Let me preface this regarding all the other reviews, this place may be mothers milk to some, but the lies and dishonest business practices make this a deal breaker for me. This was one of several recommended places to stay for a wedding we were attending in Santa Barbara in July of 2013. I have stayed here once before over a year ago, so after our research, decided on the Villa Rosa. I was a little put off by the reviews on Yelp but took that with a grain of salt. We scheduled our arrival for July 5th for 2 nights. Got the standard 3PM checkin, 12PM checkout with our confirmation email. Price was a little steep at nearly $300 a night (with various taxes). I was concerned about AC due to the fact we had to dress for the wedding and didn't want to be a sweatpot while getting ready. We were "assured" that you wouldn't need it that there's a "sea breeze that keeps you cool".
We rented a car for the trip up and made our way north from Los Angeles (July 4th weekend, lots of traffic). We arrived at the Villa Rosa about 1PM and decided to see if we could drop our bags off and perhaps use the pool and also to inquire about an early checkin if available. We made our way to the front desk, passing by an office cubby with a worker who didn't even look up, so we rang the "town crier" bell and waited. The worker in the cubby came out (apparently the owner/manager) and as my wife attempted to say hello and convey our request - was cut off by this woman who proceeded to tell us - "you're too early, you can't check in. Come back later!". My wife tried again (she's a lot nicer than I am about rude people) to explain and again was cut off with, "you're too early, go away. You can't checkin now!". My wife tried to explain that this wasn't the way you greeted people and proceeded to demonstrate how the manager/owner should have started the conversation. The manager/owner (I use this because she NEVER introduced herself, she's just an older blondish, heavy set woman with a scowl) still was being testy and at that point, after fighting heavy traffic, I was in no mood to put up with lousy service for a place I was paying $300 a night. I loudly agreed with the manager/owner that "fine. We WILL go away" and we left.
We decided to go meet friends who were staying in SB as well. We had a bite at the Fish House and then met our friends at El Torito, both of which are just a couple blocks to the south of Villa Rosa. We hoped a cooling off period might change our minds but the whole incident left a bad reminder that we were paying someone $300 a night to be rude and nasty, I was in favor of just doing what she said which was "go way". We decided, rather than stay, to drive back to LA and drive back up the following day.
We learned later that month that they had marked us a "no show" and we opened a dispute with AmEx (July 9th) and stated the facts of the incident. The response from the manager/owner was that "another manager" had tried to repeatedly get ahold of us to find out if we were going to check in, no mention of the fact we had indeed shown up and were told to leave and the manager/owner was aware of that. Their statement to AmEx was that we never, ever showed up. Period. They even submitted handwritten notes to that effect. In response, we reopened the case and submitted again, our facts and recollection of our encounter with the manager/owner and submitted bank statements with a Google Map that showed without doubt we were in Santa Barbara on July 5th and in support of where exactly we were. We were informed on October 1st that the manager/owner responded with a complete change of story and instead of never having been there, supported that when we arrived on July 5th, she was nothing but sweetness and cream. Never once being agitated or rude. The tried to say we wanted to checkin knowing it was too early. Her statement is that everything we said was "pure fantasy". Obviously she read our rebuttal to her earlier response and backpedaled completely and changed her statement to better match what we had documentation of.
The lies and poor business practices has earned this establishment a permanent blacklist in our book. The amount of lost business by not addressing this truthfully will be far more than the $300 that was disputed and is customer care that will never be regained. I fully expect the Villa Rosa to post a rebuttal that will either change their story once again or just present fabrications in their defense of bad management decisions.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Agoda, Travel Republic (UK), TripOnline SA, getaroom.com, Ebookers, HotelQuickly and Evoline ltd so you can book your Villa Rosa Inn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Villa Rosa Hotel Santa Barbara