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“Great Inn”
Review of Cheshire Cat Inn

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Cheshire Cat Inn
Ranked #1 of 18 Santa Barbara B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 15, 2006

Suddenly finding that we had three extra days, we decided to drive up the coast from Los Angeles, ending in San Francisco. Our first stop was to be Santa Barbara, so we went on line and found the Cheshire Cat Inn and they had a great sounding special called the Cat’s Grin. We called the Inn and the innkeeper explained the “special” and the options available, so we booked it for our first night.

When we drove into Santa Barbara, we immediately started to talk about staying here for three nights instead. When we parked outside the Inn and looked at the gorgeous Victorians and beautifully kept gardens, the decision had almost been made. Then we were met by a very friendly innkeeper, who gave us a run down on Santa Barbara and the various activities available. We were escorted to our room, the White Rabbit, and within 5 minutes I was downstairs asking if we could extend our stay for three days. Unfortunately the Inn was sold out, but they could check around for us, to see if there were any other rooms in town. About a ½ hour later, we received a call saying a cancellation had just come in, and we could stay but we would have to move rooms the next day.

From beginning to end, our stay at the Inn was a very memorable experience. The staff, cleanliness, attention to detail in the decor, breakfast, afternoon wine hour and the other guests we met all rate a ten. We are already planning our return next year.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Barbara O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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683 - 689 of 731 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2006

My wife heard about the Cheshire Inn from a friend of hers, she had been "talking" about it, so I booked it as a surprise for her. We really enjoyed our spa room and the entire Santa Barbara experience. There are great restaurants/bars and pubs/shopping all up and down State Street, which is a bit of a walk but an enjoyable stroll from the Inn. Stearns Wharf is another enjoyable venue to spend some time, a great fish eatery called "Brophies" I think. The grounds and common rooms of the Cheshire Cat are meticulously kept and inviting, as well the outdoor spa. We certainly enjoyed out stay, the staff and accommodations for our all too brief 3 night visit, and look forward to returning on a fairly regular basis.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ANNIEandDAVE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2006

The Cheshire Cat Innkeepers could not have been more welcoming, and the Inn is charming, but we do have some comments. When booking, travelers should be aware that there is no air conditioning (at least not in our room). Sleeping with open windows would have been fairly comfortable, but constant road noise made it impossible. Again, it could have been only our room, which was on the street side, but the noise was rather loud so I doubt it. Towels were threadbare, coffee was not available at 7:30 as promised, nor at 7:45 when we departed (we had to skip breakfast because it was not served until 8.)

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled with family
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8  Thank Duanefla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2006

Your first hint at this contrast are the formal pagoda-style bay windows that frame the front of the old Victorian mansion and sit above an unruly, colorful collection of cottage garden perennial flowers. Their scent envelopes you as you walk past the roses spilling through the picket fence and up the front walk.

Entering the parlor, you notice the Laura Ashley print wallpaper—a light sage and coral combination set off by the ivory trim of the period woodwork—the backdrop to the Alice in Wonderland artwork. Again, the scent of flowers fills the room, this time from fresh-cut lilies and roses and potted orchids on nearby tables. There are sitting areas everywhere you look. I pour myself a glass of complimentary wine and head to the table in one of the bay windows. Then I notice the hors d’oeuvres: a refreshing spread of curried devil eggs, pineapple cream cheese and crackers, a vegetable and dip platter, and homemade brownies…yum!

Innkeeper Bharti is wonderful and a fountain of information on Santa Barbara. We recount the floral delights in the nearby Alice Keck Memorial Garden—she is a kindred spirit for appreciating gardens. She says the residential location of the Cheshire Cat Inn is one of its best features: you can walk to the best restaurants and music venues of Santa Barbara, plus the theatres and museums downtown, just four blocks away.

She shows me to my room, one of 17 between the two buildings, and I plan my post-dinner soak in the sunken Jacuzzi bathtub. The large room invites relaxation and has all the amenities, including a TV and a refrigerator.

I head out the side door to tour the grounds: the space between the two houses is a brick patio lined with colorful impatiens and dominated by a large palm. Bharti says that she sometimes serves the afternoon wine or the morning coffee out here. There are plenty of metal patio tables and chairs to accommodate the guests. Past the patio and toward the backyard is the Mexican-tiled hot tub in the flower-filled gazebo—tempting! Then the path to the parking lot (framed by a huge wisteria) is lined with large clay pots of ever-flowering geranium and begonia. In a corner of the yard is a large wooden deck that surrounds an old oak tree. Huge blooming begonias overflow their clay pots and compete for your attention. The sound of the fountain and the shade from the tree require you to sit for a while…

Breakfast is fresh ground coffee, then a buffet of cereals, fresh fruit and juice, bagels, and homemade breads. Yogurt and hard-boiled eggs are offered, but I succumb to the fresh-baked scones instead. A long, wooden table and leather chairs dominate the dining room—a nice counterbalance to the cheery décor.

The gardens of Santa Barbara include the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden in the foothills above town, the spectacular Alice Keck Memorial Garden nearby, the gardens at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, Franceschi Park, and Ganna Walska Lotusland (which is only open Thursday – Sunday, so I missed it this trip).

Can’t wait to return to Santa Barbara and to the Cheshire Cat Inn!

  • Stayed: July 2006
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5  Thank flowertripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2006

We just came back from a fabulous trip to California, driving down from San Francisco to Los Angeles, staying at the Inns we read about in a recent review in the Guardian newspaper. We loved all the places we stayed, but our favourite by far was the Cheshire Cat in Santa Barbara……… The breakfasts were just the best, from the baked apple with raisin & cinnamon sauce, a Mexican egg, cheese and chili casserole, which was scrumptious, and a very rich kind of French toast thing – which my husband just raved about! We loved the relaxed atmosphere and especially the innkeeper Bharti who was sooooo very helpful about the kinds of thing we could do in the town, by the way there is a huge choice – fabulous town, wish we could live there!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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6  Thank Richard666London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2006

Although the staff was very friendly and helpful and the inn exterior and grounds are beautifully maintained, we were disppointed with several things in our room. First of all, there are no screens on the windows, and since there is neither air conditoning nor a ceiling fan, you really have to have your windows open. Can you say insect bites? Also, the only sink is in the bedroom area, rather than in the bathroom. Since it is a pedestal with nothing but a very narrow glass shelf on the wall near it, there is virtually no place to set anything. Very unhandy. The towel bar in the bathroom had apparently been relocated, and the yellow wall was touched up, for some reason, with dark grey paint. Also, the advertised "full gourmet breakfast" is only served on the week-ends....during the week it is a mediocre continental spread. $278 a night for a "suite" , and there is not even clock in the room!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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5  Thank ljsluvs2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2006

Myself and my boyfriend have recently returened from a three month around the world trip. In this we stayed at some fantastic places.One of which was The Chesire Cat in Santa Barbara.This is a gorgeous guest house/ b & b that I booked on the internet before we left.The staff there are so friendly and welcoming. It is a very homely place where they provide afternoon cakes and wine.They have a fab spa pool in the large garden perfect for relaxing. The whole place has an Alice in Wonderland feel, with each room named after a charachter.Our room was callled the March Hare.This place is a must if heading to Santa Barbara.Hope you enjoy as much as we did.

5  Thank Jowels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cheshire Cat Inn

Address: 36 W Valerio St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2524
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Barbara
Price Range: $236 - $576 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cheshire Cat Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cheshire Cat Inn features two stately Queen Anne Victorian homes, an elegant coach house with two suites and four two bed-roomed cottages, all surrounded by lush flower filled gardens and patios. The Inn is situated just one block from Santa Barbara's main shopping street, which is full of attractive courtyards and alleys. The Old Mission is an easy 20-minute walk in one direction and the beach a brisk 40 minutes in the other. Each one of the sunny guest rooms and cottages is unique, with an individual charm and ranges from the elegant to the whimsical. Some are larger split-level junior suites with private balconies, some have in-room Jacuzzi s and fireplaces. This romantic Santa Barbara inn also features flat screen LCD/DVD, ironing boards and refrigerators. There is free Wi-Fi and parking. All rooms have private baths and direct dial telephones. The rates include breakfast and local wines and hors d'oeuvres daily. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cheshire Cat Hotel Santa Barbara
Cheshire Cat Inn Santa Barbara
Cheshire Cat Bed Breakfast

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