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“It couldn't have been any better”
Review of ForFriends Inn

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ForFriends Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Santa Ynez B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 18, 2013

The For Friends Inn says you come as guests and leave at friends. That's the truth. The rooms were perfect (large and well appointed). The location in the Santa Barbara Wine Country was very convenient to get to the vineyards, restaurants etc. (I did the half marathon there and was within a block of the start line). The owners (Jim and Debbie) are wonderful people. They bend over backwards to help you find what ever you are looking for (restaurants, horseback riding, wine tasting) and make suggestions. The breakfast is 3 courses of yummy. Debbie makes her own fabulous granola. Happy hour is lovely. It is so gorgeous and peaceful there. You can really relax. And finally, there is Smitty, the golden doodle doggie with a personality that finishes the perfect package. Didn't want to leave and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 1honestfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2013

Thanks so much for such a glowing review. Sorry so late to respond. It's been very busy here!

We were just reflecting on your stay. That was the first time we got to go horseback riding with guests and it was fantastic! Even better that it was on my birthday. We were so happy for your fabulous finish in the half marathon. But best of all is our newfound friendship. It was a magical time when you both visited and we miss you a lot. We're looking forward to seeing you both again someday soon. If not another visit here, then we'll see you when we visit Chicago (our hometown). Keep the pizza and hot dogs warm.... :^P.

Please come visit again soon. Smitty misses you so!

Jim, Debbie, Katie, Dave. . . and Smitty

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165 - 171 of 236 reviews

Reviewed May 1, 2013

Sometimes when you go away for the weekend, you have a good time at a hotel and come away with fond memories.
This last weekend we had that and much more with a stay at For Friends Inn in Santa Ynez! For Friends Inn is a delightful wine country B&B where hospitality and a sense of community elevates a weekend stay to an experience that you just can't get from a hotel!

The innkeepers hospitality started the moment we arrived during the wine and appetizer happy hour out in the beautiful garden. Local wines were highlighted while Jim and Dave entertained us with their musical talents. Guests are invited to participate, and it is certainly a highlight of our stay!
My husband and I enjoyed the gold rush era Roblar room complete with an iron stove fireplace and a beautiful claw foot tub/shower combo in the bathroom. The grounds of the inn are a gardener's delight with so many beautiful roses and flowers everywhere! Our senses were also tempted in the mornings as the delicious smell of breakfast cooking came drifting to our room. The delectable breakfast and great conversations with the innkeepers and guests was a great way to start our day! Another benefit to staying here is the "Friendship Pass" that gives you 2 for 1 tastings at select wineries and a free appetizer or dessert at some local restaurants. We definitely took advantage of the pass to try some new places we might not have gone to otherwise.

Once again, Tripadvisor succeeded in helping us choose our wine country weekend at For Friends Inn, and we look forward to returning to this memorable place in the future!
If you are looking for an experience in the wine country that is more than your average hotel stay, I highly recommend the beautiful For Friends Inn and their unforgettable hospitality and inviting accommodations!

Room Tip: It's good to remember that you are staying in a house which is part of the charm of a B&B. Y...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Debra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2013

Thanks so much for this wonderful review with all of your fabulous words of praise, encouragement and recommendations. It was such a pleasure meeting and getting to know both of you — from the wonderful breakfast conversations to the fun times in the Wine Garden during Happy Hour. We know how well-traveled you both are and are honored that you choose our little inn for your getaway that weekend. To be able to deliver in ways that you've described just makes us smile with pride. Thank you SO much!

We're also SO happy that you were able to take advantage of our Friendship Pass, offering both of you nearly $300 in complimentary wine tastings and food at two dozen vineyards and half dozen restaurants. It's a pretty unique perk that all of our guests just love. It certainly saves them a lot of money when traveling to Wine Country.

We look forward to your next visit. Perhaps with friends? There's nothing like a group of friends relaxing at ForFriends Inn. . . It's what we live for.

See you soon!

Jim, Debbie, Katie, Dave. . . and Smitty

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Reviewed April 28, 2013

We combined a couples weekend with a "business" trip and had a fabulous time. My husband and I and our friends came to For Friends Inn for their excellent seminar about owning your own B&B. It focused on the financial and operational aspects and provide many excellent examples based on their own experience to help us decide whether B&B ownership is for us. Staying there as well was just terrific. The happy hour every evening with Jim and Dave playing tunes and the rest of us participating was a blast. Debbie's breakfast was delicious. We loved the homemade breads. They provided us terrific recommendations for dinner, wine and olive oil tastings. And to get a real local feel they sent us to the Maverick Saloon where we saw some great two-stepping to a really good country band.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dina H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this reviewResponded May 10, 2013

Dina,

It was truly a pleasure hosting you folks that weekend.

We're so glad you enjoyed The Carleton Group's workshop, "Pursuing the Dream: Owning Your Own Bed & Breakfast." As you know, The Carleton Group is a separate consulting firm business of our that's focused on helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Just as we are focused on delivering wonderful experiences for our guests while visiting ForFriends Inn, we also take great pleasure and joy out of helping small businesses flourish.

Thank you so much for all the fun and excitement you folks brought to the inn that weekend, especially during happy hour and breakfast. It's so rewarding for us to see everyone interacting and enjoying themselves. We will cherish the memories of that weekend and hope that we enjoy many more with you.

Say hi to everyone for us.

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty

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Reviewed April 14, 2013

You can't ask for B&B owners who are more caring and personal with their guests than Jim and Debbie at For Friends Inn in Santa Ynez, CA, in the heart of "Sideways" (the movie) wine country. One year into owing the inn (they moved to wine country from Chicago), they professionally orchestrate their service and make everyone in the 7-room B&B feel like they are personal guests in their home. A highlight is Jim's "jam" session (he plays guitar and sings) with guests on percussion (and sometimes their own instruments) during the 1.5 hour cocktail (wine-tasting) "hour" in their garden (with a heat lamp on chilly evenings). Debbie is a top-notch baker, making all the breads and pastries for the superb breakfasts. Everyone gets to know each other and breakfasts feel more like a family reunion than the formal gathering of a bunch of strangers. The inn is only a few years old, so in excellent physical and nicely decorated (and not overdecorated), including artwork from local artists. Loads of fun in a warm, hospitable "inn".

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Wild_Iris888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Thanks for such a wonderful review! We're quickly learning that the one drawback of our tag line, "Arrive as Guests Leave is Friends," is the verb "leave." It's always tough to have new friends depart. Especially after having such wonderful visits like we had this past weekend with you folks.

Thanks for singing along at happy hour -- even though it got a little chilly in the Wine Garden. Some of those tunes evoke wonderful memories of days past. Perhaps of times spent with friends long ago.

Thanks also for the compliment on Debbie's excellent cooking/baking. She's a marvel! Rest assured, she's conjuring up new recipes to surprise you with during your next visit. Hopefully, you'll also get to meet the rest of the Four Friends who opened an inn For Friends. . .

See you soon!

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty

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Reviewed April 2, 2013

A wonderful little Inn nestled in the village of Santa Ynez - we were absolutely delighted with the ForFriends Inn. We arrived just in time for Happy Hour in the garden and truly felt like we were at a friends backyard party. Debbie sets just the right tone, it's all about you - not about her. She welcomes you to her home and makes sure you are comfortable, but she doesn't hover - you have lots of privacy. We understand from friends that her musical and handy husband Jim and partners are just as charming. Smitty the dog is hilarious and just adds to the warm family feeling. Our room was large and very very comfortable. Santa Ynez is a small town and it seems everyone knows or is somehow related to everyone else. Debbie had lovely things to say about the village businesses and so when we walked into a shop or restaurant we carried that feeling of friendship and familliarity and were greeted warmly as "local" guests. For Friends Inn indeed makes you feel like you belong to this charming community. We'll be back.

Room Tip: We had a lovely upstairs room - there are three just at the top of the stairs. Quiet and with a pri...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2013

Hi Jo,

Thanks for writing such a wonderful five-star review! We're so happy that you enjoyed your stay. Debbie is the quintessential hostess who makes everyone feel at home. We apologize that the other "friends" weren't present during your stay, but are happy that you had such a wonderful time here in the Valley — it's such a beautiful and friendly place. We've made so many personal and professional friends here and try our best to help our guests/friends feel right at home during their stay.

Please come back and visit again soon. Smitty misses you!

Debbie, Jim, Dave, Katie. . . . and Smitty

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Reviewed March 24, 2013

We found this gem purely by chance, having ventured into wine country with no plans for the night.
And what a find!
Debbie and Jim (and Smitty) couldn’t have been more welcoming,; our room (Roblar) was delightful (and very comfortable!): Happy Hour in the pretty garden with Dave and Jim providing the music and Debbie and Katie the local wine and hors d’oeuvres was a joy.
Santa Ynez is a charming small town with great shops and eateries – plenty of choice within a 5 minute walk.
Still with the effects of jetlag, this was the best night sleep we’d had in a week. Breakfast was a delicious and sociable meal and we were sorry we only had one night here. Next time it will be our base for an extended exploration of the vineyards.
Thank you Debbie, Katie, Jim, Dave and Smitty.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank JenStenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this reviewResponded March 30, 2013

We were so happy when you happened upon our little inn. Even happier that we were able to add a bit of specialness to your California visit — I recall you both singing along to some of the old favorites during happy hour. In fact, one song in particular, California Dreaming, really struck a sentimental chord.

We're humbled that you would consider us as your "base" during an extended stay in the future. We will be happy to host you once again. . . and hope that we can help rekindle the magic you felt during your fist stay.

Take care.

JIm, Debbie, Katie, Dave. . . and Smitty

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Reviewed March 6, 2013

This is a beautiful guest house in a picturesque wine growing region and Jim and Debbie are most welcoming hosts.
All the rooms are tastefully decorated and any one of them would no doubt be very comfortable.
The low water pressure in the Roblar room made having a shower a little difficult but the comfortable King size bed compensated somewhat.
Breakfast was a goat's cheese and potato fritatta which I have no doubt to lovers of goats' cheese must have been delicious. As we do not fall into that category a simple boiled , scrambled or fried egg with bacon would have been more palatable and it would have been nice to have been offered a choice .

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Dorothy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2013

Hi Dorothy,

Well, we knew our streak of 64 straight 5-star reviews would have to end sooner or later.

Thank for you our honest review. We are so sorry that we dropped the ball on your breakfast option. We always offer substitutes for guests who prefer something simpler/different. We're sorry about any mix up that may have happened that morning. We promise that it will never happen again, should we be lucky enough that you give us another chance.

We're very happy that you were able to take advantage of our Winter Special Rate, offering $75 off the Standard Rate in our most popular room, Roblar. And thank you for the kind review of our rooms and decor.

Another bit of good news, upon your departure, we immediately began promoting yours and Patrick's Web sites on our Facebook page and Website. We hope it helps send new fans your way.

Thanks again for your review! Please come visit us again soon!

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty

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Additional Information about ForFriends Inn

Address: 1121 Edison St, Santa Ynez, CA 93460-9651
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Ynez
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Ynez
Price Range: $215 - $428 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ForFriends Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in downtown Santa Ynez, CA, in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country: Minutes from Solvang, Los Olivos and all the wonderful wineries. ForFriends Inn is a luxurious eight-room B&B where you arrive as guests and leave as friends. Your stay includes:• Daily three-course breakfast• Daily Happy Hour with wine, hors d'oeurves and socializing, and our Friendship Pass with over $300 in complementary wine tasting and local restaurant discounts. ... more   less 
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