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“Total Ripoff”

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Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel
Reviewed 14 April 2013

When we showed up we were told that we were in luck, they were down to their last private room and they had just told someone on the phone they still had it, but they weren't there yet so we could have it. Sucked for them I guess? Private room was about $100, didn't have an ensuite bathroom, and to get to the bathroom you had to go outside, all the way to the entrance, and then to the bathroom. Absolute rip off, could've stayed in much nicer places for the same price. Only good part is that the hostel was in walking distance of the State St bars...

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CMA_decky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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15 - 21 of 121 reviews

Reviewed 7 February 2013

This place sucks ... It's stinks ... The staff people are a bunch of snobs and for no reason... Place needs to be condemned!!! This hostel is only suitable for the roches that will crawl in bed with you while your sleeping... The people that were sleeping outside of this place in there sleeping bags had the right idea. Why pay to sleep in an outside environment, when u can do it for free!!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank M1dn1ghtR1der
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2013 via mobile

So bad. Apart from a great location this place is really just dirty and awful. Lucky my friend an I were laid back and only staying for 2 nights.
What a shame we paid upfront for both nights otherwise we would have moved locations in a heartbeat.
Hell. Unless your a poor student just don't put yourself through this.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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2  Thank Adelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2012

We were soooo disapointed by this hostel. We arrived at 1h pm and the reception is close from 12h30 to 1h30. So we waited for an hour as the lady was late. No excuse, no smile... She showed us our room which was not accessible from inside.

The door was in glass cover with a small curtain, there was no light at night and it was located just in front of a dark wood... Not safe at all for 4 young girls. The room was dirty, the carpet was sticky and wet, there was no air, no fan, no air conditioning and it smelled really bad. We went to other hostel before and we are not looking for classy hotel, but for 160 bucks a night we expected at least something clean and safe.

The hostel has free wifi, but we cannot have acces in our isolated bedroom.

It is located just beside the train station (30 seconds walk). Usefull when you want to walk from there to the hostel, but really annoying when a train pass. You need to be aware.

Honestly, everything there is bad. I can't say anything positive on this place. Just don't go there!

Room Tip: Just don't go there.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Émilie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2012

The hostel is located on a corner right next to the train station, so that makes it REALLY loud every time a train passes by (they have this terrible honk).
Apart from that, we found the hostel o.k., it's nothing special but the breakfast was nice. Wifi didn't work very well. The rooms were packed with beds. Bathrooms were decent. The common area closes at night, that's a shame.
There was no real employee, just someone who's staying there and works at the desk. That was weird.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank LarsABC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2012

Let me preface this review by stating that I am a young budget traveller. I have stayed in youth hostels all around the world, so I know what to expect from them and am used to 'roughing it' a little. But this place truly sucked.
We stayed there for one night in their private double bedroom. We happened to be there on a
Saturday over the weekend of the UCSB graduation so everywhere else was booked up.
We paid an absolutely outrageous price for the room ($120), which I accept was likely during such a busy period. However the price simply cannot be justified. The 'double' bed was tiny and seriously uncomfortable (my partner and I kept rolling into the centre of the mattress in the night) and the bedding was disgusting, clearly YEARS old (grimy sheets, covered in bobbles etc). The window had a huge crack in it and was so weak it could easily be broken into by any old passer-by.
The bathroom was ok but the shower was uncontrollable and each time we used it the floor got soaked.
Breakfast was standard hostel fare of toast and jam so no complaints there. I would say the only redeeming feature of the place was the friendly, although very ditzy, young lady on reception.
Overall I think it's really sad that the owners of this place are just raking in the $$$ and investing very little back, taking no pride at all in the service they offer. I've heard another youth hostel has opened in the town so I would urge anyone to consider them as an alternative.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank RvR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2012

We've been travelling for 8 months and stayed in hostels all over the world. This is by far the most expensive hostel ($50 for a bed in a 12 bed dorm!) and the WORST hostel we've stayed in.

The rooms are tiny and crammed. There is no space for luggage in the rooms so people have to leave all their luggage all over the floors. There are no fans or air con in the rooms so it gets really hot at night. The beds are covered in plastic that's torn and old, the sheets are dirty and the beds are tiny (I'm 5 ft 8 and had to curl up to stop my legs hanging over the bed).

The staff are really rude and just cannot be bothered. The lockers cost money everytime you open them, which is ridiculous. There is only one laundry machine for the whole hostel. The communal area is very small and crammed, with only a few places to sit.

The breakfast is a JOKE! It's literally just bread and jam. They only have ONE toaster for the whole place so everyone spends 15 minutes Qing for their breakfast.

The wifi is terrible, keeps cutting out and sometimes took two hours before you could connect to it. The staff didn't care that lots of people had this problem and just kept responding with "well the wifi works on my phone".

And the worst thing is that it won't change or improve because there is no competition here, the place has a complete monopoly in Santa Barbara. We stayed for four nights and the place was fully booked every night, roughly raking in $2500 a night!!! They can afford to offer decent wifi and a decent breakfast and free lockers!!

Other hostels in the USA beat this place hands down. At a similar beach hostel in Santa Monica we paid $35 a night, got free towels, nice beds, TV room, good wifi and an amazing breakfast. AVOID STAYING HERE IF YOU CAN. There are cheap motels further out of SB, it's worth the extra walk to stay there.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank annoyamous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel

Address: 134 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3510
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Santa Barbara
Price Range: £15 - £17 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A beautiful new hostel located two blocks from the beach and one block to State Street, famous for it's nightlife, restaurants, Spanish architecture and shopping. We are directly opposite the train station and walking distance from the bus station, with plenty of bike parking. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Santa Barbara Tourist Hotel Santa Barbara

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