On our trip to Southern California, we left a couple days free to explore the area. Without knowing where we were going, we headed out on the Pacific Coast highway and decided to stay a night in Santa Barbara, so we chose this hotel without checking on TripAdvisor first. We hadn't made previous reservations and we were just happy to find a room for the night, otherwise my rating might be lower.
Location/Check-in: Perfect location, across from the beach a block's walk from Stearn's Wharf, the motel is on the main drag which runs along the shoreline. There was a reason this place had vacancies when a lot of other places didn't. Check in was fast, but they were slightly vague about where we should park (parking lot was full) and the room wasn't what we asked for. Dinner and drinks at Moby Dick's (fairly good but not cheap) on the wharf meant no need to drive. Breakfast at Esau's Cafe (a short drive away) was recommended by the staff in the morning at check out and that was a fantastic bit of advice.
Room/Amenities: Room was rough, but not completely without charm; I requested a quiet room with a King bed. What we got was a quiet 2nd floor room with a Queen bed tucked away around the back of the hotel, 121 if memory serves correct. It was decorated with a sort of grandma-shabby-beach-chic quality; cute floral painted trunk, a massive white bedframe and pink satin bedspread. The mattress pad on the bed was loose so every time I shifted, it bunched up under me. Not the best sleep unfortunately. Big, tiled bathroom with a old yellowing jacuzzi tub that I wouldn't be able to soak in confidently, but the shower had good pressure. No AC, no alarm clocks, just a TV. The best part of the room was actually the semi-private patio with two bistro tables just outside the door. Ideal for take away meals or writing journals and enjoying the sunset with a beer in hand (there is a decent liquor store a few blocks away at the corner of Castillo & Montecito that carries a few craft brews).
Essentially, it's a good last resort for anyone needing an affordable place to sleep for one night while enjoying the beautiful beach. If you're not the type who can manage expectations or overlook a couple of stains on the chair upholstery, I would definitely not recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Great location next to the beach and State St. We're a small boutique motel. Some rooms have private a jacuzzi. Most rooms have the beach view. We also have rooms with full kitchens. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ala Mar Hotel Santa Barbara
- Ala Mar Santa Barbara