I chose Bath Street Inn (BSI) for a college reunion after a house rental in Santa Barbara fell through. Our group spent a full week at BSI and from the beginning we were asking ourselves "What were we thinking of when we thought we wanted to be in a rental house?"
This place is like your second home with a waitstaff. Every one of the seven days we were there, we were served a different, always delicious, homemade breakfast entree (think stuffed French toast or baked eggs Florentine, for example) along with fresh fruit, coffee or tea, juice, granola and yogurt. Did I forget to mention the poached pears on our first day? It seems there was always someone in the kitchen, all day, every day, getting ready for the next food event.
Afternoon tea at 4:00 pm also included lemonade, iced tea, homemade cookies and cakes. Almost before we were finished with tea, out came wine, cheese and crackers at 5:30. We found ourselves scheduling our activities around the serving schedule at BSI.
Even better than the food (and that is saying a lot) was the care and concern given to all of us that really made us feel at home. One day our group made an all-day excursion to Hearst Castle, almost three hours one way by car. Upon learning that our schedule might cause breakfast to be rushed, the staff planned to arrive early to make sure we had plenty of time to enjoy breakfast and depart on time.
If you ask for a dinner recommendation (and they were all terrific), you should be prepared to have the staff make the reservation for you on the spot. They have copies of menus from dozens of local restaurants, so you'll know before you get there exactly what to expect. And you can skip dessert and coffee at the restaurant: homemade cookies, cake, coffee and tea are awaiting your return no matter what the hour.
I wish I knew how the owners of BSI find the top quality staff they have. It was almost as if all of them were owners themselves. Once when several guests were engaged in a lively discussion in the dining room, I saw Suzanne motion Chelsea to watch and appreciate the cordial atmosphere that they were creating. During the week we enjoyed the company of several interesting guests who had stayed at BSI before.
And Marie, one of the owners of BSI, is a charming, interesting and well-traveled hostess who has the knack of being both attentive and helpful while not being at all intrusive.
Each of the dozen rooms is different; be sure to ask about their features if you have strong preferences. This is a charming Victorian, 100-year old home that offers the kind of hospitality and service that seems to be fading in our society. Five stars all the way!
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- Also Known As:
- Bath Street Hotel Santa Barbara