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“Good beachfront location” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort

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The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort
Ranked #29 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
85 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Good beachfront location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2010

We stayed in rooms 208 and 210 that have nice views out across Cabrillo Blvd. to the long, oceanfront park and water. The Fess Parker Doubletree Hotel is a huge facility, but not many of their rooms have this kind of view so choose carefully when booking. We like staying here because it's close to the beach but away from the touristy hustle and bustle of the Stearns Wharf Pier area. Plus, there aren't as many homeless street people in the immediate vicinity, although there is a growing population of homeless in Santa Barbara. Quite a few homeless types sleep on the nearby beach, and there is a small softball field to your right as you drive into the hotel from the beach area (to the left if you enter from Milpas Street) and a lot of homeless tend to congregate there. It does leave you feeling a little guilty for spending hundreds of dollars and staying at such a nice place when confronted with the fact that many people are struggling these days. We stayed here five nights. Although there is a package plan that allows you to include breakfast in their restaurant, we opted for a AAA rate instead giving us the freedom to enjoy other breakfast opportunities in Santa Barbara. Heather on the Reception Desk was remarkably efficient at looking up my history of room choices in the past and, unlike some hotels where they do not guarantee specific rooms, she was able to block them out no problem. Thank you, Heather! Our rooms were modern and clean. I didn't care much for the constant Christmas music blaring loudly from speakers in the Barros Los Arcos lounge area, but it WAS the holiday season when we stayed there. The hotel now charges $15/per night to park your car there, and the automatic key card entrance and exit gate didn't always work efficiently but that was a minor matter. The bellboys (including Chris) were quick, friendly and efficient. Sunrises and sunsets from our room were quite enjoyable. FYI the train tracks and train station are fairly close and you do hear train noise at all hours, but you get that practically anywhere in Santa Barbara. This hotel is extremely pet friendly, so there are dogs everywhere...but from the rooms we had, it was obvious that a lot of dog owners let their pets do their business on the grass without picking up what they deposited on the lawn. I'm not sure if the hotel provides plastic bags for this sort of thing but that would be a good idea. Santa Barbara is a wonderful spot to explore, and close enough to enjoy taking an Island Packers boat trip to Santa Cruz Island for the day or to drive up into the local wine country. The weather in December can by a bit unpredictable. It was overcast and slightly cool on the day we arrived and when we left, but absolutely sunny and mid 60-degrees during the rest of the week which is pretty good for Santa Barbara in December. Can't wait to come back!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TravelingManVan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Boston
Level Contributor
148 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2010

Checked in late afternoon on Christmas Day and stayed until the 30th.. Efficient check-in and upgraded to garden view room - no ocean view available. We had prepaid for our room in October and got a great rate. Room did have a covered balcony looking directly to the mountains to the left and front and a slight view through the trees of the ocean to the right. The room had two sinks - one inside with the shower and the other in front of the closet. This we liked as it make getting ready in the morning much easier. The grounds were very nice, too.

Breakfast buffet coupons included because HHonors Gold member. Buffet was fine but did not include the "hot" items - omelets, pancakes, etc.- that was $5 more. Service was good but some waiters better than others.

We did not use the pool or gym. We did request the room to be cleaned one morning while we were at breakfast. Housekeeping came almost immediately. They were there before we left the room!

On the third night the room keys did not work at the parking lot gate or at the room. Had to walk to reception to get new ones. There was a line as only on person was on the desk, with others waiting to be checked in to the hotel. I asked the bellman to see if there was anyone else who could help out. He went out back to check and said someone would be out in a minute. This was really the only inconvience during our stay. There was some train noise but it did not bother us.

When asked for more cookies during our stay, the receptionist gladly asked "How many?" and gave them to us.

Overall a good stay but wish the buffet was all inclusive. And yes, it is a dog friendly hotel. They seemed to be everywhere on the weekend. A few barks and yelps, but we like dogs.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bostontravelnman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2010

We were attracted to the Fess Parker Doubletree from the previous reviews so pretty much knew what we were going to find when we arrived. We took the advice of other reviewers and booked a room overlooking the beach front to avoid the noise from the train line which runs out the back of the hotel

The check in was friendly and quick and the room was spacious and comfortable. We asked for an extra roll away bed for our son and there was lots of space in the room to put it.

We thought the room and the extras were a but pricey. On top of the cost of the room, you had to pay an additional surcharge for the internet, $11 a day, the rollaway bed, $25 per night and parking $15 per night which all added considerably to the cost of the stay. No breakfast was included in our package so that was an additional cost.

We ate twice in the restaurant and found the service to be quick and friendly and the food plentiful and tasty.

The grounds of the hotel were well looked after and the location was great. The noise of the trains did not bother us but we could hear their whistles every so often.

It was great to see so many people with their dogs in the hotel lobby and our children had a ball patting all the pooches.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sparrow36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ormond Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
274 reviews
126 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2010

I found this place by accident (the weather was just too awful to drive any further) and I got so lucky! i made a reservation on my blackberry for a regular room and got upgraded to an oceanview suite. I would like to live in that suite! Gorgeous.

the location is great - overlooking the water.

My only complaint is that I wouold have expected the food and beverage options to be more interesting at a Fess Parker property. not so! the food was mediocre at best (in the bar downstairs) and the wines were also disappointing (not a big selection at all and sort of mid-range).

the hotel itself is immaculate and oh so nice!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bonsai35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakersfield, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2009

This is a classy and beautifuly landscaped getaway. Our room had a huge sliding
door looking out on a courtyard where people were enjoying the gardens and walking
their dogs. This is a dog friendly Hotel. We left ours at home not realizing they could come. We ate breakfast in the coffee shop and it was delicious and very attractively presented. It was a pleasure just walking the grounds and seeing the ocean right
accross the street. But, the best part of the whole stay was the bed. Believe it or not
we both slept like babies, my mattress at home isn't that comfortable. Everything
seemed to be at our fingertips. Can't wait to come back

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Grannietig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2009

Everyone was friendly and highly professional. Breakfasts were delicious. Room was spacious, very comfortable and beautifully decorated.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cmudge2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2009

We stayed at this DoubleTree on a weekend before a business trip when we both had to be in LA. We booked it using Hilton points, and we were extremely pleased with what we got for the points. We got in late and got a ground-floor ocean view even though we had only booked a "mountain" view. (When you check in late at places, you either get the worst room or a really nice one. We lucked out.) Our room was extremely spacious, clean, and didn't feel out of date in the decor. The breakfasts that we got with my husband's Hilton status were nice as well. We got cups of coffee to go from the buffet and enjoyed reading the paper on our balcony in the morning.

We had a problem where my husband had requested truffles and champagne to be in the room after we returned from dinner; he had spoken multiple times with the concierge about it. There ended up being a mix up and they weren't there (so much for a surprise) when we got back, so he called and they said the would send them up... an hour later and they still hadn't arrived, so he called to cancel them. 2 minutes after that we had a knock on the door and they were delivered. My husband talked to the concierge the next day and they had comped the entire delivery before he even talked to them.

The resort is pet-friendly, but we're dog owners, so it was fun to see all of the animals around. The grounds were in beautiful condition, with no sign of canine visitors, and I thought the buildings were clean and smelled fine from what we experienced (which, granted, was limited). We never heard dogs barking at night either.

We aren't pool people, although the pool is beautiful; however, whenever we went past it was filled with kids, so definitely good for a quiet soak.

The resort is about a 10-15 minute walk from the start of the main drag, but we like to walk so it was a great way to start and end the day, walking along the beach to and from the hotel.

Overall we'd stay here again, at least on points.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank trainer5740
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
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:
#7 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 Business 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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