I stayed in Santa Barbara for 4 nights on business and chose to stay at the Holiday Inn Express again after a previous good experience. I'm happy to report that the hotel is still a good choice!
I arrived on a Friday evening. The parking lots of the hotel were stuffed, so I was pleased that there was a valet on-hand to help out. The valet gave great service on both Friday and Saturday night (it was back to self-parking on Sunday and Monday). Check-in was welcoming and efficient; I was assigned the room type I had reserved, with my room preferences for floor & location honored by the hotel.
The hotel is in a charming historic building, so it has a lot more character than your typical Holiday Inn Express. The rooms are on the small side, but my room was well-appointed with a comfortable king bed, a small desk, a dresser (flat-screen TV with excellent channel selection on-top), and an armoire. The room had exposed brick walls and pleasant decor. Internet was free and worked well. The only flaw came when the room didn't have a do-not-distrub sign. I asked the front desk to provide one, and it was promised that the staff would deliver one; they never did. My other negative comment was that the hotel's hallway carpet could use replacement; it was fading.
The free breakfast isn't much--it could use a few more healthy options. But, it is free, and the coffee was acceptable.
Service throughout the stay was solid--free water, helpful staff, good housekeeping. The front desk staff was helpful with the few requests that I had.
The biggest attraction of this hotel was its location--right off of State Street, in the heart of Santa Barbara. It's a few blocks from the beach (including a great running/biking trail) and within walking distance of tons of shopping and numerous restaurants.
One recommendation: if you make your reservation far in advance (as I did), it might be worth continuing to monitor rates on the website. I'd reserved a couple of months in advance, and the rate dropped pretty substantially between my original reservation and when I checked again. So, I ended up saving a lot of money by altering my reservation.
I'll be back!
- 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