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“It looked nice from the outside...”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Ala Mar Motel

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Ala Mar Motel
Ranked #49 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
39 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“It looked nice from the outside...”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2007

Ew. What a dump. It's deceiving- the motel looks nice from the outside with plants and wicker furniture but our room was dark, dingy, and dirty. The furniture looks like it's 30+ years old; we couldn't even find a switch for the ceiling fan but I'm sure it would have made an imbalanced"wocka-wocka-wocka" sound anyway; needs a paint job; bathroom sink was pulled away from the wall; bathroom window didn't close all the way; breakfast was bitter coffee and smashed indiviually wrapped, calorie-laden pastries. Pay a few more dollars and stay somewhere else. It's a shame because it tainted my entire view of Santa Barbara. I'm sure it's a lovely city but from now on, when I hear "Santa Barbara," I'll think "dirty hotel."

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank WallyDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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spain
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2006

I only wish I had read the reviews here before booking this hotel.
I work in the travel business and would normally prebook all of my hotels having researched them first. However I wanted a free and easy tour of southern California and decied not to prebook this time. So when I arrived in Santa Barbara, this hotel right across from the palm fringed beach looked ideal. At $140 a night I thought it a little pricey compared to other motels I had stayed in along the way but I decided to go for it.

I was given the same room as a previous reviewer with the duck taped ceiling fan. From the moment I entered the dark and dreary room, I knew I had made a mistake. This probably explained why they had insisted that I prepay for the room while checking in. The room is best described as a barn with some ancient thrift store furniture slung in. The place oozed seediness.
The bed had definitely seen better days being lumpy on one side and completely sunken on the other. The bathroom was disgusting with rusting, broken fittings that should have been thrown out years ago. The carpet and bed cover gave me the creeps. How a hotel owner can decieve guests like this is beyond me.

Being late when I arrived, I decided to stay 1 night. The following morning I was not surprised when I left my room to find three police officers crouched outside the door of the room, two doors down from mine. They raided the room and God knows who or what was inside. I didn´t wait to find out. I packed my bags, skipped the miserable breakfast served in the cramped reception area and handed my key to the apparently mute receptionist who barely acknowledged my presense.

A terrible experience where your left feeling disappointed, angry and itchy too.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — Dirty, tired bedrooms.
  • Tips/Secrets — Do not recommend staying here.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank hotelecg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Santa Barbara hotels

A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2006

Words cannot begin to describe how angry I was by this place.

For what I paid on-line "in advance" I was expecting much better...boy was I mistaken. Our room was a total dump. Where do I begin...let's see...there was chipped paint, a dead plant, more cobb webs than the haunted mansion, oh yeah and let's not forget the broken ceiling fan with a metal plate duct tapped to it to cover exposed wires.

When I asked the manager why the Rack rate post4d on the door was less than what I paid he told me that it was because I made my reservation on-line. I thought it was actually cheaper to reserve a hotel on-line.

At one time I was in the office talking to a manager when a guy walked in off the street to ask for rate information. When he was told that a room was $179.00 (which is actually less than I paid) he walked away laughing.

The SB Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Bureau need to get onthese folks to shape up or shipout.

What a stain on West Beach.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2005

We arrived in Santa Barbara quite late in the day and it was the day before Veterans, so we expected places to be busy - they were and also expensive. This motel is deceiving, because it looks quite nice from the outside - it's more or less on the beach front has a cute wooden balcony with wicker furniture on it - don't let it mislead you. The first room we saw was probably one of the darkest rooms I've ever been in - I think it was wood panelled and painted dark brown - it also had a very strange smell!! We ended taking one on the ground floor, which was only marginally better. The bathroom was tiny - room for one person only and I don't know if the carpet in the room had ever been cleaned - definately no bare feet!! After a very restless night - I was scared in case the blanket or top cover would touch me, I got up early and we moved on!! Forget about the "continental" breakfast - the coffee was cold and the muffins were not fresh. It was the worst place we had stayed in during our 3 week holiday in California.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bernie10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
melbourne, australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2005

Our fault - we were on a roadtrip without prebooking accommodation which was not a problem until we hit Santa Barbara. It was a Saturday and all the places we checked were either booked out or were very expensive ($400 plus for the night -a bit out of our budget!). The Ala Mar was the only one in our budget, although it was the most expensive we had come across on our trip, and was by far the worse.

The first room they gave us was so small you couldn't get out of bed without climbing over the other person, so we asked if they had a bigger room and they put us on the bottom floor. The room was so dark and dingy, smelt musty, the bed looked dirty, the carpet was awful (looked like it hadn't been cleaned in a long time) and the bathroom was ridiculously small. I didn't want this to spoil our last night on our trip so we decided to get out of the room and sit on the quaint looking terrace they had overlooking the beach. We got up there and the lounge chairs were all torn, dirty and sagging. We didn't have any beach towels, but walked over to the beach and hung out over there for the rest of the day.

Had dinner at a lovely restaurant just up on the corner of State Street (and dreamily looking at their hotel!).

We hung out going back to our room as long as possible, and checked out as soon as we were up the next day (after a cold shower - couldn't get any hot water happening!).

This property either needs a serious overhaul, or a serious adjustment of their hotel rates. This was by far the most expensive and worse place we stayed at on our six week trip through California.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Connie41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2005

My husband and I went away to get some rest and quiet. This hotel is the worst ever. Can hear everything going on in rooms next to you.. Disgustingly dirty room, and bathroom..Doorknob didn't even fit the door. No place to hang clothing. No tv remote, no air, partying till all hours of the night outside the room.. Needless to say, I should've just stayed home. Don't ever go to this hotel..

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2005

Noisy, other guests shouting and partying outside until past 3 AM - Not management's problem! Heater didn't work. Could clearly hear the man next door urinate - many times. Shower water temperature changed Dramatically when anyone in the building flushed a tiolet. No closet - had to hang clothes from light fixtures. Coffee promised at 7 AM - No coffee by 7:30 AM - don't know what time coffee was set out. We went to a restaurant.

All of this for $178 a night including tax.

The person at the counter would not refund our money for the second night until the manager came in. Manager doesn't come in until 1 or 2 in the afternoon - well past check out time. The counter person didn't have any idea how to resolve it.

This was the worst experience I've ever had.

  • Stayed April 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ala Mar Motel

Property: Ala Mar Motel
Address: 102 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3505
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Ala Mar Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Great location next to the beach and State St. We're a small boutique motel. Some rooms have private a jacuzzi. Most rooms have the beach view. We also have rooms with full kitchens. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ala Mar Hotel Santa Barbara
Ala Mar Santa Barbara

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