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“Don't stay here unless you have to”
Review of Ala Mar Motel

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Ala Mar Motel
Ranked #49 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Reviewed 3 December 2005

We arrived in Santa Barbara quite late in the day and it was the day before Veterans, so we expected places to be busy - they were and also expensive. This motel is deceiving, because it looks quite nice from the outside - it's more or less on the beach front has a cute wooden balcony with wicker furniture on it - don't let it mislead you. The first room we saw was probably one of the darkest rooms I've ever been in - I think it was wood panelled and painted dark brown - it also had a very strange smell!! We ended taking one on the ground floor, which was only marginally better. The bathroom was tiny - room for one person only and I don't know if the carpet in the room had ever been cleaned - definately no bare feet!! After a very restless night - I was scared in case the blanket or top cover would touch me, I got up early and we moved on!! Forget about the "continental" breakfast - the coffee was cold and the muffins were not fresh. It was the worst place we had stayed in during our 3 week holiday in California.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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3  Thank Bernie10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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126 - 132 of 163 reviews

Reviewed 12 November 2005

Our fault - we were on a roadtrip without prebooking accommodation which was not a problem until we hit Santa Barbara. It was a Saturday and all the places we checked were either booked out or were very expensive ($400 plus for the night -a bit out of our budget!). The Ala Mar was the only one in our budget, although it was the most expensive we had come across on our trip, and was by far the worse.

The first room they gave us was so small you couldn't get out of bed without climbing over the other person, so we asked if they had a bigger room and they put us on the bottom floor. The room was so dark and dingy, smelt musty, the bed looked dirty, the carpet was awful (looked like it hadn't been cleaned in a long time) and the bathroom was ridiculously small. I didn't want this to spoil our last night on our trip so we decided to get out of the room and sit on the quaint looking terrace they had overlooking the beach. We got up there and the lounge chairs were all torn, dirty and sagging. We didn't have any beach towels, but walked over to the beach and hung out over there for the rest of the day.

Had dinner at a lovely restaurant just up on the corner of State Street (and dreamily looking at their hotel!).

We hung out going back to our room as long as possible, and checked out as soon as we were up the next day (after a cold shower - couldn't get any hot water happening!).

This property either needs a serious overhaul, or a serious adjustment of their hotel rates. This was by far the most expensive and worse place we stayed at on our six week trip through California.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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5  Thank Connie41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
southern california
12
Reviewed 6 November 2005

My husband and I went away to get some rest and quiet. This hotel is the worst ever. Can hear everything going on in rooms next to you.. Disgustingly dirty room, and bathroom..Doorknob didn't even fit the door. No place to hang clothing. No tv remote, no air, partying till all hours of the night outside the room.. Needless to say, I should've just stayed home. Don't ever go to this hotel..

  • Stayed: November 2005
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2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Southern California
13
Reviewed 25 April 2005

Noisy, other guests shouting and partying outside until past 3 AM - Not management's problem! Heater didn't work. Could clearly hear the man next door urinate - many times. Shower water temperature changed Dramatically when anyone in the building flushed a tiolet. No closet - had to hang clothes from light fixtures. Coffee promised at 7 AM - No coffee by 7:30 AM - don't know what time coffee was set out. We went to a restaurant.

All of this for $178 a night including tax.

The person at the counter would not refund our money for the second night until the manager came in. Manager doesn't come in until 1 or 2 in the afternoon - well past check out time. The counter person didn't have any idea how to resolve it.

This was the worst experience I've ever had.

  • Stayed: April 2005, travelled on business
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3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Edinburgh ,UK
14
Reviewed 12 September 2004

During a three week trip in California this summer with my family,staying in a wide variety of accommodation ,this was the worst by far .The location is good but the place gives the impression of suffering badly from chronic under-investment.The furniture and carpets were worn and dirty .The bedclothes appeared not to have been properly laundered and the pillows were clearly stained underneath the pillowcases. Moreover ,both the rooms that we were offered had a very unpleasant smell. We checked out about one hour after getting our keys ,just as soon as we had organised rooms elsewhere.

  • Stayed: August 2004
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Aliso Viejo, CA
14
Reviewed 5 August 2004

This motel was expensive and dumpy. We booked our room the day of our stay; it was about $250 for the night. The room was dark and smelled very musty. The shower knobs were mismatched and the shampoo "provided" by the motel had a broken seal from prior use by another patron. The bed was lumpy and extremely uncomfortable. It was the worst motel I've ever stayed at.

  • Stayed: April 2003
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2004

My husband and I stayed at the Ala Mar last weekend, and loved the laid back, no frills rooms. We had a great ocean view from our second story room, plus a jacuzzi tub big enough for two. The location is awesome - only a block from State Street, and a 10 minute walk to the harbor. After your day excursions, you can lay out on their sun deck and just relax and enjoy the beautiful weather with a cocktail and a good book. My husband and I have stayed all over the world, and just loved the quaintness of this hotel. If it's over the top luxury you are looking for, than the Ala Mar is not for you, but if you want a comfortable room, with a great location than stay here.

3  Thank travelcrazy
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: £105 - £177 (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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