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“This place is an excellent find!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of ForFriends Inn

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ForFriends Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Santa Ynez B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Hermosa Beach, CA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“This place is an excellent find!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2014

We stay in the Solvang area once or twice a year and I have become somewhat disappointed at the places we have stayed lately. Properties in the area are expensive and getting old and the "the little things" that make your vacay stays stand apart, or special, are missing,...I guess hotels are cutting back on expenses. So all to say, when you find a place like ForFriends Inn, that really cares about customer service, it is really a treat. In my opinion a 4 Star :) establishment!

My husband is not a B & B kind of guy so the fact there were two "free standing" rooms available at the Inn was the draw. Plus, the Winter Rate (it was the holiday season), was a great deal for more reasons than one. We don't always get the chance to get away just before Christmas to celebrate our Anniversary, but this was a perfect two day (weekday) respite for us during the craziness of the season....and such a good deal. Unfortunately, the free standing "Tower" was unavailable our first night so we stayed in the Demetria Room in the main house, planning to move the second night. We loved our room so much that we stayed in the Demetria Room both nights. Since it was mid-week and the holiday season, the house was very quite and cozy. The Demetria Room is beautifully decorated, with plenty of room with a nice medium sized bathroom (stand alone shower and separate jacuzzi tub). We enjoyed the comfortable patio, and the cast iron fireplace (It was cold at night, and it worked great). The bed was very comfortable, and the room was very clean (this is VERY important to me, it met my standards, in fact, the entire house did.). The property is well taken care of (inside and out) and everything looks new. We had maid service, so our room was made up on our second day. I really liked the fresh smelling bath products, too.

There were two other rooms on our floor, but no one was staying in them, so I cannot comment on how sound proof the upper floor is. The rooms I saw were beautiful, with an option or two, if you are not the frilly type (all rooms are different). There were, I believe two rooms downstairs with separate entrances. I did not see them, and there were 2 other rooms not connected to the house (we plan to return and stay in the popular tower!).

Your stay includes a Friendship Pass which makes staying here an even better deal. If you like to wine taste or eat out, you will appreciate this bonus. Some tasting rooms 2/1 or comp and some were within walking distance (and a good choice of great places to eat in Santa Ynez. The pass comped us a free appetizer or dessert at the restaurants we ate at). Very, very fun! ....and saved us so much money!! We walked to dinner both nights. Santa Ynez is a fun place to visit.

The highlight of this place are Jim and Debbie. They make your stay extra special. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome (but not intrusive). And, who doesn't enjoy having someone else make them breakfast :)? The breakfasts were really yummy and did not disappoint. We had 2 egg dish choices (sausage one morning, bacon the next) both mornings, and Debbie was willing to make a special order breakfast, and did so for one of the couples that stayed at the Inn. Baked goods were homemade, along with yogurt and fruit, coffee/juice. They even prepared a happy hour for those of us that were there (early evening), with local wines and a deli tray, even homemade tapenade! A special treat awaited us upon our return from dinner .... several kinds of home baked cookies, and a self serve refrigerator with little waters that you could take back to your room. The cookies: I could of eaten them all!!!! It always smelled so good in the house!!! Debbie is an amazing baker. Jim and Debbie made us feel like friends, it's really true, you come as guests and leave, "friends". They even had the Inn decorated for Christmas. Very inviting B & B. Debbie and Jim's residence is across the street, so we felt like we had a lot of privacy!

Many special touches at ForFriends Inn (like a sweet note wishing us Happy Anniversary upon our arrival), are the kinds of things that bring you back. I know we will be returning to ForFriends Inn. Jim, next time Joey will bring his harmonica! Thank you so much for the great time. Hope we will be able to come back soon.

(BTW, just this week, I received a photo Jim took of us, and a good one too. Now that's going the extra mile).

You really can't ask for better service and a more beautiful place to stay. My husband really loved it too. I won't even have to twist his arm, lol

Room Tip: Not all rooms have separate jacuzzi and I heard that the claw tub in one of the other rooms has been...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank onlythebest21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, 22 January 2014
Holy cow! We just don't even know how to thank you for taking the time to write this incredibly flattering review. Seriously, we all were teary-eyed as we read your kind words. Thank you a thousand times for this. You don't know how meaningful it is for us to read these reviews. . . and how very, very helpful they are for us.

We try so very hard to touch the hearts of everyone we meet here at ForFriends Inn. Nothing means more to us than when we receive confirmation that we have. You two are such wonderful souls and so easy to talk. . . becoming friends was inevitable because of YOU.

FYI: We thank you for your recommendations and have actually put them into action. There is no better way to improve than by talking with our new friends and learning from them. We truly appreciate your advice and insights.

Lastly, this goes without saying, but we are honored to have met you both and become your new friends. Please do come back and visit — especially now that we've converted the hubby to a B&B fan (that was THE most rewarding).

See you soon!

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . & Smitty
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214 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    206
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Laguna Niguel, California, United States
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2014

Our first visit to Santa Ynez and we are already planning our next visit to ForFriends Inn. The owners Debbie and Jim, Dave and Katie were so gracious and made us feel right at home. We stayed in the Carmichael Cottage and just loved the privacy. Breakfasts amazing, music and wine before dinner such fun! Walked to the best restaurants for dinner and Jim helped us plan our wine tasting adventures in the morning over breakfast. Can't say enough wonderful things about this place. Only disappointment was they wouldn't let me take Smitty home. See you in April!!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kathleen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, 22 January 2014
Hi Kathleen,

Thanks so much for your wonderful 5-star review. For us, the greatest reward comes from making such wonderful new friends as we have with you two. And there is no greater honor than when you come back again. . . and with more friends! We're SO excited about the April trip you're putting together: The weather will be divine (as usual) excellent wines will be flowing, and Debbie's scrumptious food will be served up with a friendly smile. Oh yes, and the happy hours will probably be held in our cozy Wine Garden, and even more fun with all your friends joining in the sing-alongs. We can't wait.

See you soon!

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Placentia, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2013

We stayed just this week at the ForFriends B&B. We have been to many B&Bs over the years and this is one of the best. The room was fantastic, beautiful furnishings, very clean and well maintained. Owners Debbie and Jim were very friendly and treated us like family. The food was outstanding: one of the best breakfasts we have ever had. We highly recommend this B&B.

Room Tip: All the rooms are good size and have good furnishings. Our room, Demetria , had a large shower and...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, 6 December 2013
Rick,

Thanks so much for the wonderful review. We enjoyed meeting you both and spending time getting to know you. Demetria is our most popular room, so we're happy that you got to enjoy its comfort and amenities. Thanks also for complimenting Debbie's breakfast (her secret ingredient is love — I know from 27 years of experience and enjoyment). It was fun seeing you interact with Smitty — he's such a charmer.

We sure hope that we'll get to see you both again soon. Perhaps try another room (they're ALL great), and maybe on a weekend night when we have wineries come pour and we're playing live music for all the guests to enjoy, everything from Elvis to Adele. On the other hand, there's something to be said about a nice quiet getaway. Plenty of those left this winter.

Happy Holidays!

JIm, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marina Del Rey, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2013

I have been to ForFriends Inn 3 times. The first time, my boyfriend and I were looking for a place to stay at the Santa Ynez end of the "Santa Barbara" wine country. The second time, we spoiled one of my nieces and took her there during a wine-tasting outing. And the third and most recent time, I went with 3 girlfriends for a "girls' weekend." We are so thankful to have found this Inn, as well as meeting Debbie & Jim and Katie & Dave, and Smitty! They are wonderful people, wonderful hosts, and they have a lovely Inn. Such a blast every time! They are so fun and so welcoming. And the food! The breakfast has been delicious every single time! One of our favorite things to participate in, is the evening cheese+wine and music "happy hour." (I don't think it will ever last "only" an hour whenever we're there!) Can't say enough positive things about our 4 friends at ForFriends and their very special hospitality. And we love Smitty, too!

Room Tip: The main house rooms are comfy and cozy. The cottage and tower are great for a little added privacy.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sandy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, 4 December 2013
Sandy,

Wow, what a review! Our goal in opening this B&B was to meet wonderful people like you and make friends. . . Boy, you two are SO special to us. Each time you leave is a so sad and each time you come back is like family returning. You always put a smile on our faces. We all seem to have so much in common — it's SO easy to relax, chat and sing together. We are truly lucky to have you as friends and can't wait for your next visit….in February! Yea! Can't come soon enough.

Happy Holidays. We'll see you soon.

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2013

Highly recommended for anyone staying in the area, it was a great experience.. Upon arrival there were flowers waiting for us and the host Lisa offered us the choice of red, white or rose wine. The room was top notch, with the most comfortable bed I've ever slept on. Everything about the Inn was 5 stars, as good as it gets. Thank you Jim and Debbie for the wonderful stay!

Room Tip: the cabin room felt just like a mountain cabin!
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mike s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, 4 December 2013
Mike,

Thanks so much for the wonderful 5-star review. We're happy that you enjoyed yourselves so much. It was a nice getaway for you folks and you certainly deserve it. We're glad you enjoyed the flowers, wine and room — "as good as it gets" is an amazing compliment. Thanks you so very, very much for staying with us and for taking the time to write the review. It means SO much to us.

Hope to see you soon!

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coarsegold, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2013

We stay in several B&Bs every year. We stayed here because they graciously gave us a free night for Veterans Day. Wow were we surprised! It is a rather new facility but made to look about 50-100 years old. Charming, comfortable without any of the negatives of an older home. The hosts treated us like friends, not merely paying guests and especially not like free guests! They even entertained us during the afternoon wine/cheese time. And the breakfast was wonderful too. We will definitely return!!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank terry e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, 14 November 2013
Terry,

Thank you for your kind words and wonderful 5-star review. But it's us who should be thanking you for your service to our Country. We were honored to be able to create a special day for Veterans to gather and enjoy themselves at our little B&B. It's the least we can do. Meeting all of you and spending good times here together was magical. We even saw some of the Vets paying it forward in unique ways. It's wonderful when folks can be generous to one another. We were also happy to hear that some of our business neighbors helped make your stay enjoyable, too. Santa Ynez Valley is a special place with some of the kindest, most generous folks anywhere. We're so happy to have become a part of this special community.

Please give our best to Sherrie. We are humbled that you've offered us a place to stay should we be visiting your beautiful neck in the woods. Rest assured we hope to happily oblige that kind offer very soon.

See you soon!

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westlake Village, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2013

As a four time guest of the Inn, I can say without reservation this is the best place to stay in the Santa Ynez Valley. My wife and I have tried most of the higher end places in the area, but none can match the For Friends Inn "vibe". Jim and Debbie do a wonderful job of providing an experience that makes you feel welcome, relaxed and comfortable. The Happy Hour is a must attend event. Tough to go wrong with good wine, Jim's music and Debbie's goodies! Breakfast is also incredible (definitely go for the Santa Fe casserole if available). An added plus is the ability to walk to several excellent restaurants in the area. Every time we leave, the first topic of conversation in the car is when we can schedule our next trip.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ForFriendsInn, Owner at ForFriends Inn, responded to this review, 14 November 2013
Gary,

It was with super heavy hearts that we said goodbye to you folks last week. It feels like we have known each other all our lives! So many things in common that we get to share — from music to… well, our love of the Santa Ynez Valley.

We feel SO lucky to have you as friends and look forward to each and every visit we get to have with you. And on top of it all, to bring such fun folks as Tom and Bev as you did last week! Wow, thanks so much for that. We sure hope they enjoyed themselves as much as we did…. Tell Tom we'll have some Herman's Hermits tunes ready for his next visit. Nothing like a sing along to "Mrs. Brown You've Got Lovely Daughter."

Say hi to Linda for us and let her know how much we miss her already.

See you soon!

Jim, Debbie, Dave, Katie. . . and Smitty
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ForFriends Inn

Property: ForFriends Inn
Address: 1121 Edison St, Santa Ynez, CA 93460-9651
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Santa Ynez
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Ynez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ForFriends Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in downtown Santa Ynez, CA, in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country: Minutes from Solvang, Los Olivos and all the wonderful wineries. ForFriends Inn is a luxurious seven-room B&B where you arrive as guests and leave as friends. Your stay includes:• Daily three-course breakfast• Daily Happy Hour with wine, hors d'oeurves and socializing ... more   less 
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