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“Met all of our expectations”
Review of Ballard Inn

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Ballard Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Ballard B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Quiet, roomy accomodations with an early 1900s decor right in the middle of Santa Barbara's wine country. Breakfast was delicious but not for someone whose looking for an all you can eat foodfest. They prepared a lunch box for us of cheeses, fruits and bread which was also delicious. Also there is a happy hour every night featuring local wines plus an assortment of fruits and cheeses. This is for those that want a romantic, quiet get away.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank George R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 - 115 of 183 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2013

First time staying at this pleasant B&B. We happened to be there when the occupancy was light, so our impressions, which are mostly positive, are colored by that.
The Inn was built in the early 80s specifically as a B&B (or so we were told) so it is not a converted house, as many tend to be. All the rooms are upstairs (there is no elevator) and we got the chance to peak into almost all of them. Each room is decorated in a different "Americana" style and one that reflects some activity of the Santa Ynez Valley, such as a Wine Room, trapper room and Equestrian Room (our room). Most are cosy but comfortable, and two or three are larger with a distinct seating area. Not all rooms have fireplaces (you sacrifice that to get a little more space). Generally, the furnishings are relatively new and in good shape. An oddity (for us) was that the bathroom wash basin is outside the bathroom in the main sleeping area (otherwise the bathrooms would be quite cramped). I found this to be fine and even a little advantageous, although if you desire to wash your hands immediately after using the WC without exiting the bathroom you either have to wash them at the tub spout or use a wet wipe (not a problem either way but I can see how some would deem this inappropriate for a nice B&B). The one thing that became a little inconvenient was the lack of drawer space...there is a wardrobe for coats, shirts, etc but no space for items you normally have in a dresser, so we were forced to "live" out of our luggage for those things.
The Inn is in a residential area and the amount of traffic on Baseline is surprisingly frequent, and the street-facing rooms can get some street noise in the early morning hours. If you're a light sleeper you might request one of the rooms overlooking the rear parking area. Since I'm an early riser i didn't mind it.
The common areas are quite nice with mostly wooden floors with throw rugs. In the evenings they provide a cheese, meat and prepared vegetable spread which is very nice, and wine as well which was unpalatable for me (they should provide much better wine considering their location). You can gather around the fireplace on one of the sofas and chat with other guests, or hide away in a corner spot with chairs and be alone with your companion, but it does get a little noisy, so quiet cannot be guaranteed.
The eating area is smallish with about 12-15 tables. Breakfasts were very nice - a buffet table provides some danish, morning cereals, juice, yogurt and cottage cheese, and a chef prepares your choice or 2 or 3 entrees (we typically ordered all their offerings and they didn't charge any extra). The prepared food was very good. Coffee dispensers are a few footsteps away in the hallway so you can either self-serve, or rely on the waiters to help you.
We had one dinner in the restaurant, and it was very good, but not so much better than the nearby Sides Hardware, in Los Olivos. A number of people we talked with really built up our expectations for Chef Budi, and the food was excellent but not mind-blowing. The service was below what should be expected in a place of this caliber, as was the pre-dinner bread brought to the table (cold tiny slices of unimpressive quality). I asked for a sample of a wine and was told "oh, we're not supposed to do that", but they did it anyway (but a strange response in a fine restaurant). For a restaurant in the Valley you would expect more of their by-the-glass wine list. I had two different glasses and they were both undistinguished.
One unfortunate result of this restaurant's wide appeal is the noise factor, which travels up the staircase and into the rooms quite easily. So be prepared for the busy dinner hours to accompany your upstairs activities/inactivities.
The personnel of the Inn were extremely nice, pleasant people - very helpful and genuine, concerned about making your stay as enjoyable as possible. We both were sick while travelling and had to seek out a doctor, and the lady at the front desk was extremely helpful in setting that up.
The Inn is about halfway between Los Olivos and Solvang (literally minutes from both), and a great spot for beginning your wine tasting tour, or just driving around the beautiful valley. If you prefer to hang at the Inn for a rest, the veranda is a nice place to sit and read, or do nothing. There is a little cafe/restaurant across the street but we didn't try it.
In summary, the Ballard Inn was definitely worth our time and money, and we intend to be return customers.

Room Tip: Depending on your susceptibility to street traffic noice, make sure you're aware of your room...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank WineGuy47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2012

After all the great reviews i definitively expected more of this B&B.
It is a very nice hotel, nicely furnished and clean rooms. The breakfast was just normal, nothing really exciting; choice of eggs, one choice of muffin, fruit salad, two kind of cereals and one joghurt flavor.
Staff was nice, but mainly busy taking care of the other regular (?) guests...
Quiet, peaceful location.
For this price range i would have expected more.
Restaurant for dinner was excellent, see other review.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank gabrielaz123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2012

Second stay at Ballard Inn. Chose Mountain room this time. Wonderful!!! Great Room. Large and airy. Plenty of light. Nice space for a rainy, cold day. (Balcony asset in good weather.) For this stay the restaurant was open for dinner. Great sea bass!!! Nice to have fire place next to the table. Location in a quiet hamlet in between other towns is convenient but restrained. Will be back.

Room Tip: mountain is great!! spacious. balcony. lots of light.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank dziran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank DavidGMoyers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank KarenGr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Sande W
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 Ave, Ballard, CA 93463-9711
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Ballard
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Ballard
Price Range: $240 - $447 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballard Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 15
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Also Known As:
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