After reading numerous reviews about being nickle and dimed, dated-over the hill rooms, being overly priced, etc I had second thoughts before booking our room. But I always wanted to stay at this resort (a bucket list kind of thing) and I am so glad I did.
First the bad ---
Nickle and dimed? $13 a day to park weither or not you self-park, $10 a day for wi-fi that was very slow with a $12 a day upgrade available. All on top of $600 plus per night.
My response is that its no big deal. This place is truly an archetectural gem. And the gardens are spectacular. The labor to maintain all of this plus the taxes on such a large swath of beachfront real estate in one of America's most prestigious neighborhoods justifies the pricing.
The other bad involved two situations. The first was when we booked on line, there was a deal for a free day when you purchased X number of days. I held off on booking the room until I could talk it over with my wife who was on the road. I went to book the following day and the deal was gone....you snooze, you loose. So, I found that there was by then a deal with a hundred dollar a day voucher for food, spa, golf etc. Great. I wait to talk to my wife and this time instead of waiting until the next day, I go on-line that same evening. Bam! That deal is gone!?! We decided to book any way with one less day figuring that we better book before the base rates went up too. That done, I called the hotel the next day and explained my plight to a manager. He explained that the promos were all computer driven by bookings and apologised. He offered an upgrade to a premium room and I was quite grateful.
The second bad event was when we had the hotel book a time for a local tour. We requested 10am and when we arrived we were told that we were booked for the 2pm tour. Fortunately, we were able to persuade the kind tour folks to squeeze us in on the 10am tour so all worked out fine. Then my wife encountered a similar mishap booking time at the spa. They cut her massage time by a half hour and she expressed her disappointment telling the ladies in the spa that she normally wouldn't complain but that it was our second such incident. They immediately took $50 off her bill.
In short, the staff is empowered to do what is reasonably necessary to satisfy the customers. My wife and I are in sales where we both live and die by our schedules, so we are comfortable in saying that we did not make the errors from our end. Bottom line...they did everything possible to remedy these issues and we were pleased.
The good ---
Walking to our room from the parking lot in this maze of a place, we were fighting a sudden rain and a directional challange. A hotel employee....not a suit, but probably someone who is one of the lowest and least compensated employees immediated offered us his umbrella and personally walked us to our building. No one was looking, he could have passed us right by, but he didn't. That act alone has sold us on Four Seasons properties. After a year of being beaten up and down by customers, staying at a place that caters to us is welcome balm for these two tired road warriers.
Our room was very nice with a fireplace (I strongly reccommend) and a second floor view that was nearly perfect short of facing the ocean. Again, my thanks to the manager who helped us on that one.
The TV is an over-size flat screen. The closet is a walk-in changing room and the tile floored bath with rain shower showerhead was large and well layed out.
The room decor is California Mission / Best of Pottery Barn. Very, very nice.
We left happy about our wonderful stay in this paradise of a resort but so sad to leave it.
Would we go back? Yes.
Is it worth full price? Yes. The attentive staff, the beach location, the fabulous grounds, the prestigious and convenient location all make this hotel a winner. The fact that it is a historical gem that has aged like a fine wine makes it even better.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just steps from one of the most beautiful beaches in California, with private bungalows and terraces that overlook the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. Set amongst 22-acres of lush jungle and tranquil gardens, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara defines luxury living and service on the American Riviera. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
- Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara Hotel Santa Barbara
- Four Seasons Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara Four Seasons