Hotels in Santa Barbara for Christmas

Old Dec 13th, 2007, 07:22 PM
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Hotels in Santa Barbara for Christmas

My husband and I are going to be in Santa Barbara for Christmas (23rd - 25th) and aren't sure where we should stay. So far it looks like the fess parker, santa barbara inn, harbor view inn, and hotel oceana seem reasonable, available, and comfortable. Just not sure which one is going to be the most relaxing, attractive, or convenient. We are both food and wine lovers so we're planning on dinner at the Wine Cask on Sunday and Bouchon on Christmas Eve (hope both are good choices). Don't want to go overboard and stay at the Four Seasons (given we'll likely spend a lot on dinner / wine) but would definitely like to stay at a nice place given it's our first trip to Santa Barbara. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! (btw, apologies if this was posted twice in error)
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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As an aside, the Bacara is offering $300 a night and the Four Seasons $550. Is it worth the splurge to stay at the Bacara for 300 (in a garden rm) if we might be able to get an upgrade included as AMEX card members? The others are close to 200 so it's definitely more but it's not double...

Again, appreciate any advice you may be able to provide on sleeping and dinning.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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Wine Cask is an excellent choice. Be sure to allow time to browse the wine store adjacent. They also have a nice bistro-type place for lighter fare & lunches.

If you like Cajun/Creole try the Palace Grill and I've found the Bay Cafe is nice for seafood and close to S.B. Winery.

Fess Parker's Doubletree is a good choice but likely the most expensive of the 1st 4 you mentioned. Haven't stayed at Bacara or Four Seasons.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 03:31 PM
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bigsur7
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The Four Seasons couldn't be nicer. My wife and I were just there in Sept.
I think they are close to completing the new beach club. Make sure you eat dinner at the San Ysidro ranch. In fact San Ysidro Ranch may be cheaper than Four Seasons.
 
Old Dec 14th, 2007, 04:50 PM
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Thanks for the restaurant suggestion boom_boom. I'll definitely check out both Palace Grill and Bay Cafe. Given the San Ysidro Ranch is 900 and the Four Seasons is 600 it seems like it might make more sense to stay in the best 200-300 option (the Fess?) and save the extra for wine.

bigsur7, seems like the San Ysidro is generally less expensive than the Four Seasons but not for the dates we need. It looks incredible though so we'll definitely try to eat there one night - maybe after doing some wine touring nearby.

Has anyone stayed at the Fess Parker and Oceana or Harbor View Inn? It's hard to tell from the pictures online but we'd definitely like to be at the most intimate and attractive of the bunch (avoiding the more generic chain hotel feel if possible). Thanks again for the tips - we're really looking forward to our trip!
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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I have stayed at the Fess Parker a couple of times and liked it. Keep in mind, though, it is a bigger hotel. I thought location was good and rooms were nice.

Haven't stayed at the other two but looked them up on tripadvisor. Hotel Oceana gets mixed reviews leaning towards the negative. Harbor View Inn gets very good reviews and it's a smaller hotel than Fess Parker. You might want to check out the reviews on tripadvisor.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g3...ia-Hotels.html
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Great, thanks paula1470. I'll check out the link now.
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 03:04 PM
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Hi AllegraV, I stayed at the Hotel Oceana a few years ago and it is basically a coverted motel. It was just ok...I would not choose it as a place for your first visit to SB. I would pick the Harbor View Inn. The Baccara is nice but quite a driving distance from everything. It is not actually in SB but north of Goleta. You can walk to places from the Harbor View. Good luck to you!!
Laurenzo
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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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laurenzo, thanks for the feedback on Hotel Oceana. Based on your tip, we're deciding btwn the Harbor View Inn and Fess Parker. The Fess Parker is slightly ahead at this point only because it is about 1/2 the price (with an available discount) and doesn't seem to be much below the Harbor View Inn in terms of amenities / decor. The Harbor View definitely looks smaller and more intimate than the Fess Parker but I'm not sure it's worth double the price. Has anyone stayed at both?
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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I would just go with Fess Parker for the price and use the money for a nice dinner or two It is a larger hotel but so what? The location is nice and it will probably be decorated beautifully for Christmas. Enjoy Santa Barbara!
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 09:31 PM
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MaureenB
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We stayed at Fess Parker's one spring and really liked it. It's more like a resort, because it is comprised of a number of two-story buildings arranged on some nicely landscaped grounds. I think the Harbor View looked more like a motel IMHO.

There's a nice place for a drink, on an outside patio with a fireplace. It's a nice hotel.

If you stay at Parker's, ask for a view of the water, on the upper floor (so there's no street noise).
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 06:35 AM
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Thanks again for the feedback! I think we're going to go with the Fess Parker based on your comments (and the price ).
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 08:19 AM
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MaureenB
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Enjoy your Christmas there!
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