We stayed at this property the night of Feb. 16, 2008 based on a combination of rates available throughout Santa Barbara and the resounding positive reviews here.
Best Westerns have always ranked as about a two-star hotel in my book. Holiday Inns a three, Sheraton/Westin/Marriott are fours. Most Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton's are fives (to give some perspective here). I would rate this about a 2.5 to 3.0.
Our room was vintage Best Western...firm mattress (a little too firm as we both had sore backs in the morning), "country bumpkin" furnishings (floral wallpaper from the '70s, lazy-boy recliner also from the '70s, etc), bathrooms in good working order but that haven't been updated since the '70s. Bathrooms were very clean, however.
Now don't get us wrong. The room was immaculately clean (though there was an odd musty sort of scent). And for a Best Western, it's unusual that they use Crabtree and Evelyn bath products. The property also appeared to have been freshly painted. These are all very nice features, and they deserve to be noted. Also, the front staff were friendly and offered up useful information. Also a plus!
The restaurant, A Capella had very nice ambiance (physically). We only ate breakfast there and, well, it was kind of awful. We think the oil they used to cook with was expired and made the potatoes and eggs taste...well....nasty. Oh well...
So, if you are content with Best Western/Choice Hotel type room and ammenities, then this is probably the place to stay if you're looking for a room in Santa Barbara. If you fancy a hotel with better ammenities than a Best Western, this hotel is probably going to disappoint you despite all of the positive reviews here. The reviews here, in our opinion, are just a little too hyped up on this particular hotel. It's not a "dive". But "it ain't all that" either.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked away on a quiet residential street lined with turn-of-the-century homes, the BEST WESTERN PLUS Encina Lodge & Suites in Santa Barbara offers all the amenities of a small luxury hotel with the charm of a bed and breakfast inn. Relax by the garden pool, enjoy the aviary, book a massage, or simply unwind on your own private patio or balcony. Ideal for extended stays or family vacations, Encina Lodge offers a variety of accommodations, including guest rooms, suites, and apartments. Quilted bedding and floral accents lend the rooms their quaint country charm. Many of the units have full kitchens; plus Las Aves Café is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with room service available.Located in midtown, the hotel is adjacent to Sansum-Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic and Cottage Hospital, and is just minutes from historic downtown, the Red-Tile Walking Tour, Mission Santa Barbara, golf courses, beaches, wineries, and more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus Encina Hotel Santa Barbara
- Best Western Encina Hotel
- Best Western Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara Best Western