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“TripAdvisor censored my review and this place is awful”

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The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort
Ranked #30 of 52 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Reviewed 20 May 2014

I was contacted by the hotel after a recent stay to write a review. It was long, detailed and constructive in its criticism, but apparently the powers that be at TripAdvisor decided that it didn’t meet some unspecified criteria for reviews, so I'll make this short. Our room was $750 a night. Since we were attending a wedding at the hotel, and were in the wedding party, we really had no choice but to stay here. Apparently all you're paying for is the location, because I really couldn’t see anything else about the place to justify the price. The room was dirty and smelled like old burritos. The bathroom had no fan and smelled of mold. The beds couldn’t have cost more than $200 when they were purchased a decade ago. The pool was crowded with drunks. The staff was polite but uninterested. When I tried to figure out how to turn on the light in the room, I found a pair of children's underwear inside the lampshade (which might help to explain the smell). There is nowhere to park near the hotel overnight, and the parking lot costs an additional $17 a night. The air conditioning barely worked. There was no free internet in the room and the internet in the lobby was spotty. There was only one lamp with an outlet in it, which was on the desk, on the other side of the room from the beds. There was no overnight suit pressing service (inconvenient when you're from out of town and attending a wedding) and no shoeshine service at all. The room keys all stopped working after being used once. The door to our room wouldn’t open when we got back from the wedding at 2am and a passing security guard showed us that we had to slam on it to open it.

If this all sounds like whining, keep in mind that the cost of the room was $750 a night. For that price, it seems reasonable to expect a clean and secure room with basic features like a bathroom fan and underwear free lighting. It also seems reasonable that with no parking in the area, the hotel would provide free parking. All in all, this hotel is badly in need of some updating in order to justify its rates.

I hope this review gets published. I have absolutely no idea why my first review didn’t - there was no bad language or anything like that in it - but after the experience we had at this hotel, I think it's important that potential guests (and the management) are aware of the kind of experience this hotel provides. If the purpose of this website is to help travelers make informed decisions about their options, then it would seem counterproductive to censor honest reviews - especially negative ones.

Room Tip: We stayed in a mountain view room, which also had a view of the pool area and was noisy. The other o...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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14  Thank madamhack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (3,348)
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1,822 - 1,828 of 3,348 reviews

Reviewed 20 May 2014

Had a great time at this hotel. The staff were very helpful and friendly. We made a few friends and we love Santa Barbara! The room was very comfortable and clean. we had a mountain view room…so not one of their best rooms, but I was surprised how much we enjoyed it.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton
Thank Barbara C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

This is an awesome hotel and location. I hesitate to mention this because I would like it to be my secret getaway! It is worth the extra it cost to come here. It is across the street from the ocean. There are restaurants and shops within walking distance as well as on premises.. There is a lot to do, bikes, tennis, Segways, and it is pet friendly. You do have to pay for parking and need to request a refrigerator/microwave if you want it. The bottled water and snacks provided in the room are a little pricey- buy your own. Overall, The location, staff, hotel inside and out is spectacular. Would def. go back.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton
Thank Caroline L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

We enjoyed ourselves as always. The location is a little far from State street but if you dont mind the walk it is an enjoyable and pretty one. Besides the homeless people wich is pretty much unavoidable in Santa Barbara. This was my first time being upgraded because of my status. It was the last night of our vacation and I just got the cheapest room but we were upgraded to a huge beautiful room with an amazing shower and tubs. I am very likely to visit this destination again. The breakfast was very good for a buffet style breakfast. I would recomend breakfast back at the room though if you have a nice view. Its always nice to hear the ocean while you eat breakfast.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton
Thank Jordan O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Wonderfully relaxing. My husband and I were able to escape our overly busy schedule for 2 days and embrace the warm weather and resort feel as if we were on a vacation far away. Loved the pool! The location couldn't have been more perfect. We walked along the beach to the pier for wine tasting and a wonderful dinner. We will definitely return with our family soon.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton
Thank Lorraine G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2014

We enjoyed reading your comments about your "mini vacation" at our resort. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with our Trip Advisor community. We appreciate your business very much and hope that return trip happens real soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

We had high hopes with this hotel. As it turned out, it was run down, dated, and definitely not worth $450 a night. Our reservation was for a garden view room but was assigned a room facing the parking lot o the ground floor. It was an extremely disappointing experience. Will not stay there ever again.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton
1  Thank 49daphnec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mlavine, General Manager at The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2014

Thank you for your review of your guest room. We are very sorry that you weren’t happy with the view outside your window. We try our best to satisfy all of our guests and we regret that you felt disappointed. Please give us a second chance if you return to the area

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

Great views, especially the rooms facing the water Staff was helpful and friendly. Rooms were nice and very comfortable. The hotel grounds are beautifully landscaped This is my second stay and would stay here again

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton
Thank Eugenia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort

Address: 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3611
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 Business Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara
#10 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
#25 Romantic Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range: £179 - £450 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 360
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fess Parker - A Doubletree by Hilton Resort is steps from the beach and convenient to Santa Barbara's waterfront and downtown. Oversized rooms all feature balconies or patios; families and pets are warmly welcomed. Amenities include a year round heated Olympic sized pool, Spa, fitness center, salon, tennis courts, bike rentals, putting green, shuffle board, weekend wine tasting, 2 restaurants, ocean-view bar and 24 acres of grounds. Complimentary airport/Amtrak shuttle service available daily. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fess Parker`s Doubletree Hotel Santa Barbara
Doubletree Santa Barbara
Doubletree Fess Parkers
Fess Parkers Doubletree Resort

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