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The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort
Ranked #30 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We stayed in a junior suite and it was so spacious! Awesome, huge bathroom with separate shower and bathtub. Great pool/jacuzzi. Overcast during our stay so did not enjoy the ocean, but it is right there!! We went for a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, which we also highly reccommend :)

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton
Thank Marykay J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 25, 2013

I enjoyed reading your very positive review. The information you provided will be extremely helpful to anyone considering visting our resort. We thank you for your business and hope to have the opportunity to serve you again real soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,355 - 2,361 of 3,423 reviews

Reviewed June 16, 2013

Yes, I was recently at your hotel. I had two rooms on the ocean. I was a bit dismayed at the rather weathered bathrooms, the caulking was shrunken and unclean, the toilet ran constantly, the bar that keeps the door locked hit my sister, (my guest) and almost hurt her. The ice machine near our rooms was broken. On a brighter note, the spa facials and massages were very good. The jacuzzi and pool were also very nice.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton
Thank 26toni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

This was our first time to Santa Barbara. The Fess Parker resort made it a perfect visit for us. Hotel staff was pleasant and attentive. We could not have asked for a better experience. Thank you for making it so memorable for us! ***Great place if you are looking to get spoiled!! ****WIFI not included, breakfast not included....all offered, but at resort premiums.

Room Tip: WIFI not included, breakfast not included....all at resort premiums. Great place if you are looking...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

This is a hotel in great need of a remodel. I had booked this hotel for a special occasion, assuming that as it was rated 4 star (and the pictures looked great !) that it would be more than acceptable. I was badly embarrassed by my choice, and felt like I had taken my partner to a cheap motel........ The hotel is rated as 4 star but the appearance and cleanliness (or lack of) brought it to a low 3 in my view. The doors to our building were propped open with old rags, there was a shattered glass door leading to the outside garden. All wooden surfaces had worn, frayed edges. Our room smelled horribly of mildew and cleaning supplies. (We immediately opened the slider and ran the AC full force so that we could stay in the room, but the mildew persisted.) The bathroom......hair in the shower and "slop marks" on the base of the tub from mopping, I imagine. The bed was comfortable, and the location excellent. It was just really run down.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton
Thank dockhl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

We covet our once a year 2 night/3 day stay in a beach city not far from home. We hit the bullseye at Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara. The location suited our desires perfectly for biking/walking to Stearn's Wharf, bike path to Shoreline Park, and the magnificent State St. I made our reservations directly through the resort and asked for package deals that included a king room with a "full ocean view." Upon entering the room, we gasped in delight. The ocean was in full view separated by lush green lawns and landscaping. It was picturesque beyond description. Also included were 2 buffet breakfasts x 2 days. Our breakfast and service was excellent. The omelettes were made to order perfection. We loved the open airy view through the pavilion area facing the ocean. We converted the complimentary wine tasting to this resort rather than shuttle to the Fess Parker resort in Los Olivos. Los Olivios is a 40 minute drive from the SB location. We enjoyed 3 white/3 red wines in the hotel bar. One complaint which is common at most hotels - in room coffee. The tiny coffee maker and 2 coffee pods were not sufficient and cumbersome to make. We ordered many more pods but out of frustration opted for the Starbucks downstairs in the lobby that closes at 2pm. We brought our own bikes and were told that the resort has "secure" storage that was actually a small bike rack outside at the main entrance. In spite of that, we will definitely return - the sooner, the better.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dana W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 24, 2013

What a pleasure it was to read this review and to know we exceeded your expectations. Thank you for selecting us for your stay. We hope you have the chance to return soon.

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Reviewed June 14, 2013

The staff was very polite and accomodating. We had a spacious ocean view room with an expansive balcony and a wonderful view of the beach which was across the street.The breakfast buffet was delicious. Great central location. Walking distance to Stearn's Wharf. A shuttle stops in front of the hotel every 15 minutes to State Street which has great shopping and restaurants. The only reason I don't give our experience two thumbs up is because of noisy and unruly occupants staying two rooms down from us that were disuptive, but the hotel staff/security did take care of the situation immediately. Would highly recommend for families.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Informed12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

With minutes of arriving at the Fess Parker Doubletree, we realised that the hotel's priority wasn't going to be ensuring we had a comfortable night's stay, but squeezing as much money out of us as possible before we left.

"Would you like one of our valets to park your car for $26, or would you like to park it yourself for $19?" we were asked at check-in. I have to pay to park my own car? $500+ for a room for the night and I don't even get a free parking space?

This impression of being squeezed for every cent was reinforced once we got to our room. A label on a welcoming bottle of water helpful informed us we would be charged $7 for opening it. If I wanted a Continental breakfast delivered to my room the next morning it would cost $19 (probably not worth the money, but fine). Plus sales tax (Ok). Plus gratuity (Jeez, really?; I guess it is room 'service', but surely it's up to me to tip the guy). Plus $6 delivery fee (wait, what? Isn't there a gratuity already?).

I'd expected big things from the Fess Parker, given how expensive it is, especially as we were upgraded on arrival to a room with a 'partial ocean view', which sounded at least partially worthwhile.

But it wasn't. It was just so... generic (not to mention inappropriate: being moved to a room with twin double beds instead of the kingsize we'd originally booked hardly counts as an upgrade on your honeymoon!). I don't mind paying high prices for high quality, but the Fess Parker is, I'm sorry to say, just another business hotel stuck in the 90s.

The decor, the layout, everything is straight out of the Big Book Of Corporate Hotel Interiors. The no-doubt-hard-wearing carpet in the lobby, with its dirty yellow pattern seemingly designed to make you feel sea-sick, is worth a special mention,

With their DoubleTree sub-brand, Hilton are trying to differentiate themselves in some way, presumably by offering the kind of service that is symbolised by a warm cookie on arrival, but if the Fess Parker is anything to go by, it's failing. My DoubleTree experience was of a deeply average, hugely overpriced hotel that cannot hold a candle to any of the other places at which we stayed during our roadtrip through California. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's true.

The Orbit In Hotel in Palm Springs had a nicer room with a much nicer bed and offered free sodas, parking and WiFi as well as free 'Orbitinis' for one hour by the pool every day. This is a small boutique hotel, obviously, so not an entirely fair comparison, but you could at least TRY to match the service or room decor.

The Ventanna Inn in Big Sur was the epitome of luxury and was almost as expensive as the Fess Parker. But whaddya know? Their service was flawless, WiFi and logs for our in-room fireplace were free, and there was a free wine and cheese hour every day from 4-5.

That's what great modern hotels are about, DoubleTree: personal service and surprising extras that people talk about delightedly on Tripadvisor. In that respect, I'm afraid you fail.

ADVICE TO HILTON DOUBLETREE
Don't charge a fortune for parking. Jeez. Way to start off on the wrong foot.
Don't charge for water. At least not the single bottle you leave out on the table in the room.
Don't charge for WiFi! Even my local coffee shop can afford to offer free WiFi. How can a massive hotel which charges a fortune for rooms justify charging $$ for WiFi access? It's 2013, you know, not 2003. Everywhere has WiFi.
Differentiate the rooms. Change the decor. Look like you've made an effort. The Fess Parker is in serious need of a face-lift.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that offering a free cookie at check-in is a replacement for friendly, personal service (even if it's a delicious cookie). My wife is gluten-intolerant. Didn't think about that did you, eh?

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 13, 2013

We are so sorry your stay did not meet your expectations. It seems everything that could go wrong... did in this case. I certainly wish I had known that you were not satisfied with your guestroom while you were here, I would have done everything possible to make sure your stay was not only enjoyable but memorable. We thank you for your feedback and will keep your suggestions and comments in mind as we strive to improve the service to our guests.

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Additional Information about The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort

Address: 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3611
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#25 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range: $195 - $573 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 360
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

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