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“Nice hotel and great location!”

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The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort
Ranked #28 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Houston, United States
1 review
“Nice hotel and great location!”
Reviewed July 2, 2013

I was a little unsure of the hotel because of some of the reviews, but I was very pleased. Yes, the bathrooms are in dire need of being updated, but everything is clean and comfortable. I preferred a mountain view room over garden view, but was not able to reserve one ahead of time. Upon arrival, they were able to get me into one and give me that rate. I would definitely recommend a mountain view over the garden view room! It was lovely and quiet and the cheapest rate!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton

Helpful?
Thank Michelle V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 2, 2013

Yes. We have stayed at this hotel about three or four time over the last six years and I am extremely happy with the service your hotel provided us with on this trip. I would like to single out Kayla Johnson. Kayla was working the desk when we first checked in. We had been traveling all day from Yosemite and arrived late in the evening. kayla was very accommodating and gracious through the whole process. We initially asked for ocean front rooms but after further thought we realized we needed something closer to the pool for the children. Calling down Kayla again handled our situation efficiently, professionally and kindly. Kayla moved our rooms the following morning and had all our luggage moved and placed in our new room. Finally Kayla, coincidentally, was working the desk when we checked out. I had a few questions regarding my bill and of course Kayla resolved the issue and made completely sure I was leaving completely satisfied. Thank you Kayla for a wonderful experience. We will be sure to visit you again and tell anyone who will listen about our wonderful trip to your hotel. I also need to mention two other employees who went out of their way to help us. We arrived late in the night on the 26th and both the valet and the porter were extremely helpful. The valet , seeing I had sleeping children and tons of luggage suggested he take care of my car for me at no cost and the porter had to lug two carts of suitcases, diaper bags, and who knows what else across the hotel and the whole time he did it with a smile and class. Give those two props!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton

Helpful?
1 Thank Rick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013 via mobile

Stated in one of the North-facing rooms and were very pleased. Had a nice partial view of the water and the city/mountains. The room itself was surprisingly spacious for just a routine King room, and it had a nice little balcony with table/chairs. Also is a great location- right across the street from the beach, adjacent to a park that has free outdoor concerts, and walkin distance to an expansive downtown. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank mtixable
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
2 reviews
Reviewed July 1, 2013

Nice Hotel, it could use an update. Desk customer service was friendly, breakfast is good but on the high side. Location is perfect for access to the Wharf area where there are several good restaurants and a nice walk through the hotel garden paths and city parks. The hotel grounds are very well kept.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton

Helpful?
Thank Louis R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hingham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

The Pros: The lobby is beautiful. The pool was nice and a warm temperature. There is self service laundry if on a road trip. They are renovating this year. The location is good, less than 8 minutes to downtown. They have a luggage valet to help you with your luggage.

The Cons: The rooms need updating. The hallways and rooms have dark lighting and musty smells. The air conditioning did not work, very tired units. We had two rooms. I do not recommend breakfast at the hotel. There is no complementary coffee. They have a coffee cafe that was good if someone was there to help you. The concierge was never there. The tennis courts were ok but considering it was a private club and you need reservations, not great. The ocean is across a busy street! The hotel is spread out and the rooms can be far. Overall, the parking charge is outrageous and with a room rate of over $200 this hotel is a stretch.

Room Tip: I would not recommend ocean views at this hotel because you are on a low floor (only 2 floors) and i...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aliciastansbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
119 reviews
115 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

It's been a long time since I've been so disappointed with a hotel. I think it strange that Santa Barbara has so few "nicer" name brand hotels and a lot of average ones. For our somewhat last minute travel plans, the Four Seasons was way too expensive so we settled on the DoubleTree. We thought it would be nice. So much for thinking.

My first mistake was thinking that the view from the room would be like that on the website. A prerequisite for us when staying at a hotel on a body of water is that we have to be able to see the water while on the bed. By the photo on the website, you'd think we would have a nice ocean view. Compare the photo on the website of the ocean view room with the one of what it will actually look like that I've posted here. Not even close.

Other photos on the website clearly show the four lane road between the water and the hotel but the ocean-view room photo does not. The road is obscured by the railing on what looks to be a second story room. My mistake for not being more thorough. Chances are if you reserve ocean view, you'll get what we got: a room on the ground floor. (See photo.) So, yes, you can barely see the ocean through the foliage and the road. As a rule, I simply don't like being on the ground floor in any hotel, so I was less than happy.

Upon arriving around 2:30pm, the wait to check in was longer than what we expected. More clerks came out when they saw the long line. We received the key to our room and drove to it. (Huge complex.) Upon entering the bathroom, there was a strong sewer-like smell. And it was on the ground floor. Back to the front desk.

I explained the smell and the view and the front desk person said it was a busy weekend, with many weddings (indeed, this property is "wedding central") and a university graduation event, very little else was available. She asked us to wait but she had a room that still needed cleaning but that we would be in a different room by the "guaranteed 4pm" check-in time. On the third 15-minute wait in line to see if our room might be ready, after 4pm, I asked "what does a '4pm guaranteed check-in time' mean?" I guess they thought they had met the standard since I was in the first room, albeit stinky, before 4pm. So, really, it means nothing. The warm cookies they offered helped only a little bit. (They took my cell phone number to let us know when the room was ready but never called. Felt like they forgot about us.)

About 4:30pm, we got our new room. What a dump! Popcorn ceiling in the room, drop-down tile ceiling in the bathroom, mold in the bathroom, worn-out fixtures, and light switches that looked like they were left over from the '70's that are tinged brownish yellow with what looks to be tar from cigarettes from years of smoking in the room. (See photos.) On top of that, the room was very humid, the bed and sheets felt damp, and there was an overall musty smell. The sliding door security bar looks like it was rigged by Gomer Pyle. I could go on, but you get the idea. No sewer smell, but I imagine this is what hotel rooms that are advertised for $49/night or $250/week on the highway look like. We noticed the next day that the carpets are so ingrained with grit and dirt that when you take a shower, the grime from going barefooted in the room blackened the tub. Did I mention that they gave us the room that was right next to the room with the sewer smell? Worn out from our journey, I capitulated and accepted our Uncle Fester hotel room sentence. I did look for another hotel while we were waiting for the second room and found nothing. It was indeed a busy time for the town. (The Summer Solstice Parade was that weekend and it's a big deal.) You can tell by the photos that I'm not exaggerating the deficiencies of the room.

I feel like an idiot but I actually paid $439/night to stay in this low-rent room! Oh, and by the way, parking your car there costs $18/day and my wife tells me they charge for internet usage. We didn't need access while we were there, but these are both items that I don't see prominently disclosed on the website. All in, we're talking $500/night. For this, call me a fool. I made my displeasure known and they did give us $100 off for the first night and a couple of drink tickets and two tickets to breakfast for one day. Appreciate the gestures, but there is no way in Addam's Family hell this place is worth anything near that. The only reason that this gets a two-star rating from me is the lobby is nice and the grounds were lush with flowers of all sorts. If they had erected a tent for us on the front lawn, I would have probably given it three stars.

For those who decide to stay at Uncle Fester's in spite of my advice not to, it does have a few things going for it. The walk to Stearn's Wharf is a little less than a mile down the coast and State Street (the "main drag," where all the shops are including at least three Starbucks) ends at the Wharf. Very walkable jaunt with ocean front sidewalk and a jogging trail. On Sundays, local artists line the street from the Hotel down to the Wharf with all sorts of arts and crafts. We didn't have a bad meal in town, including the restaurants on the very touristy Stearn's Wharf. That surprised me but apparently food is a really big deal in SB. So, we really liked Santa Barbara - and will return - but we definitely will not stay at this hotel. For the prices they charge, it is definitely in need of a major renovation. Until then, it's not "no," it's "heck no." Only amenity that "surprised and delighted" me was they had a little laundry room. Since we were continuing on to Hawaii and I packed light, it came in handy. And I didn't have to pay the exorbitant laundry charges that hotels most often charge.

Keep in mind that in June, the high temperature for the four days we were there did not top 72 degrees. And with the wind, it felt cool requiring a light jacket in the morning and evening. We did not attempt swimming in the ocean but did use the pool. Chilly. The water and the air when you get out. I'm not sure if this is the way the weather is all of the time in June in Santa Barbara but it was much cooler than what I expected for southern California for late June. Again, could just be a matter of poor planning on my part so before you go to Santa Barbara, check the weather outlook so you're not surprised if it's not as warm as you are wanting.

Like I said, we enjoyed Santa Barbara and next time, we'll plan way ahead - save up - and possibly stay at the Four Seasons. There is a Hotel Indigo that was notable but it sits right next to the railroad tracks. And the trains run often. I got a brochure from the Hotel Santa Barbara on State Street and it was much less per night than the DoubleTree and looked much nicer. It is on the "main drag" so I'm not sure if noise from the bustling State Street would keep you up but when we go back, we'll probably try this "boutiquey" hotel if the Four Seasons proves to be too expensive.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pramstroker
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 review, July 5, 2013
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We truly appreciate you taking the time to give us this feedback, as we are consistently looking for ways to improve the experiences of our guests. We apologize for all of the inconveniences that you experienced from check in all the way to your unclean room and the unexpected parking/internet charges. We strive to provide our guests with the most convenient and comfortable experience as possible, and we are sorry that this was not the case during your stay. We will certainly take all of your comments into consideration as we make future improvements to our hotel. We would love the opportunity to make it up to you, and we hope that you will consider staying with us again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint John, Indiana
Level Contributor
139 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

The Fess Parker Double Tree was a beautiful property, with good food and beautiful views of the ocean. Very large pool area and a nice bar for snacks and cocktails and if you are seated outside you can enjoy a fire while you chat. The rooms are large and clean and also the balcony was quite large.Very nice lobby also, with a lot of groupings for seating to encourage visiting.

Room Tip: The highest floor is the 3rd but the views are great from there.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vicki P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort

Property: 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 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#25 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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