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“Best value for money and a great welcome from the owner”
Review of Blue Sands Motel

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Blue Sands Motel
Ranked #36 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best value for money and a great welcome from the owner”
Reviewed May 25, 2013

We booked at this motel after reading tripadvisor reviews. And when we arrived there we realised that we did very well. Its a very good value for money motel. The welcome from the owner was so nice and friendly. The 3 rooms we' ve spend the night were perfect (very good bed, big room, nice bathroom, free internet access in room and reception, nice and cozy decoration), and the external yard with the pool was so cute. The location also good (ocean view) and very close (by car) to Santa Barbara's attractions. A clever and really satisfying experience! I would recommend it to all my friends and I wish I will be able to visit this Motel again in the future and stay there for more than one night.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barbara G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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255 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 (58)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
56 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

We stayed here one night in May 2013 because of good reviews, and the reviews are accurate -- this is a great place. It's a motel, but it's really nice -- it was strange, actually, having both those true at the same time. Outside it looks like a very nice small motel (11 rooms), but inside it didn't look like a motel at all -- spacious rooms, good bed and other furnishings like good quality TV (for instance), nice big shower, fridge, microwave, and even a little wine-cellar. The staff of course were really nice and friendly. Right across the street is a grassy park and across the other street is the ocean and a big long bunch of beach with a pathway and grassy parkway being well in use all day long. Very pleasant. Down the street one block is a grocery store. Next door is a 'regular' (probably very nice) motel/inn with 3 or 4 floors and many rooms and every time we walked by we kept thinking, "Blue Sands is so personable and pleasant, I'm so glad we're staying at Blue Sands". And to make it even better, it's only 3 blocks off an easy freeway exit/entrance (hwy 101) yet down there Milpas is totally quiet and hardly any traffic.
We go to Santa Barbara infrequently, but when we go again this is definitely the place I want to stay at.

Room Tip: all rooms are quiet -- it's a very quiet neighborhood room 11 is a suite with kitchen and 2 bed...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Brent T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

We researched a lot of places for our stay in Santa Barbara; most were either really expensive, or really far from the beach. The Blue Sands was a great find! The staff were all very friendly and happy to help. The bathrooms are updated and in very nice condition, as is the pool. Housekeeping did a good job each day.

The only drawback I could see is that the rooms don't have A/C; we had excellent weather so the ceiling fan and breeze from the windows made for a cool comfortable stay, but also a little more noise from neighbors coming and going.

Overall we got a great location for an affordable price. I'd definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Different rooms have different features (kitchen, fireplace, etc.) so ask and pick the ones you woul...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brent N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2013

We had an incredible one night stay at Blue Sands. Owner really friendly and allowed to remain in their limited car park for several hours the following day after checkout

Big airy rooms with great shower and bathroom. Fan too which is much nicer than air con. Rooms on a couple of floors overlooking the heated outdoor pool

Really quiet and literally under 2mins walk it the beach. Santa Barbara town and wharf is 30mins walk away along the beach

Try eating at Bistro 1111 in the Hyatt, 10mins walk away from Blue Sands - really good

And you must do the 30min walk to Backyard Bowls for breakfast too - incredible

A wonderful stay - wish we could have had longer. Thoroughly recommend

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank j1mbojones94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
Level Contributor
69 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

We've been coming to Santa Barbara once or twice a year for over 20 years, and oddly enough, we tend to stay someplace different almost every time. There are so many properties, we keep trying to find the perfect one. This time we booked a reservation at the Blue Sands because the 2 bedroom apartment really interested us. We were traveling with my sister & brother-in-law, and this option was cheaper than 2 separate motel rooms. The only problem was, the front room is really a bedroom, and although it looks out over the pool, it wasn't that much of a highlight. The bathroom was nice and the shower was spacious. However, I would recommend that they build some type of shelving system under the sink, there wasn't much space to spread out your toiletries, especially with 4 people and we were there for 6 nights. Also some attractive hooks to hang things in the bathroom would be nice as well. The fact that it had 2 separate entrances from each room into the bathroom was nice!

Our only issue upon arrival was, they knew we had 4 people booked for the room, but they only had 2 sets of towels hanging up for us. We immediately had to request more towels, which really seemed unnecessary. One other odd thing happened as well - - the first 2 nights were cooler than usual, so the heater in the 2nd bedroom blew the breaker twice! When all the lights, TV, etc... go off, it's a little unnerving, especially when they close their office at 8:45 PM. But to their credit, when we knocked on their private door, they handled the situation immediately! Maybe a service call from an electrician is due . . .

I personally think the 2 bedroom apartment would be better served if they made it a living room with a pull out couch. They had 2 great big TV's in each room, but unless we all wanted to pile on the king size bed in the front room, it really wasn't conducive for socializing. It would make an awesome long term rental if they would just re-think the space and the layout. The only other issue was the kitchen. You could pick up better pots, pans, utensils and cookware at Goodwill. And the high top table and 4 stools were not very comfortable. A small bistro set would be a better option in such a small space. Four people couldn't sit in there if you tried. The unit could also use another dresser.

On a high note, the view from the second bedroom is unparalleled! We didn't have that room, but our other guests sure enjoyed it. The Santa Barbara coastline is so beautiful. But at the end of the day, I still think I prefer West Beach over East Beach, so the hunt for the perfect hotel in SB goes on!

Room Tip: Room 11 is the 2 bedroom apartment. Everyone that walks up the stairs looks right into your window...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank N2FOTOS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chino Hills, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We stayed three nights here and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. Being a pet friendly motel, I wasn't sure what to expect but the room was very nice, clean, roomy and had a nice size bathroom and shower. The pool was warm and in great condition. The location was great, just steps away from the beach. Food was also in walking distance and the room had a fridge and microwave. Staff was very attentive, even loaned us a sand chair! We'd definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank STK32206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire, UK
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

We booked Blue Sands because of the price and, considering its location near the seafront it is good value for money in comparison to other hotels in the locality. We found it to be quiet, and despite what some other contributors have said we were not disturbed by guests upstairs or the trains although we could hear the pool pump. We were in room 4 downstairs which was rather dark and a bit oppressive. There is free wifi, the shower was good, the kingside bed was fairly comfortable and the fireplace was welcome as the mornings were cool. Although its dog friendliness was a real plus for other contributors the scratched and slightly grubby paintwork was noticeable and not to our taste. A bonus is that the parking is free when the Santa Barbara inn next door charges $7 per day. We didn't try the pool but it was very warm and clean. The walk to State Street is about a mile and took us 20 minutes although the 50c bus runs every 30 minutes from Cabrillo. We hadn't realised that there is no breakfast facility but the East Beach Grill does good food from 6 a.m. The rooms have kitchenettes and there is a small but very good grocery store 100 yards up S Malpas St. All in all we got what we paid for and have no real complaints.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LizL_Hitchin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Sands Motel

Property: Blue Sands Motel
Address: 421 S Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3645
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#18 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
#23 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Blue Sands Motel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Blue Sands Motel is a small property only a quarter of a block from some of the best beaches in Santa Barbara. Close to shopping and restaurants, we strive to provide you a clean comfortable room at an affordable price. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Blue Sands Hotel Santa Barbara
Blue Sands Santa Barbara

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