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“Favourite hotel in Santa Barbara”

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The Upham Hotel & Country House
Ranked #15 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We stayed in The Upham in June 2013 - this is our fifth straight year in this charming hotel. We had a corner room upstairs in the Coach House building and it was superb; peaceful, well-appointed and chic, with a touch of country house charm.

Service was, as ever, terrific. The hotel owner, Jan Martin-Winn, gave us a great lunch recommendation when we were checking out, and the new lady on reception (I think her name was Megan) was wonderful.

Our two favourite things about The Upham, apart from the service? The garden at the back of the property is a lovely place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine in the evening or take breakfast on a fine Central Coast morning. And the location is, for my money, the best in town - State Street is a five minute walk away, and you're at the classiest end of town with all the best restaurants within an easy stroll: Downey's, Aldo's, Bouchon, Olio e Limone. My wife and I walked right down to the beach area then back up State Street to shop at Saks and Macy's before heading out to Coffee Cat for a refresher, then up the courthouse tower before coming back to The Upham, where we were welcomed "home" with cheese and crackers and wine (all free for guests).

The only downside is that it's increasingly expensive to stay here, but you have to balance that against the fact that pretty much all hotels in this beautiful town are expensive. It's the price you pay for being in one of the most beautiful places in the world, I guess.

Thanks to everyone at The Upham for another terrific visit!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank CotswoldFish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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334 - 340 of 663 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2013

I would like to recommend this hotel since it has many nice features, but I can’t.
The creaky floors and poor soundproofing made it impossible for us to sleep through the night. Our fellow guests weren’t being especially loud – just going about their business – but besides noise from the hall, we could clearly hear every footstep on the stairs and in the room above ours. This noise was especially unwelcome at 4 a.m. when the people in that room began preparing for an early departure.

When I mentioned the noise problem to the young woman at the desk the following morning, she just smiled, shrugged and said that was to be expected in an old building. Since it is possible to fix squeaking floors and improve soundproofing, it’s obvious that the hotel management just doesn’t choose to do so.

On the plus side, our room, number 47, was bright, clean, and nicely decorated. However, it was a very warn night and, while there was a ceiling fan, there was no air-conditioning, which besides cooling might have provided some welcome white noise. The mattresses were comfortable, but the sheets were worn and scratchy. The small bathroom was adequate.

The breakfast was nothing special, with a selection of store-bought bakery items, bagels, juice, fresh fruit, hard cooked eggs, and cereal. The only hot item was oatmeal. The cookies provided in the afternoon were out of a box.

We did like the location of the inn and the staff members who checked us in were very helpful. The hotel is attractive and has a very pretty grass courtyard and lots of comfortable seating from which to enjoy the outdoor space.

If we had been able to sleep, we would have been happy with our decision to stay at the Upham and would probably have returned on our next trip to Santa Barbara, but since that was not the case, we won’t be back.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Rosemary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We had a delightful 4 days at The Upham Hotel and will definitely stay again. There was such a relaxed feel to the place and the accommodation was very comfortable, particularly lovely bed. Loved the informality of breakfast and afternoon refreshments. Easy access to town centre and all the beautiful places to visit in Santa Barbara. Thank you for taking such good care of us.

Room Tip: The rooms are all very individual... and as this is a quiet residential area of town - not where is...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rebecca K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

The Country House is a treat not to be missed. The venue of Santa Barbara is limitless what with the beach, the harbor (sailing and boat tours), State Street shopping, and Santa Ynez Valley wine tasting, mission tours, and some of the best restaurants in the state. The Country House is the gem among all this grandeur. Well manicured gardens, immaculate common rooms, and cozy personal bedrooms are all included but the coup de gras is Inn Keeper and chef extraordinaire, Maureen. Her baking skills are unparalleled. From the freshly prepared phyllo dough fingers at afternoon "wine time" to the midnight cookies to the incredible breakfast quiche and blitzes--well what can I say except Yum Yum. Don't miss Ms. Maureen and the Country House.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank calsail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

I have stayed at the Upham multiple times. Once in the main house which was a pleasant stay. But this last time in one of the "charming" cottages (Room 70) was unacceptable and not pleasant. Upham management, you can't charge $300/night for a room with chipped paint on the walls, a bed with a mattress that felt like 20 years old, a room with furniture straight out of Sanford and Son. I am not kidding that I would have rather stayed in a Motel 6. The room was musty, dark and dingy. This place needs an overhaul! Stop up selling for something the property is not.

I am not knocking the staff here because they are very friendly and try hard. The main house and grounds are very nice. But the rooms are unacceptable even for country charm. You need to update them to charge for $300/night.

Sorry but this the truth. I never complain about things and have stayed at hotels all over the world both chain, upscale, B&Bs etc and I feel ripped off by this place!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank angelwarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Pleasant enough though small room in the Country House portion of the Upham. The room was pleasant though at night to reach "the Brighton room" it takes a few stumbles before you're far enough onto the rear of the property to trigger the motion sensor. I have 2 complaints: the woefully inadequate Internet whose signal continuously fluctuated making it virtually impossible to download any significant files if you were lucky enough to get on, and the restaurant. Had a very pleasant salad but the chicken piccata was beyond rubbery. When I mentioned this to the waiter he expressed regret but did not remove it off the bill despite my not eating more then a few bites.

Room Tip: Don't stay here if Internet is important and skip the restaurant! There are a number of excellen...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank CuriousSeeker65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

We spent 3 nights at The Upham. After reading some of the negative reviews on this site before we left for Santa Barbara, I was a bit worried about being disappointed by the room, the breakfast, and the availability of parking. Instead, we were very pleased with our room, the breakfast was just right for our needs (oatmeal, toast, muffins, fruit, etc.), and the parking was a non-issue. (We were told that if there were no spaces left in the hotel complex, they would have sent us to an overflow lot.) It was quite warm while we were there and the air-conditioner worked like a champ. I had asked for a quiet room since I had read about the hotel being on a busy street. We were given a room on the 2nd floor of one of the interior buildings. It's hard to say how quiet the room would have been without the hum of the air-conditioner.

The grounds of the hotel are very attractive, with many seating options available for relaxing and sipping a glass of wine provided by the hotel in the late afternoon.

The location is excellent for its proximity to all the shopping and restaurants on and around State Street.

We would definitely stay at the Upham Hotel again.

We would definitely stay at The Upham Hotel again although it

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Dasc
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

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
Price Range: $232 - $393 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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