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“What a nice place!”
Review of Simpson House Inn

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Simpson House Inn
Ranked #1 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
73 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“What a nice place!”
Reviewed 16 October 2013

Stayed for one night in Santa Barbara during my Pacific Highway roadtrip. What a lovely city! Booked the Simpson House Inn after reading all TripAdvisor reviews and I have no regrets, wished I could stay one more night. Since I booked using the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection (I believe it's a subset of the Kiwi Collection) I received an upgrade that put me into the Greenwich Cottage! This B&B thinks about every little detail. A small cake upon arrival, candles to light near the bathtub, a small flashlight to use the bathroom during the night, complimentary cookies, Wine & Cheese hour and the list goes on. The service was top notch and all I can do is recommend to stay there at least once.

I'm not giving it a 5/5 review for one reason: the hotel is 20-minute walk to the best of State St. and a 40-minute walk to the beach. I was aware of that but not worried since several reviews told about the bikes the B&B have. It turns out that they have only one set of bikes for all 15 rooms. And when I arrived one of the bikes from this set was under maintenance, so my expectation of leveraging this bike friendly city was not fulfilled. Besides that, a place to stay for at least to nights and refresh yourself.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Henrique S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (147)
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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
95 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2013

My wife and I have just started our post-children life with a son in college and a daughter in her last gyrations of high school. We've been wanting to try a B&B for sometime, but, as you might imagine, the thought of staying in an intimate space with two kids is not very appealing.

For our recent 22nd anniversary house, we bit the bullet and dove right into the B&B scene...

I would only recommend Simpson House if you go in for the small things that make a stay personal and special like personalized menus delivered to your room each day, all of the staff knowing your name, a staff that literally looks for ways to please and a relaxing, intimate, personalized visit that leaves you feeling like the "other" half that is always on the greener side of the fence.

The Inn itself is a former residence and seems to be a bit of an eclectic mix of available lodgings, with the main house being Victorian and some of the chateau's or cottages being imported and reassembled from other locations. The grounds are immaculately kept and everything about the place is class without pretension.

We chose the Robert and Julia Simpson room for our stay, the master bedroom of the main residence and it was fabulous. With a wrap around balcony that overlooked the majority of the grounds and surprisingly quiet and private accommodations, we could not imagine a better setting for a romantic weekend.

The thought of vegetarian meals turn you off a little bit? Well, they did for me, but the reviews of Simpson House were so good I figured what the heck, I can always eat a good breakfast in town. Simply, the breakfasts were some of the best I ever had and I am a breakfast guy through and through. I now know that being a vegetarian is no guarantee of being skinny. Each of the three breakfasts that we enjoyed were rich in flavor with no shortage of all of the good and fatty things, sans meat products, of course, that cause great texture, flavor and presentation to combine into a wonderful meal. That's not to say that a little bacon wouldn't help, but, let's face it, a little bacon could probably cure everything that's wrong with the world if administered properly.

Location wise, Simpson House is a good 10 minute walk from anything worth seeing on State Street and easily a 30 minute brisk walk to lower State street. But, since we are foodies and pretty much ate the entire time we were in town, the walks were welcomed and looked forward to. Taxis are easy to catch, as well, but that's a different review!

Cost... well, at first blush, Simpson House may seem a little expensive. However, factor in the breakfasts, cheese and wine hour in the evening (enough for heavy appetizers) and the privacy and intimate feel of the place and it is more than equal in value to any stay at a more conventional hotel.

I think I read someplace that this is the highest rated B&B in North America by AAA. I'm not sure if that is true, but it is certainly number one on our list! Take the plunge, you won't be disappointed!

Room Tip: We loved the Robert and Julia Simpson room, but will probably try one of the chateaus on a future tr...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 1BigDaddy007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Beach, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2013

The Simpson House Inn was simply amazing! Every morning we were greeted with breakfast in our room. All the food was wonderful, and the inn is close to downtown Santa Barbara. The staff was friendly and very accommodating! We plan to make this place an annual visit. We came home relaxed and refreshed! I would recommend Simpson House Inn to anyone looking for a fantastic B&B!

Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Theresa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arroyo Grande, California
Level Contributor
199 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2013

We will return here, many more times. My wife said she felt completely refreshed at this place... very private, super-clean, the staff were beyond excellent, everything was just so personal, and welcoming, we felt at home. The 1874 facility is completely refurbished, fresh and clean, the wine & cheese offered in the evening was elaborate, and in the late evening they had some small desserts, and early morning coffee before our excellent breakfast. Free DVD library, plenty of books and magazines, and the grounds were so lush and wonderful to sit around by the fountains and just relax. They have robes and house slippers in the room, and turn-down service in the evening. A wonderful experience. We were greeted by the staff as we were parking the car... wow.

Room Tip: We had the Mary Simpson Room, which has its own bathroom, but is is across the hall... this just add...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Supertrack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2013

I lived in Santa Barbara for many years and remember walking past the tall hedges that hide the Simpson House from prying eyes when it was first opened. Looking through the wrought iron gate it looked like the most charming secret garden of a place that someday I wanted to stay. I've gone back to SB many times and unfortunately forgot about SH until this last time. So glad I remembered because it met all our expectations and added tremendously to our 5 night stay. We stayed in the Garden Room. A snug smaller cottage with a bay window
overlooking a small courtyard with a beautiful three tiered fountain. Through an arbor of flowers you first stepped into a small patio with a table a chairs in lush surroundings and our front door. The evenings with candle light were spent here socializing with friends before heading out and every morning was spent here over coffee and the morning paper. The LA Times was delivered every morning, wrapped in a gold metallic bow with a hand penned quote for the day. I saved everyone of them. The bathroom was a little small in the Garden Room so if you travel with a lot of lotions, potions and creams you'll need to improvise on space. The water pressure in the shower was exceptional! Additional touches were the morning breakfast menu with your personal welcome and name printed on them. These small and surprising touches carried out through the entire stay. The grounds are immaculately kept with hidden places to relax, read or catch the sun. The staff was warm, friendly with out being intrusive. Always cheerful with great recommendations. The breakfast selections every morning were the right mix of farm fresh twists to standard choices you'd have at home. Breakfast can be taken on your patio or deck and is served on the veranda in the main house. The evening reception as mentioned by others offers a great selection that includes Santa Barbara Winery wine. The Inn is walking distance to the shopping and eating on State Street and a short drive to many of the beaches. It is also just a block away from the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. We have discovered that B&Bs can be a mixed bag - sometimes not at all what you were expecting from the web-site. If you are looking for what you hope a B&B should be - the Simpson House won't disappoint.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank DESNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nj
Level Contributor
197 reviews
149 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2013

Can't think of a bad thing to say, except it would be nice to have the full breakfast available a little earlier. The reviews below paint the picture well; lovely rooms, lovely grounds, wine and appetizers in the evening, sweets out at night, coffee, tea and cookies all day, a welcome cake in your room, walk to restaurants, exceedingly friendly and helpful owners and staff, delicious breakfasts. What more could you want?

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ssgtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights, breaking up the drive from Big Sur to LA. We had the Robert & Julia Simpson room, which was the master room in the main house. I chose this because I like private outdoor space. The room was beautifully furnished, the 2 sided patio was a real treat as it got sun in the morning and all the way to sunset. We felt like (very welcome) guests in someone's gorgeous home. The staff are very attentive and thoughtful and they really have thought of everything to make your stay enjoyable, whether you want to just relax in the grounds or visit restaurants or use their bikes to look around SB. Their internet was the fastest of any hotel we stayed in. Breakfast and afternoon wine tasting were events to savor and enjoy each day. A lovely property, a step back in time but with 21st century amenities. Well located for the Mission and State Street and the courthouse. A short drive to the beach, or you could also bike there.

Room Tip: The rooms really are individual and very different, so worth taking the time to choose. The double a...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank UKinNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Simpson House Inn

Property: Simpson House Inn
Address: 121 E Arrellaga St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-1903
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Simpson House Inn 5*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Simpson House Hotel Santa Barbara

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