Going on the reviews from Tripadvisor, I booked a room with a patio on the phone with someone named Jacqui a month before our stay. She said that she would email through our confirmation. Nothing ever arrived. I emailed several times, and finally had to call again. They had our booking, but the promised email still never arrived.
We were on a work trip in L.A, and 2 days before we were due to arrive, we knew our meetings would run over into the evening. We called again to try and cancel or move the first night, but were told there was a 48 hour cancellation policy which we had just missed. How were we to know, we never received anything documenting our booking or their policy? My boyfriend tried to explain, but the manager was obdurate. So we had to rush our meetings and drive late in the evening to make their check-in time.
When we got there, we found a VERY ordinary motel at a price of $200 + tax per night. No outdoor or communal area to hang out in, no pool. Our room had low ceilings, the decor was corporate, we did not get a room with a patio we requested a month prior. One small window looked out onto the parking lot of the motel, another small window looked out onto the parking lot of the motel next door. No view. Dark. Grim. Cooped up with no patio. Not our style.
My boyfriend talked to the manager to see if we could check out the next day as we were unhappy. He was again obdurate that we were bound to stay for the two nights, despite the fact we had never received any confirmation of our booking. As we did not get the room with a patio we requested because my boyfriend is a smoker, and there is no outdoor space at the motel, he smoked one cigarette outside on the stairs while talking to me through the open door.
We were so unhappy with the unfriendly sad motel that we checked out the next morning and went somewhere bright and cheerful with a pool and a good attitude. As a courtesy, we called Castillo Inn on the Beach to tell them they could resell the room for the second night we had paid for.
We spoke to someone called Frank, who said that they had already cancelled our reservation whilst still charging us in full for the two nights, and that they had moreover charged us a $100 'cleaning fee' for smoking in the room. We tried to explain that we hadn't done so, but Frank rudely told us that "this monkey business was not appreciated" ! Words fail. Perhaps if they treated their guests with respect, by confirming their booking and cancellation policy, and giving them the rooms they have requested for a reason, we wouldn't have been forced to smoke outside an open door. There seriously cannot have been more than one puff of smoke that chanced to blow inside the room. We are a polite couple and left the room in perfect condition, but were treated as if we had burnt down their precious motel.
This was a really negative experience which cost us over $500 for one night at this overhyped motel, and ruined our Santa Barbara trip. We were only there for 2 nights and didn't have a chance to relax from having to move. There are so many more worthwhile places in SB to stay. Avoid.
Don't stay there, and if you do, don't expect to get the room you request.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.