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“Charming...”
Review of Montecito Inn

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Montecito Inn
Ranked #20 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 November 2013

The word charming perfectly describes the Montecito Inn. The staff was nice, the valets went out of their way to make sure bags, laptops, etc? were secure and delivered to our rooms.

Room
Roomier than expected, well outfitted and nice local touches (wine, magazines,...). The bed was comfortable and there was plenty of room to spread out and work on the laptop.

Bathroom
Nicely redone for a small space. Clean and well outfitted.

Dining
Only grabbed a quick coffee (free in the lobby), we walked through the continental breakfast area to see the offerings, basic but complete.

Value
This is Montecito, so a higher rate is expected. Good value for the area.

Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
Thank SoCalNative G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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846 - 852 of 1,084 reviews

Reviewed 30 October 2013

This is our second time staying here in 2013 due to weddings at the Four Seasons. The first time was a quicker trip, and we spent much less time at the hotel, so this last visit put more of a magnifying glass onto the experience. First off, you can't beat the location. If you need to stay in/near Montecito (say for a wedding) you've really got two options: Plunk down for the Four Seasons or the San Ysidro Ranch or pay about half that amount and stay at the Montecito Inn. If you have the money, don't even debate it, and skip the Montecito Inn (MI) altogether. The other two places are a much more quality experience. If you're just looking to enjoy Santa Barbara, don't even bother with the Montecito area. Unless you're the kind of people who need to return home and tell people that you stayed in Montecito, it's pretty bland and uneventful. (Even though Oprah lives here, she should as hell wouldn't vacation here.) There are much better options near downtown Santa Barbara (Canary), and there is so much more to do. However, if need to be in Montecito and you're looking for a low(er) cost option, you're probably going to stay at the MI. Here are a few things of note... It's right off the exit of the 101. It's a quick walk/bike ride to the Four Seasons. You're right on Coast Village Road which has a fair number of restaurants and shops (as well as a CVS across the street). And they've got a good number of free bikes to use to explore or head downtown. The staff is typically nice, but rather inconsistent depending on who you get. Sadly, it's just old. That makes both thermal and sonic insulation a real challenge. If you're on the second floor, you will hear every wheelie suitcase pass your room, and somehow the flooring outside will make you feel as though it's really a bus on its way to run you down. Oh, and remember that freeway you're next to? Also, if you've ever been to Santa Barbara, you will know that the weather can exhibit swings due to the marine layer. In the morning you'll need pants and a jacket, but it can easily hit 85 once it burns off. The rooms don't accommodate this well at all, and you'll need to continually experiment with open windows, fans and the room's bolt-on AC units. The showers are anything but consistent, but they do serve as a great reminder of their range as they continually oscillate between hot and cold. And their free continental breakfast is commensurate with what you'd get for staying at a Quality Inn for $69. The building is ridiculously charming (Chaplin stayed here!) and you can't beat the location in Montecito, but sadly the overall experience of staying here really does leave you wanting more.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank queque11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MontecitoInn, General Manager at Montecito Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2013

We appreciate all comments, as it is our sincere passion to provide each and every guest the very best visit to Santa Barbara and Montecito. Occasionally, we like to offer replies to comments so as to offer those who are considering a stay with us the clearest and most accurate information regarding the Inn and the surrounding community. First and foremost, as mentioned in previous replies, the Montecito Inn is very excited to begin its highly anticipated renovation in December of this year! This renovation will involve no construction, and will therefore not be a disturbance to our guests in any way whatsoever. With ten rooms being renovated per week, the Inn will be open for business as usual, and with all of the amenities and conveniences our guests have come to know. Phase 1 of our renovation will involve the Guest Bedrooms and the Lobby. Everything from furniture to carpet to drapery to televisions and other technology will be completely updated to reflect the Inn's vision going forward while maintaining a nod to its historical past, all to satisfy and exceed the expectations of our guests. Phase 2 will do the same for our Luxury Suites, which are still loved by our guests, but again, we are focused on exceeding expectations going forward. The Montecito Inn will retain all of its charm, while adding a sense of luxurious sophistication that it was intended to represent when Charlie Chaplin first opened its doors in 1928. We truly feel that the Inn will be the very best place in Santa Barbara to be your home away from home. In the meantime, we have added soundproofing between rooms, and we have added air conditioning to every room (not bolt-on, as described in the review, but a $250,000 improvement to the entire hotel that now offers our guests the very best A/C units in the industry, and so quiet that they are practically silent). We are continuing to make upgrades to the grounds and our offered amenities (it's important to point out that most hotels in Santa Barbara do not offer air conditioning at all). As for our immediate community, we would humbly disagree with the review...Montecito offers some of the best dining in all of Santa Barbara, enjoyed by some of the most famous most well-traveled people in the world, and all literally within walking distance of the Montecito Inn. Also within walking distance is great boutique shopping and Butterfly Beach, perhaps the most beloved beach in the area by the locals. Montecito also has Santa Barbara's best hiking trails, it is the safest area in an already-safe city, and it is only a five minute drive or 20 minute bike ride to the downtown Santa Barbara area where more great restaurants, shopping, and beach/water activities await. Montecito is also only 45 minutes from Santa Barbara's Wine Country and is the closest part of Santa Barbara to great horseback riding along the beach. We encourage everyone to visit our website to learn more about the Montecito Inn and the surrounding community, and to inquire further with our reservationists and concierge about current accommodations and our updated accommodations that will begin to be offered December 8. All the best to everyone, and we hope to have you as our guest sometime soon!

Danny Copus
General Manager
Montecito Inn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

Contrary to a few reviews we read prior to our 3 day visit. We were treated well by a New front desk lady staff member (wish I remembered her name deserves kudos). Initially, we were put in a room nearest the elevator (Classic and creaky). This room was nice but had a serious humming noise. After reporting the noise, we were treated cordially and moved to a room nearest the end where closest to the highway. It was quieter. The A/C was good. Only concern was the faucets which needed to be replaced which kept pressure low. Room was nicely decorated. Other than the room, the service by the bell staff, front desk, and room keepers was excellent. The lobby provided tea and coffee in the morning. Hotel is nearest the highway so just be prepared for the usual noise and traffic. Nice Spanish restuarant for dinner across street and close by a great breakfast place too. Thank you Montecito Inn-Charlie Chaplin

Room Tip: Do not get a room nearest elevator and try to stay away from the highway side.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank finedge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

We spent two wonderful nights here & it was perfect in every way: doting-but-not-intrusivel service, quiet ambiance, lovely restaurants nearby (& at the Inn!), great "morning walk" to the beach. Elegant & charming - we're hooked!

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Karen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2013 via mobile

The apartment was an excellent unit for us. Well appointed and great extras such as the steam shower and tv mirror in bathrooms. Great location to get everywhere we needed. The staff was very friendly, helpful and engaging - enjoyed the visit and will be back!

Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Bruce H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

We have stayed at the Montecito Inn once a year for a weekend away. While the rooms are cozy, each is beautifully decorated and charming. The staff is helpful and provide restaurant recommendations and reservations without hesitation. The location is ideal however, I would ask for a room away from the exhaust of "Lucky's" next door - you will be assured a quieter night.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank AAAandZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2013

This lovely exterior facade and common rooms is unabashedly tawdry. A faded glory.Charlie Chaplin built this in the Hollywood silent film to talkies heyday. It's supposed to be romantic and charming. We arrived, as announced and as phoned from the airport, after 11Pm, after a long trans-continental flight to LAX. No valet then, but still an 8$ charge on our bill! We woke the night manager who checked us in. He provided us no warning that the elevator was a relic; nor instruction on how to navigate it. Nor any advice as to whether our room was as we had requested. We made our way to our third floor room. We had specified mountain view--nope --well if you looked out of the bathroom transom maybe; we specifically asked not to be on the freeway but 321 is directly over the freeway. Not very welcoming after a long travel. It gets worse. Fortunately it wasn't til morning that we noticed the mustard and grunge carpet was as soiled as the velvet bed backboard was dusty and as ugly as the cheap armoire's blue edged paint. The bathroom is tiny; the hot water sporadic but the robes are soft. One can see why the Inn leaves wine in the room--for an excessive price in wine country. Breakfast come with the room or in their cafe but Jeannines Bakery is a far better and excellent local breakfast shop and fresh bakery 2 blocks down the road.
The receptionist apologized. So what?
In this day and age, we felt robbed by the new Tramp running the Montecito Inn..
Don't waste your money.

Room Tip: Stay someplace else and just tour the downstairs rooms!!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank Joel A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Montecito Inn

Address: 1295 Coast Village Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2791
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#9 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#14 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
#21 Family Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range: £115 - £376 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Montecito Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Montecito Inn was built in 1928 by screen legend Charlie Chaplin as an escape to paradise for his closest friends. Enriched with influences reminiscent of early Santa Barbara, guest rooms are a reflection of the Montecito Inn's proud history and tradition. Bedrooms decorated with classic patterns and furnishings in warm earth tones and bathrooms adorned with hand-painted ceramic tile create an elegant ambiance. The Montecito Inn offers the perfect blend of classic style, comfort, convenience, and personalized service. Wake up in the morning to a continental breakfast served in the hotel's restaurant, the Montecito Cafe, or have it delivered to your door. Enjoy lunch and dinner at the Montecito Cafe, a local favorite, which boasts an exquisite California Nouveau cuisine. Other fine dining is also available only a walk away. Relax by the pool and Jacuzzi, or walk only 2.5 Blocks to the beach. Also enjoy the day in Montecito, one of America's most beautiful seaside communities, with boutique shopping. Featuring 61 Elegant Guest Rooms & Luxury Suites, the Montecito Inn offers all of the quality, service and elegance that Santa Barbara has to offer. Our staff is waiting to help satisfy your every desire. Today, the escape is yours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Montecito Hotel Santa Barbara

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