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“Very Nice Place to Stay” 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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Ranked #30 of 60 hotels in Santa Barbara
POMONA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Very Nice Place to Stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013 via mobile

Hotel Grounds and Lobby are very nice rooms were ok we couldn't figure out how to turn on shower and had to call the front desk. The bartender and waitress were very nice. The only complaint was one of the towels in our room was stained and looked dirty...My daughter loved the Fresh Baked Cookies on check in..

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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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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Newcastle, Australia
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

We stayed 2 nights as Hilton Gold members and received an upgrade to a garden view room with free wi Fi.
The downside to our upgrade was that the two storey Eucalyptus wing has no lift so lugging heavy luggage was an unexpected delight after we declined a porter.
A late arrival saw us eating dinner in the bar with wonderful service from Kim although the steak was overpriced and overcooked.
The rooms we clean although a musty smell was evident in the corridor. The hotel was quite empty so the requested later checkout beyond 1.30 for gold honors members being declined unless an extra fee was paid was a surprise.
The cleaning staff however must have been unaware of the 1.30 checkout as they knocked on the door on two occasions to clean - maybe better communication amongst departments would be in order.
The location was very good for strolling along the beach or,walking to the wharf or main street.
Breakfast was standard fare - a bit underwhelming due to disinterested staff.

An unexpected bonus was the train hooting regularly as it signaled it's arrival regularly.
Our sleep however was very god with very good quality beds and pillows.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Thank you for your feedback and your kind compliment regarding the service you received from Kim during your stay.. However, I was so sorry to learn of the unfortunate problems you encountered. Your valuable comments have already been shared with the appropriate managers and will most certainly help us improve the communication between departments and service to our guests. Thank you again for taking the time to tell us about incidents we were not aware of while you were here and which will assist us in our training process.
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We recently stayed for 5 days at the resort for my 60th birthday. Loved that it was in walking distance of Sterns Wharf and the beachfront. From the moment we arrived, the staff were exceedingly helpful and friendly. The valet, concierge, restaurant, and check in attendants all went above and beyond to assist us in a great stay. The grounds were impressive and very well kept. Great night's sleep on the bed and pillows! However I think the hotel should provide bath robes for the price. Breakfast was average. Price for buffet was high. I would have liked to see a quiche or something more unique than typical eggs, bacon, and sweets. I would stay again next time I visit California.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room facing the beach.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Thank you for selecting our resort for your 60th birthday celebration! I was so pleased to learn that our team extended their warm Santa Barbara hospitality and helped make your stay a memorable one. I also want to thank you for your suggestions. We hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back real soon!
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Rainier, Oregon
Top Contributor
333 reviews 333 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 110 cities Reviews in 110 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

This sprawling, Mediterranean/Spanish Mission style hotel has been a favorite for many years. It has recently been renovated and provides al the amenities that you might want. As one might expect, being a California beach hotel, prices are high. Worth it if you can afford it.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the ocean side.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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2007
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

Going to Santa Barbara with our son for a junior tennis tournament, decided to splurge and stay at Fess Parker's...I thought it was a little pricey at $339 (breakfast incl) in the off season, but was so impressed with the tennis academy program here I decided to stay.

What a mistake! This review from a woman who is perpetually happy and sunny...

In order of events,
Very nice valets
Front desk clerk, not so much...tongue clicked me for wanting to check in around 2 pm...this from a 20 something girl no less!
Beauticians in nail salon...their  chairs and tables face the very busy interior public walkway, and there they were, in their full glory, munching down on lunch, in styrofoam boxes, fries and all...
Barista at the coffee shop, did I smell...was so dismissive when we were the only customers and all I wanted was a plain black coffee over ice...

And then the physical issues...
The romantic smell of the beach only works if the smell is fresh, but the outdoor air smelled ...rotten?  My son was much bothered by the intense and overpowering smell of decaying seaweed, dirty salt water, possible chemical spill, and maybe sewage spill problems...

After a few hour drive, decided to wait for our room by stretching in the gym...nice and clean...went to use the restroom and the toiler paper metal wall holder fell loose in my hand, hanging on by one screw.

Once we get to our rooms, boy was I disappointed...as if could have been worse...
Popcorn ceiling
Bathtub fixtures standard to college apartments, standard white tile, dirty grout
Those said fixtures loose on the shower wall, and off kilter by 90*
The room was never spectacular, made worse by the black mold in the grout lines of the tub.
Above the tub was the air vent, that too was blackened...I took photos for proof...
Bathroom door was a has been back alley boxer who long since should have retired...scratches, chips, bruised and battered, the works...more photos...
Laid down on the bed, having a pity party, and you guessed it, dirty white comforter...more photos...

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Thank you for sharing feedback on your recent stay with us. We are glad you chose our hotel during your son's junior tennis tournament and appreciate how excited you were to stay with us. We know how important first impressions can be and I regret that we fell short of meeting your expectations. We are actively working with our staff to improve our service levels so similar issues do not occur in the future. Additional training opportunities will be available as well revised quality control processes to ensure this. We hope that you'll give us a chance to show you our true hospitality if your travels bring you to Santa Barbara again.
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Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

I just returned from an overnighter with my family; I've visited this resort several times in the past fifteen years. I give it a three this time, even though I'd probably choose it again without thinking. Echoing many reviews, the location is excellent. We rode Amtrak and didn't need a car during our stay. The view is fantastic, East Beach is across the street, and Stearn's Wharf and the end of State Street is a walkable distance away.
The resort has a spread-out, campus feel. The lobby is grand, and like many good hotels, there are plenty of public areas to sit and relax. The pool is large, but plain. We swam at night, but it wasn't heated warmly enough to make it fun. The hot tub is small and gets crowded.
Service was mixed. I tried to check in early, but ended up having to pay $20 to upgrade to an ocean view so I could check in at 2pm. The clerk made it sound like a real deal, a discount over the $29 -$39 typical upgrade prices. Not that impressed. I'd be impressed if it was free. And checking in at 4pm is too late, anyway. Then, the next morning, after paying a $100+ for breakfast, I asked for a late checkout, and the clerk said the best she could do was 12:30pm. My reservation email said checkout was 12 noon. Gee, thanks.
I can also echo the reviews about the rooms being a bit tired. I agree. Our room was cleaned, but a bit tired and dated. The refrigerator and coffee maker didn't work. We asked housekeeping for another coffee maker, but never received it. Oh well. At least the flat screen TV was nice.
So it's not cheap, and not perfect, but it's a very nice property in a prime location. Some of the service is very good, some is more corporate--- they try hard only in a predictable and structure way. Once a place calls itself a resort, the bar is raised. Yes, three stars is about right.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
We thank you not only for the detailed review of your recent stay but for selecting us for your family visits to Santa Barbara over the years. The problems you encountered should not have happened. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience we created due to our failure to appropriately respond to your requests. We are excited about the guestroom renovation that will begin later this year and hope you will return to experience the newly remodeled rooms and corridors. Again, thank you for your business and we hope we have the opportunity to serve you again.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

There is nothing I find more annoying than staff pretending to give you an educated answer when they do not know what they are talking about. I cannot imagine how bad customer service gets during high season. I am a long time Hilton honors' member o I am familiar with their rules, I do not find it very logical when I have a concern and they tell me it is because I am not a Gold member. The level of membership does not make a more or less loyal member, it is just an indicator how much or how little you travel. I find this resort a little overrated; it is on a great location but I am sure one can find better hotels for the same amount of money. I was not impressed at all!

Room Tip: You have to apprecaite old properties to like this hotel. there is nothing modern about it.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
I sincerely apologize for the unfortunate way our team member responded to your question. Your feedback is very valuable and I have already reviewed this with our Director of Rooms. I assure you steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again. I am pleased you enjoyed our location but want you to know that we are preparing for a major renovation project that will begin later this year. Again, thank you for taking time to share your candid and constructive criticism.
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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:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#8 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#9 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#9 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort 4*
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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