We just returned from our stay at Best Western Big America. Santa Maria was the place for the convention and the suggested hotel listed was only Holiday Inn. By the time I got sync with this particular trip, it was passed the discounted booking period =( But I remembered someone said that Best Western was not too far from Holiday Inn. So that made me check Best Western and took their suggestion. (i did try Holiday Inn and get their current price but the only rooms left were smoking rooms and we were travelling with kids - not mine who had asthma and allergies, so I did not want to take the risk).
I booked online - Since we were travelling with kids - we thought it would be better if we got the "suites" (1 king-1Queen). I had the pics in their website helped us with our decision. I did the internet booking therefore, I could not make any cancellations, etc... But, as soon as I booked, I read the reviews and compared them with the pics of Holiday Inn and sort of regretted chosing the "internet- non-cancellation" option....Although, I had not mentioned a word, I was not keeping my hopes too high on this hotel.
Upon arrival which went fast and "smooth", we got the keys --- but as we checked the rooms given to us by frontdesk, I was really disappointed!!! They were too small, a "not too nice of a lay-out" suite. Having done some hotel layouts myself (architect by profession), I know for a fact that it seems like a doubleroom divided. It was like having a room (with a door) within a room. THe "inner" room was the queen, with a small round table, dresser with the tv and a closet and the outer was the "king" with a enterntainment and the small sink/ref. The toilet was smack round the corner.
Disappointed, we headed to the frontdesk, on our way I peeked into the other rooms nextdoor and - THERE WAS the room I saw online. Frontdesk was kind enough to show us the other room but did mentioned that it can only be available for us 2 out of the 3 nights we had. We would have to move out since this particular room was specifically requested, unless of course they cancelled. Frontdesk probably got annoyed at us, bec I was going back and forth checking both rooms and could not make up my mind.... We ended up taking their offer of 2 nights and moving on our last night. Of couse, we were hoping the other guest would cancel. I have to mention that there IS a difference in price$$$.
The "OTHER ROOM", known as the Executive Suite was indeed better for us - it had a large living room w/ a pullout "queen" sofa and a large king bed next door (no-division). The toilet was spacious with the toilet seperated... The layout was nicely done - open and roomy. THere were 2 tv's - the bedroom had the plasma, with a desk, dresser and mirror - a lot of room... THe living room, had the entertainment console, a round table and a lounge chair, together with the pullout sofa. THe small pantry was nicely tucked away. Also, conveninetly located, near the main entrance - reservation/dining and pool.
Since it summer and were blessed with wonderful weather during our stay, The kids wasted no time in checking out the outdoor pool and spa, while we worked out the "living" conditions in making the room work for us. (On our 3 day, I had the priviledge of joining the kids for a swim and they were right -- We had it all to ourselves and enjoyed over an hour of swimming and laying out at the sun. The pool was not that open for other guests to look out too, so it's location was nicely planned.
We had continental breakfast with our stay -- For both days we went earlier - we had a more relaxed time eating. Less crowded too. The choice were the usual variety of cereals, oatmeal, toast, bagels. they had 2 waffle makers. a choice of tea, coffee, juices - orange/
apple/cranberry and which I though was different (since I havent seen it offered on other chains) was they offered hardboiled eggs. Which our kids enjoyed!!! THe last day, I was able to catch breakfast just a little before breakfast ended and although staff was keeping up with what needed refill, dining was too crowded - too many people waiting for waffles, etc.. I took my breakfast "to-go".
Well --- we did have to move on our 3rd day --- but it also worked. It was only for 1 night and we made it work. I just didn't like NOT having the "airy-ness" and missed the condusiveness on being in 1 large open room seeing what the kids were upto,etc...Probably given a different circumstance, the 2nd suite would still be fine.
Overall - our stay at the BW was okay! Kids had FUN.... I believe that we had a better time than those who booked at Holiday Inn as I heard most of the people at the convention were there. Breakfast was crazy, pool was packed (at times you want to be on your own, not seeing other people in the same convention). Some people were noisy at the hallway, etc...Most we talked to hesitated to complain and not make a big fuzz about it.
I would definitely stay here again and would recommend it to others --- but I would definitely request the EXECUTIVE SUITE!!!
Reviews about the furniture and finishing - yes, they can go modern like other chains. Ohh, but one thing we would definitely remember abt our stay in Santa Maria is the "Cougar" of BW - they have this HUGE cat who we thought originally was a stuffed animal. So huge that it can pass for a cougar...It was quiet and was sleeping most of the time. Really didn't bother us but the kids can't stop talking out it...AND ONE MORE - Should mention, When in Santa Maria --- Check out the BBQ!!! We ate at Shaw's Restaurant for their Early Dinner BBQ Specials and tried the BBQ Corner at North Broadway. Should be a MUST to try some BBQ while in Santa Maria...THey are known for it and it is AWESOME...Made our trip COMPLETE!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Whether you are traveling on business or traveling for pleasure the Best Western PLUS Big America hotel in Santa Maria , California has something to offer for everyone. Located between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo , the Big America hotel in Santa Maria offers its guests many luxuries for an affordable price. Join us in our lobby every morning for a complimentary, deluxe continental breakfast, and while you are eating your breakfast help yourself to a couple of complimentary newspapers.Our Santa Maria hotel rooms have been called by many “the best hotel rooms in Santa Maria ” because of the size of the rooms and the cleanliness of the rooms. Each of our Santa Maria hotel rooms contains a mini refrigerator, microwave, iron and ironing board, coffee maker, cable TV, air conditioning, wet bar, voice mail, and each room is equipped for High Speed Internet Access, both hard wired and wireless. Santa Maria is known for its Santa Maria style barbecue and the Big America hotel is close to many fine restaurants, and the meals they usually serve are big, so there are bound to be leftovers. We also have a restaurant located on the premises, which is called Francisco's Country Kitchen. We keep on hearing good things about the food, so why not give it a try. The microwave and mini refrigerator would come in really handy if you are looking for a midnight snack.Our Santa Maria hotel has rooms that can accommodate just about anyone. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus Big America Hotel Santa Maria
- Best Western Santa Maria
- Santa Maria Best Western