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Ballard Inn
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Reviews (184)
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All reviewswine countrywine tastinglos olivossanta ynezmountain roombrown roomrooms are individually decoratedcold buffetchef ownerfreshly baked cookieseach afternoontasting roomnoise factorstay nightsour favorite place to stayoff street parkingwe've stayed
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Reviewed 24 July 2009

We visited Ballard Inn for the first time over July 4th weekend and the room prices were quite steep @$300/nite due to the holiday weekend. We expected more for $300/nite. The hotel is in a quaint old style building which comes with creaky floors and noisier rooms. We could hear the dining room downstairs from our room. We liked the free internet which was helpful. We were surprised at how small the hotel grounds were and expected more of a garden, rural setting that one could walk around in. Instead the hotel fronts the street with a small garden in front and a gravel parking lot behind it. We are not really big fans of Victorian decor so the victorian styled room (Cynthia's room), including old mirrors and rather large 8x10 dageuerrotype photos of men and women did not give the room a relaxing feel. One of the photos may have been of "Cynthia"? but there was nothing in the room or inn to tell us who that was or the significance of the people in the photos. The bathroom was small and rather plain for the price of the room--small shower with shower curtain that clung to you as you showered. The sink was in the bedroom near the main door , which made it crowded if one wanted to use the sink while another wanted to get into the bathroom or leave the room. Our room had some issues: the bed had a full size headboard on a queen bed which made it hard to sit up in bed without hitting your head on a newel post. One of our pet peeves is clean bed linens. The floral gingham coverlet and decorative pillows on our bed were really dirty and hadn't been washed in quite some time. You could see the dirt and stains on them. They were made of cotton so you think the inn would wash these more often. The breakfasts were good but not fabulous; juice, coffee and cold cereals plus 3-4 choices to order from each morning: omelettes, eggs any way and some type of pancake or waffle offering. My husband ordered the omelet one morning, and really didn't care for it because it tasted funny. We noticed the couple at the next table didn't eat theirs either. As for the wine and cheese selections; we liked the fact that this was offered but the back room where it was located was hot and stuffy with depressingly drab brown furnishings. It made you want to grab your wine and cheese and get out of there to the front porch. (But there's not enough seating on the porch when the hotel is full.) The back room was not very inviting in the heat of summer. They didn't appear to have very good central air conditioning down stairs. Some other reviewers said their hors d'ouvres were more than just cheese and crackers... but that's just what it was: a variety of cubed cheese and a selection of store bought crackers. There was also a shrimp platter but it looked very unappetizing in a 80 degree room with flys buzzing around; and not on ice. We expected something more creative from a restaurant with such a highly celebrated chef. There is hotel parking behind it but not enough for all guests when the hotel is full so we had to park down the street in the residential neighborhood. So all in all, we would have probably rated this better if it was $195/nite but we didn't feel it merited more than that. We would recommend to a friend only if they could get a good rate.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank msh16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2009

This romantic ben and breakfest is everything it is cracked up to be and more. I booked this trip as a 1st anniversary getaway for my wife and I and it was everything we had hoped for and more. The rooms were comfortable and quaint, they had no phones, or televisions which helped the idea of just 'switching off' for the weekend, even my cell phone had no coverage so no office calls on Sunday..!!! The customer service was absolutley amazing, they always went out of their way to help and never even gave me a funny look no matter how rediculous my requests were. The food was amazing, service was great, room was comfy. The highlight of the trip was sitting on the front porch sipping a glass of wine with nothing but silence to greet me. For those in need of a getaway away from the hecticness of our daily lives I would definately recomend. Thanks for the great time to all those that went out of their way to help me, I will return when in need of another battery recharge...:)

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank awsouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2009

We found this place here on TA and even read some reviews saying the 10% included gratuity was pretentious. Well, it was great. We got the Romance package for our anniversary and for 195$, with all the taxes and 10% it came to 235$, we got a free wine tasting for 2 (20$) at Brander Vineyard, where the folks were very knowledgable and friendly and actually let us taste more wines than a normal tasting, a bottle of Brander wine (20$), free local wines and h'ors deourves from 430-530 ($$) and a cooked to order breakfast the next morning. The people were great, the service was very hospitable and the inn quite relaxing. I recommend going on the website and checking the specials, some real great values.

Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank candgpdx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2009

We spent a week in Santa Barbara with some friends celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. We had all been on a Panama Canal cruise and a good friend took us all to the Ballard Inn for a special anniversary meal. The place was delightful and the staff most attentive. We are english and the chef knowing we were all finding it difficult to choose from his varied appetizer menu went ahead and divided the appetizers up on each plate so that we could all try the different ones. When it came to desert he placed my friends(whose anniversary it was) on a long plate with the words happy anniversary written in chocolate beside it on the plate!! They were so thrilled at the special attention to detail for their anniversary. The wine waiter was so pleasant too helping us to choose from the varied wine list which of course had many local wines which were unknown to us in England and his advise was excellant. All the staff that we met made our evening amazing.

We also got to visit some of the rest of the inn and cannot wait to visit california again just to spend the weekend at the Ballard Inn. Well done everyone at Ballard

Telford Traveller

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank travelnutTelfordUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2009

First thing we noticed was no TV. Excellent! Wine Tasting Happy hour and porches that wrapped around the premises were very nice. Everything was perfect and quiet, except we were on the second floor so the dining area noise didn't subside until 11-ish. We had dinner there earlier; an excellent meal (see review) so no wonder there were happy customers still around. Staff and cleanliness was perfect, too.

Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank ChrisnMarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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