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“Warning - Bait & Switch at Secret Garden”

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The Secret Garden Inn
Ranked #10 of 18 Santa Barbara B&B and Inns
Los Angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Warning - Bait & Switch at Secret Garden”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2005

We had a horrible experience with The Secret Garden Inn. We had reserved a suite and prepaid through Hotels. When we arrived at the Inn at 4 pm on the day of our reservation, we were told that they double booked our room and there were no rooms available. They said that the owner had left town and was not available by phone. Theu did not call or contact us that morning when they discovered the problem, and instaed, without our permission, booked us into an inferior Bed & Breakfast down the street with "an eqivalent room". The room we wound up with was not worth the price we had paid, and the other bed and breakfast had none of the amenities of The Secret Garden. On further questioning, we found they had done this to several customers who had prepaid through Hotels. They did not offer anything to make up for their error but the alternate B&B, and their reservation "system" was several sheets of paper with manyy names crossed out in pencil. It ruined our romantic weekend, and to date, the owner has not contacted us with an apology or explanation. BEWARE!

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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190 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    91
    54
    20
    9
    16
See reviews for
25
109
10
4
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2005

The secret garden was a nice & romantic get away. The stay was great. Everything was great, from the host to the great breakfast. It was nice, simple, and relaxing. We will definenently be back. Kathy, L.A. county

Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Beach, Ca.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2005

This was our second trip to The Secret Garden. Upon our arrival I found out that it had changed owners since our last visit. While the young man working there was very nice and helpful, we never saw him again after we checked in. We stayed in the Nightingale Cottage and it just wasn't as great as I remembered. The bed was uncomfortable, the pull out couch in the other room was torture, the hot tub was so overly chlorinated it gave me dry itchy skin (how romantic!) and there was no maid service. The breakfast was unappetizing and cheap, with bad coffee and worse orange juice. We went to the coffee shop around the corner and that was fantastic. You are not even close to downtown so don't even think about walking. I just don't feel like it was worth the money. It doesn't seem like the owner is trying too hard. We won't be coming back.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MissChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, Ca
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2005

For a special, perfect getaway, we highly reccommend the Secret Garden Cottages. We were lucky enough to stay at the Woodthrush Cottage, which was quite charming and roomy. The best part is the privacy of the deck with it's own jacuzzi. Breakfast was also an enjoyable part of the visit. Mango, banana, and apple covered with yougurt, atichoke quiche, scones, one morning, and the next, baked apples, mexican quiche, and the best coffee around. At 5pm, wine and crackers and cheese, and the best warm brownies at 8pm. Massages can be arranged in your rooms to add to the relaxing escape. What more can you ask for?

Helpful?
4 Thank pccmtk1992
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2005

I could have not asked for anything more. My prince and I were lucky to have spent 2 nights at this wonderful B&B called the Secret Garden Inn. The first night we stayed in the Nightingale. It is a warmly decorated room with flowers everywhere. You can't help but fall right into a comfort zone. The added surprise of a private deck and hot tub made the Nightingale even better. The vibrant view of the garden right outside the windows make you feel like you are in a fairytale. We were blessed to have discovered another beautiful treasure on the next night when we stayed in the Meadowlark. Again, flowers abounding, sunlight brightening up the room, and the view looking out onto the porch and garden...it was taken right out of a fairytale. We stayed in bed and just enjoyed the charm of both the Nightingale and Meadowlark. It was absolutely amazing. Dominique is a wonderful host who effortlessly made things more special by paying attention to details. All in all, it was the best experience I ever had at a B&B. Thank you Dominique!

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Laurel O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2005

I feel extremely fortunate to have chosen the Secret Garden for our 2 night stay in Santa Barbara. We found the owner, Dominique, to be extremely gracious and accommodating (before and during our stay). We came for the film festival and when booked the room in december she offered to assist us with securing passes, etc. On my next call, dominique offered to purchase the passes for us and we could reimburse her on our arrival. we arrived at 1:00 p.m.( 2 hours before check-in) while dominique was having lunch. She graciously assisted us in getting our film pass, schedule book, etc. opened the rooms and gave a recommendation for lunch. with her assistance we were fed and ready for the 4:30 p.m. film. We found the inn pristine, bedding comfortable and charming. breakfast satisfied even the gourmet chef in our group, artichoke and pesto casserole, corn bread, baked apple with yogurt. After dinner, we looked forward to a sweet snack before bed with hot tea, cider and chocolate. We travel all over and this rated as high as the best B&B's in wine country. I'm planning my next trip to secret gardens for spring.

Helpful?
8 Thank touche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2004

The Secret Garden Inn is the best kept secret in California. My wife and I travel all over the world on a regular basis but our 2 days at the Secret Garden Inn was a wonderful surprise. From the moment we arrived we were pampered as if we were long lost family relatives. The cottage we stayed in was magic! Dominique the owner treated us to a special French breakfast each morning. In the afternoon we sat out in the beautiful gardens and had Bordeaux wines and wonderful cheeses and beautiful snacks. The special soaps and appointments in our bathroom were just another extra that Dominique provided us. If you want a very special stay in Santa Barbara my wife and I highly recommend staying in the Secret Garden Inn. You will not be sorry.
PS. The 8PM hot cider and homemade brownies were delicious!!
Sincerely Yours,
Matthew and Della McCoy

Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Secret Garden Inn

Property: The Secret Garden Inn
Address: 1908 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — The Secret Garden Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secluded behind high hedges, hidden pathways, and romantic gardens in Santa Barbara, lies the Secret Garden Inn and Cottages, built in 1905 and now owned and run by Dominique Hannaux. Stay in a main house guestroom, a cottage room or suite with or without private hot tub, or our completely private house. Surrounded by the Inn's gardens, all of our accommodations are romantic and peaceful. Enjoy the delicious Buffet Breakfast which includes: Dominique's French recipe quiches, fresh-baked scones, muffins, sweet breads, fresh fruit, coffee, tea and juices. Our rates also include wine, cheese and hors d'oeuvres at 5 pm and brownies and hot cider later in the evening! All our rooms have a TV-DVD, a private bath and shower and a hairdryer. Many fine restaurants, shops, museums and sights of beautiful Santa Barbara are just a short stroll or a quick bike ride from the Inn. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Secret Garden Hotel Santa Barbara

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