I have stayed at this property at least 5 or 6 times, but my last stay was beyond miserable, it was probably illegal. I checked in late, around 8 pm, and reserved a room using their "Internet Special" price, which really should be labeled "Internet Sucker" or something similar. Now I'm wise to this kind of game of dangling a low price to move the worst rooms, so I was prepared for a battle. However, I was given probably the worst room in the place, number 139. If you are given that room, tell them you want something else or walk. It is so close to the freeway you can read the license plate numbers on the cars whizzing by. I did ask for another room but I was told by the front desk clerk that nothing else was available. Heard that before? To translate, it means you took the bait on the worst room, so live with it, you cheapskate. The parking lot was maybe 25% full, so there were plenty of other rooms, but I'm sure the clerk was told to put the cheapskates in the bad rooms.
But wait, it gets worse. I was tired and hungry, so I didn't protest. Resigned to my fate of hearing cars zooming by all night, I went to the room. It was cold when I opened the door, probably in the low 60's. I dropped my bags, went over to the thermostat, turned it to what I thought was the heat, moved the temperature to mid-70's, and nothing happened. I figured it maybe took a minute or so to come on, so I left to get some dinner. When I came back an hour later, the room was still cold, and there was no sound coming from the A/C when I moved the temperature up to maximum.
Now I realize I should have called the front desk and complained. But after being put in my place by the clerk, I wasn't up for another fight. While I unpacked, I turned on the shower to full hot and the hair dryer, and warmed up the room enough so I could get some sleep. I just pretended I was backpacking in the mountains, so the chill in the room was bearable. In the morning the room was cold again, but running the shower while I made coffee took the edge off.
Of course, this begs the question - why would this hotel rent a room with no heat? I had been raining all day and the outside temperature was in the mid-50's, so heat was definitely required. Or did I miss something in the fine print with the "Internet Special" - that heated rooms would be an additional cost?
Having made numerous trips to this area all I can say is stay at this place as a last resort. Other people have written the staff was helpful and friendly but I have not had this experience in any of my numerous stays at this property. I would characterize them as equivalent to airline employees - sometimes you encounter a real gem, but most of them view you as cargo with feet. I would strongly recommend staying at the Courtyard a few miles north, which is much closer to restaurants and is not situated next to a freeway.
Now, just to be fair, I will say their breakfast is very good, cooked to order, and not the usual buffet crap. And yes, I did send a complaint directly to the hotel, via fax, because they have no e-mail address anywhere on their web site. Does that tell you anything?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience a grand property anchored by the historic Sexton House and exotic plants and flowers and stay within easy access of area attractions, beaches and activities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pacifica Suites Santa Barbara Hotel Santa Barbara
- Pacifica Hotel Santa Barbara
- Pacifica Santa Barbara