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“Great Family Place”
Review of Blue Sands Motel

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Blue Sands Motel
Ranked #36 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Big Bear Lake, California, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Family Place”
Reviewed August 29, 2013

This motel was a perfect place to stay in gorgeous Santa Barbara. The service was warm, the pool sparkling, the location was superb and the room was beautiful and breezy with an ocean view. We are a family of four and stayed in the the 2 room suite on the second floor for 4 nights. It has a great layed- back family atmosphere that is welcoming to the family dog too. We enjoyed grabbing our to-go salads and goodies we got from Trader Joes (a couple miles away), beach chairs and sand toys and walked just half a block to one of the most beautiful beaches in California. The kitchen in the room is well stocked and quaint but not large enough for having the family "eat in"--but why "eat in" when you have the park and beach so close. My husband and son also threw a few balls in the "field of dreams" across the street. The front office has 100's of dvds to choose from. The staff was incredibly friendly. I have stayed in more "posh" hotels but I have rarely felt this comfortable away from home.

Room Tip: Room 11 is the second floor 2 room suite-you walk into the 1st bedroom with a king and the second ha...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hoffam
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
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LIVERPOOL UK
Level Contributor
67 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

A lovely motel which is everything you may expect of a motel. Stayed in August and dont believe some of the negative comments made recently. Rooms clean and are located around a lovely pool. Staff were very helpful throughout our stay. There is a shuttle bus into town (about 1 mile) which unbelievably only costs 50cents. It is a 5 minute walk to the zoo which is well worth a visit and the shuttle bus can take you from the zoo right along the sea front to the pier. Santa Barbara is a great town with lots to do and has a wealth of shops and restaurants……we could easily have stayed longer.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PAULKILLEN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2013

I will reiterate the comments made by other reviewers; why this hotel is so highly rated is a mystery! Unfortuntely the positive reviews led to my booking a room at this very mediocre facility. Although the room provides the basic necessities, it is dingy. The towels look like they've been washed one too many times and are yellowing. The bottom line is that this hotel is not worth the money. Although our experience was okay and the manager was friendly enough, our visit to Santa Barbara would likely have been more pleasureable had we stayed at one of the nicer facilities.

I find it interesting that the manager takes the time to respond to each negative posted comment. Methinks he doth protest too much.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CCF4327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueSandsMotel, General Manager at Blue Sands Motel, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
We are very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay at the Blue Sands. We always value all of our guest’s feedback, whether positive or negative. In the past, we have made major changes to our property as the result of guest feedback and this has made us a better property.

I wish you had notified us of any problems that you had with your room while you were still here. Had we been aware of any problems, we would have made every effort to address them. In your review, you mention that “The towels look like they've been washed one too many times and are yellowing.” I was disappointed to hear this. Almost all of our towels are brand new and should have been bright white. Our towels have a very short life span before they are taken out of service. We inspect each and every towel every day as they are folded. We immediately pull them from service if they show even the smallest stain or sign of wear. It is true that a few towels manage to escape stains or damage longer than others, but these towels tend to lose their brightness when compared to a brand new towel, not “yellow”. Perhaps this is what you meant to say. In any case, we have no excuse for providing you with towels in poor condition and we apologize. Had you brought it to our attention, we would have immediately changed them out for new towels and taken the towels out of service.

As far as the rooms being dingy, unfortunately this is subjective and we are sorry we did not meet your standards. Other than the review which you referenced (from a guest that never stayed here), this is not a criticism we hear often. I respectfully disagree with the assessment that we only provide the “basic necessities”. Over half of our rooms have fireplaces and small wine bottle refrigerators. Nearly half of our rooms have full kitchens. All of our rooms have microwaves, refrigerators, coffeepots, large flat panel TVs, and DVD players (almost all Blu-ray). We have free Wi-Fi, free parking, free HBO, free local calls and free DVD rentals with a selection of over 200 movies. I think most travelers would agree that these amenities far exceed the “basic necessities” that you would find in your average motel.

I would also like to address your comment that we “protest too much”. The Trip Advisor community is a wonderful group of people who provide an honest and unbiased opinion on properties they have visited. I personally find it the most important tool available to me when I travel and I would recommend it to anyone who travels.

That being said, it is very important to hear both sides of any story. I think it is a fair criticism that we should respond more to ALL of our reviewers. We will work on this. However, I feel it is even more important that we respond to negative reviews. By responding to the negative reviews, we provide the Trip Advisor community with both sides of the story. When I travel, I always read the managers response to any review. In this way, I am able to make up my own mind. One of the things that makes Trip Advisor such a powerful tool is the properties’ ability to respond to reviews. Without it, there would be no balance. Unfortunately, there are a small number of reviewers out there that abuse the opportunity extended to them by Trip Advisor. I encourage reviewers to

provide constructive criticism and an honest and fair assessment of the properties they stay at. What is not appropriate or helpful are reviewers who intentionally write deceptive reviews. This is not only a disservice to the property, but to other travelers who may avoid a property that would have otherwise been a good choice for them. This is the case with the earlier negative review that you referenced. The guest had never stayed at the Blue Sands, nor had they ever been inside one of our rooms, yet they wrote a review stating that we had dingy, poorly maintained rooms. They did this (as they told us they would), because they had been charged for a reservation that they booked themselves online and then forgot to show up for. Had they simply explained the truth about what happened, I would not see a problem, but to create a false narrative as revenge is a misuse of what is otherwise a very valuable tool.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 9, 2013

My daughter and I just returned from a four night stay at the Blue Sands Motel. We were in room 5 and had a fireplace, ocean view and beautiful accommodations. It seemed that everything in our room had recently been updated. The pool was sparkling clean and management was extremely accommodating. We arrived very early on check in date and they got our room ready for us quickly. We were thrilled with our stay and would love to return!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LindaW1988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
61 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2013

Our family stayed for one night in the motel on a way to San Diego. A service was excellent. Staff was very friendly. We got a room with a small kitchen that was very useful because we traveled with kids. My wife liked a wooden floor in the room that prevents dust and smell accumulation. Location was great. We strolled down to the pier. I would definitely come back and stay in the hotel again. Thank you!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vaz65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

...so I will do what I can to help. Unhelpful staff, small rooms, not well maintained. For the money, you can do a lot better. There are so many other options in the area that I would simply suggest... Keep searching my friends!

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank ltshaw711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueSandsMotel, General Manager at Blue Sands Motel, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Unfortunately, we know exactly who this guest is. They have never stayed at our property. They had a guaranteed reservation that they had booked themselves online about a month ago. They were supposed to arrive a few days ago, but were a no show. We contacted the guest and were informed that they had forgotten that they had made the reservation with us and had booked somewhere else. At that time, we informed the guest that they would be charged the late cancellation fee which they had agreed to when they originally booked the reservation. At this point, the guest became very upset and threatened to provide negative feed back every way they could and with everyone they knew.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2013 via mobile

This place was great for the last leg of my trip with my husband. The fireplace, the little private patio off our room, the pool, the sitting area, the shower and kitchenette, it was just perfect. So close to the beach. It was very nice and I will stay here again.

Stayed July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Caitlynn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bluesandsb, General Manager at Blue Sands Motel, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Thank you very much for your wonderful review. We always appreciate it when a guest takes time out of their busy day to provide us feed back on their stay.

The private patio you mentioned is actually a brand new addition that we just completed. I’m glad to hear you liked it. Also, the pool and sitting area were completely redone just last year.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#11 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 
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Also Known As:
Blue Sands Hotel Santa Barbara
Blue Sands Santa Barbara

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