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Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel
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Reviews (121)
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7 - 12 of 121 reviews
Reviewed 28 August 2013

Let me start by saying all reviews must be taken with a pinch of salt, personal preference always comes into the mix, after reading a good bunch of the recent reviews I'm totally shocked as my friend and I had a great stay. I thinks people need to be mindful that this is a budget hostel in Santa Barbra. Which if you've spent any time there you would know it is a highly affluent area and very expensive. It's brilliant that there's somewhere cheaper to stay as it allows budget travellers to sample Santa Barbra where otherwise it might be too expensive. Don't be put off by per reviews.
Firstly we arrived at around 11pm to find the front desk closed at 10pm an oversight on our part and the site we booked with didn't make this clear. Anyhow after trying to find somewhere else with prices at $299, so we slept in our car. We went to check in straight away the following day and explained what happened and to our surprise and delight the guys at check-in didn't charge us for the night we missed we were overjoyed as being budget travellers we checked in with no problems into our 12 bed mixed dorm. The dorm was spacious for the number of people, the bed were comfy and it was tidy. You were given sheets and there were quilts supplied, we had no problems with the cleanliness of the beds/bedding/rooms or anywhere in the hostel for that matter. The bathroom had several showers that were cleaned throughout the day.
The hostel was quiet and in sharing with 12 people we still felt safe enough to walk around.
The living areas has couches, there's wifi and a kitchen with coffee and toast in the morning. The guys gave us vouchers for a free drink in two bars we went to both and they were excellent.
The hostel is in walking distance to the main strip of bars and restaurants.
Realistically it's difficult to understand what people expect from a hostel nevermind one in a premier location.
We had a great time here it was comfortable,clean and good value.
After sampling many hostels all over the world this place is spot on.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Natalie-gsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2013

It started when I had no confirmation from them for 3 days despite sending numerous emails. So i had to travel to Santa Barbara with no idea if my reservation made with visa details was valid. Then I paid USD54 for the privilege of putting my own (stained) sheets onto a boney metal filled bed in a large VERY noisy dorm. Lockers were an additional cost. Then while sitting in reception for 10 minutes one group came back to reception saying the private room you just gave us a key to is already full of people's stuff, woops. Then the next customer to reception requested to change bed because it stunk.This is my last stop before home on a five month trip in Mexico, Cuba, Central America and South America and is the worst hostel experience I have had in that time and by far the worst value for money experience.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank Geowb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2013

Greetings:

The SB Tourist Hostel was referred to me by folks at a writing conference/workshop that I was attending.

I booked my stay well in advance, called to indicate that I needed a bottom bunk with a good bed due to my disability.
When I arrived approx. 3:20 p.m., I was greeted by a young woman/desk clerk who spoke in 'circles'. She told both me and my friend that regardless of my 5 day reservation priority is given to international visitors. Say what?
**No mention of this was expressed in the ' reservation confirmation' email.
She also said that she had just started the job 1 month ago....so we were extra patient.

Thankfully, my friend Steve was there to hear and witness this amazing turn of events.
After 10 minutes of listening to 'stuff' that made absolutely no sense we requested a conversation with the manager.
This person could not be located, according to the desk clerk.
Finally, the desk clerk showed us an upper bunk where 'I may' stay for one night @ $52.64.
"This is worse than the county jail", said my friend.

I had just traveled 3,600+ miles via airplane and automobile 'after' making a reservation which was denied at the front desk. Then, the desk clerk claims that I had paid for one night. The attitude was 'take it or leave it'.
Still, NO Manager to talk to.
We asked if there was another place to stay. The clerk suggested "cottage 2A" on Halley Street for another $91.84.
After driving over there, putting the key into the door and walking inside - we broke up laughing in disgust.

By this time, I couldn't move due to exhaustion and spine pain. The 'cottage' place was filthy, stained and stinking carpets, cold running shower water and a cheap bed complete with plastic cover and dirty sheets.
At a cost of $144.48, this is HORRID, unconscionable.

A refund of $91.84 will be appreciated. Please inform. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,
Carole

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank dartdash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2013

I cannot recommend this hostels. I've stayed in lots of hostels in my life. This one was the worst.
It is expensive, untidy and the guys at the front desk impersonal. The private rooms are even too small to open a suitcase. The bath rooms are not nice and the floors cold.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank 223Anonymus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2013

I stayed a couple of days at SB Tourist Hostel in the beginning of January with a few friends, in a room for four people. The room was super cold at night, the furnitures really old and we had a big problem getting any (wifi) service in our room. Some rooms (like the one we stayed in) had an entrance outside the building so we had to walk around the building to get to the common shower room. It was pretty inconvenient when you had to use the loo at night. The kitchen looked pretty nasty and unclean so I never used it during my stay. The staff that worked and stayed there would sometimes use it, so it seems usable.

The positive thing I would say is that the location is big plus: the train station just on the other side of the road, the pier and state street only a three minutes walking distance away. The staff were also really friendly. The staff I talked to were all students at the college nearby. And it is also the usual place many international students would stay to find permanent accomodation before the school semester starts.

That was my first experience of staying at a hostel, more experienced travelers that stayed at the hostel said that the hostel was not decent enough, compared to other hostel at the same price range. Personally I would rather pay more to stay in a hotel, at least I wouldn't wake because of the cold in the middle of the night or a train running by.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Aurora R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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