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“Listening to the Night Music” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ballard Inn

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Ballard Inn
4.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   2436 Baseline Avenue, Solvang, CA 93463   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 7 Solvang B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Listening to the Night Music”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

My wife and I joined some friends in the Santa Ynez Valley, CA recently to attend the Harvest Dinner at the Ballard Inn & Restaurant in the charming township of Ballard, CA. Foxen Winery in collaboration with the Ballard Inn provided a wonderful dinner for approximately 45 attendees. If you have never visited the Santa Ynez Valley and enjoyed the 30 plus wine tasting opportunities you have missed out on some wonderful wine. Ballard Inn & Restaurant is an award winning inn and I agree 100%. There are fifteen guest rooms uniquely decorated reflecting the history of the valley. The restaruant is absolutely outstanding with the best breakfast bacan you will eat. Owner, Chef Budi KKazil, never fails to suprize and delight with his menu of great food and wine. Though there are many reasons to return to the Ballard Inn & Restaurant and we have, there is one for us that may seem odd. The Ballard Inn & Restaurant has a wrap around porch that reminds us of our childhoods. We look forward to ending the wonderful day of wine tasting, orchard visiting and great dinners, on the proch in the rocking chair listening to the "Night Music". My grandfather in the Ozarks of Missouri would sit with me, as a child, in the summer late evenings and together, as he called it, we would listen to the "Night Music".

Room Tip: The Vineyard room is a large corner room with a corner bay window.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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130 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    75
    42
    6
    5
    2
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6
89
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3
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (34)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Anguilla, British West Indies
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

We have just completed a 3 night stay in Jarado, a large, spacious, impeccably theme decorated room that was soothing and very comfortable. The food was fabulous, especially the raspberry strudel if you're lucky enough to sample it at breakfast. The sushi and duck dinner with a chocolate dessert was one of the most outstanding meals ever.

Yes, it's quiet in Ballard and yes, there is no tv or phone in your room and cell service was unavailable which makes the location and inn even better for an escape from "devices".

We could hear a bit of noise from downstairs as we were at the top of the open staircase. And I am a light sleeper yet it didn't prevent me from easily falling asleep.

A bottle of Pellegrino was a delightful, unusual room perk. Since it's my beverage of choice, other than champagne, I was pleased.

The entire staff was very pleasant, especially restaurant staff Rebecca and Russell and a waitperson whose name began with an S. The person who checked us in a bit stiff but loosened up after a while. The guys at the front desk were also extremely helpful.

Additionally, for the first time ever, I mistakenly left some clothing in the drawers beneath our sink. Cristina ably and quickly packaged the items and sent them across country for a hasty delivery.

I checked out every room and found each to be exactly as depicted on their website.

Room Tip: If noise interferes with your ability to sleep call ahead to ask about the quietest rooms. The Davy...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Ventura, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

For a very quiet respid, to become unhooked to reality this is the perfect place. No tv and poor cell service with no phones in the rooms was the perfect fit to spend quality time with each other. Good old fashion talking and GREAT food from the restaurant in the inn. Relaxing on front porch with our wine or lemonade was wonderful. Service was top notch, beds were very comfy. The restaurant food was exceptional!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Long Beach, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

Very nice getaway! Lovely rooms, GREAT breakfast in the morning, fabulous staff! Happy hour every day with wine and appetizers...cookies at night...what more could you ask for! A bit pricey, but you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
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Long Beach
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

You might think you're getting a better room if you reserve the little cottages apart and across from the hotel, but you're not. The noise from the kitchen is even worse, as it's directly across. You can't have your windows open, and even when they're closed it sounds as though you're in the kitchen with the cooks. This is a major problem with this site. The restaurant itself is a delightful dining experience, but many of the rooms at this hotel suffer from the noise issue. I'm not sure about all of the rooms, but we stayed in the Wildflower Room and paid a higher price than the standard rooms. The ones at the end furthest away from the kitchen may actually be a better deal. Could not recommend as I don't know that the hotel would be honest with you when you're booking a room whether you're going to encounter a problem with kitchen noise or not in your particular room. They also made an unannounced turn down in our room, and I didn't like that. Had my jewelry box out, and everything was fine, but they could warn you with a sign of the turn down time.

Room Tip: Ask for something that will not be afflicted with kitchen noise. But whether they will be honest ab...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2012

This is my second visit here, and it was just as charming as the first time. The rooms have been updated with a countrified feel to them. Some have fireplaces and balconies. No bad rooms judging from what I saw. The staff is friendly and low key. Lovely lounge with a fireplace where the free Happy Hour takes place. Great wines and scrumptious finger foods. There isn't anything in the town, but Los Olivos is close with some good restaurants like the Los Olivos Cafe and the Panini restaurant and quaint boutiques as well as wine tasting establishments. A lot of vineyards are close by also. Beautiful flowers in the garden and a large communal porch with comfortable chairs to sit on, and to have a meal on outside the restaurant. We had booked the restaurant, but the choices were minimal and a bit pricey, so we went to Los Olivos instead. Overall, this is a super nice place to stay, and I'll be back.

Room Tip: No bad rooms. All individually and uniquely and comfortably furnished.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Santa Barbara, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

My honey and I were anxiously anticipating our mini getaway from the city to celebrate our anniversary in wine country at Ballard Inn after reading the rave reviews here on TripAdvisor. We were most looking forward to enjoying a romantic dinner at the restaurant after receiving several recommendations from friends to try Chef Budi's culinary masterpieces. Unfortunately, we were unpleasantly surprised by the poor customer service from nearly the very beginning of our stay until the very end. First we were unable to eat at the restaurant because they said that they had booked the entire dining room for a private party. We noticed open tables on the veranda, however, they claimed those were unavailable as well. We had friends staying at a nearby B & B that also ran into this problem, however, their inn demonstrated excellent customer service and problem solving skills and offered to prepare their meals and have them delivered to their room; no such compromise at Ballard Inn. Secondly, the room they placed us in was directly above the dining room and lobby and we heard every single conversation, laugh, cough and giggle that was being made by the robust group of older gentleman that comprised of the private party. The santa clause like laughter, "ho ho hooooo," echoed into our room well into sleeping hours until finally I had to go down to the lobby (no telephone in room to call down to front desk and no cell phone service at the inn) and ask how much longer the party was going to be carrying on as we were trying to relax and would like to sleep. The noise finally quieted down some time after 10:30 pm, however, at this point we were so frustrated and had been tossing and turning that we could not get to bed and could still here the managers, service staff and kitchen calling out to one another as they cleaned up and it made for a very unenjoyable evening in what we thought would a romantic, peaceful setting. We missed the afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres hour by a few minutes as we arrived after work from Santa Barbara, no offer to give us a welcome glass of wine or anything in lieu. And yes, I am aware that that is not an expectation or necessity, however, it would have demonstrated good customer service and pose no serious inconvenience to the staff I am sure. The next morning we were eager to put the awful night before behind us and enjoy breakfast in the restaurant that we still had next to try. At first all of the tables outside were taken so we sat down at a table inside. Within about one of minute of sitting a table outside opened up so we asked if we could take that table instead because it was so beautiful outside and the garden like landscaping created the perfect ambiance to enjoy a morning meal. Our waitress responded less than thrilled but said that was fine, so we headed out to the table. This is where things get very strange. She had not cleared the table before us yet and had us sit there amongst the prior guests half eaten food, coffee, jam, etc. After about 5 minutes of patiently waiting, we moved their dirty dishes to the table that had just left next to us so that we could at least have surface room to place our coffee. Then she brought our water and silver wear and placed it on our dirty table in front of us. It was riddled with bread crumbs, sticky jam, butter and drippings of coffee all over the table cloth but she kept on going about serving us without ever offering or initiating to replace the table cloth with a fresh one as every other guest was receiving. Finally, I reminded myself of waiting table days of youth and thought, I am not above changing my own table cloth, so I got up, went to the front desk and asked someone there if they had a clean table cloth in the back that I could use for our table as it had never been replaced between guests. Our waitress then brought us the table cloth and my honey and I got to work, removing our coffee, tea, water, sugar containers and silver ware (placing these items skillfully on our laps, on the banister and ground around us) and placed the clean cloth down and replaced all of the aforementioned items back on table. We did this just in the knick of time too because our waitress brought out our food moments later. Like I said, I'm not above bussing other people's food, cleaning and setting my own table, however, when I am on vacation at what is supposed to be a 5 star bed and breakfast I just don't think that I should have to. In our experience, this was the straw that broke the camels back and really ruined our stay at Ballard Inn. We had emailed management ahead of time to let them know that we were celebrating our anniversary, forget little touches like a card in the room, not at Ballard Inn. We did not even receive a reply to that email. We did however receive two post cards after our stay, thanking us for our stay and looking forward to our return. No thank you, not until some serious changes are made in guest relations. I would have appreciated being notified at time of booking that there was a private party that weekend and that the restaurant would be closed to guests so that we could make other arrangements or book an alternative weekend. Based solely on our stay I give Ballard Inn two stars. 1 - star because at least our room was clean and another star for turn down service (the romantic compilation CD was a nice touch though it was unable to drown out the noise underneath us and the cookies were delicious). We've travel as a couple all over the world together and stayed in copious amounts establishments, unfortunately for us, this was our absolute worst stay of them all in terms of customer service, comfort and relaxation and we are very disappointed. I do not suspect that this is the norm for Ballard Inn, based on the reviews of other guests. I suppose this was an isolated incident, however, it does not excuse the fact that we received subpar treatment. We sincerely hope that no other guests in the future have an experience as poor as ours. - Brent & Danah

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballard Inn

Address: 2436 Baseline Avenue, Solvang, CA 93463
Location: United States > California > Solvang
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Solvang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballard Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 15
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Also Known As:
Ballard Hotel Ballard

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