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“Clean and elegant”
Review of Ballard Inn

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Ballard Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Ballard B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
66 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Clean and elegant”
Reviewed 25 August 2013

Very clean and great customer service. Warning no TV in the room! You can request one but its only 17". The restaurant is 5 star. Breakfast is part of your room fee and is marvelous. It even includes breakfast specials.

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Fran S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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177 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
621 reviews
134 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 343 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2013

Good friends had been coming to this B&B for years, always raving about it. I wonder if that "bias" made me more against than in favor of this hotel.

Built in 1985 specifically as a B&B, I have to wonder why some items weren't better addressed. Specifically, why do you leave the bathroom sink near the door of the room rather than in with the shower and toilet behind closed doors?

Our room, Equestrian, was one of the larger rooms. We had a small alcove with a round dining room style table and four chairs. That was nice but not of much use. There was no desk in the room. No reading chair. Our king bed was well appointed with high quality linens and was more than comfortable. I found the reading lights to either side of the bed to be too dim for comfortable reading.

The staff was exceptional. They greeted us with a smile. They accommodated our need to secure two bicycles. They provided us with map directions to our bicycle destination. They went out of their way to say hello, ask us how our day went and were generally the bright spot of our three night stay.

The happy hour wine & cheese was pretty standard. There were three bottles of wine presented for what would be a maximum of 30 guests (15 rooms times 2). At 3 glasses per bottle the wine usually ran out even if all guests were not in attendance. The cheese, fruit and vegetables were more than adequate.

Breakfast was pleasant. A continental offering, standard two egg choices along with two "made-to-order" specials of the day; generally an egg dish (quiche?) and either waffles, pancakes or the like. Breakfast was at 8:00 am, later than I would like, and curiously enough was not well attended. Perhaps the guests this trip had other places to be early, or chose not to have breakfast.

The location is central to Solvang, Santa Ynez and only about a mile from Los Olivos. It is a good location for wine tasting, visiting Solvang or biking countryside. The hotel is not on a main street but the local school is around the corner so it can be busy in the morning. The street traffic at night did not disturb our sleep but I do not believe the windows are double paned, another curious miss in today's retro-fit window world.

All in all our stay was, as I have ranked this B&B, "very good." It would be excellent if they remodeled the bathroom to four-star quality and moved the wash basin in with the other bathroom components.

Room Tip: Choose your poison, rooms overlooking the street or overlooking the parking lot. I would choose stre...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KenVicLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newbury Park, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 August 2013

Looking for an experience that offers first class hospitable service, in a charming and quiet setting? Each room has a different theme done in beautifully decorated taste. Start your day with a delicious country breakfast . Then continue your morning relaxing on a big front porch complete with comfortable rocking chairs for reading, talking, sipping on their tasty coffee or tea, or simply enjoy the serene setting with it's colorful gardens. Every late afternoon they offer wine and hor dourves where you can chat with other lodgers from many different places. To complete your experience, the dinners offered by their resident chef are unique and delicious. I spoke with a few visitors that have stayed at the Ballard Inn multiple times, which speaks for itself. You can also take a lovely drive through the countryside which offers an assortment of wineries, fruit farms where you can pick your own berries or apples. It also a centrally located place just minutes from Solvang or Los Altos.

Room Tip: every room has it's own theme and is decorated differently. We stayed in the Vintage Room
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gilbyh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2013

In the small town of Ballard, CA. there is a lovely B&B called the Ballard Inn. The town is so small that if you removed the Ballard Inn, there would be no town. But I digress. This is a truly charming place in the center of town. The staff is very welcoming and friendly. Everyone gets a personal tour (here is the TV room, the games are up here, this is where we have happy hour, etc.). There is one land line because cell service can be "spotty". There is a complimentary happy hour from 4:30 to 5:30. The rooms are decorated in mostly Victorian style (lots of prints and do dahs) with some western styles thrown in. This is the place to come to get away from it all and still be in the heart of the Santa Ynez wine country.

Room Tip: Rooms on the south face the main street. Traffic for at least an hour a day.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank D C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmel
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2013 via mobile

We booked this bed and breakfast at the last minute and got one of the last rooms. Arrived just after wine tasting but we were offered a glass while we checked in. Everyone was friendly and accommodating. The restaurant was fully booked and we knew why! The food was delicious and wine list perfect. A great stay in SB wine country!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sanmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Jolla, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2013

We stayed at Ballard Sun-Wed. It was a great little getaway. Very relaxing area to visit and the hotel is quite nice. Our room was large and bright and we enjoyed the delicious and fresh breakfast. We only had a chance to experience the afternoon wine and snacks on one day, and it was all also quite nice. Maybe the wine is not great, but hey you're in wine country and there's no shortage of fine wines. The rooms and the common areas were very clean and tastefully decorated - simple and rustic but not in a fake, overdone way. The porch with the rocking chairs is very cute as well. The staff were generally friendly and attentive. We only had a couple of problems overall, nothing major.

I left a separate review of the restaurant since we had an unpleasant incident there that was not repeated in any other aspect of the service at Ballard. The food was good and overall I would recommend eating there if you're staying on a night the kitchen is open.

One thing you should be aware: In addition to the lack of phone and TV in rooms (fine for us! we don't have either at home), the internet and phone service is very spotty. AT&T did not have either data or voice signal most of the time from the property. This is nice for the getaway feel, but it's something to be aware of. It can be an issue if you need to look up directions or info. I suppose it's how we lived up until a few years ago!

You can rent bikes here for a good price ($8/hour or $25/day). The bikes are not excellent but they're decent and if you ask for some oil, you can give them a little TLC before taking them out. The lovely Ballard Canyon Road is worth visiting either on bike (if you're fit, there are some solid hills) or in car.

Some have commented on the noise re: the front facing rooms. We had the Vineyard room and indeed you could hear the road noise. But really this is such a quiet place that it's rarely an issue. I wouldn't worry about it. On our last night however around 1 am, noise did become an issue when a group of drunk men started yelling and being rowdy for about 20 minutes. I am not entirely sure if they were from the inn, but they had parked right in front and were talking (really yelling) at each other. Eventually they got into a car and left, making a huge growling noise and tire squeals. I want to believe the driver was designated and not drinking but I have a sinking feeling he was not… Anyway this is of course not the inn's faulty but basically if it is noisy outside, you will hear it. May want to bring ear plugs just in case.

We met some lovely people at the inn at happy hour and at breakfast. This is not the best place for young children; mostly couples, middle aged and older, including several same sex couples. We did have a few instances of discomfort. My husband is mixed race and also looks much younger than he is - although he has excellent manners, and is extremely well dressed and clean. Upon seeing us, some guests would immediately get a worried and fearful (and in one case downright disgusted) look, seemingly alarmed or confused by this young brown man who was not clearly part of "the help" amidst their fine winery. Unfortunately, we deal with this regularly. I was initially finding it hard to believe people would have any such attitudes in this day and age, always looking for alternative explanations than racism, but 8 years with my husband have opened my eyes to the invisible privilege of being white (at least from the outside). I should mention the staff at the inn were not included in these experiences (though we had a different kind of issue at the restaurant) and we cannot hold a few guests' attitude against the inn. We should also add we met other people at the inn who were very friendly and clearly did not have similar attitudes. I would still recommend this inn to minorities, but just be aware some of the other guests may not be as accustomed to racial diversity.

The hotel has many details we appreciated: Having sparking water readily available (not nickel and diming people by charging for it), the cookies and lovely turndown service (with music when you walk into the room), the garden in full bloom, the relaxing porch with rocking chairs and lemonade, the reasonably comfortable beds...

I think our experience was generally positive and I would consider going back to Ballard Inn even though we had a few issues here and there.

Room Tip: We saw many of the rooms. Our room (Vineyard) had a nice bay window area and lots of windows but no...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank APS7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
116 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2013

Ballard Inn is a nice base for Santa Ynez wine tasting and relaxing. Ballard is a quieter alternative that Los Olivos or Solvang yet minutes from both. It is a one horse town but that is the charm.

Rooms are nice and comfy, many with fireplaces in them. Great beds and rooms offer a great place to relax after a day exploring Santa Ynez. Afternoon snacks and wine tasting are nice. Including breakfast is excellent quality and offers many options. Homemade scones were delicious!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Spi-kids_LA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ballard Inn

Property: Ballard Inn
Address: 2436 Baseline Ave, Ballard, CA 93463-9711
Region: United States > California > Ballard
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Ballard
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballard Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ballard Hotel Ballard

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