We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
WINNER WONDERLAND
Win Big When You Book on TripAdvisor

“Not your typical "Express"” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara
Ranked #24 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 379 helpful votes
“Not your typical "Express"”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

I've stayed in a few Holiday Inn Express hotels over the past years, but this was definitely not your "typical" HIE - definitely a BIT more upscale than their usual Express locations (although that was reflected in the price - approx. $170/night during the slow month of January...ouch!).

Overall it's a very decent hotel, located just steps away from key tourist areas in and around Santa Barbara. Walking distance to pretty much anywhere you'd want to go as a tourist, and fairly good dining options in and around the immediate area. Breakfast in the morning was fairly basic, but not too shabby to get your day started.

As you can see via the pics I've posted, the room itself is fairly basic, although the bed is comfy, the bathroom well stocked with the usual amenities, very clean with fast wireless and huge selection of TV channels - can't really complain. The overall "Spanish" theme/architecture of the hotel and rooms was pretty neat and made the hotel stand out a bit more. The balcony at the end of the hallway for guests was pretty nice, and you could catch a pretty nice sunrise/sunset view from there as well.

The parking is a bit tight, no doubt, but they seem to have a fair bit of space on either side of the building (for an additional $9/night).

Overall I think this is a pretty decent hotel choice (from the perspective of a tourist), although if you have access to a car I would think about considering other hotels in the area if price is a factor as this hotel is quite pricey. Although it's very nice, I don't quite see the full value of what was offered for the nightly room rate. 4/5 stars overall.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Vik_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

701 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    258
    300
    94
    39
    10
See reviews for
182
258
34
82
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 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
68 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

My wife and I spent the weekend before Christmas here and I must say it's one of the nicest H.I.E.'s I've been to. The reception area and room were perfect! Parking is a little cramped if you bring a large truck, next time we'll bring a smaller vehicle. Once I parked my beast I didn't want to leave fearing I'd loose my space.

It's located close (walking distance) to all the bars & restaurants we like on State Street. We walked to one of our favorite eateries in the harbor (Brophys) and it was probably a 2.5 miles walk one way, it was raining we still had good laugh wishing we would have taken a taxi.

We'll be coming back again this summer!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank prosailortim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
87 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2013

Stayed for three nights in January. This hotel is in a very good location right off of State street which has the majority of shops, restaurants, bars, etc in S.B..
Room and hotel was very clean, the breakfast area was well stocked and full of a lot of choices.
My only suggestion would be to mae the wine and cheese reception they offer a little nicer. They served the wine in a small plastice cup with just a sample of the wine similiar to what you would get at a tasting. We have been to other hotels that offer this in a much better way.
For examplet use wine glasses and don't be afraid to offer a better pour.
If we were in S.B. again I would go back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ddali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
255 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013

After being welcomed by friendly staff, we moved to our large, clean room. Well appointed in a refurbished historic building. Breakfast contained more variety than expected. Close to State St. And the wharf it is a great starating off point for any traveler. The front desk staff was helpful with directions, dinner suggestions etc.
Pick a room on the top floor if you can

Room Tip: Top floor if possible
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with Best Western

Helpful?
1 Thank eddie s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013

This hotel is SOOOO quaint, super pretty Spanish style - fits right in with Santa Barbara! We had a huge room and slept on THE most comfortable beds!!! The room was gorgeous and updated, the staff cleaned the room to perfection, the location is right at Haley & State Street and about 2 blocks from the beach! State Street is the main shopping district street in Santa Barbara. Was also a block or so from the movie theatre. Valet parking, free waters, free breakfast, huge room, immaculate, great location - would stay here a million times over!!! (I stay in hotels about 60 nights/year so this review is one of my best!)

Room Tip: The rooms with 2 queen beds are much bigger than the room with 1 king bed.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jujuinfla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

My friend and I pulled into Santa Barbara in the evening on our way to Los Angeles from Portland, Oregon without lodging reservation and not knowing where to stay. Since all we needed was a clean room and two warm beds, Holiday Inn Express in downtown seemed like a good bet. But what a surprise, we found ourselves in a historical landmark that’s on the National Register.

The original, known as Virginia Hotel, was built in the early 1900’s. Ravaged by age, it was closed in 1997. Afterwards, the property was renovated and operated as Holiday Inn Express. While the new hotel has all the modern comforts, including flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and climate control, the building retains its historical charms. Elements of its former Colonial Revival style can still be seen both inside and outside of the building.

The location is superb too, just around the corner from State Street where shops and restaurants abound. We had dinner at Cadiz, a Mediterranean Tapas and seafood restaurant, where not only the food was excellent, the hostesses could not be more helpful and friendlier. I don’t usually remember names from chance encounters, but I still remember Paige and Michelle because of the extraordinary experience.

Last but not least, the complimentary breakfast at the hotel was a surprise too. It did not look like much initially because it was self-service and everything was packed into one corner of the small lobby. But upon closer examination, it has the full monty – pastries, toasts, pancakes, eggs, yogurts, juices, coffee, tea, and more. The machine-made pancakes could be fluffier, but should one complaint, when they are free? (Of course, nothing is really free in a hotel when you have to pay for the room.)

Room Tip: Rooms facing the parking lot could be noisy in the morning.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Larry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SF Bay Area
Level Contributor
115 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2012

See that many travels rated this hotel as excellett. The location is excellent - downtown. We have a street level room facing the room that was just as good/or not as any motel. And pricey for what you got. It was dark and really not excellent. Make sure to get a discount of the street level rooms. Parking a pain too.

Room Tip: avoid street level room
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelwKids4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Santa Barbara hotels
0.5 mi away
BEST WESTERN Beachside Inn
BEST WESTERN Beachside Inn
#25 of 51 in Santa Barbara
4.0 of 5 bubbles 850 reviews
1.7 mi away
BEST WESTERN PLUS Encina Inn & Suites
0.5 mi away
Hotel Milo Santa Barbara
Hotel Milo Santa Barbara
#32 of 51 in Santa Barbara
4.0 of 5 bubbles 163 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 mi away
Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara
Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara
#21 of 51 in Santa Barbara
4.0 of 5 bubbles 470 reviews
0.1 mi away
Hotel Santa Barbara
Hotel Santa Barbara
#18 of 51 in Santa Barbara
4.0 of 5 bubbles 261 reviews
1.1 mi away
La Quinta Inn & Suites Santa Barbara
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara

Property: Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara
Address: 17 W Haley St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3428
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara 2.5*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just a half block from State Street in historic Old Town Santa Barbara, the Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara provides luxury and convenience for the sophisticated traveler. Downtown shopping and restaurants are steps from your door, and the beach and Stearns Wharf are four blocks away. Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast served weekly from 6:30AM-9:30 am and from 7 am to noon on weekends as well as free WIFI throughout the hotel. As a pet-friendly hotel, we welcome furry companions for $45/stay (up to 2 pets under 50 lbs.). We offer affordable parking to our guests at a rate of $14/day for 2016 and $16/day as of January 1, 2017 as well as complimentary bike rentals, and nearby, off-site swimming pool and 24-hour fitness facility access. Stay with us in the heart of Santa Barbara, where you are steps from all the city has to offer! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with IHG, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Odigeo and Orbitz so you can book your Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara Hotel Santa Barbara
Holiday Inn Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Holiday Inn
Santa Barbara Hotel

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing