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“Wonderful Stay & Excellent B&B Business Seminar” 5 of 5 stars
Review of ForFriends Inn

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ForFriends Inn
1121 Edison Street, Santa Ynez, CA 93460   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Santa Ynez B&B and Inns
Long Beach, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful Stay & Excellent B&B Business Seminar”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

We combined a couples weekend with a "business" trip and had a fabulous time. My husband and I and our friends came to For Friends Inn for their excellent seminar about owning your own B&B. It focused on the financial and operational aspects and provide many excellent examples based on their own experience to help us decide whether B&B ownership is for us. Staying there as well was just terrific. The happy hour every evening with Jim and Dave playing tunes and the rest of us participating was a blast. Debbie's breakfast was delicious. We loved the homemade breads. They provided us terrific recommendations for dinner, wine and olive oil tastings. And to get a real local feel they sent us to the Maverick Saloon where we saw some great two-stepping to a really good country band.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dina,

It was truly a pleasure hosting you folks that weekend.

We're so glad you enjoyed The Carleton Group's workshop, "Pursuing the Dream: Owning Your Own Bed & Breakfast." As you know, The Carleton Group is a separate consulting firm business of our that's focused on helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Just as we are focused on delivering wonderful experiences for our guests while visiting ForFriends Inn, we also take great pleasure and joy out of helping small businesses flourish.

Thank you so much for all the fun and excitement you folks brought to the inn that weekend, especially during happy hour and breakfast. It's so rewarding for us to see everyone interacting and enjoying themselves. We will cherish the memories of that weekend and hope that we enjoy many more with you.

Say hi to everyone for us.

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty
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148 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

You can't ask for B&B owners who are more caring and personal with their guests than Jim and Debbie at For Friends Inn in Santa Ynez, CA, in the heart of "Sideways" (the movie) wine country. One year into owing the inn (they moved to wine country from Chicago), they professionally orchestrate their service and make everyone in the 7-room B&B feel like they are personal guests in their home. A highlight is Jim's "jam" session (he plays guitar and sings) with guests on percussion (and sometimes their own instruments) during the 1.5 hour cocktail (wine-tasting) "hour" in their garden (with a heat lamp on chilly evenings). Debbie is a top-notch baker, making all the breads and pastries for the superb breakfasts. Everyone gets to know each other and breakfasts feel more like a family reunion than the formal gathering of a bunch of strangers. The inn is only a few years old, so in excellent physical and nicely decorated (and not overdecorated), including artwork from local artists. Loads of fun in a warm, hospitable "inn".

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Thanks for such a wonderful review! We're quickly learning that the one drawback of our tag line, "Arrive as Guests Leave is Friends," is the verb "leave." It's always tough to have new friends depart. Especially after having such wonderful visits like we had this past weekend with you folks.

Thanks for singing along at happy hour -- even though it got a little chilly in the Wine Garden. Some of those tunes evoke wonderful memories of days past. Perhaps of times spent with friends long ago.

Thanks also for the compliment on Debbie's excellent cooking/baking. She's a marvel! Rest assured, she's conjuring up new recipes to surprise you with during your next visit. Hopefully, you'll also get to meet the rest of the Four Friends who opened an inn For Friends. . .

See you soon!

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty
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Big Bear Lake, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

A wonderful little Inn nestled in the village of Santa Ynez - we were absolutely delighted with the ForFriends Inn. We arrived just in time for Happy Hour in the garden and truly felt like we were at a friends backyard party. Debbie sets just the right tone, it's all about you - not about her. She welcomes you to her home and makes sure you are comfortable, but she doesn't hover - you have lots of privacy. We understand from friends that her musical and handy husband Jim and partners are just as charming. Smitty the dog is hilarious and just adds to the warm family feeling. Our room was large and very very comfortable. Santa Ynez is a small town and it seems everyone knows or is somehow related to everyone else. Debbie had lovely things to say about the village businesses and so when we walked into a shop or restaurant we carried that feeling of friendship and familliarity and were greeted warmly as "local" guests. For Friends Inn indeed makes you feel like you belong to this charming community. We'll be back.

Room Tip: We had a lovely upstairs room - there are three just at the top of the stairs. Quiet and with a pri...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Hi Jo,

Thanks for writing such a wonderful five-star review! We're so happy that you enjoyed your stay. Debbie is the quintessential hostess who makes everyone feel at home. We apologize that the other "friends" weren't present during your stay, but are happy that you had such a wonderful time here in the Valley — it's such a beautiful and friendly place. We've made so many personal and professional friends here and try our best to help our guests/friends feel right at home during their stay.

Please come back and visit again soon. Smitty misses you!

Debbie, Jim, Dave, Katie. . . . and Smitty
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We found this gem purely by chance, having ventured into wine country with no plans for the night.
And what a find!
Debbie and Jim (and Smitty) couldn’t have been more welcoming,; our room (Roblar) was delightful (and very comfortable!): Happy Hour in the pretty garden with Dave and Jim providing the music and Debbie and Katie the local wine and hors d’oeuvres was a joy.
Santa Ynez is a charming small town with great shops and eateries – plenty of choice within a 5 minute walk.
Still with the effects of jetlag, this was the best night sleep we’d had in a week. Breakfast was a delicious and sociable meal and we were sorry we only had one night here. Next time it will be our base for an extended exploration of the vineyards.
Thank you Debbie, Katie, Jim, Dave and Smitty.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, March 30, 2013
We were so happy when you happened upon our little inn. Even happier that we were able to add a bit of specialness to your California visit — I recall you both singing along to some of the old favorites during happy hour. In fact, one song in particular, California Dreaming, really struck a sentimental chord.

We're humbled that you would consider us as your "base" during an extended stay in the future. We will be happy to host you once again. . . and hope that we can help rekindle the magic you felt during your fist stay.

Take care.

JIm, Debbie, Katie, Dave. . . and Smitty
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Saltspring island
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

This is a beautiful guest house in a picturesque wine growing region and Jim and Debbie are most welcoming hosts.
All the rooms are tastefully decorated and any one of them would no doubt be very comfortable.
The low water pressure in the Roblar room made having a shower a little difficult but the comfortable King size bed compensated somewhat.
Breakfast was a goat's cheese and potato fritatta which I have no doubt to lovers of goats' cheese must have been delicious. As we do not fall into that category a simple boiled , scrambled or fried egg with bacon would have been more palatable and it would have been nice to have been offered a choice .

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Hi Dorothy,

Well, we knew our streak of 64 straight 5-star reviews would have to end sooner or later.

Thank for you our honest review. We are so sorry that we dropped the ball on your breakfast option. We always offer substitutes for guests who prefer something simpler/different. We're sorry about any mix up that may have happened that morning. We promise that it will never happen again, should we be lucky enough that you give us another chance.

We're very happy that you were able to take advantage of our Winter Special Rate, offering $75 off the Standard Rate in our most popular room, Roblar. And thank you for the kind review of our rooms and decor.

Another bit of good news, upon your departure, we immediately began promoting yours and Patrick's Web sites on our Facebook page and Website. We hope it helps send new fans your way.

Thanks again for your review! Please come visit us again soon!

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty
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Mission Viejo, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

We were there celebrating a family member's retirement., along with 5 other couples. Everything about this B & B is perfect, from the delicious food to the beautiful accomodations. Debbie's appetizers at happy hour, as well her breakfasts reflect her talents in baking and cooking, and make me hungry to think about even now. Our room was so inviting and romantic and meticulous...we felt as though we were the first ones ever to stay there, from the fabulously comfortable bed, to the sparkling black and white tiles in our gorgeous bathroom. They gave us a tour of all the rooms when we first arrived, and they were all special in their own way. We would have loved staying in any one of them!

But the icing on the cake for this place are the owners themselves. Their warmth and positive energy and spirit fill this lovely inn with fun and laughter and even great music. Jim and Dave both sing and play guitar during happy hour, and while the wine is flowing freely, so are the nostalgic tunes sending out good vibrations throughout the room. My husband enjoyed singing along, and they even had a brief encore performance at breakfast. It was a wonderful, fun memory for sure!

Not to be forgotten is Smitty, an adorable golden labradoodle who is the resident mascot. Even if you are not a dog person, you will fall in love with this dog for sure!

The location is ideal, walking one block to the darling little downtown, as well as a short drive to wine tasting vineyards. Santa Ynez is breathtakingly beautiful. The ForFriends Inn has a gorgeous outdoor garden area for seating and happy hours, as well as special events, when the weather is warmer.

This B & B is perfectly named because you truly do feel as though you arrive as guests, yet leave as friends. We look forward to going back, and highly recommend it!

Room Tip: You can't go wrong...saw them all and would have loved any one of them!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, March 3, 2013
Linda,

Thanks so much for your glowing review. As you know, ForFriends Inn's tag line is Arrive as Guests. Leave as Friends. With your group, it felt like family was leaving. We all couldn't have scripted a more wonderful weekend. We only wish you all could have stayed longer. . . in fact when can you come back? We miss you already!

Kudos to Roblar and their wonderful dinner for you folks. It was icing on the cake of a stellar getaway party for all 10 of you folks. Our musical Happy Hour and (and morning reprisal) was so much fun — we really need an encore from Mike. Next time. . .

We so look forward to your next visit. Please say hello to everyone for us.

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty
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Santa Ynez, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

I have now referred For Friends to most if not all my friends visiting this area, and I have referred it to many people who are tasting wine in the local area. I think everyone has come back to me to thank me for the referral. While the rooms are not cheap, neither is the experience. You will have a very personal, warm, inviting experience. The owners have worked hard to learn about local "attractions" as quickly as possible, and the experience they offer is better than a local could offer. The surrounding area is intriguing and fun during the day, but it is truly become the "to be" place at night for the variety and quality of local restaurants. Be sure to check out For Friends. You'll be Friends For life!

Room Tip: Don't be afraid to stay in a small town. This will make a very memorable experience!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, March 3, 2013
Thanks so much for the wonderful review, endorsement and referrals. With so many wonderful new experiences of meeting new folks every day, we often wonder "is this really work?" We truly love what we do and wouldn't change it for the world. We're so happy that our love for what we do shows and that you feel confident enough to keep recommending us. That means the world to us. Thank you so very much.

Jim, Debbie, Katie, Dave. . . and Smitty
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Additional Information about ForFriends Inn

Address: 1121 Edison Street, Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Ynez
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Ynez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in downtown Santa Ynez, CA, in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country: Minutes from Solvang, Los Olivos and all the wonderful wineries. ForFriends Inn is a luxurious seven-room B&B where you arrive as guests and leave as friends. Your stay includes:• Daily three-course breakfast• Daily Happy Hour with wine, hors d'oeurves and weekend live music ... more   less 
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