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“GREAT Location, Cool Place, Serious Drawbacks” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Inn At East Beach

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Inn At East Beach
Ranked #28 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Redlands, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“GREAT Location, Cool Place, Serious Drawbacks”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

My main purpose in booking this place was getting as close to the beach as possible without paying $400. We are not picky, we just want a place that's clean and comfortable. We payed $250 for the Junior kitchen suite.

When you first get there, you are greeted by Frank, the manager, about whom plenty has been written, and I'll get to him. We were able to check in early (about 1:30, as opposed to the 3:00 check-in time) since our room was ready, which I always love. The parking is ample and off the street, and in a beach area like this, that's huge. Plus, the parking area is a few short steps from any of the rooms; This is a really small place, so everything is close to everything else.

The grounds are really cool: There is bamboo all over the place, and the set-up is nice, with decks for lounging and snacking, different levels with a few stairs. Other reviewers are correct about the gates though - they are loud and rusty. It's a good example of the bottom line of the Inn at East Beach: They've fixed up some stuff, but some things are really overlooked that would make a big difference.

When we walked in, it didn't smell that fresh, as others have noted. It was distinctly the smell of mold - not strong enough to be disgusting, and we're not that picky. It got much better as soon as we got the fans going. I did think it was interesting that the windows were left open by housekeeping - I've never seen that done before, maybe to negate the initial impact of the smell?

We were delighted with the amount of space. The kitchen is fully stocked, regarding plates, silverware, full-sized refrigerator, stove, etc. Some people complain about the decorations or the fact that it's not to their taste, but again, we don't care. I thought it was nice... the window treatments are silk, and block out the light well, and darken the room when you need it. Huge sink (in separate area outside the actual bathroom). Just enough TV channels to keep us entertained in the short amount of time we'd want to stay inside, in a spot so close to the beach. The beds were very comfortable, pillows were big and nice, and there were extra blankets. The fireplace is really cool, and I expect it would be a great perk in the winter. I have to say I didn't think we'd mind the lack of air conditioning, but it was awfully stuffy at times - when you want it, you really want it! No fan in the bathroom ends up making a big difference with no air after warm water's been run. There is a ceiling fan, and a standing fan, and they both help a lot, but we would have liked air conditioning. The proprietor has a wall unit, incidentally.

As to the Sainted Frank, who manages the place: He is pretty oppressive. After the first afternoon, I avoided him like the plague. The thing is, his "Look at me, I'm all hospitality, and I'm your key to Santa Barbara" act wears thin very quickly. He hovers like your grandma, waiting for you to break some little rule, and he explains each rule repeatedly. And God forbid he doesn't tell you a rule (and you didn't think to ask), you'll get a condescending verbal spanking that makes it downright uncomfortable to take advantage of some of the amenities for fear you won't do it right.

On the other hand, he runs a tight enough ship that other people don't break rules that make your experience miserable. This place can be VERY loud, especially if the windows are open because of the lack of air conditioning. But if everybody's civilized, it's peaceful and nice, and that's great. If you've never been to Santa Barbara, it's a wonderful place to vacation, and from what I could see, the price here was reasonable. On the other hand, the Motel Six (30 feet away) was a hundred dollars a night cheaper, so do your research and go from there.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sophiemichaels
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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (106)
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English first
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2012

This gem right behind the Fess Parker was a great find! The rooms were clean, bed comfortable. The breakfast was simple but very good and great coffee for a hotel. Overall a 3 star place with good pricing for SB and being near the beach until you meet the staff who work there. Frank., the owner epitomizes customer service. Him and his staff propel this small hotel from a 3 star to 5. I would highly recommend a stay here and I will be staying here again!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelbugColorado633
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Headley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

They should have called this Inn " the inn on noisy road" route 101 passes very near by and is very noisy to rooms at the rear where we were "upgraded" to. The room smelt musty and unused and was really outdated, It was much larger than we expected with a nearly full kitchen with dining area. The host was kind and helpful. Breakfast was a sugar addicts dream with virtually nothing offered which was not fully saturated in sugar. The thing which really annoyed me was the useless wifi, the Managers are well aware that with any Apple product the wifi is just not fit for purpose but they do not share this with guests until asked. We has to go to an Internet cafe to check in one line for our lights home.

Room Tip: In the front not the back
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Italy
Level Contributor
84 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2012

The people at the hotel are very welcoming but in a formal way.Our room was expensive, small, without air-conditioning, with noisy fans and very very outdated. The bathroom was small and really old with several signs of mould on the walls. The beds and pillows are old and uncomfortable. Our room faced the pool and it was like having other guests into our room ! The hotel, well let's call it Motel is extremely noisy: noise from every corner, from the pool, from the next room television and loud talk (just the american way), from the road, the cars, etc. but just as a final ending of a sleepless night at 7 am the nearby football pitch gardeners started to cut the grass just by our bathroom's window. It was simply horrible. Last but not least our unhappy room was also close to the hotel (motel) laundry machines with a disgusting smell of petrol spreading all over the air... that's not California we had dreamt of ! The price was very expensive , it would not be acceptable even if it was half of that... the only pleasant experience is Frank, the unusual owner or manager who sweetly invites you to taste every item of their more than decent breakfast:" eat the croissant ... it's good "...! Well , he was nice certainly but on checking out he did not care at all of all my courteous complains... no good !

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aquilasicula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2012 via mobile

Very warm welcome at the front desk-very helpful with getting us orientated to SB when we arrived.
Breakfast is simple but good.
Pool was clean.
Rooms are spacious and well looked after though from our room u can hear people outiside easily, but earplugs were provided ig neceassary.
Very well priced relative to most of SB accomodation.
East beach is across the road and good for swimming and there are plenty of beach accessories available to borrow.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JohnCole99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2012 via mobile

We were happy with our stay at the Inn at East Beach. Frank, the manager, was so welcoming which made our stay. The breakfast, which was included, had lots of lovely pastries and a good selection of cereals and teas. There was a coin operated laundry which was useful. The bathrooms are a bit tired and it is a long walk to the main street but very good value for money.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Jane C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2012

THE GOOD
Inn at East beach is on a great location. You can literally cross the street and be on the beach in a few minutes, and the beaches were so empty and clean. You're also near the zoo, stearn's wharf and State Street. Definitely a huge plus. Their rooms are clean and the decor has a nice modern touch to it, especially the sink area. Pillows and bedding were clean as should be expected. They have a free continental breakfast, but don't expect anything grand. It's literally the most basic continental breakfast: bagels, pastries, juice and milk, coffee, toast, etc. No hot food like bacon or waffles.

THE BAD
Some things I noticed, which may or may not even bother you: the shower head was weak. The bathtub / shower area was pretty outdated and was covered in tile, whose grout had pink rust in between them. The lighting in the bathroom was also weak.

They don't have A/C. They only have a ceiling fan which, when you have it on medium or high, creaks and you won't be able to sleep. Their curtains are pretty, but ineffective since they're still so transparent. Forget about sleeping in after the sun comes up.

Inn at East Beach is first of all not a hotel; it's set up like a motel, or more like an apartment, which is what the noise level reminded me of. The windows face the open area, so you'll hear people walking and talking. We were on the first floor, so we heard every footstep and the TV glaring. In the middle of the night, we heard other guests slamming their doors and driving their cars nearby. We also heard the water rushing through the pipes anytime someone took a shower.

THE UGLY
And here's where it gets worse: in the middle of said night when the other guests were loud and we could hear everything, we started to hear water trickling in the bathroom. I thought, Maybe it's the water going through our faucets. When we checked, what we saw instead was a crack and a hole in the ceiling above the bath tub. The water from the guest's bath tub was pouring into our own bath tub! Just terrible.

THE CONSOLATION
Frank was kind enough to apologize about the bath tub incident and discounted that one night 20%. The other incidents though I believe are independent from whether or not the bath tub incident had even happened; e.g. I still would have heard the other guest's TV and I still wouldn't be able to sleep in past 7am.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inn At East Beach

Property: Inn At East Beach
Address: 1029 Orilla Del Mar, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3705 (Formerly East Beach Lodge)
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#11 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
#17 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Inn At East Beach 2.5*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just steps to Santa Barbara's best beach - Exclusive East Beach Resort area near zoo, wharf and shopping. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn At East Beach Hotel Santa Barbara
Hotel At East Beach
At East Beach Hotel

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