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“Did not know this was a motel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Inn by the Harbor

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Inn by the Harbor
3.0 of 5 Inn   |   433 W. Montecito St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 21 Santa Barbara B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cork, Ireland
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Did not know this was a motel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Upon arrival we did not know this was a motel however it was very clean and well appointed. It had a lovely pool area and was quiet. It is also very near to the beach. The hotel is connected to its sister hotel called Brises del mar and I thought this seemed a nicer place to stay with polite staff. Both hotels have a free wine and cheese hour as well as cookies and milk at 6pm and this is a lovely touch. They offer free bikes and dvds. All in all, the hotel is perfect for guests who will be out all day and want a comfy safe room.

Room Tip: Check to see if the sister hotel Brises del mar has availability first.
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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
    • 4 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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437 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    202
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (87)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

My wife and I were only in Santa Barbara for 2 days and one night. We did not choose to stay at an expensive place because we were gone "out and about" most of the time. I chose this wonderful Inn by the Harbor based upon Trip Advisor reviews and location. The location is fine and an easy walk to the shuttles (to the harbor and State Street) for ridiculously low prices. The room was better than anticipated, quite frankly. It had a comfortable bed and we slept just fine. Best was the larger fridge than usual to keep things like left over's cold until ready to finish them later. We asked for and got the room we wanted at a price lower than any discounter offers.
Now the important stuff. Once you have met Anthony, you will want him as a friend for life. He is deserving of every accolade that he receives in the reviews. He remembers your name! Who does that? He is kind, attentive, seems to love what he does and "your wish is his command". I am embarrassed that I do not remember the also wonderful woman who is there at night, as she is also a delight. I honestly do not think that the place would have felt as comfy if these people were not serving such a crucial role. My wife and I were treated like friends of the family at breakfast, wine and cheese and cookie and milk gatherings. Of course, everyone would like a gourmet meal, but the food and snacks were more than adequate. I really enjoyed the cheese and crackers, as the timing was perfect coming back from a lot of walking in the city. The common room had comfortable seating and other pleased guests were happy and represented people from other nations as well.
The place is worthy of very serious consideration if you are wanting to have a comfortable experience for a reasonable price and treatment that you would expect from family.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the courtyard.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Anthony on the desk greeted us and was helpful and fun. Loved the cheese and wine hour, followed by cookies and milk hour, plus anytime through the day you could help yourself to coffee and cakes. Nice little pool with very comfy sunbeds. We only had one full day in Santa Barbara and spent half a day on a Segway Bike Tour which cost 95 dollars for 2.5 hours, plus training time - what value, good fun to ride the bike about, plus get a tour of the town and stop offs for photos. they are located 16 Helena Ave, near Stearn's Wharf.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the 2nd floor, overlooking the pool.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Street, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

Lots to enjoy at Inn by the Harbor. Very helpful and courteous staff. Inclusive breakfasts. Wine. Cookies. Lovely spacious room (deluxe, overlooking the small pool) with kitchen. 10 minutes walk to beach. Free bikes hire.
Certainly recommended.

Room Tip: On a busy road, and so a room away from this might be a good idea. We had rear windows onto the road...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Two nights spent, chosen due to apparent location (harbour) and interesting rooms / style

The hotel is basically a traditional motoring inn which has been updated to a fair standard. The hotel next door is not particularly pleasant and it is on a fairly main road leading out of Santa Barbara

It is a couple of blocks from the front and not far from downtown, however there is no question of views of the harbour and the walk to the harbour restaurants is a little further

The room was clean and had been refurbished, however was of an old design and by no means as expected.

That said the breakfast was plentiful, the coffee and cookies good, and the cheese and wine a pleasant addition (don't expect top wine!). The wifi worked well and the staff very helpful

Having been to the area, there are clearly other hotels closer to the front which looked nicer, suggest checking these out as well

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Exeter, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

We spent two nights at the Inn by the Harbor, and it was fantastic. Our welcome by Anthony was exceptional - he made sure we knew about all the lovely little extras you get (cheese and wine in the late afternoon, cookies and milk in the evening, and a good buffet breakfast), and he even sorted out our diner reservation at a nice italian restaurant he recommended (Toma)! The other staff we met were also very friendly and helpful.

Our room was an excellent size and had sliding doors on to the courtyard area where the pool and hot tub are located. It had air conditioning, a good tv, a safe and free wifi (which worked really well - and there was also a computer in the reception area which you could use).

The grounds are just amazing - a little oasis which is kept imaculate by a team of gardeners and other staff. We were lucky enough to see the extremely tall palm trees being tidied up by a man on a rope with a chainsaw - not a job I would want!

There is a laundry avaiable for use by guests between 9am - 6pm (1$ a load for the washing machine and for the drier). This was the only hotel on our trip to have such a facility - and extremely useful it was too!

The location is fine - it is about a 10 min walk down to the seafront area, and another 10 mins along to State Street. The cut through from the hotel through the grounds of its sister hotel is well worth using. If you want to limit the walking you can pick up the trolley service that runs along the front to State Street - 50 cents a ride. At night you might want to be a bit careful when out walking - just be aware of your surroundings as there were a number of people loitering.

Room Tip: Ground floor rooms facing in to the pool area are nicely shaded and peaceful, with the benefit of sl...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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Colchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

. . . . because we had heard so many good things about Santa Barbara. Maybe our expectations were raised too high, but we were disappointed with this hotel. The room and bathroom was small, and because it was near the pool and main walkway, a little noisy. However, all the staff were very pleasant and helpful. The location of the hotel belied its name, as it is away from the centre and the harbour. As we were without a car, this meant that we had to walk or taxi to move around. Once in the centre then the local bus service was quite adequate, if a little sparse, especially at weekends.

Room Tip: You need a car! Keep away fro pool and walkways.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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SBHotelGroup, General Manager at Inn by the Harbor, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Greetings Andrew, I am terribly sorry to hear you were less than satisfied with your recent stay with us. Many of our guests appreciate the convenient location of our hotel, within walking distance to the Santa Barbara Harbor and State Street. However it appears the location was not within your expectation. I am glad to hear you found our hotel team to be pleasant and helpful. Your comments are very important to us so thank for sharing your experience with us and with TripAdvisor travelers. Warmly, Greg Broussard – General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inn by the Harbor

Address: 433 W. Montecito St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Inn by the Harbor 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled among tropical gardens beneath the swaying palms, the Inn by the Harbor is an enchanting Santa Barbara hotel and resort escape. Built in the Spanish Colonial tradition, the white adobe inn features red tile roofs, inlaid tile staircases, wrought iron embellishments, and a heated pool. The Inn is just a short walk from Santa Barbara's golden beaches, yacht harbor, and oceanfront restaurants. The guest rooms at our Santa Barbara hotel and retreat are decorated with Spanish Mediterranean style furnishings. Many also feature full kitchens, which make them ideal for vacations and extended stay lodging. The Inn serves a deluxe continental breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese, and evening milk and cookies.The Inn by the Harbor hotel is within walking distance of many Santa Barbara attractions including West Beach and the beachfront bike path, the yacht harbor, Stearns Wharf, and the vibrant shops and cafes lining State Street. Golf courses, wineries, and the Santa Barbara Mission are all just minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn By The Harbor Hotel Santa Barbara

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