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“Murder she Wrote”
Review of Inn by the Harbor

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Inn by the Harbor
Ranked #4 of 18 Santa Barbara B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
251 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Murder she Wrote”
Reviewed July 5, 2010

The Inn is easy to get to from the Highway and walking distance from the beach and pier.
The place is small but very well looked after. It has a family feel to it. The reception desk is tiny and there is no real space for dinning at the inn but the hotel does offer a reasonable free breakfast buffet. There are also complimentary wine and cheese in the afternoon and cookies & milk in the evening!
The place might be further to the centre of Santa Barbara than other inns but it has a great service. We also got a coupon for a free appetizer at one of the restaurants on the sea front.
Our room was like a self contained apartment with its own kitchen. The room (like most of Santa Barbara) was very quaint and felt like staying at Jessica Fletcher’s house. So if you want a modern place to stay, this is not it.
We had a really nice stay but next time I would tried one of the other inns closer to the pier.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank oribie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (134)
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
91 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2010

Ok, it's not a 5 star resort so let's not compare. However the staff are friendly and helpful, sure the rooms are a little dated but big with fridges and a real kitchen and clean! There is plenty of advice and drinks in reception every night (free and unlimited as far as we could tell), and cheese that is well cheese, nit the supermarket rubbish. The pool area isnt huge but it's old school ..... Deep and fun!

Overall, a teeny tiny bit expensive for what it is but served us very well for a large family group across a few rooms.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank NZ-Stuart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2010

My husband and I stayed here as part of our honeymoon in September 2009 and had ball. The rooms are gorgeous, and very clean. Pool area was quiet and we were lucky to have it to ourselves a lot of the time. We only stayed in Santa Barbara one night and were very sorry we didnt stay longer. Free breakfast was a great bonus!.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ruthie1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2010

The lobby and front are remodeled. The back of the hotel is just old. Some rooms have been remodeled, but the rooms with the kitchens are not remodeled and are original 1950's era with use of a lot of caulking. The decor is not spanish in the rooms with kitchens, it is "old grandma" style. The website even talks about tiled stairs, they were tiled in the front of the hotel, but the back is just cement. My point is that the lobby looks great, the front of the hotel looks great, but don't be fooled about the rooms with kitchens. The whole hotel should not be advertised as it is if only part of the hotel is nice. The pool area is nice. The staff was unhelpful on a couple of occasions and we definately felt we were at the budget inn. Prices changed by whom you spoke with. Won't go back.
You can see the photos of the rooms that other travelers have posted.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank puddlejumper47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2010

We travelled from San Fran to LA last October for our honeymoon with all the hotels booked through Trailfinders. We therefore didn't know how much each one cost as we paid for the whole trip in one go. On our return I checked the rates for this hotel and was amazed! We would not have selected this place ourselves for the price.

The staff should be given credit for making an effort - we arrived to a bottle of sparkling wine in our room and they do put on extras, such as the cheese and wine. Unfortunately it's all served in slightly shabby/tacky surroundings and we generally preferred to head out into Santa Barbara than hang about the hotel. Don't be fooled by the lovely picture on the website. The front of the building may be attractive, but as soon as you walk round the side or inside, this is very much a motel.

Our room was spacious and had a kitchenette, which would suit a family, but I think we would have preferred a smaller, smarter and more modern room. All the furnishings look quite old and I was slightly put off the the very thick, rather old carpet - you wonder what germs might be hidden in there! The shower was quite weak and the bathroom generally old and worn. We never ate breakfast here as it didn't look too appetising, consisting of some cornflakes and unappetising looking croissants.

Overall we were very disappointed with the hotel and wished we had heeded our friends' advice, who had booked in there a year before and immediately cancelled their booking. finding an alternative hotel. It is quite old and has a slightly seedy feel. It is also a long walk from the town centre and we didn't always feel 100% safe walking back at night. Having said that, the large rooms and kitchenette could be fantastic for anyone with young children. They also made a big effort to be hospitable.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ASN82London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBHotelGroup, General Manager at Inn by the Harbor, responded to this review, May 13, 2010
ASN82London ~ Thank you for staying at the Inn By The Harbor during your recent trip to Santa Barbara. I was sorry to hear we did not meet your expectations. We do our very best to provide our guests with pleasant accommodations and a great experience while visiting Santa Barbara. So it is disappointing to hear you were not completely satisfied. Please except my sincere apologies for any short comings.

You will be happy to know our updated continental breakfast now includes a variety of Danishes, scones, and muffins, as well as additional treats such as lemon bread, lemon bars, croissants, other breakfast breads. You can also select from a variety of cereals, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, and breakfast drinks such as OJ, milk and gourmet coffee.

All our rooms have been updated with new carpet, wallpaper and Mediterranean style furnishings. I hope during your stay you were able to take advantage of our free bike rentals, or free DVD rentals.

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to share your experience with TripAdvisor. By doing so, you are giving us the opportunity to improve our quality of service, better serve all of our future guests, and attain our goal of being one of the best hotels in Santa Barbara. I hope I have the opportunity to serve you again in the future.

All the Best,
Gregory Broussard
Inn by the Harbor
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
1 review
Reviewed March 4, 2010

We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite and couldn't have been more pleased with the accommodations and the staff. The suite seemed to have been recently remodeled and had everything we needed - a nice kitchen and big living room; the bedrooms were both good-sized and attractive. While there we also checked on the single rooms with kitchenettes and they were very lovely as well. We liked the beautiful private courtyard
at the Inn and felt that it was a very tranquil setting - close enough to the beach but still quiet and a bit secluded. Also enjoyed the free wine and cheese receptions each evening.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank helenkate123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2009

During our recent honeymoon in California, we were booked into Inn By The Harbor for 2 nights. Upon arrival at 13.30, we were rudely told that we were early and to 'wander round' for a few hours, while our room was being prepared. This despite the fact that the vacancy sign was flashing outside. My wife was unable to avail of any bathroom facilities as there was no public ones, and was forced to use the dirty staff facilities. We left in disgust to find that this 'motel' was located on an extremely busy street, near a garage and 7eleven, and by no means near the harbour. Given the very undesireable looking building next door, we felt it safer to look for alternative accomodation and cacelled our booking. This was a good move on our behalf as we booked into The Harbor View Inn (an excellent hotel). To compound our feelings for Motel by the harbor, we requested a package to be delivered from San Fran to Motel by the Harbor. This package contained personal items from and was delivered by FEDEX. When we called to collect the package, we were again met with the height of rudeness as the receptionist refused to hand over our package unless we provided the voucher for our cancelled stay. We were forced to call upon the staff at the Harbor View Inn to assist us in getting our package. This attempted bribery left a very sour taste in our mouths. I cannot comment fully on the facilities of Motel By The Harbor, but the staff were the most rude and intimidating that I have ever come across.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rearour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBHotelGroup, General Manager at Inn by the Harbor, responded to this review, November 9, 2009
Dear Rearour,

Let me begin by extending our most sincere apologies for not satisfying your hotel needs. We know you have many hotels to choose from when visiting Santa Barbara and our goal is to be the most welcoming, friendly, and helpful hotel providing top notch service to all our guests.

Therefore, the entire hotel team is truly surprised and disappointed to hear about your experience. Please know that we have addressed your comments and observations with our Innkeepers.

We thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and TripAdvisor. By doing so, you are giving us the opportunity to improve our quality of service, better serve all of our future guests, and attain our goal of being the best hotel in Santa Barbara.

Sincerely,

Greg Broussard
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inn by the Harbor

Property: Inn by the Harbor
Address: 433 W Montecito St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3880
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Inn by the Harbor 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled among tropical gardens beneath the swaying palms, the Inn by the Harbor is an enchanting Santa Barbara hotel and resort escape. Built in the Spanish Colonial tradition, the white adobe inn features red tile roofs, inlaid tile staircases, wrought iron embellishments, and a heated pool. The Inn is just a short walk from Santa Barbara's golden beaches, yacht harbor, and oceanfront restaurants. The guest rooms at our Santa Barbara hotel and retreat are decorated with Spanish Mediterranean style furnishings. Many also feature full kitchens, which make them ideal for vacations and extended stay lodging. The Inn serves a deluxe continental breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese, and evening milk and cookies.The Inn by the Harbor hotel is within walking distance of many Santa Barbara attractions including West Beach and the beachfront bike path, the yacht harbor, Stearns Wharf, and the vibrant shops and cafes lining State Street. Golf courses, wineries, and the Santa Barbara Mission are all just minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn By The Harbor Hotel Santa Barbara

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