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“Great for decompression!”
Review of El Capitan Canyon

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El Capitan Canyon
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great for decompression!”
Reviewed March 28, 2013

It was our first time here at El Capitan Canyon. We heard great reviews from family and friends. I had a hard time trying to figure out what to expect before we left but got some great advice about what to bring (there is a list on the website). I would definitely call it "glamping". We stayed in a King Creekside Cabin which included a deep soaking tub and gas fireplace. There was of course a fire pit outside. My kids 5 and 7 loved it! Just playing with each other, hiking, BBQing, card games, etc. A great way to gain some social capital(i.e.-face to face interaction as opposed to internet socializing) with your family and anyone else you meet while staying there. Beware: lots of poison oak! It's everywhere! Sometimes it may be hard to keep the younger children away from it. Also, the beach was covered with tar. Not so fun there. I definitely recommend for a getaway to reconnect with yourself, family, and nature. Great restaurant too! Not too pricey. Bringing a wagon is a good idea too if you have younger kids because you walk every where.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank rignon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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286 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
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  • Any
English first
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Love the cabins, tents, and location...the staff is very regimented on curfew and no visitors allowed ... Would have been nice to rent bikes for a stay or even a day since you have to park your car in lots that are far from the cabins.. Overall the lodging and experience was exactly what i was looking for...unique setting in a beautiful canyon!!! I highly recommend Heidi and the 85 minute stone massage!!!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank xxhtrxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordshire united Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2013 via mobile

Went for Memorial weekend the cabins were well equipped BBQ 'outside the Cabins everything that you need is available to purchase at the store on site amenities are quite basic but a wonderful setting vehicles are restricted to certain areas so it is quite safe for youngsters to ride their bikes a good size pool and play areas plenty of things to join in with or do your own thing whatever your choice

Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Pauline T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

El Capitan Canyon is worth every penny. We will definitely return in the years to come. The cabins are clean and the staff is friendly. Free bike rentals are a definite plus! Take a day trip into Solvang or Santa Barbara....be back at the cabin campfire by night.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SouthernMost73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We have been coming to El Capitan for 10 years. We love it as an easy family trip w/ the kids from LA or as a quick and romantic getaway to go wine tasting. Think of this place as a hotel room w/ a firepit. Its quality family time to take walks, see the stars, play games, go to the beach, bring bikes, balls... Get on their email list for specials that happen a few times a year. Summer weekend Music Concerts w/ Trip tip BBQ is a nice splurge.
- With kids we:
Get the roomy and convenient Bunk Bed cabin, its inexpensive, everyone gets a comfy bed Loft in this and most cabins so, - kids can bring a friend and sleep in the padded loft ( bring sleeping bags) I'd say age 6 and over safe to climb up and sleep there, big enough for adults too. Loft will be warm in summer. By the way we always ask for cabin by pool/playground and on the edge of the large grass field./ Volleyball net. The kids then play, meet other kids, everything fun is a very easy walk. Also I have the kids use the big Bathrooms by the pool to shower, its very clean and well done and this way the tiny but convenient bathroom in cabin isn't a wet mess w/ their 10 minute showers, they enjoy the novelty.
- Cabins all have what I'd basically describe as a Wet Bar ( little sink,4 foot counter,cupboards,paper towels and , litte coffee maker w/ coffee supplies, Microwave ) So we have packed an ice chest. Bring firewood or pay a bit extra to buy there.
BBQ pit is well maintained and we plan to BBQ our dinners, Big heavy skillet for breakfast. Just plan easy food to pack and make, bring paper plates, Its still cleaner and more pleasant than "real camping", especially when the kids are little and convenience is important.
There is always a huge wooden picnic table. Bring chairs for firepit seating. Candles for table, you will need light to eat by.
- As a Couples' Getaway/ Wine Tasting
El Capitan is pretty convenient to Los Olivos/Lompoc Wine Ghetto. region. After wine tasting, we get back to El Capitan w/ our wine purchases, Ready to BBQ some great meat to enjoy w/ our Pinot. Watch the sunset with some wine and cheese, start the fire pit We ask for the King Creekside which has a fireplace inside. I believe the luxury element to El Capitan is the spaciousness, quiet and the natural beauty. Compared to a hotel where there would be rooms above, below and beside us, El Capitan is restful.
The Cafe/Market is charming, good coffee drinks and really delicious Breakfast Burritos. But very busy on weekend mornings.
I don't get that people come to this place and complain. Its a gorgeous setting and set up to be enjoyed. Organize yourself w/ the packing of food and drinks, bring marshmallows for the kids to roast and relax.

Room Tip: With kids ask for a Bunk Cabin near grass field and pool so its easy for them to play and meet other...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Travellingmom44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, CA
Level Contributor
113 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012 via mobile

My son, the suburban beach kid, wanted to go camping and we thought this would be a good alternative to buying all the camping gear from scratch. Well, it certainly wasn't cheaper. In fact, it was the most expensive overnight stay we've had anywhere. Including Hawaii, Fairmonts, and J W Marriotts.
Having said that, the property is beautiful and though it is literally off the 101, it feels far away. The cabins are tiny and equipped with nothing. Not even a fork. Irritating, given the $306 per night price. Go prepared: utensils, food, and a broom for the mud and dirt that infiltrate the cabin.
The on site country store serves great breakfasts and sells very limited groceries. We opted to buy our items for dinner BBQ in town and it was considerably less money.
If you want the full nature experience request a cabin further up the Canyon. We had deer outside our cabin every morning and tons of stars at night. The property does not allow parking at the cabins, so be prepared for long walks to get to your vehicle.
My feelings about this place are mixed, mostly because the price is just too high given how much effort and preparation it requires to stay there. If you can stand to "rough it" a little more than opt for the cheaper tents. Otherwise, be prepared to keep your wallet handy.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Melissa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burbank, California
Level Contributor
146 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012 via mobile

Four of us drove up from LA for an overnight girls only trip. When we were escorted to our bunk bed cabin, the meadow was full of deer! What a welcome!
The cabin was clean. It was a Sunday and we were pleasantly surprised by the lack of people. (We knew we'd get loud and didn't want to bother anyone :).
They do not provide firewood - I would highly advise bringing some in with you so you don't have to drive all the way to their market on premisses.
We had a blast sitting outside at our picnic table all night, drinking tons of wine and making friends with a fox. A skunk also ran under our table and in the morning we saw two bucks. The wildlife really made the trip!
The next morning after we cleaned up, checked out, we ate at their cafe. Really good!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Capitan Canyon

Property: El Capitan Canyon
Address: 11560 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93117-9789
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 126
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Capitan Canyon Hotel Santa Barbara
El Capitan Canyon Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara El Capitan Canyon Hotel

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