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“Love the Four Seasons!! The hotel is beautiful, the location was excellent and the staff was terrific!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

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Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Ranked #7 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Princeton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Love the Four Seasons!! The hotel is beautiful, the location was excellent and the staff was terrific!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

We've stayed here many years ago and were happy to have the opportunity to return. The hotel was as beautiful as we remembered it and the staff was friendly and accommodating. We had breakfast at the hotel every day and it was delicious. It is situated across the street from the beach and the views are lovely.
The only two issues are that the path going back to our room was not well lit and we were uncomfortable walking to and from it each evening. The other is the train tracks which run along the back of the property. We learned on our first trip to make sure our room is at the front, as far away from the train as possible.
We would come back in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: Make sure you're away from the train tracks.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fran32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (513)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2013

Wonderful place and everyone connected with the hotel is super friendly and helpful. Great food, room and amenities like the pool at hotel and at the cabana club are really nice. Tough to beat the location. If you plan to go into town, etc., you will want to rent a car.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ray V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Haven, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2013

Dark room, dark pathways around the property, tiny pool (you could get access to the nicer pool area for an extra $200 - crazy). The photos on the website are of the Casino" pool and pool area, access to which is not included with your hotel room. Indifferent service. Not a good experience.

Room Tip: Go to a different hotel.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank janep p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
73 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

We loved being back at our favorite hotel again, lucky for us on a corporate rate. Our first vacation with our two dogs and I didnt know how it would go. The Biltimore was fantastic. They gave us wood floor cottage that was very roomy. The surprise was a dog bed for each of our pooches and separate water and food bowls already filled. The dogs were instantly happy and very good. The hotel even provided a little box of poop bags which were also provided along the street at the back of the property. The very long block around the hotel was a perfect morning and evening walk for them and we enjoyed looking at the houses in the neighborhood. Loved the breakfast place in Montecito, forgot the name right now but an easy walk about one block or so into town on the left side. Seemed popular with the locals. Hotel also was fine with our dogs walking through the lobby so we could get our morning coffee and tea (not provided in the room). All this for no extra charge for our dogs. The hotel was as classy and elegant as usual in a wonderfully understated way. Of course being on the ocean with a view of the islands is the best. Love it there

Room Tip: Loved cottages. Number 62 is fine
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Michele P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
82 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

My wife and I were looking to spend part of our Holiday Season in Santa Barbara this year. Let me start out by saying that there is a train directly behind the property (Understatement… the train tracks are a part of the property!) However, we read the reviews ahead of time and determined that this isn’t a Comfort Inn and that triple-paned windows would probably be in place (Nope!) However, the train was the least of our worries…

When we originally made the reservation, we mentioned that we were celebrating a special occasion. We also mentioned that there are two “must haves” when it comes to our stay… High-floor and quiet-room. I reiterated these at time of check-in, as well as a request to be away from the large number of dogs and children that appeared to be at the property (My wife and I understand the children aspect of travel, but dogs?) Again, the young lady checking us in was very nice and proceeded to get us checked-in assuring us that our requests would be met. We got to our room, which was on the back-side of the property by the tracks and right at the top of a stairwell! This is a very old (Historic?) property and the stairs were extremely loud. On top of the stairway noise, there also was the issue of the door at the bottom of the stairwell opening/closing producing a loud “bang” each and every time. Just as things were settling-down and foot traffic ceasing for the evening, the train started-up! There’s no other way to say it, other than to describe it as “loud.” Remember those “triple-paned” windows… Nowhere in sight/sound! I finally bought a white-noise app on my iPhone at about 1:00am and drifted off to sleep…

The next morning we had spa services (Fantastic!) I mentioned to the masseuse the room situation, and she said to just give a call down and the front-desk will assist us in moving (I guess this sort of thing happens frequently, or at least that was the impression she gave). I called down and the nicest gentleman helped us out (George or Roger?) He said that he’d send a bellman up with keys to two other choices. One choice was a room directly across the hall (making this room even more on top of the stairwell/slamming door!) and the other way over across the property. A much smaller room, again next to a stairwell, but in a smaller section of the hotel with much less traffic. I’m pretty confident this room wasn’t the same category as we had reserved (and paid extra for), so he offered a $100 credit. I later found out that the room-rate-differential was about $100 per night!) This room relatively quieter, even with the adjoining stairwell, as the train noise was reduced significantly.

During our stay we paid extra to have access to the Coral Casino swim club. The bellman (Cody) who helped us switch rooms recommended that we head over, and then walk beyond on a path towards some dramatic coastal fronting homes and a park. We headed over and were greeted by what can only be described as a pretty “snobby” host. He said to sign-in and when we asked for a tour of the facility he basically gave us the “NYC Studio Apartment” tour (Didn’t move his feet, simply pointed to what was available!) We checked out the gym (nothing special), the locker room/lounging area (they have foosball!), the pools (really warm lap-pool), and ultimately the restaurant. In our 5-minutes at the establishment we quickly determined that we wouldn’t be spending any further time there (The Four Seasons has a larger exercise facility, much smaller pool, and two hot tubs. While the view was more “jungle courtyard’ish” this was a much better choice for us - maybe). On the way out we glanced at the pool-service food menu just for giggles. Here are a few of the laughs: Children’s chicken strips $15 and a hot dog for $14 (The hot dog at the Four Seasons pool was a bargain at $6!) There was no paved pathway along the coast, and it was high-tide, so we headed back to the Four Seasons. We spent time at the pool/hot tubs and found the service just lacking! There was no one to setup chairs and the soda my wife ordered only arrived after we flagged someone down. I know it seems nit-picky, but every other Four Seasons excels at their pool service area (See my review of the Westlake Village property).

We went back to our room in the afternoon and our room still wasn’t reset. We flagged down a really nice young man who came and did it himself. We asked him where the ice machine was, and he said that he’d call someone for it (Apparently there aren’t any ice machines that guests can access on the property!) He reset the room (about 20-minutes or so) and after he left the ice delivery finally occurred.

On our final night, we had dinner at the Bella Vista restaurant. Read my review of the restaurant for more disappointment!

The next morning after working out I spoke with one of the young ladies working the front desk about the change in room types and how we didn’t use the Coral Casino in the hopes of getting a credit to our bill. She completely understood, but needed to get the on-duty manager (Ehab). The manager was nice enough, completely understood, but credited us less than $200. I conservatively estimate that I overpaid by $300 per night, so the “best” he could do was far short.

All in all, this wasn’t the Four Seasons experience we were looking for to kick-off our Holiday Season! I love paying for a quality experience, which the Four Seasons is famous for delivering. This property and staff fell way short for us. Maybe we should switch back to the Ritz Carlton?

Room Tip: Rooms facing away from the back of the property (You won't hear the Choo Choo!)
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank PathosGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FSSantaBarbara, Resort Manager at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Thank you for sharing your comments on your stay. I would like to apologize that your experience was disappointing, especially given that you were celebrating a special occasion. I'm sincerely sorry for the noise problems and disturbances by other guests. We strive to ensure a peaceful night's sleep and a flawless experience for all of our guests and it seems we missed the mark in providing this for you during your stay. You are correct that we are a historic property built in 1927, and part of that history is the railroad that runs behind the Resort. It is our standard practice to inform guests of train noise during the booking process, and again I'm sorry if this was not communicated to you prior to arrival. I appreciate your comments on our staff and will use your feedback to help us improve and meet guests' expectations in all areas of the Resort. If you are open to discussing your stay further, please contact me at your convenience. I look forward to speaking with you.

Sincerely,

Michael Mestraud
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sausalito, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 221 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2013

We have stayed at the Biltmore several times over the past 18 months. Guaranteed check in time is 4 PM. We have never checked in to our room at 4 as each time we were told it was not ready. On our last visit we waited forty minutes only to be shown to a cottage that was in a less desirable location.
Today we were told along with four or five other families checking in at the same time that our rooms were not ready and would not be ready for an hour.
The front desk staff is not prepared to deal with the problems created by the need for delayed check ins. The man who was working with us spoke only to my husband and ignored me completely even when I spoke directly to him. He offered us a drink at the bar only after we protested at the wait.
This hotel used to be an elegant and charming place to come and spend time with loved ones. Over the past several years we have seen the front desk staff grow less competent and the hotel, itself, become understaffed and less friendly. Standing in line to check in at the front desk reminds me of hotels in Las Vegas where thousands of faceless guests arrive and depart daily.
Unfortunately the Biltmore makes one feel like a faceless guest the minute you walk through the front door.
On prior recent stays we arrived to find the small pool and gym closed with no notice though many guests prefer this pool to the Coral Casino. We have had several issues with room service not delivering a complete order.
Obviously the hotel needs to hire more housekeeping staff so that rooms will be ready at the guaranteed time. There is simply no excuse for this to happen to many guests when checking in at the correct time.
We decided not to try again as despite the lovely grounds, the poor service and unacceptable wait for a room made us prefer the lovely professionalism of San Ysidero Ranch which is up the road.

Room Tip: Ask for a room far from the train noise and on the top floor. The hotel is very noisy so a cottage i...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank lucindaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2013

Love the property and the location. You will definitely want to go back again and again (if you ever manage to leave!). From the breakfasts to the service, this is a great place to spend a few days to kick back and relax. The grounds are beautiful and the weather in Montecito/Santa Barbara did not disappoint. Bike available at the spa and makes for a scenic ride. You will be looking at the water and the homes while on your ride to the pier. Also, the Club across the street is a great way to spend a lazy day at their 50 meter pool and dining at night is a short walk back. The service at Tydes Restaurant was second to none.

Room Tip: Get a high enough level room to also use the private club across the road. Beautiful pool and the di...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bentleys5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Property: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Address: 1260 Channel Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#2 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
#3 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#5 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#5 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara 5*
Number of rooms: 207
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

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