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“Modest hotel in great location, with scarce parking”

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Cabrillo Inn at the Beach
Ranked #43 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Washington DC
Level Contributor
77 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Modest hotel in great location, with scarce parking”
Reviewed August 26, 2012

Santa Barbara is a very pricey town, so what I am about to say needs to be understood in that context.

When you factored in the occupancy tax, a room at this hotel was $200/night for a room that ordinarily should have gone for about $80/night. There was nothing wrong with my room. It was clean, and the staff regularly came to clean it every day. But it didn't have a great view. One window looked out over the parking lot. The other small bathroom window looked out over another parking lot and down the street. But the location was great, just a block away from the sea. So even though I couldn't see the sea from my room or hear the waves, the location factored into the price of it.

The staff was polite and helpful, the young man carrying my heavy bags up one flight of stairs the day I arrived. But they couldn't seem to accommodate the parking needs of their guests. There seemed to be plenty of room to park in their various lots, but they had chains across them so you couldn't get in. About half the time I was there, I was obliged to park on the street. The other thing to beware of is the predictably terrible breakfast of un-fresh goods, which is included in the price, but not worth it. Unless you enjoy eating food wrapped up in plastic packages.

Taken together, I would say that charging $200/night was way too much for the experience. But Santa Barbara is a pricey town.

Room Tip: Since the whole point of being here is to enjoy the sea, I suggest you ask for a room with a view of...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank CleoQuatre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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345 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Cleanliness
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English first
Torrance, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2012

The Cabrillo Inn at the Beach is located right on Cabrillo Boulevard. It's a long walk or short trolley ride to Stearns Wharf and State Street. They provide a breakfast of coffee, juices, sweet rolls and bagels for their customers. The rooms are not air conditioned but are cooled by large fans which are placed in the windows of each room. The room was fairly clean except for the compact refrigerator which was dirty. The price was very good for Santa Barbara and its location.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Torrance_Trojan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2012

I stayed at the Cabrillo Inn in August of 2012. The staff was most accomodating with our travel and room arrangements. I was leary about not having any air conditioing in the rooms but this was not a problem and I was there during a "heat wave" in Santa Barbara, temps. about 85 degreees Fahrenheit during the day but cooled down into the low 60's at night. The continental breakfast.was very good with homemade bakery items...you really get your carbs for the day. Loupee was extremely nice at the continental breakfast bar with a broad smile and cheerful hello every morning or whenever I saw her around the hotel. The second floor rooms facing the beach are wonderful. The beds were comfortable and I slept very well each evening for the time that we were there. I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a nice place at a great price right on the beach in Santa Barbara. The location is excellent as you can walk to a great fresh fruit and vegetable stand on Milpas St. and if you travel just one more block, there is a Trader Joe's grocery store ( has great individual salads and sandwiches pre- packaged for easy lunch time meals) and a Rite Aid drugstore in a small strip mall. Have a great trip to Santa Barbara and try out this hotel !!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ebco230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2012

Four of us stayed for 2 nights in August in 2 rooms. Admittedly there is noise from other rooms (ours was on the ground next to the pool) and we had quite a lot of noise from creaking floorboards in the room above but as the staff honestly admitted the place was built in an era of different building Regs so there is little they could do about but they were apologetic. Staff were very friendly and helpful. We had a problem with the TV and room phone but both were fixed within 5 minutes. Admittedly the rooms could do with a refresh as its a bit dated but ours was clean and the bed was ok. We stayed in 11 different hotels whilst in the States and all the beds had different degrees of comfort. We didn't have the breakfast so cannot comment. Our friends were a bit luckier than us and had a first floor room with a very large verandah outside which although is shared with all guests we had no problems and it was nice to sit outside in the evening breeze and listen to the waves crashing on the beach across the road. Safety wasn't an issue and the staff said it was perfectly safe to leave the windows open as the sea breeze would keep the room cool and aired which we did. The hotel is quite a way from State Street but its a either a pleasant walk or you can catch the shuttle (it's stops at 6 pm by the way) or a Cab. We did catch the Bus (14 or 20) but they go to the top end of State Street but the driver did tell where to get off. To sum up the location is good, the price was good given the area and for us it did what it said on the Tin.

  • Stayed August 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Senojnala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allen, Texas
1 review
Reviewed August 16, 2012

I've been a guest twice at this nice little motel. The first time my husband & I stayed in the 3rd floor suite & enjoyed our four day stay immensely. My husband loved lounging in the recliner looking out at the beach through the large windows across the front of the suite. Having a full size dining & living room made it easy to have friends visit us in our room before going out for the evening.
The second time it was only myself & I stayed in a partial view room next to the pool. Of course. even though this room was much smaller it was also very comfortable. Everything was clean even though outdated. I can’t wait to see it when even minor details such as new carpet, bedspreads and wall pictures have been changed. The continental breakfast was wonderful each time I ate there. I am a sucker for sweets so I loved the pastries & muffins while my husband went for the quiche. Many times I have stayed places that advertised continental breakfast & it would basically be a cellophane wrapped pastry or a dispenser with cereal & a small cup of milk.

The motel employees are very helpful & some of the friendliest I’ve came across during any hotel/motel stay. The young men at the front desk (Chad & Brandon) have always been very helpful & friendly when I’ve needed anything. Lupe is a doll & seems to be very well liked. Hopefully they will all stay on through your renovations & you recognize the gems you have. It’s very hard to find great and loyal help today.

There are times when it is nice to stay at one of the large resorts but I would prefer to do that at a location where I would mainly stay within the hotel grounds. There are way too many things to do in SB than waste money on a place to sleep & if you want to exercise, then run on the beach or walk to the wharf. You may even be able to find someone to play volleyball with since the beach courts are right across the street. I highly recommend your hotel to all of my friends & it will be the only place I ever choose to stay in Santa Barbara. Good luck on your renovations. Oh by the way, your front & side gardens are beautiful.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank debdtexas747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TonySantaBarbara, Owner at Cabrillo Inn at the Beach, responded to this review, September 2, 2012
Thank you for your comments and for being a valued returning guest. Yes you can get spoiled by staying in our 3rd floor Suite. Yes you are correct it has spectacular ocean and Channel Island views through the two large 8 feet wide by 7 feet tall windows. The large private balcony is also perfect for relaxing and enjoying your favorite refreshment while soaking up the views of East Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Most guests understand that we do not do a "cooked" breakfast are very satisfied with our continental breakfast choices including our well received croissants especially the popular Spinach and Feta or the Ham and Cheese. Our quiches equally are a hit with guests. Its always nice to hear that our staff is doing what they love to do....make your stay as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We will forward your kind comments to all our staff, especially Lupe, who is a 38 year employee and is liked by all. When our remodel is complete our returning guests will be amazed and most likely will be shocked that our prices will continue to be the best oceanfront value along Santa Barbara's pristine coastline. Pat from Arcadian Gardens takes pride in maintaining, expanding and improving our gardens and landscaping especially our new Ocean View Garden Terrace area with semi private ocean view patios where our non heated pool used to be. We still have our 87 degree heated pool by our ocean view lounge. While we will never be in the luxury category we will still gain new returning guests like yourselves that understand what we have to offer at a surprisingly affordable rate !
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USA
Level Contributor
62 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2012

The staff was very friendly & helpful, the location is right across the street from the beach, and the property is a small, basic, family owned beach motel. There's no air conditioning, but there really isn't much need for it. The rooms are tiny and could use some updating, like a change to electronic keys instead of old fashioned keys on the doors and fresher, less busy decor to give the smaller rooms a more spacious feel. There's a small heated pool, and a basic continental breakfast is included (breads, pastries, quiche, coffee, juice). They have free wi-fi and it works well. The beachfront electric shuttle runs nearby and the office staff will call a cab for you. As far as hotel prices in Santa Barbara go, this is one of the more affordable choices. But do not mistake it for a luxury resort. It's not. It's a basic beach motel, nothing fancy. They do have an elevator to the second floor, but I would not consider the property to be wheelchair or scooter accessible for those who use those devices due to the uneven and relatively narrow sidewalks. The corridor sidewalks do run directly past the room windows, but despite this we had no problem with noise at night or even much during the day. And there was no problem with Santa Barbara's ubiquitous homeless wandering about the property, something we noticed at some pricier hotels in town. While nothing fancy, it's a family run inn with staff living on site, and they will do their best to take care of your needs. If you're okay with a simple, affordable room in a place with a helpful staff, you'll be satisfied here. If you're seeking a luxury resort, then you need to pay much more elsewhere. .

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NotLostJustWandering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TonySantaBarbara, Owner at Cabrillo Inn at the Beach, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Thank you for your recent stay and comments. Our staff prides themselves on making each guest stay as comfortable, rewarding and informative as possible. All our front desk agents are long term locals with a wealth of knowledge and experience. We have plans on installing AC in our next renovation project. We cannot use electronic locks/keys on our rooms that have sliding glass entry doors as they are not available for these types of doors. You can only use these type of locks on solid doors. We have approximately half sliding and half solid doors and would not want to reduce the guests ocean views by down sizing our sliders with an addition of a solid door. To have only half with electronic locks and half without does just not make sense. We will continue to use regular keys and maintain strict key control when issuing keys. We just recently upgraded our wireless equipment and speed which you enjoyed with your comment that all worked well. Our wireless consultant continues to monitor our system for possible additional upgrades to insure our guests the highest level of connection. Our future renovation plans will upgrade our room offerings while still offering our guests an affordable alternative for oceanfront properties. Luxury properties are available along the beachfront with rates commensurable with their offerings. We are a family run Inn operating at this location since 1976 and will continue to offer the traveling public a ocean view room at a surprisingly affordable rate.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midland, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 29, 2012

Our first stay at Cabrillo Inn was in 1998 and we have stayed there every time since then when we make our mostly annual trek to California. We know that Cabrillo is not a 4 or 5 star hotel but we truly appreciate the location on East Beach, cleanliness, the most helpful and courteous staff, along with the excellent view of the Pacific and the Channel Islands. We have become acquainted with Lupe who oversees the morning breakfast and truly look forward to seeing her every time. We appreciate her kindness and hospitality. She is always willing to go beyond what is necessary to be sure that we have what we need. We have stayed in various rooms over the years but mostly on the 2nd floor with the observation deck in a king room. We have stayed twice in the 3rd floor suite and most recently for our 30th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful and memorable time at Cabrillo Inn. We will definitely stay there again in the future.

Room Tip: Choose an ocean view room on 2nd or 3rd floor.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank David and Liz T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabrillo Inn at the Beach

Property: Cabrillo Inn at the Beach
Address: 931 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Beach Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 43
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Also Known As:
Cabrillo Inn At The Beach Hotel Santa Barbara
Cabrillo Hotel Santa Barbara
Cabrillo Motel Santa Barbara

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