There are some locations which make you fall in love at first sight... and Santa Barbara is definitely one of them. It's got it all; the fantastic South California climate, the blue Pacific ocean, beautiful beaches, wildlife (pelicans, seals and seahorses as well as dolphins abound here), the islands in the distance... the beautiful mountains... the lush, manicured gardens everywhere... beautiful houses, posh shops and restaurants...
The Fess Parker is totally in line with what you'd expect from a resort in this area. The complex consists of a number of houses spread around a very nice garden organized around a central pool area. It is worth noting however, for the attention of future visitors, that like all hotels in Santa Barbara, access to the beach is only possible by crossing a four-lane road... As other reviewers also noticed, it is quite close to the railway tracks, so you should expect some noise... But there's not much choice in Santa Barbara I guess, if you want to be close to the sea you'll be close to the tracks as well... and honestly those trains are not such a big nuisance.
Rooms are very large and comfortable and include a terrace or balcony. They may need some updating though, as carpets and furniture appear to be a little tired. Curiously the bathroom, as is often the case in US hotels, is rather small and basic, with no separate walk-in shower. Some details are a bit irritating, like the incredibly inefficient hair-dryer, which is in addition hidden in a drawer or the absence of bathrobes and slippers... On the positive side there's a safe and a minibar in the room, and you get complimentary water bottles at check-in.
The main building and its lobby is very grandiose, and includes the breakfast area as well as bars and restaurants. Access to the parking lot is through a slightly dodgy business centre at the back of the building, and parking is an additional charge... The only available parking is indeed a public car park at the back of the hotel, which may be rather hard to find if you arrive at night as entrance is through one of two side roads.
Good choice for breakfast, even if rather expensive.
Overall this is a very pleasant place to stay, whether you're staying for business or holidays.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort is steps from the beach and convenient to Santa Barbara's waterfront and downtown. Oversized rooms all feature balconies or patios; families and pets are warmly welcomed. Amenities include a year round heated Olympic sized pool, Spa, fitness center, salon, tennis courts, bike rentals, putting green, shuffle board, weekend wine tasting, 2 restaurants, ocean-view bar and 24 acres of grounds. Complimentary airport/Amtrak shuttle service available daily. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fess Parker`s Doubletree Hotel Santa Barbara
- Doubletree Santa Barbara
- Doubletree Fess Parkers
- Fess Parkers Doubletree Resort