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“Holiday Accomodation”
Review of Ala Mar Motel

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Ala Mar Motel
Ranked #48 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Holiday Accomodation”
Reviewed 9 October 2013

We stayed here for one night in August and found it very expensive but chose it for the good location right opposite the sea. At the time we did not realise that the restaurants and bars were a 15 minute walk in land.
We were given a room with double aspect and a balcony and a double bath as well as a shower. Our children's room initially had a double bed...even though they are different sex young adults! This was quickly sorted out.
We found the accomodation tired and that it lacked a little thought. There was no air conditioning and the ceiling fan could not be on if the door opened as it hit the door! The lavatory door when closed, touched my knees! The overall finish was that of an enthusiastic amateur.

The reception staff were very friendly and accomodating. Breakfast was laughable....coffee in styrophone cups and pastries in plastic bags to be collected from reception and eaten....or binned in your room!

Overall too expensive and a disappointment as it was the most expensive place we stayed in our two week trip!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank shmorgelina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Santa Barbara, California, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2013

I'm a Santa Barbara local, and when my boyfriend and I were having trouble finding a new apartment, we ended up staying in quite a few different hotels and motels around town. I'm pretty sure that the Ala Mar is owned by the area's most notorious slumlord, and all his properties are absolute crap, and overpriced to boot. The location is, of course, fantastic, which is the only reason why this place is even still in business. It also looks nice from the outside, which lures in a lot of unsuspecting tourists. We only stayed there one night, when literally every other place I'd called was booked solid (and I called over a dozen places). I knew the Ala Mar's reputation, but we'd roughed it at one of the owner's other properties in Carpinteria and our standards are pretty low. When I made the reservation, I was just relieved that we'd managed to find a bed and a roof, but in hindsight, I think we would have actually been more comfortable if we'd just pitched a tent somewhere. We certainly would have spent less money.

For over $200 a night, we got a tiny, dark, dirty room with a bed that was falling apart and a bathroom lacking a shower head (the water, which fluctuated between burning hot and ice cold, just came out of a hole in the wall). The bed was so awful that I considered sleeping on the floor. The only reason I didn't was because the carpet was filthy and sticky. The internet cut out frequently. This motel is just beyond bad. I've travelled a lot, and I've stayed in many local hotels and motels, so I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, and this is the WORST place to stay I've ever encountered. The only motel I've encountered that was anywhere close to being this bad was the afore-mentioned motel in Carpinteria that I believe is owned by the same person.

The location is absolutely lovely, but there are LOADS of hotels and motels along the same beach, and I can promise you that every single one of them is nicer than the Ala Mar, and I know for a fact that the Ala Mar isn't even the least expensive one in the area. Do yourself and our community a favour and do not give your money to this public menace.

Room Tip: Find somewhere else to stay.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
10 Thank libertatis_sacra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Santa Barbara hotels

Vacaville, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

This was the most disgusting room I have ever come across. We felt the need to book without seeing it (Expedia) since we were coming a long distance and thought we might be out of luck looking for something in Santa Barbara. Big Mistake!! We were charged $172.00 per room (I booked 2) - The 2 rooms were both absolutely DISGUSTING and the place should be condemned! The TV had no signal and upon opening the remote we found the batteries to be leaking everywhere. The toilet was running and when we contacted the maintenance man he ran in the room lifted the lid on the toilet tank and claims he pulled the chain and it was fine - within 2 min. it was running again. (and ran all night) He ran back with a different remote that was all taped up and threw it down. The electrical boxes were falling off the wall and there were ants all over the bathroom and a few in the bed. The blankets were dirty and we squirmed all night afraid of going to sleep. There was no air conditioning nor glasses in the room to get a cup of water. No hair dryer in our friends room and their room was just as disgusting. (Hair dryer in our room didn't work anyway!) There were holes in the wall in both rooms and they were in dire need of paint/or complete renovation. I was tempted to go to Code Compliance but didn't want to spend my vacation time fighting this war. The manager (Julia) was obnoxious and NEVER available to talk to. (Expedia also had problems contacting her!) She left me a message and pretty much told me I was lying.
I am not through with fighting the amount - it was a complete rip-off and they should be ashamed of themselves. If I can prevent anyone from staying here I would feel better. I should've read the reviews first! Now that I have I don't feel so alone! THIS PLACE IS A DUMP and DIRTY!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Linda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oceanside, California
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2013

Do not stay here. This is the worst motel/hotel I have stayed in in a long time. We tried to find another place to stay immediately because we didn't want to even sit on the bed, let alone sleep in it, but we arrived late & everything close by was booked already. We were given room #119, and the only good thing about it was the ocean view. The room was filthy; walls had not been cleaned/painted in a long time, blinds were old & dirty, there were ants around a dead moth in the toilet; and we didn't want to even walk on the floors barefoot. There was no A/C and the windows did not open, so we had to leave the door open all night with a fan in front of it in order to cool the place down. There was old, exposed pipe on the wall next to the bed that could have caused a serious injury if we hadn't noticed it, and there was no sign or caution about it. One of the ceiling fans did not work and the other one was missing light bulbs and the bulb covers. The sheets & towels were awful; cheap & old and scratchy. We were charged $250 a night to stay there & we had booked for 2 nights, but promptly left the next morning. The room is worth what you would pay for the cheapest motel; maybe $60/nt, but they try to charge more because you are right on the water. I booked this reservation through 'Roomsurfin' on Airbnb and feel swindled & plan to contest the charges with my credit card company and file a complaint about this host with Airbnb. I tried to call her the next morning and she never returned my call

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Katie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2013

After a drive from LA we found this motel which looked like a winner judging from the location right opposite the beach. We got a room on the ground floor right near the ice machine. What a mistake! The room stank of cleaning products and whilst the sheets looked clean the room was falling to bits. The lock barely worked on the front door, was broken on the window and there was no door knob to the bathroom. Then the toilet flooded...

Room Tip: Not sure if there are any judging from ours
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GeneralFM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2013

We arrived late in the day and were a offered an apartment....sounds nice, not! Luckily we viewed the room before we paid, the young hippy man tried to make out we had got a deal. Well, we only had to see the door open and decided it was not for us, the bed was being propped up by books, the table was held together with duct tape and there was squashed spiders guts on the wall-uncleaned! We told the man it was not for us so he said he had something more suitable for our two families and infant these apartments were pretty much hostels. We took a look at the second block of so called apartments and I think they were even worse than the first one. It was a mish mash of furniture scattered about the place....disgusting! If you are thinking of booking this room then have a look first and not on the website...I would stay away unless you want to catch something! She also wanted nearly 200 dollars per night too....robbery.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
6 Thank Sue R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sthlm
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2013

Arrived pretty late to SB. Ala Mar looked like the kind of motel that can sometimes surprise on the upside. Well, it didn't.

In need of major refurb, and cleaning! The kind of place where you do not want to touch the floor barefooted

Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank christian c
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

Property: 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:
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Evoline ltd, TripOnline SA, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Cancelon so you can book your Ala Mar Motel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Ala Mar Hotel Santa Barbara
Ala Mar Santa Barbara

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