We stayed here for our last night in California after driving down from San Francisco over the previous 3 days. As it was our last night we decided to pay a bit more and get a nice place. In the end I'm not sure we 100% got value for money (around 165 USD) but nevertheless it was a nice place to stay. That said, accommodation in Santa Barbara seems to generally be expensive, so we weren't unhappy.
The amenities in general were very good, and the little things were definitely well taken care of. There was the complimentary bottle of fizz in the room, the cheese/crackers/wine reception and the milk and cookies and we were able to borrow towels to take down to the beach with us. All of that made it a very comfortable place to stay and made you feel cared-for. There was also free parking and wi-fi - a must for me! We didn't use the pool but it looked clean and cared for (although right next to the road and car park). The breakfast in the morning was good and there was a nice selection of things to eat but the space was very small (a couple of sofas and two outside tables) so it was a bit of a cramped experience.
The service we had was patchy and gave us a very split feeling about the staff at the hotel. On check-in in the afternoon we had an older lady that was very matronly and gave us the feeling that we were somehow inconveniencing her by staying at the hotel and asking for advice. The following morning though we had a lady called Sophia who was the polar opposite - friendly and kind and ready to help us with any advice or information we needed.
The room was a decent size and very clean, all the necessary provisions were there and a fridge was provided. My dislike about the rooms is that the lighting was quite weak and you have to close all the blinds because the windows look directly onto the car park. The decor was also not to my taste - it was a little too quaint and floral - I know that's the image they're going for but it felt a bit too much like my grandma's house ;) That said - comfortable, clean and a good size is what you look for in a room and it was all of those things.
Finally the location - it was only a couple of blocks from the beach so it was easy to shoot down to the beach and sit on the sand. However, most of the fun stuff (restaurants, bars, shops) in Santa Barbara is further up State Street in town and this was a good 20 minute walk from the hotel. Do not go around the back of the hotel - you go past a dodgy looking area around the back of the train yard. It's a pleasant walk though if you go along the sea front and then along State Street.
So absolutely nothing wrong with this hotel, but I do feel I should have got a bit more for the money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Along a sweep of California coastline reminiscent of the Côte d'Azur, guests can relax amid the soothing scent of lavender and soft ocean breezes at the Lavender Inn by the Sea. French-inspired paintings adorn the walls, lavender bouquets grace each room, and sunlight shimmers off the waters of the pool. Lavender Inn by the Sea's plush guest rooms feature pillow-top beds, down duvets, lavender-scented bath amenities, and a welcome bottle of Champagne. Savor a deluxe continental breakfast on the sunny patio, wine and cheese by the fire, and milk and cookies before bed. Surrounded by beautiful lavender gardens, the Lavender Inn by the Sea is just two blocks from Santa Barbara's picturesque beaches and yacht harbor. Stearns Wharf, the oceanfront bike path, and downtown shops and restaurants are all within walking distance. Golf courses, wineries, and the Santa Barbara Mission are just a short drive away. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lavender Inn By The Sea Hotel Santa Barbara