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“Great Place, Some Truly Awful Staff”
Review of El Capitan Canyon

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El Capitan Canyon
Reviewed January 23, 2014

No complaints about the place itself. Lovely, cozy, terrific. But whenever we had to deal with the front desk staff, our little vacation turned sour. The staff (Mark) behaved as if they couldn't stand their guests. Unhelpful, rude, cold, WEIRD. We had agreed on a specific price on the phone and when we went to check out, the price was different (higher). Instead of apologizing or offering some kind of compensation or negotiation, they (Mark) became creepy robotic bureaucrats who had no intention of helping us or even being nice. It's sad because it was our last experience of the place and it was so disturbing and ugly.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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7  Thank lauriepartridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 - 117 of 298 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2013

We came back - refer to my last review for many more details.
What did we do differently this time? Our son was now 7 years old so he enjoyed it even more. This time around we opted for a canyon suite so we had a separate living room and bedroom with the kitchen in between. We gave up a bath tub to get the suite and only had a shower (which was fine with us). We also had no closet, but just a chest of drawers for clothing (which was also a great compromise to having a larger cabin). We opted for the larger cabin because our trip was in November and weather can be unpredictable. We had awesome climate and played volleyball with our friends and went on the llama hike again. The food at the Canyon Market is absolutely delicious! We also did the tri tip, smores etc... package again (portions seemed MUCH smaller this year) but still yummy and fun! We will return!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank LetsPack!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

All the fun of camping with the comforts of a hotel. I had wanted to book a cabin at El Capitan for a long time and finally did to celebrate my husband birthday. All he knew was we were camping without a tent. I put the address in his gps and we went. We booked a king cabin creek side. Our cabin had a comfortable king bed with lots of blankets, a soaking tub, microwave, small refrigerator, and gas fireplace, coffee maker with coffee. We opted and purchased the fireside meals for both nights. We tried the salmon, tri-tip and chicken. It came with a nice salad, vegetables to grill and a smores package. It was nice to have the fresh food that came with everything needed to cook and eat it. We found the food outstanding. We also ordered firewood as we drove a sports car with no room for wood.
There is a restaurant near the entrance of the facility but we never ate there, so I don’t know how the food is.
We slept perfectly in the bed which was very comfortable. The soaking tub in the bathroom was really deep and was really a nice addition to our stay. There were plenty of towels, shampoo and conditioner. The gas fireplace kept us nice and toasty.
We walked around the grounds which are immense several times. We also went on the free walk to the llama and goat farm. What a beautiful view and lots of fun.
The grounds have a swimming pool and swings.
We used the swings but never tried the pool it was just too cold out.
Pros:
Beautiful area with lots of grounds to walk. Very comfortable and simple cabins with just enough things to make it comfortable. Lots of wildlife like squirrels, birds and if you go to the llama farm, llamas and goats.
Everyone we dealt with was really nice and helpful with positive attitudes. Bob was really nice when I ordered the fireside meals and he even got us cookies for dessert one night for my husband’s birthday.
Cons, very little can be said. When we got there our phone didn’t work, but I let them know and someone came right out and fixed it. They didn’t provide dish soap for washing dishes but I realized when we were packing up to leave that the dish soap was with the shampoo but we didn’t see it in time.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank diamondfairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

My husband wanted to go camping, but with a toddler and a baby, I was concerned about a lack of amenities. This place was perfect for everyone. We went with extended family and booked both a tent and a cabin, right next to each other. This let those who wanted to sleep in a tent do so, but still have access to the private bathroom and kitchenette in the cabin. Beds were very comfortable, and it was nice having electricity, especially for the space heater, which came in handy in November. Our favorite part was cooking dinner and breakfast over the open fire. We tried to save money by buying groceries and supplies at the grocery store rather than the kits from the property, but by the time we bought all the paper plates, cups, and other supplies we needed, it probably cost as much or more than the kits. If you're traveling from close by and can bring supplies from home, getting groceries at the store could make more sense, but we flew in and had to buy everything. The tents and cabins don't really provide anything, although the did let us borrow a pan for free. The area is beautiful and tranquil,. although camp sites are a bit close together, and you are not on the beach. It's a short drive over the highway to get to the beach. We saw a fair number of deer, and a persistent skunk hung around our site, although it didn't bother us. Service was good, and they deliver firewood or ice right to your site for a $2 fee (plus the cost of the wood or ice). The store on the property is convenient and has most staples you might forget. Our daughter enjoyed the playground, and the pool looked nice, although it was too cold for us to try. Overall, we had a great time, and would definitely return.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Reilly_Peanut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013 via mobile

This place is amazing! I was a bit skeptical after reading some of the reviews? We have had an awesome time! The employees are amazing, very helpful. Our service has been great as I am gluten free & they will toast my bread for me & helped me juggle our dinner menu for my satisfaction ! The meal Is well worth the money ( who wants to drag a bunch of utensils on vacation?) our room was very clean & peaceful! I highly recommend an upper loop room with a soaking tub ! A perfect get a way, not that far from home! I'll be back!

Stayed: October 2013
1  Thank Dee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We stayed at El Capitan Canyon for 2-nights in September as part of our honeymoon touring CA and Nevada. It was everything you could need for a relaxed ‘glamping’ break by the sea. At check-in we were delighted to be told we'd been upgraded from a Queen Tent to a King Cabin. Whilst we would have loved the original plan to stay in the tent for 2-nights, the cabin was superb; large, clean, comfortable, semi-private. The upgrade really added a special bonus to our stay.

We ate breakfast at the deli both mornings. The portions were large and the food was nice. We also ordered BBQ packs for dinner at our cabin. They were a little pricey, but so much more convenient than shopping for our own groceries.

I think this wold be a great place for couples, families and friends to stay.

The pool is fantastic, with plenty of loungers. The free bike rentals were a bit of a disappointment as many of the bikes were in bad condition with flat tyres or missing hand grips. We did find two bikes to use to get to the beach, I wonder if that would have been trickier had the campsite been busier?

We had a terrific couple of days at El Capitan and in Santa Barbara, I would love to go back one day.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank P E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

As others commented, we were disappointed the location wasn't on the beach side of the highway but the canyon with it's meandering stream, shady trees, lovely wildflowers and occasional wildlife provided a very fun, enjoyable overnight stop. It brought back memories of the camping trips from our youth. The cabins were a bit more rustic than expected and in need of some TLC. A great convenience to not have to bring along a bunch of camping gear, it was much easier than camping out but not quite up to par with a glamping experience. The cook-it-yourself dinner package purchased at the camp deli provided the evening's entertainment. We loved the challenge of cooking it over the outdoor campfire, that is after building and getting the fire started. The s'mores were a perfect ending! Would be the perfect place for families with kids - lots of places to explore and space to play. Oh and the beautiful beach across the highway.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Charlotte 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

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 17 Specialty Lodging in Santa Barbara
Price Range: $60 - $140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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