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Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa
Ranked #9 of 32 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 26, 2009

My boyfriend and I decided to take a last minute weekend getaway and I had cut out an ad for Sycamore Springs that they had run in one of our local papers. The ad and the website both made the location look very modern, spa-like, and up-to-date. When I called we were told there was a suite with a private mineral spa for 299 + tax, that was fine so we packed our things and headed up. When we drove up to the front it wasn't what I was expecting at all; the buildings looked a little out of date and when I walked into the check-in/restaurant area I seriously felt like I had stepped back into my childhood. (I grew up in the late 80's, early 90's) I was told on the phone that they had a "very nice" restaurant and when I walked into the waiting room all I saw were some tables lined up behind a bar area and a menu that seemed a bit expensive for the ambiance the restaurant provided. Anyway... so we check in and we're told that we are going to stay in the "Mystical" room in the "Mythical" building. When we first walked in I thought we had a really nice room and then we started looking around, it was alright I guess, but not worth the price. There was nothing mystical about it whatsoever and once again... blast from the past. First off the room was decorated with Colonial reproduction furniture that I remember being so popular when I was a kid, the sofa was old and dirty, the furniture chipped, the bed was seriously high and squeeky. And when my boyfriend tried to open the glass doors on the fireplace one of them fell off and he had to re-attach it.. Basically the whole place just needs a major, major rennovation. Our spa wasn't all that "private" either, the guests staying in the rooms on the hill behind us could easily look down in our patio and the only thing we had for privacy was a patio umbrella. The spa itself wasn't anything like the picture, it was another relic from the 80's and me being petite (5'4) it was hard for me to get in and out of it since there was only one small wooden step leading in, I did enjoy the effects of the water and my skin does feel fantastic however it was really hard to relax, the jets are super noisy and our tub would not stop draining, the pipes that filled the tub up were just basic white PVC pipes, not very pleasing to the eye. Another thing that was disapointing was the lack of soap/shampoo/lotion. I usualy get more at nice hotels, especially locations with spas and we just had a few little bottles and a small thing of soap. The hotel isn't really near anything so if you want to eat somewhere else you have to drive. Honestly I've had nicer hotel rooms that have cost $99.00, I'd recommend you find another hotel and if you want to go into the hot springs, book one of the private outdoor tubs; that way you can save a bunch of money and still enjoy the mineral water.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CupcakeHoneybee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,497 - 2,503 of 2,610 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2009

The "mineral spring" I was directed to smelled of chlorine, so that was disappointing, if you truly want "Natural." I was also informed by phone that the water would be a therapeutic 104 degrees, which it clearly was not. The massage was in a room next to a door entry--bad location--as you heard the door slam every time someone walked through it. I cannot also believe that an employee had to be ASKED to take her noisy clunky heels off so that my massage would not have to deal with that intrusion as well, as she repeatedly walked past my room on a tile floor, slamming the door! (Some staff training is seriously needed here in this regard. By the way, so much for the "yoga experience" comment I read earlier. ) In addition, the massage room smelled like an old stuffy locker room. It made me wonder if the rooms are ever aired out or, even cleaned. The massage room had a fountain but it was not turned on. This could most likely be an additional charge! HAHA The going rate for massages is approximately $70/hour. They charge $110, which includes 1 hour in the chlorine tub prior to the massage. You do the math. You are basically paying for their mediocrity. To say that there any spa "management" here would be an oxymoron. Or, it is not that they have bad management, it is that there is NO management. They must hire nothing buy local untrained college students who are not experienced in the real world and are willing to work at minimum wage because that's definitely the vibe you get there.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank lasvegasmonkeyboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2009

The website for Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort is VERY misleading. Perhaps a credit to their web designer and marketing firm but truthfully not what you will experience. My husband and I were attracted to the holistic/health aspects of this place and its supposed world class lodging (NOT!). My husband is a cancer survivor and we were excited about booking a 4 night stay and experiencing the mineral springs benefits. We drove over 200 miles from the Bay area to stay here. Good thing we love SLO and Cambria. It is a great town with the best beaches just a short drive away. What we experienced was so very disappointing and it almost ruined our vacation plans. Here is a recap of our experience:
1) Hotel Policy - While it is customary for a hotel to run a credit authorization on the fee for the room, be aware that if you stay here, before you even step foot in your room, the hotel's policy is to charge you over $100.00 per day for "incidentals." This is on top of the price they quote you for the room. Here is an example, if with the new tourist taxes and fees your total room charge is $700.00, be prepared to have authorized charges to your debit/credit card that are $1300.00. Yes, that is what they did to us. When we asked them to explain this mysterious incidentals fee, we were told it was the hotel policy. Why should they control our money which we did not intend to spend at their resort? We have never been treated like this in all the years that we have traveled to places that truly were world class! This place treats their guests like they are ready to skip out in the night! I will be writing to the SLO chamber of commerce about this too.

2) Rooms - I have had better Motel 6 rooms. Before we even stepped foot our room, the X-traordinary, in the Harmony complex, I thought, I will never refer anyone here. It got worse when opened the door and stepped inside. The furniture was old and chipped, the room was tiny and there wasn't even a small table or desk top. The love seat was oily and overused. We would not sit on it without throwing a blanket, which we kept in our vehicle over it.
3) Patio/mineral tub - the "private patio" offered no visual delight at all, like in the website images. In fact the patio was small, and there was a huge plastic hot tub crammed into it. The hot tub which had calcium deposits from the mineral water, also looked like it could stand a good cleaning. What happened to that redwood, sunken hot tub they show on the website? There was barely room for a chair. The cement patio floor was dirty. There was no view. It looked like a place behind a building where you store the garbage dumpsters.
4) Restaurant - The menu does offer a whole foods menu, but the prices ruin your appetite. At the time we viewed the menu, half a chicken entree was $30.00 and the lamb entree was $40.00. I recommend the Big Sky Cafe in Slo on Broad St. or any one of the great places in town that offer gourmet whole foods for a fraction of the cost.

In all, I was very sad for my husband who only gets a week off during the summer. We drove to Sycamore from the bay area and then we checked out after the first night. We found a great place to stay in town and still had a blast, but this place stressed us and did not relax us as it promises. I am a teacher and as I continue to visit friends and family while on summer break, I will remember to NEVER recommend this place to anyone. Just remember, ALL the negative reviews about this place are true. BTW there are moths just like the reviews say!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TravelinArtist77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2009

We stayed nearby in Pismo Beach and went to the outdoor hot spring bath for an hour, $12.50/pp/hr. Very secluded, comfy and romantic. They let you bring wine.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank mmirsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2009

The hotel had some nice features, but the rooms were a little grungy. I was not happy with the location because i wanted to be in walking distance to a beach. The mineral hot springs are nice, but they really stink!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank bradyphile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2009

We booked a suite (Divine) with a private mineral spa. The spa's jets were broken, the spa was dirty, and the deck the spa was on showed extreme signs of wear. The patio furniture on the deck was falling apart. The view from the room included a utility pole and if you left the patio doors open, you were subjected to continuous road noise. The room lacked style and the floor squeaked anytime you walked around. The bathroom had mold in the tile grout in the shower and you were accorded one bar of soap (so make a choice if you want to wash your hands or take a shower). Given the poor quality, we regard this as not a good return on our investment of $279 plus tax and resort fees.

The staff while cordial did not appear interested in our comfort but rather our ability to spend money (i.e. gift shop, restaurant, spa services, etc.) and did not inquire as to if we enjoyed our stay upon check out.

Not recommended and we will not return.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank RUSD1995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2009

Funny because from outside I was exspecting so much more! The grounds are beautiful and romantic. Lots of flowers and large trees - very pretty! Spa was fantastic! Very modern/rustic, tile and hardwood floors, robes and other luxuries. But thats where it ends. I think they spent all their budget there. This place is pretty pricey, but our room was similar to a nuns quaters, add in a TV. Room was old and sparce - Not even a picture on the wall. Small bathroom with scarcly room to brush your teeth. Spa on porch smelled to high heaven! I thought they had a sewer leak!! It's the sulfer in the natural springs. So your whole room smells like it. Makes your skin super soft - but have to get over the stench! Next time I'll stay someplace else and come visit the awesome Spa!! Great massages!!! (Pass on the facials - just so so, and really pricey). Staff is fantastic everywhere you go there! Hotel restraunt was waaaaay pretentious and over priced (for over cooked fish), just go into town to eat! Highly recomend the shop in Avila that sells the Doc Berstiens Ice cream - go for the waffle cone, it's amazing with the unique ice creams they have (try the honey almond)!!! Coffee was average. Great little town, really come a long way! Would love to stay closer next time. Looked like the Lighthouse Suites was popular with a lot of people - right on beach. Not as loud and busy as Pismo & cleaner - more family friendly. Has a great park right off beach for the little ones.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank kfzmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa

Address: 1215 Avila Beach Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405-8048
Location: United States > California > San Luis Obispo County > San Luis Obispo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in San Luis Obispo
#11 Family Hotel in San Luis Obispo
Price Range: $168 - $467 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort rests atop hot mineral springs and spans more than 100 acres of forest, hills and meadows on the picturesque Central Coast of California. An authentic California resort, the property features hillside mineral springs hot tubs, a beautiful spa, the Gardens of Avila Restaurant, a labyrinth, private balcony hot tubs, meditation gardens, and wide selection of mind-body classes in our Yoga Dome. Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort -located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles is just a short walk to the ocean and close to award-winning wineries, golf courses, Hearst Castle, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo. Escape to our historic resort voted best Spa and Weekend Getaway on the Central Coast. Experience rustic elegance in a serene and relaxing environment surrounded with the best California has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sycamore Mineral Springs Hotel San Luis Obispo
Sycamore Springs
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
Mineral Resort Springs Sycamore

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