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“Definitely A Resort Feel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort

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The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93103   |  
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Fess Parker Wine Package
Ranked #30 of 53 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Toronto
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Definitely A Resort Feel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

I'll preface this review by saying I was there for just one night, didn't use any hotel services other than having dinner at the restaurant and using the airport van, and that I was staying on a Hilton Honors reward night. All that said, this hotel is right by the water and definitely has a relaxed resort feel.

Staff were very friendly from the moment I arrived until I was dropped off at the airport. It may be of interest to some to know with mobility and other disabilities that the hotel does have rooms spread out over different buildings, in case that is a factor for you. Since I was only there for one night, spending the day in the city, I have nothing out-of-the-ordinary to report about my sleep.

While it would be nice to return to the hotel, unless it is on HH points, I couldn't rationalize paying the hotel's rates.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 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
    • 5 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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2,041 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

My husband and I stayed here during our honeymoon in California. We had a long drive to Santa Barbara so we were delighted to finally arrive. At check in we were greeted by David who was just fabulous to us. He enquired where we were from, the purpose of our visit and where we had travelled from that day. As we were a honeymoon couple, David went to speak to his manager to try and secure an urgrade for us....we were over the moon when he came back and told us he had secured an upgrade with an ocean view! The room was fabulous, with our own balcony and a wonderful bathroom with jacuzzi bath.
On our first morning we ordered breakfast to be delivered to our room. The waiter arrived and set up our breakfast table outside, breakfast was delicious!
As we were departing the next day we decided to take it easy and chill by the pool that day. I should add at this stage it was mid-week when we stayed so the hotel was not at maximum occupany but was still quite busy. The pool was lovely.
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and would definitely come back if we are lucky enough to visit this area again.
Highly recommended in our opinion.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, July 5, 2012
Thank you so much for your positive and informative report to TripAdvisor. I was so pleased to see that your stay was so enjoyable. Your comments regarding the service you recieved from David on arrival are greatly appreciated. We hope you keep us in mind for your next trip this way. It would be a pleasure to welcome you back to Santa Barbara and the resort!
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San Diego, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

Glen greeted me outside. He was absolutely great. Warm and friendly, unlike the fake customer service like demeanor. He absolutely set the tone to a great experience. Chad, the bellman stepped up next. Just gracious and humble and ready to assist. Handled my luggage without me having to think about it. Manager assisted me to seat, and server authentically just took care of me like just like how I would want to be. Upon check out, the front desk agent answered questions about the deposit. I didn't think she would have a response. She dominated with her knowledge of the hold. Truly love Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort. Thanks team.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 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
    • 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.
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

Great location! Close enough to downtown and is right on the beach.
There's everything you need here. Pool tennis court , spa, gym.
Service was good, rooms could use a refresh but the beds were great!
Overall a great hotel. Love the free cookie at check in.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

Overall I was very satisfied with my 2-night stay. The room was clean and comfortable. The bed linen was high quality and felt great. My partial ocean view was more than adequate. The pool was very nice (although the June weather was generally pretty chilly). The beach across the road was extremely accessible and the sand was very fine - not grainy or rough. Bikes and other activity equipment were available for rent (at very high rate). Ample, convenient parking. With a car, very easy and quick to get most anywhere. Small but not crowded fitness machines. Breakfast buffet not cheap but very good, varied and filling. The only real area of dissatisfaction during our stay was with respect to concierge service, which was relatively useless. The hours were very limited (not on site until 3 p.m.), the attendant was sweet but had very little to offer in terms of ideas, and the driving directions provided on a pre-printed card to get to a horseback riding attraction advised guests to get on the highway heading South when in fact the location is 20 miles north (causing us to waste lots of time). While the room rates are high, the property is really nice and you're paying in part for location as opposed to extraordinary amenties. I would stay here again on my next trip to Santa Barbara.

Room Tip: Higher floors will have a better ocean view but the grounds are very nicely landscaped so as long as...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

We stayed at this hotel on the second stop on our honeymoon trip to California. I had read the mixed reviews on Tripadvisor but went with an open mind. It's an imposing hotel right on the waterfront, lovely well kept grounds, perfect location, BUT don't let this fool you, this place is awful!

On arrival at check in we asked if we could have an ocean view room as this was our honeymoon, the front desk was obliging, great we thought! The hotel is split into various blocks, ours was right at the far edge of the hotel next to the tennis courts. The 'Azalea', a single story block of about 6 rooms, indeed with an ocean view....and the whole street outside has a room view!

These rooms are dire! Not only did our room have zero privacy due to the street right outside the terrace, it was old and shabby, so dark you need to have the lights on constantly (3 of which didn't even work in our room), the carpet was a dark, dark brown and completely stained with I dread to think what! And the room stank! We spent one horrible night in here before asking to be moved. Luckily we were moved to a room in the main building overlooking the pool (at this point we didn't care about the view!). It was a vast improvement to what we had originally but was still old and stained, but at least it didn't smell! The bell boy who showed us the new room before we accepted it admitted all the complaints they got were due to the rooms being smelly and being dirty. He was very blasé about it and it sounded like it wasn't unusual for guests to demand to be moved.

The sound proofing in this hotel is terrible, take some ear plugs! Due to the shabby appearance of the hotel I refused to eat here so cannot comment on the food or service in the restaurants, however when we received the bill upon check out we found an extra charge of $63 on our bill for a meal in the restaurant!!! Needless to say we complained and asked for it to be removed, which they did with no argument, makes me wonder if this is a common occurrence.

There is no free WiFi in the rooms but you can access it in the public lobby area. There is a laundry room where you can do your own washing, useful, but don't expect your clothes to come out clean, the powder never really gets dissolved properly and clothes smell far from fresh even after washing.

Another reviewer commented on the lack of interest by front desk staff, I have to agree. They are utterly clueless, we asked them about transport in Santa Barbara as we'd heard about a free electric shuttle into town...we were met by a blank look and a shrug. We also needed to contact Alamo, our car hire company during our stay, after repeatedly telling the front desk I needed to call Alamo they kept directing me to the Hertz desk on site! Go figure! Then we were told to use the house phone at the front desk. However, after asking the operator to put us through she abruptly told us she would only allow internal calls. The front desk then went in the back to tell her to allow us an outside call, at this point she put us through to a wrong number!

All in all we couldn't wait to leave this place, I was hoping the bad reviews on here were an exaggeration...they weren't. This hotel is due for a complete refurbishment in 2013, they should also upgrade the staff while they're at it. I for one will never stay at this chain again it's definitely left a sour taste in the mouth.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Havelock, North Carolina, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

I've stayed at this venue numerous times and have never been disappointed! The setting is gorgeous... Look one direction and you see the mountains, look the other direction and you see the sun dancing on the ocean. Great location...tons of things to see and do. You may even forget whether you are there on business or for pleasure!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, July 5, 2012
Thank you not only for taking the time to send in your comments but for selecting us for your many trips to Santa Barbara. Your business is very valuable to us and we will continue to do our best to make each and every stay the very best for you. We hope to welcome you back real soon.
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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 The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort

Address: 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#7 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#9 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#9 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#24 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 360
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort is steps from the beach and convenient to Santa Barbara's waterfront and downtown. Oversized rooms all feature balconies or patios; families and pets are warmly welcomed. Amenities include a year round heated Olympic sized pool, Spa, fitness center, salon, tennis courts, bike rentals, putting green, shuffle board, weekend wine tasting, 2 restaurants, ocean-view bar and 24 acres of grounds. Complimentary airport/Amtrak shuttle service available daily. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fess Parker`s Doubletree Hotel Santa Barbara
Doubletree Santa Barbara
Doubletree Fess Parkers
Fess Parkers Doubletree Resort

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