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“Perfect Choice for Santa Barbara” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Franciscan Inn

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Franciscan Inn
Ranked #17 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
La Jolla, California
Level Contributor
83 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
“Perfect Choice for Santa Barbara”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

I was coming here on a girls weekend and didn't want to break the bank. I wanted something, clean, safe, and in walking distance from fun attractions. I received all of the above at the Franciscan Inn.

Pros:
1. Cost: amazing for Santa Barbara, which is such and expensive hotel market (Holiday Inn Express was $60 more per night during our dates)
2. Service was warm, it felt like a mom and pop inn
3. Location: about a block from west beach and easty to walk to Stearns Wharf and we walked to dinner at Arrigato Sushi no problem (sushi was fine but not great). We also walked to Nordstroms twice...did I say girls weekend. We parked our car and didn't move it the entire trip. We took the 50 cent state street shuttle and a cab twice one to Jane where the food was yummy.
4. Room was simple but clean with updated linens and I felt the bed was comfy
5. pool and spa are in separate locations but we like taking a jacuzzi after a day on the town.

Negatives:
1. Breakfast was included but I took one bite of the muffin and threw it out. They did have hard boiled eggs, peanut butter and and apple which made up my breafast. It was pretty simple but at least there was something to get you started.
2. Train noise: okay this is not unique to this inn but there is an Amtrack station on State Street and I heard the horn blue on two separate occasions on the weekday morning. I was able to fall back to sleep. I saw other hotel reviews that indicated the train passed behind the property, so Franciscan Inn doesn't have it too bad.

I'd definitely stay here again, particularly if I want to be close to the beach, and the value for this inn is outstanding for the area.

Happy Travels.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank solomentehawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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513 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 (77)
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Barbados
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

We are a family of five and stayed here for two nights in October. The room was spacious, clean, comfortable and quiet. We enjoyed the breakfast and the company in the mornings. The management and staff were very friendly and helpful, making us feel most welcome. The kids enjoyed the pool and we had a lovely relaxing stay. The hotel was very convenient for the waterfront, in a lovely quiet neighborhood.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lenmurray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus OH
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

Very friendly staff. Nice little pool and hot tub. Very good breakfast---more than we expected and also some snacks in the afternoon in a quaint lobby. Great location--can walk to the beach and many attractions easily.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank moortime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
74 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

The place is clean, quiet and a good value. We enjoyed the simple continental breakfast with a charming hostess. The bed were comfortable. Overall a charming place that we would love to return to. Just a few blocks to the ocean and pier.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DoUBalloon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chico, California, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

I stayed at the Franciscan Inn this week for 3 days (21-24 Oct 2012) and was very pleased. I was in the older, probably 1930s/1940s motel building in a standard king. There is also a newer (1960s/1970s) two story building and at the corner of Bath and Mason Street what looks like was at one time a private house or perhaps a duplex or triplex from the 1920s/1930s. The latter is quite attractive.

The room wasn't large but was of reasonable size, and the total bill for three weeknights including tax came to $304. All of the requirements were well met. A very comfortable bed, a small but attractive bathroom, and reliable (and free) wifi. Normally I don't watch TV but I did watch the presidential debate and the TV and remotes worked well, and best of all were out of sight in an armoire when not in use. The in-room coffee while not great (is it ever anywhere?) gets a solid B compared to many other hotels including the tonier ones.

As other reviewers have noted, the front desk staff is friendly and helpful, and the woman who hosts the morning continental breakfast is very congenial and helpful. It adds a nice touch to what is normally a routine and unstaffed presentation of breakfast items at moderately priced motels and hotels. The pastries are of higher quality and non-institutional origin - a plus, and the freshly baked cookies in the afternoon are terrific.

Also a nod to the friendly, efficient, and numerous housekeeping staff. They took good care of my room.

The West Beach area where the Franciscan Inn is, is also home to a number of other moderately priced yet attractive hotels. I did not see a single shabby one, and that includes the Days Inn. The Franciscan Inn's location on Bath Street (along with four others) is one of its best features because it is incredibly quiet. A block away is Castillo Street where several others are located, but Castillo Street is a busy arterial during the day, and probably a little noisier at night. Bath Street is super quiet. I didn't hear a thing at night in my room.

Yet, the Franciscan Inn is only a block and a half away from Cabrillo, which runs along the beach. It's more of a hike to lower State Street but not a real challenge and I did it twice to go the Zen Yai, a very good Thai restaurant.

This hotel (and the others in this area) are also remarkably close to the train station, and Amtrak operates a fair number of trains to Santa Barbara. I came in on the train and it was an easy walk of perhaps 3 blocks with a wheely-type suitcase and a laptop. Only the most overburdened with luggage or out-of-shape would need to take a taxi from the station. (If you need to rent a car Hertz has a location at the DoubleTree Resort not too far down Cabrillo and they'll pick you up if you don't want to walk there.)

The only drawback to the location is that there is not much of a selection of restaurants unless you walk over to State Street or drive up to the Mesa (Cliff Drive). But there are two good places just a very short walk from the hotel at the corner of Bath and Montecito: Rudy's Mexican Restaurant and the Santa Barbara Brewhouse. The latter has a happy hour from 4-6 pm with $3.50 pints of their own tasty beers. (I had a West Beach IPA and it was very good.)

Runners note: great runs either direction on Cabrillo Boulevard. East toward East Beach (ask the hotel for the how to run all of the way to the Biltmore Hotel (about 7 miles round-trip) using a ped only bikepath past the cemetery) or west along Shoreline Drive up to the Mesa area.

The only two things at the hotel I would offer as improvements are to have a better selection of fresh fruit in the morning and afternoon (bananas, grapes, etc.) and to have a more aggressive replacement program on the towels or just pay more to begin with for thicker, higher quality towels. They were perfectly adequate but kind of tired.

Other than those minor quibbles, i can highly recommend this hotel as a way to fashion a reasonably priced trip to Santa Barbara: one of the prettiest places in California.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Greg F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma USA
Level Contributor
66 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

First, the location is terrific. A block from the beach, 3 blocks from State street, 3 or 4 blocks from the wharf. Front desk staff and the lady who serves breakfast are very friendly. The lady at breakfast is a wealth of knowledge for helping you figure out what to see and how to best get around.

The room itself was OK. The couch and carpet were old (I wore socks...the carpet felt a bit tacky). There were 4 of us staying in the 2 bedroom suite (one is ground level, one is a loft). These were the smallest "queen" sized beds I'd seen. The place was comfortable and quiet though. In a suite like this, there were 2 shower towels and 1 small bottle of shampoo. Odd. We got more towels and shampoo bottles from the front desk. However the next morning the cleaning lady took out all but 2 of the towels and 1 bottle of shampoo again. Ugh.

There is a pool, but no fitness center.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank s m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

Breakfast hostess is the best idea I´ve ever seen. Its nice, its fun, its cosy! The hotel location is great if you like going on a stroll. The parking lot was fine (even for huge cars) and easy to be used. The only problem was with the internet that broke up all the time and didn´t work properly on the bedroons.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jade H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Franciscan Inn

Property: Franciscan Inn
Address: 109 Bath St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3804
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#12 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#12 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
#18 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Convenient location, casual comfort and caring staff make this cozy inn the quintessential hub of your Santa Barbara visit. Continental breakfast, pool, spa, afternoon cookies, Wi-Fi and more awaits you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Franciscan Hotel Santa Barbara
Franciscan Hotel Santa Barbara
The Franciscan Inn
Franciscan Inn Santa Barbara Ca

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