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“Nice but needs to be kept and rooms renovated” 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 #29 of 59 hotels in Santa Barbara
granville
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Nice but needs to be kept and rooms renovated”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

The hotel is in a great location, beautifully landscaped, the concept is great! however, the rooms need updating ASAP, the terraces need to be cleaned. I tried to sit outside in my "terrace" but it was dirty, with spiders, the chairs had animal poop on them, so it wasn't nice. The beds and bathroom were clean, but the carpet was torn, and things stained. Rating cleanliness is hard because the room was clean but the balcony/terrace was filthy

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (263)
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Sussex, England
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

This place is almost very good but it just manages to fall short. It is in a very good location to be able to walk to the centre of town (about 20 minutes away on foot). The hotel is big and spread out. We booked the cheapest type of room which were 'Mountain View' - yes we could see mountains in the distance but that really meant we could see the car park, the railroad tracks and some run down small factories. our room was very large and comfortable but needed refurbishing. My wife coughed a lot so we checked behind the bed and there was a large amount of dust collected there. The swimming pool area is far too small for the size of the hotel its crowded and noisy and if you get there late chances are there is nowhere to sit. However, the poolside food and associated service was excellent! We ate breakfast each day as we had vouchers - my overriding impression was that they seemed very disorganised which means one does not have a relaxing time, also at times the buffet food was cold. It would not take much effort on behalf of management to pull the overall experience a notch or two

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

I must confess to being the other half of BernieG who wrote a terrible review of this terrible hotel. There is nothing to add except that after billing us at the hotel for just one night, telling us they wouldn't bill us for leaving early and taking off our meal bill we have come home to find that none of this was done and they have taken twice as much off our credit card as they promised to. We now have to take time to sort this out from the other side of the Atlantic...Stay away from here. Its dreadful.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, August 28, 2013
We are very sorry that your stay was not as enjoyable as it should have been and it appears we attempted to correct the situation. We found your reservation and according to our records the credits were applied as agreed. We hope by now, your statements reflect the credit adjustment. Again, we apologize for the problems you encountered..
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San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

The property itself is beautiful and the location is great, right across from the beach and adjacent to the 101 so it makes getting around easy. We stayed here for two nights and as gold members we were supposed to a couple of water bottles and a password for Wi-Fi upon check-in, but neither of that happened. Not a big deal because we didn't need either during our stay but I'm just saying... The lobby, lobby restroom and the grounds were very clean while we were there and the staff was very attentive and pleasant. Our room was fine but the carpet is worn out and the lamp shades were bent and dirty as mentioned in another review. The bathroom was clean and I liked that there were 2 sinks (1 separate from the shower/toilet). Beds were comfy. When we turned on the air conditioner it smelled moldy or musky or maybe the filters needed to be changed. We ended up leaving our balcony door open instead, but be warned the train goes by right behind the property. It didn't bother us but just make note if you're sensitive to noise. We arrived earlier and there were no rooms available so we received a temporary key pass for the lot which was convenient. The pool is large and heated to a comfortable temperature. Very nice as is the jacuzzi. Overall a nice stay.

  • Stayed July 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
We appreciate your candid and detailed review and thank you for selecting our resort for your recent stay in Santa Barbara. We hope your travel plans will include a return trip soon. Next month we begin a major renovation project. We hope you will return to enjoy the new/fresh look in our guestrooms. Thank you again for providing the details and giving me the opportunity to share this information with our management team.
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London
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

I was slightly dreading staying here given some of the reviews...urine smelling corridors etc, but once we checked in we found it to be fine: not terrible like some say or fantastic like others.

First it has great staff all of whom are upbeat, friendly and efficient. We were a family of five staying in a 2 bed queen room and when I mentioned that we needed an extra fold out bed they had one in the room in no time and did not charge. The pool is nice and has a small cafe and a lot of towels available. For those who do not have breakfast with their tariff there is a reasonably priced cafe next to reception. It also has a good gym for a hotel.

The downs are: being charged $19 to park which I think is unacceptable, only having free wifi in the foyer area, having to switch off the loud air con which meant the sound of the passing trains were not muffled...and God the 2am train was loud! But principally that the whole property is in need of a complete refurb.


This could be a great hotel. The public spaces have huge potential, but it needed renovating years ago. Luckily this seems to be about to happen and the mock ups of the rooms seem to look good.

We paid $265 plus tax and the bloody parking fee for one room sleeping five. We had a "mountain view room" which in reality backed onto the car park. On the back of the door the tariffs suggested that rooms cost $700 a night, presumably a move to make you think you have a bargain. If I had paid the full tariff I'd have been furious. But I look forward to staying again once the refurb is complete and management keep their staff as motivated as they were on our visit.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cypress, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

Wow, were we pleasantly surprised! My sister, cousin, and I, who are all Seniors, spent three days at the Fess Parker Resort. I am a regular on TripAdvisor, so I was, of course, very skeptical. But, we got a good deal through Hotwire, and we decided to try it.
It is always about location, location, location--the hotel is right across from the ocean--sprawling over about a block. Beautiful grounds look out onto the walking path and sand of the beach! Much is in walking distance, but if you have a car, all parking lots on State street have 95 minute free parking, so the car is an option.
Because I am a gold Hilton Honors member, they upgraded our room to a partial ocean view. We also received two free breakfasts for each day that we were there. We were given three water bottles on arrival. Free Wifi was given, as well.
The room was surprisingly great-- spacious with two queens and a free roll-away that fit perfectly. The staff set up the roll-away for us, and the cleaning crew did an excellent job each day. The ONLY upgrade that our room (374 in the Camelia building) will need is tightening a loose doorknob in the bathroom--we expected MUCH worse!
The pool was lovely--we loved hanging out with people from all over the world, with families, couples, all types! It was clean, great for swimming laps at an early hour, with plenty of lounge chairs for all.
The breakfast buffet was very nice. The regulars, with omelettes made-to-order, cereals, oatmeal, bacon, sausage, breads, fruits.
The best part was the staff. I want to thank you personally for the wonderful service that you give. Maybe it is because of TripAdvisor, BUT someone has made it clear that everyone should say hello, smile, help in anyway possible. Each person we encountered seemed genuinely polite, efficient, and happy to see us. What a pleasure!!
For those of you traveling to Santa Barbara for the first time, don't miss State Street (the main street in town for shopping and restaurants, the second pier away from the resort (a working harbor for fishing boats, with great seafood restaurants), the Santa Barbara mission, and Lotus Land (an estate in Montecito with fabulous grounds--must make reservations ($35 for docent tours); and if in Santa Barbara on weekends, art fairs right across the street on the walkway. Good Mexican restaurant--Agave's.
Thank you, Fess Parker Resort, for giving us a great time!

Room Tip: Ones facing the water are always the best! Our partial ocean view was terrific!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Wow... what a wonderful review. First, thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you. We greatly appreciate your thoughtful and informative review of the resort and details about activities and destination to enjoy nearby. Our team works very hard to make certain our guests enjoy their stay. Thank you for your compliments and kind remarks. We appreciate your business very much and hope we have the opportunity to serve you again real soon.
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Manhattan Beach, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

We got married five years ago at the Fess Parker and have come back twice since to celebrate our anniversary - once just as a couple and once with our one year old. We love the experience at this hotel. Rooms are huge, beds comfortable, rooms clean. Pool area is nice, though not best in class. Poolside grill is delicious, breakfast at the main restaurant is only so-so. We have always enjoyed wonderful and very attentive service. Alex Yi in particular always sees to our needs before, during and after our stay. The location is also great - right across from the water and a nice walk to State Street. It is not the luxury of a Four Seasons or Bacara, but a good value and a special place for our family.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.

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Additional Information about The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort

Also Known As:
Fess Parker`s Doubletree Hotel
Fess Parker`s Doubletree Hotel Santa Barbara
Doubletree Santa Barbara
Doubletree Fess Parkers
Fess Parkers Doubletree 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#9 Business 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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