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“Cutting corners and it shows”

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The Upham Hotel & Country House
Ranked #15 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Cutting corners and it shows”
Reviewed August 8, 2011

My friend and I were very disappointed in the Upham. On its face, it is a charming B&B with a nice interior garden for relaxing and enjoying the free breakfast and wine and cheese. However, one should get more for the money. The woman who checked us in was a little sour and acted as though she was doing us a favor, though the check-out lady was friendly. My friend and I had bungalow rooms -- tiny but OK for one, though sparsely furhished. The beds were old-fashioned and uncomfortable -- definitely no pillowtop matress -- and the pillows were thin and had a dirty-hair smell and should have been replaced. The towels were threadbare. My bathroom had no space at all for my bathroom supplies -- no shelf, no extra ledge on the sink, nothing -- and no hook or bar for the wet towels or my robe. My room was not air-conditioned, which required leaving the window open. My "window" was a floor-length opening with a door that opened in. When open, only a flimsy screen separated me from the world. The lock on the "window," door, and on the gate for the fenced in patio were also flimsy. I felt unsafe and slept fitfully. The sparse furniture on the patio was rusted and dirty. Water pressure was low and the shower head was not up to par. Equally disappointing were the freebies. The breakfast on the first day was ordinary, not the luxurious continental breakfast advertized. On the second day, however, some delicious scones were added -- the best part of the stay. At the wine and cheese hour, the inn served a cheap red and white wine and a grocery store cheese spread on crackers, neither worth the calories. And the advertized oreos at night were oreo-copies! Parking is tight -- not enough spaces for the number of guests and difficult to maneuver. We had difficulty finding a place to park one night.

On the positive side, the inn is pretty and its exterior and gardens are well maintained. The location is excellent -- on a quiet street at the edge of the shopping area in walking distance to down-town shops and restaurants. With a bit of extra effort and relatively little expenditure, considering the cost of the rooms, this inn could be top-notch.

Room Tip: I can only speak for two bungalow rooms -- avoid!
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cadkison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jan1404, General Manager at The Upham Hotel & Country House, responded to this review, August 11, 2011
We were shocked to read of our guest’s extreme dissatisfaction with their stay at the Upham. Their comments regarding our beds and linens were quite a surprise. We receive frequent requests from departing guests to find out the brand names of our sheets and mattresses and in fact, on several occasions, we have sold guests our pillows, duvet covers and even mattresses. None the less, we are always dismayed to hear that a guest did not enjoy their experience with us. We do have a variety of accommodations at varying price points with our bungalows being the most cozy and economical of our accommodations. Again, we are very sorry our guest did not enjoy their stay and the “honest-to-goodness” Oreo cookies that we serve.
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641 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (128)
Date | Rating
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English first
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
217 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2011

My wife and I spent a night at The Upham after a hideous crammed overnight flight from Hawaii to LAX. What a difference a little help makes. We emailed in advance and the hotel let us check in just before 9 am to get some sleep before enjoying the city - this made all the difference to our stay so thank you, again.

Our room like many others described was small and bathroom tiny but who cares - the city is beautiful and there are so many places to explore. Location couldn't be better and you can walk to all the interesting sites. If you want to relax the hotel has lovely gardens so you don't all need to be sitting in your room!

Breakfast a little limited but ok - no hot options at all. Free wine and biccies in the evening a really nice touch as is the free parking and wifi. No the cheese in a pot doesn't look inviting but wow it's tasty so get stuck in!

A great place to stay if you bear in mind the limitations of a 150 year old hotel in the centre of an incredibly expensive city.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vedev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
135 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2011

and we did enjoy all of those things, the garden is wonderful, great place to sit with your glass of wine, read or just enjoy, the lobby areas are also very nice, comfy furniture, very inviting. We felt that for the price charged the value was perhaps not there. Realize totally that Santa Barbara is expensive and places probably are full most of the time, but we had two different rooms.the first one expensive, could not open windows because a couch was in the way, was pretty hot, bathtub was old but that was ok, nice towells etc. we downgraded the second night, this room much smaller, had old fashion tv, noisy in the morning and bath very small, no place to hang towells and mirror difficult to use. Not usually peturbed by these things, but for a certain price you expect more... the wine served was generic should be from a winery around SB, cheese was in a tub which after a few folks dug in looked unappetizing, cookies in the evening were Oreos, ok for some, felt it was not the best for an inn of this stature. As you walk up the front walk, the painting is beginning to peal on the upper wall, this is a detail one sees immediately and is sort of a turn off...We did enjoy it, but don't know if we would pay this price again.

Room Tip: pay alot of money, ask for a quiet cottage room
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kokosandiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palisades Park, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2011

We stayed in the room right behind reception and I'm guessing from other reviews that it wasnt the nicest room they had...we were very disappointed. It certainly didnt match the pics on their website. This room was old and musty, bath really small. Breakfast was ok, nothing hot, just cereals, muffins, toast etc which was just fine for us. Coffee was good. The cookies at night were OREOS, big deal. It a very pretty house and the location is perfect. I wouldnt say dont stay here but make sure you ask questions about your specific room and hopefully you will get something better. Santa Barbara is a beautiful place, enjoy!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CSL820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Having recently had a baby, my husband and I traveled to Santa Barbara for a quick couples trip for a single night while a family member watched the baby. We were fortunate to find the Upham, which was perfectly situated near State Street, well priced, and beautifully appointed. Also, they let us book a room for only one night (apparently, many SB hotels have a 2 night minimum). We enjoyed their wine and cheese offering in the afternoon, which was very tasty. The room and bathroom were good sized, and the bed was very comfortable.

That being said, I did have a few issues with the hotel. The first issue, which most affected our trip, is that the walls to the hotel are apparently not too insulated so as to prevent one room from not hearing the other room. The guy in the room behind us snored so loud all night, I didn't actually fall asleep until nearly 3 AM. It sounded like he was in our room with us. When I told the front desk, all they said was they were sorry. I know there's nothing they can do about a snoring guest, but I was hoping for something more than an apology. Afterall, they were the snoring guest. Second, at check-in, the check-in lady never gave me a key to the room, instead skipping over that apparently meaningless part of my check-in to help check in another couple. In the meantime, I stood there looking at her and then the key, patiently waiting for her to realize why I was acting like a weird interloper in the other couple's check-in process. She never asked if I needed anything further. I had to ask her for my key, and even then, she acted like I was bothering her. Simply because of her attitude and clear dismissal of me as a customer, I have no interest in staying at the Upham again. I've never been treated with so little regard before and have no interest in potentially encountering that type of treatment again. The final issue was parking. I don't believe they have enough parking for all the guests, and if a large vehicle parks in certain parking spaces, it barely leaves enough room to get to other parking spaces. Luckily we got the final parking space in the lot, but guests who arrived later had to park on the street. Not a big deal, but just another factor for me to look elsewhere.

Overall, I did enjoy my stay the Upham, but was not impressed with the front desk staff or the separation between my room and other guests. If you're looking only for a good price with a well-appointed room, the Upham will certainly fit that bill. If you're looking for a little more, try somewhere else first.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tynante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jan1404, General Manager at The Upham Hotel & Country House, responded to this review, August 5, 2011
We truly regret that our guest did not have a pleasant stay at the Upham Hotel. It is our goal to provide excellent customer service and a special lodging experience in Santa Barbara’s most historic hotel. We are very disappointed that this was not our guests’ experience. We can only hope that they will give us another try on a future visit to Santa Barbara.
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San Diego, California
1 review
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Walking distance to everything... Great park a block away (Kids will love it) and lush gardens across from the park with good sized pond and turtles, with lots to explore and its very beautiful. Good breakfast, and in the afternoon they have Cheese,crackers,and wine (lemonade for the kiddies) and at night Milk and cookies, all complimentray. Restaurant In hotel open for lunch and dinner, very nice. 3 blocks short blocks to state street

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Onthefly3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseville, California
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2011

My wife and I stayed at The Upham and loved it. The grounds are immaculate, the staff was wonderful and their wine and hors d' oeuvres made a perfect addition to our day. The continental breakfast very adequate. We will certainly be staying here again.
The young man at the front desk named Carlos, was exceptionally helpful and very friendly. He made you feel very much at home.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank marquesdechochohondo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Upham Hotel & Country House

Property: The Upham Hotel & Country House
Address: 1404 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3027
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#8 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#11 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#15 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Upham Hotel & Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Victorian treasure in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, the Upham Hotel and Country House is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Santa Barbara, Southern California. Constructed of redwood with sweeping verandas, the 58-room 1871 landmark is surrounded by an acre of gardens and combines the intimacy of a bed and breakfast with the convenience of a full-service hotel and conference facility. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Upham Hotel Santa Barbara
Upham Santa Barbara
Upham Hotel Santa Barbara

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