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“Hit and Miss Service, A Little Dated”

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Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara
Ranked #39 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Hit and Miss Service, A Little Dated”
Reviewed 5 March 2014

If you follow my other reviews, you know I'm taking some time off from being in the Starwood Preferred Guest network, and gaining status in the Hilton and Hyatt networks for the first half of this year, before deciding which network to go with for my long-term travel needs. I'm currently halfway through my status plan with the Hyatt, and this was the second stay on the list. It was part of a convention.

Bear with me, as this may get a little long!

So, first off, this hotel is super-quaint! It has many of the original details of the hotel preserved (something I love in hotels), so loads of character in the reception area especially. The valet staff is exceptional, especially considering cabs don't actually come to this hotel automatically (be prepared to wait 20 minutes any time you want a cab! Traveller's tip - TAKE THE BUS which comes every 20 minutes until 6pm - it takes you wherever you need to go for 50c! - if you are packed lightly, you can even get all the way to the airport on it!) The front desk staff were nothing special during my visit. I came and went several times a day, and I think only once did they greet me when I arrived, even while I looked directly at them while I walked in the door (this became a bit of a game on my part, to see what would happen).

The restaurant: cute - the chairs/tables remind me of a less expensive restaurant, and the menu is just big enough that you could have everything during your stay. I had the salmon, which was a lovely flavour, but being from the northwest, I found it tough.. could it have been previously frozen? Guessing so.. But the flavour was wild - loved it! Great dessert too. If it was a little less expensive, I think I would have been thrilled. Even so it was enjoyable.

The pool: if you are going here for a family vacation, it's a cute, tiny pool - plan to spend your time on the beach mostly. It's nice enough, but small.

The business services: Don't get me started on this - there was a conference room (?!) you could use, but no desks other than one that looked like a concierge desk (I'm not sure it wasn't!), and if there was as separate business area to do work, I certainly didn't notice it! Two strikes for a business traveller now: the business service non-area, and no frequent taxis due to its location..

And now, let's talk about the room. Hm. It's almost like it went under half an upgrade - the bathtub was dated and didn't drain, and there were slightly dated additions made (new sink, etc) that were at odds with the decor. Honestly, they could have knocked this out of the park by breaking free of the 'standard' decor for the Hyatt, and instead gone with something that was more in the style of the hotel itself (Spanish Colonial). I would have flipped, had the rooms matched the quaint lobby...

My room overlooked the pool. No, let's be honest, it was as close as you could get, so close, that if I had opened my window, I potentially would have hit someone. Noisy as you can imagine, but there were earplugs in the drawer (just a thought - upgrade the windows so that noise isn't such a problem?). As it wasn't tourist season, the noise wasn't too bad at night, as the pool wasn't too busy - beware in the summer months though!

And finally, the big issue I have. I paid for my room 100%. It was through a convention where I could pick between the Fess Parker Doubletree, the Hyatt and then a big list of lots of other hotels. As I was deciding to try the Hyatt brand as a program, I CHOSE the Hyatt. Only, they did not credit my room to my card for the stay. Why? Because it was part of a convention. (!) Um, I'm part of several conventions at Hyatts across North America, and *every single other Hyatt credited my room stay* - *I* paid for it, no one else. I could have chosen other locations, and didn't. In the meantime, the convention itself was in the Fess Parker, and I can't tell you how each moment I entered, I was thoroughly impressed - I *wish* I had stayed there instead.

And now, my dear followers (if any are following the hotel chain saga), you see the moment where the pendulum swung in the favour of the Hilton brand. In a big way, and not only because I will now be one night short on the status for the Hyatt (so I will never experience their first-level program benefits), but because I have been online with them over the last week trying to sort out my stay credit (very nice, I will say, as I honestly thought it would be a mistake in the end), and they essentially 'hung up' on me in the end, and I haven't heard anything for over a week.

Wow, Hyatt, I'm now in a Hyatt 2 stays since this one, and as a brand, it hasn't gotten that much better. Thanks for making it an easy decision..

In a nutshell. It's a nice little place, and if you just want to have a homebase to play on the beach, you will likely enjoy yourself. If you need to do any work while you are here, stay elsewhere.

Room Tip: Don't stay near the pool. Just don't. Go for ocean view if you can.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank EVancouverMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGM995, General Manager at Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Greetings. Thank you so very much for your detailed review! I sincerely appreciate the feedback, the positive just as much as the constructive, thank you. I have shared your comments with the managers responsible for the areas mentioned so that the necessary improvements are made. We are in the planning process of renovation for some areas of the hotel, one of those is our lobby area where we will upgrade our business center. I certainly hope we have it completed by the time you visit us next. Thank you for your participation and I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future. Warm Regards,
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Folsom, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014 via mobile

This is the 4th hotel we have stayed at in SB and it was very disappointing. The hotel is situated in a beautiful location. But the buildings are ugly and the rooms are not much better. You can hear water noise from all around. So loud it woke us up at 1 in the morning. You can hear upstairs person just walking around. I would not stay here again. Not worth $300 per night.

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank K W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGM995, General Manager at Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, responded to this review, 7 March 2014
Greetings. Thank you very much for your review. I am terribly sorry about the levels of noise you experienced during your stay with us. I truly hope you give us another opportunity next time you visit our city. I look forward to welcoming you back as the valued guest that you are. Best Regards,
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Travellers are raving about these Santa Barbara hotels

West Saint Paul, Minnesota
1 review
Reviewed 24 February 2014

My new bride and I stayed at the Hyatt Santa Barbara at the beginning of our honeymoon after our wedding in Santa Barbara. The ocean side view from our room was just heavenly in the mornings with the rising sun filtering through the palm trees. Our every need was met with a smile at the front desk. The valet parking attendants were prompt and very courteous. While we also traveled up the coast to San Francisco for the sights, we would highly recommend the Hyatt
Santa Barbara.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for an ocean view room when you book the reservation.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alberto Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGM995, General Manager at Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Greetings. Thank you very much for your review and congratulations on your wedding!!! We are proud that we had part in such important event, thank you for spending your honeymoon at our hotel. I have properly recognized the folks at valet and at the front desk for their efforts, thank you for mentioning them. I hope to welcome you back in the near future. Best Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
87 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2014

First (though hopefully not last) visit to the Hyatt Santa Barbara. Check-in was pleasantly efficient. Room was to-die-for (Santa Cruz Suite) and surprisingly quite despite its location between the local residents and a busy thoroughfare. Room service was equally accommodating (we ordered drinks from the bar and had it delivered to our room...what service!). Daily cup of complimentary coffee from the Bistro was a bonus before heading out to enjoy the sun and the beach. Awesome place for casual beachside dining just across the street (East Beach Grill). Short jaunt to more tasty downtown eateries. The hotel shares a street with the neighborhood residents and street parking, when available, is a nice alternative to self-parking available from the hotel.

Room Tip: Splurge for an ocean view room. You will appreciate the wonderful breeze through the sliding screen...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LarrySF0523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGM995, General Manager at Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Hello. Thank you very much for your review. I am glad you spent your first visit to Santa Barbara at our hotel, all of us here appreciate it! I have shared your kind comments with our team members, thank you very much for the recognition. And yes, I too hope it is not the last time you visit us, I hope to welcome you back soon. Warm Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2014

We stayed for a few nights at this Hyatt location and loved it. It is not a very fancy Hyatt but it is consistent with its surrounding and the spirit of a laid-back beach community. The rooms are clean, specious and attractive. The gardens are lovely. The staff is friendly. The location is fantastic. We didn't get a chance to use the pool. The layout of the hotel is not my favorite but most hotels in the area are built this way. There is a ridiculous charge of $26 for parking but street parking right on the street is free and easy to find in the winter. I am not believe it is as easy to find in the summer. Overall a very good value.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mandarina711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGM995, General Manager at Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Hello. Thank you so very much for your review. I am glad you enjoyed your stay and that the team members were friendly and of service. I will share your kind comments with our housekeeping department as well, thank you for the recognition of cleanliness. I am truly sorry for the valet parking fees, this system gives us the opportunity to stack cars and have parking spaces available to guests that return from dinner or work in the evening, something that our previous guests were experiencing inconvenience with. I truly hope you understand our position with this matter. Thank you kindly for your review and I look forward to your next stay with us. Best Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Balboa Island, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2014

Stayed at this property many years ago when it was the Mar Monte, what an improvement! This place is beautiful. Management and staff couldn't be better. Waiting in the lobby to be picked up by our son (he was late) the front desk staff informed us about Coffee Service in the restaurant, (free) insisted on watching our bags, great service, great room and across the street from the beach. What more can you ask for?

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank BalJosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGM995, General Manager at Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Greetings. Thank you very much for sharing your review. I am glad you enjoyed your stay and our location. I have shared your comments with the team members, thank you for the recognition! I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future as the valued guest that you are. Best,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
Reviewed 17 February 2014

We recently stayed at this fine hotel in beautiful Santa Barbara for my daughter's wedding.
It was a wonderful experience. The employees bent over backwards to help me, even with the smallest request! I first met Marie at the Front Desk when I was searching for rooms for the Bride and myself. She was so kind, helpful and remained a wonderful resource throughout our stay. Jason, the Valet, was also very friendly and patiently showed a number of rooms to me and offered help when we needed it. Finally, Leighann in sales was a tremendous asset to our wedding party and was so very sweet in taking care of our group. All in all, we couldn't have picked a better place!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vicki M S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGM995, General Manager at Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Greetings. Thank you so very much for your review! I am truly glad you enjoyed your stay during such important date. We know it is an important date for you so we certainly make it important to us. I have properly recognized and thanked Marie, Jason and Leighann for their efforts, thank you very much for your recognition! I look forward to being of service to you again in the near future. With warm regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara

Property: Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara
Address: 1111 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 (Formerly Hotel Mar Monte)
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara 4*
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover one of the finest hotels in Santa Barbara, California when you stay at Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara. Built in 1931, our historic hotel welcomes guests with its casual elegance and first-rate service. Detailed with a fusion of Spanish Colonial architecture blended with modern conveniences, Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara is a shining gateway to the City of Santa Barbara, also known as the American Riviera. Discover 176 comfortably-appointed guestrooms, a perfect home base for both leisure and business travelers. Enjoy the warm California sunshine in our heated outdoor pool and enjoy a local beverage at our ocean view pool bar, Mar Vista, work off stress in the spacious fitness center, or enjoy dinner at Marbella Restaurant, serving American cuisine with California flair. A 100% smoke-free hotel, Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara also offers amenities like in-room dining, valet and self-parking, valet laundry service, and a business center. With 10,000 square feet of flexible and unique meeting space, offering exquisite culinary selections and the latest in technology, Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara is ideal for your next corporate event. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hyatt Santa Barbara Hotel Santa Barbara
Mar Monte Santa Barbara
Mar Monte Hotel

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