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“Only stay here if you are good natured and budget conscious.”
Review of Ala Mar Motel

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Ala Mar Motel
Ranked #50 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Reviewed 6 October 2011

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.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank rockrodeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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80 - 86 of 161 reviews

Reviewed 4 October 2011

The only good thing about the hotel is the LOCATION. The staff is RUDE!!! You can't receive incoming call if there no one at the front desk. We would not stay here again. This place SUCKS!!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank pat s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2011

This place is a dump. We were put in a room with no windows...really, no windows except for one the size of a shoe box behind the bed. There was no air conditioning and it was a hot summer evening. The room fit the double bed and a small desk - very claustrophobic. Shower and toilet were filthy. Rips in the duvet material. Then, drunk people in the room underneath us began yelling at 2 am, so did not sleep much. We would have closed the little shoebox window if there was another source of air in the room. We requested another room the next day (the clerk leaves at 10pm, so no one was on the premises for help until the morning). The second room was better in comparison to the hell of the previous night - had sliding doors and a king bed, but the state of the room was just dismal. There was a towel plugging up a hole in the bathroom wall, and missing awning on the furniture. This place is nightmare. And it was expensive as hell to boot. What a waste of money. I thought the person on the phone was booking me for Casa Del Mar, which is supposed to be good, right next door, and the same price. I would recommend moving right along and not thinking twice about this place.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Balamena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2011

The hotel is certainly not luxurious, but it was clean, the staff were friendly and it is in an unbeatable llocation. Santa Barbara hotels are notoriously expensive, so we feel like we got a pretty good deal considering. We booked it before we looked at trip advisor, and, after reading the reviews on here we set our expectations low, but we ended up being pleasantly suprised!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank sunshinebubbler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2011

Recently, I was planning a trip to Santa Barbara with a friend. Because of the bad reviews on Trip Advisor, we booked another hotel. During our stay, we decided to visit Ala Mar and check out the accomodations first hand. The desk clerk, Armando, graciously allowed us to see one of the rooms. The is an older motel but the rooms were just fine and definitely a good value for the price. Also, very convenient to the pier and local restaurants. We will not hesitate to book a room at this motel the next time we go to Santa Barbara.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank kdrCali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2011

Staff were helpful but that is it... believe the negative reviews of this motel... it was dirty and dismal... room featured sticky old carpet, dirty bed clothes and general grime everywhere... the cleaners need sacking!! The shower was pretty powerful BUT afterwards the bathroom smelt of sewage.. the bathroom floors and walls were filthy... have they not heard of a damp cloth?!

When I asked if they had a pool the guy said that the hotel next door does and we might be able to use theirs... when I asked if I could buy a beer he directed me to... the hotel next door!! To be fair he went and got me the beer...

The internet didnt' work, the place didn't seem too secure and the terrace which did have a great view was dirty and covered in beer bottles...

Only redeeming feature of this place is the location which is great... My wife and kids wanted to sleep in the car!!! Book somewhere else... for your own sake...

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank miloKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2011

No parking, sleazy people hanging out during all hours of the night, room was dirty and needed maintenance, loud parties, no amenities. The reception area was the size of a closet and the receptionist was a grimy looking kid. Looked like some of the doors had been kicked in! Or maybe it was the guests clawing their way out to LEAVE THIS DUMP!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank MosaicGurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ala Mar Motel

Address: 102 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3505
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range: £108 - £185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Ala Mar Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 19
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

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