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“Not an Ordinary Express” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara

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Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   17 W. Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101   |  
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Ranked #25 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Not an Ordinary Express”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

My friend and I pulled into Santa Barbara in the evening on our way to Los Angeles from Portland, Oregon without lodging reservation and not knowing where to stay. Since all we needed was a clean room and two warm beds, Holiday Inn Express in downtown seemed like a good bet. But what a surprise, we found ourselves in a historical landmark that’s on the National Register.

The original, known as Virginia Hotel, was built in the early 1900’s. Ravaged by age, it was closed in 1997. Afterwards, the property was renovated and operated as Holiday Inn Express. While the new hotel has all the modern comforts, including flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and climate control, the building retains its historical charms. Elements of its former Colonial Revival style can still be seen both inside and outside of the building.

The location is superb too, just around the corner from State Street where shops and restaurants abound. We had dinner at Cadiz, a Mediterranean Tapas and seafood restaurant, where not only the food was excellent, the hostesses could not be more helpful and friendlier. I don’t usually remember names from chance encounters, but I still remember Paige and Michelle because of the extraordinary experience.

Last but not least, the complimentary breakfast at the hotel was a surprise too. It did not look like much initially because it was self-service and everything was packed into one corner of the small lobby. But upon closer examination, it has the full monty – pastries, toasts, pancakes, eggs, yogurts, juices, coffee, tea, and more. The machine-made pancakes could be fluffier, but should one complaint, when they are free? (Of course, nothing is really free in a hotel when you have to pay for the room.)

Room Tip: Rooms facing the parking lot could be noisy in the morning.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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551 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    202
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    73
    31
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128
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
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English first
SF Bay Area
Level Contributor
79 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

See that many travels rated this hotel as excellett. The location is excellent - downtown. We have a street level room facing the room that was just as good/or not as any motel. And pricey for what you got. It was dark and really not excellent. Make sure to get a discount of the street level rooms. Parking a pain too.

Room Tip: avoid street level room
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012 via mobile

Just steps away from the beach! Our rental car stayed parked for the whole weekend. Walking distance to shopping, restaurants, and of course the beach.
This cozy holiday in was not like a typical holiday inn! Great staff and warm decor.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We were driving from San Fransisco to Anahiem and decided to stay at Santa Barbara. There are four of us in our party (2 adults two teenagers) We were impressed by the staff, breakfast (breakfast patio included) and room. We took advantage of the free car parking and free bicycle hire and rode around the ocean front on both mornings after breakfast. The location is perfect for access to State St shopping preciinct . We walked everywhere!

It is an older building that has been beautifully refurbished. The bath room was super clean. Only concern from two members in our party was the noise of other guests. As its an older building, its possible to hear the walking around of others above.

Room Tip: If noise of other guests may be an issue, ask for a top floor room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

Nice and clean hotel but not the BEST. Stayed one night at the Holiday Inn Express. Hotel is located in prime spot. Steps away from tons of restaurants and bars.
Check in was SUPER quick and easy. Bathrooms were clean and well stocked. Rooms are a bit small but also clean. Beds are waaaaay too soft but for one night I survived.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Earls Colne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012 via mobile

Really friendly staff, large room with comfy beds, good selection at breakfast and a superb location in central Santa Barbara.
Had real character in a historic building.
Cannot recommend highly enough and would definitely stay again!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Stirling, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

This is the fourth time we have stayed at this hotel. The location is excellent for going to State Street, the beach and there are plenty of excellent restaurants nearby. Kay and her staff are always on hand to take care of your needs and we have always had a lovely room. The breakfast has plenty of choices and lovely fresh coffee. When in Santa Barbara we will always stay here.

Room Tip: Ask for the top floor and a corner room
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara

Address: 17 W. Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara 2.5*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just a half block from State Street in historic Old Town Santa Barbara, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel Virginia provides luxury and convenience for the sophisticated traveler. Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast served daily from 6:30AM-9:30AM daily. Downtown shopping and restaurants are steps from your door, and the beach and Stearn's Wharf are four blocks away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara Hotel Santa Barbara
Holiday Inn Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Holiday Inn
Santa Barbara Hotel

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