbara, she demurred and suggested I Google it myself. Seriously? I asked her about spas and because their recommended spa was full, she had no 2nd or 3d option. I found the Fess Parker on my own. Should have I stayed there too?

Wes was awesome and did make the stay a lot better. He always made sure that my questions and needs were answered.

The Sunday Easter brunch pricing was a joke and we went to a very great food place called Tupelo Junction. For the brunch, they wanted $250 for our entire family. Laughable. They did have a good tattoo artist for the kids in the bar and we enjoyed her work.

The carpet on floor 2 was disgusting. Big giant stains right as you get out of the elevator. I dunno if it was because they allow pets, but I asked the front door guy about age and plans to renovate and he said it "might" be in the works. Additionally, our room shower leaked. Not so loud to keep us up at night, but still leaked and onto the bathroom floor.

All in all I would have given the hotel a 4 or 5 star rating if they could just go from 80% everything to 95. I was disappointed in that I look forward to my Kimpton stays.

Room Tip: Double with four-poster bed is great.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Caroline_Dyal, General Manager at Canary, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 6, 2013
Oh treehouse_man, I am so sorry. It sounds like we dropped the ball in a number of different ways during your recent visit. I would love it if we could talk in person and review ways to improve based on your feedback above and any other info you would be willing to provide. Please call me at 805.879.9180 or e-mail me at caroline.dyal@canarysantabarbara.com so we can review further and hopefully quickly move from that 80 to a 95. Thank you so much for your candor as well. Without this valuable feedback, we will never be able to improve, so I thank you for the opportunity!
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Silicon Valley
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We have become fans of Kimpton after our stay in D.C. last year at a Kimpton hotel. We booked the Canary based on 2 factors: 1) it's a Kimpton property; 2) it's location adjacent to State Street.

The hotel has met/exceeded our expectations (as usual). Kimptons are typically boutique hotels and no two will be the same. That said; Kimpton does an outstanding job in aesthetics; their lobbies are always very nice; and the rooms are consistently well done. Our room has 2 queen beds with extra thick mattresses (in fact they provide a step stool to climb up on the bed!).

They offer guests free wine during happy hour along with hors d'oeuvres.

Service is typically excellent; their staff here is fairly young; but very competent and welcoming.

One recommendation; join Kimpton's frequent traveller program; you will get free wifi.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Caroline_Dyal, General Manager at Canary, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 6, 2013
Oh Randy O, YOU are outstanding! Thank you so much for the 5 stars!! We are so happy to be part of the Kimpton family and all it has to offer and are so glad you feel the same. I am equally thrilled you found the team to be welcoming and the rooms well done. I too am a huge fan of the beds and the of course, the step stools. Makes it even more luxurious to get in those comfy beds, right? Thanks again so much and please come back and visit!
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Oceanside, California
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Very classy and right next to State street. The staff is very friendly and attentive. Our suite was very nice. It had a HUGE bathroom the bed was very comfortable. The roof is the best part. It has a pool and a bar and you have a 360 degree view of the city. They leave binoculars in your room to take up there. I like the beach area a bit better and it's kind of a hike to the beach. I recommend staying here if you are into luxury. Oh and they are dog friendly.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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, April 6, 2013
Corey K thank you for the love from Oceanside! I’m so glad you and yours enjoyed your time with us - and appreciate the perfect description of our great spot. Next time you visit, please borrow one of our complimentary bicycles to head down to the beach. Outfitted with a basket to hold your things (and maybe make some purchases on the way), a bike beats an unwanted hike any day! See you soon!
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San Jose, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

We booked this hotel to stay in the center of Santa Barbara and it was a good choice. I would come back. The location is great, the staff is very nice and the rooms are charming. The rooftop pool is very nice and heated.

We booked two suites and my parents got a great one (almost on the top floor with great views), while we got one that had _one_ maybe 5 sqft window "overlooking" the car arrival courtyard of the hotel. Not good for a pricy room and the first time in a long time that I actually went back to the reception and asked for a different room, which they did - but not after looking at the computer screen for a while... Only negative thing I remember.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, April 6, 2013
Hi Markus F
Thank you for the props! We are truly lucky to be situated in the heart of it all here in SB – and to have a great team and property to boot. I’m sorry your first suite wasn’t the right one but am so glad you trusted us to change it for you and that we were able to figure out the right solution. Hope we have the chance to welcome you back soon!
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London, England
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

The Canary is a classy hotel without being too formal. The receptionists are welcoming and helpful. The rooms are large and well apportioned and the rooftop terrace is sublime.

Positives:
1) Not being made to feel guilty for wanting to take my own luggage to my room.
2) Rooms were spotlessly clean and very comfortable Tempur mattress.
3) Rooftop terrace and pool are fantastic and a place you really want to spend time. The views over Santa Babara are lovely and the free sundowner wine for guests is a great touch.
4) Location - just off State Street right in the heart of Santa Barbara. 25 minute walk to wharf and beach.

Negatives:
1) $25 + tax for parking (insane)
2) My room faced the street and the city were digging it up...0700 wake up call I didn't book and not much hotel could seemingly do about it.
3) No breakfast. We went to Savoy Cafe and Deli (very good) just up the road.
4) Quite expensive but hey, you're in Santa Barbara

All in all a good stay. Would I recommend this? Yes probably, although when I asked them for a recommended wine tour the guy they put forward was $85 per hour (!) and we had to chose which wineries we wanted to go to...uhhh no. We ended up booking Stagecoach Wine Tours Santa Ynez after reading reviews on TripAdvisor.

Room Tip: Try and get a room not facing the street (which may be hard)
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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, March 31, 2013
Great review, Sameron! Thank you so much! Your impression of us as “classy without being too formal” is the perfect statement and it sounds like overall you had a good time! And honestly I love your positive statement #1 – no one should ever be made guilty for being self-sufficient. I’m with you on that! Thank you as well for presenting some improvement opportunities. We should absolutely recommend more than one wine tour option and will get on that right away. Thanks again and we hope to have you back with us in the near future!
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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 Green Hotel in Santa Barbara
#2 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#3 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#4 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#5 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
#5 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Canary, a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 97
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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