The Harbor View Inn was very nice, but for the price, I wanted to feel more pampered. The whole experience from check in to check out felt vaguely motel-like, not 3- or 4-star hotel. The staff was nice but not particularly well trained. For example, while the gentleman checking people in was busy with the people in front of us, another lady walked out of the office and looked around at the people in line, but didn't acknowledge us in any way or offer assistance. I said to her, we are checking in, but she just told us to wait and then walked away. The young lady who did then check us in did not know the location of a nearby popular tourist spot. We were not offered any assistance with our bags. Our room was not ready and we were told we'd receive a call when it was, but we never did. Everyone we encountered gave the impression they were doing the job because it was available and not out of any interest in the hospitality industry. My boyfriend said of the staff, "No one seems like they are having a fun or going out of their way for us. It's like the difference between flying Southwest and USAir."
In the room, there were not nearly enough towels. Only one washcloth and hand towel, two bath towels. We didn't have time to call for more, so we grabbed a few towels from the gym as we walked by. There was a mini bar fridge, but it was locked and we were not given or offered a key for it.
The pool towels were thin and worn. The pool itself was in dire need of a skim -- I wanted to get in but only put my feet in. There was no attendant and there were dirty towels lying around from earlier in the day.
On the plus side, we were offered an upgrade to ocean front for $20 and we took it. The room was very nice -- no complaints about the cleanliness or comfort. The balcony was large and the chaises were comfortable. The bathroom was newly remodeled. The bathtub was huge and modern, but the shower was tiny and dark -- I would vastly prefer a large shower.
We considered staying another night to enjoy the view and the local scene, but finally decided that the Harbor View Inn was not giving us the value for dollar to make it worthwhile. The staff wasn't willing to give us the same price for the following night, even though it was still a weeknight. We've stayed at the Spanish Garden Inn and I would rank the comfort and cleanliness as equal, but the Spanish Garden Inn makes you feel pampered the minute you walk in and parking and breakfast are included. My impression was that the Harbor View Inn feels they don't have to try very hard due to their amazing location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Santa Barbara's premier 4-Diamond boutique oceanfront hotel. Centrally located to the beach, downtown shops, restaurants, museums and attractions. Enjoy all of our wonderful amenities which include heated pool and jacuzzi, Full service Spa,room service, gift shop, fitness center, coffee bar and restaurant, Eladio's. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Harbor View Hotel Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara Harbor View Inn
- Harbor View Santa Barbara
- Harbor View Inn Santa Barbara