More about Four Seasons Biltmore
Santa Monica Bliss
Spent two glorious nights at the Santa Barbara Four Seasons Biltmore; this is a world-class property, the current renovations notwithstanding. We stayed in a cottage suite which was magnificent. From the Spanish tile bathrooms to the huge landscaped veranda, it was all done with the Four Seasons class we've come to expect. We will definitely return.
I remain in complete shock over how incredibly disappointing my stay was at The Four Seasons Resort in Santa Barbara.
First, a positive: When I checked in, I was greeted by the most charming and professional bellman I have ever encountered in my entire life. He made a fabulous first impression. But "it was all downhill from there."
The room was awful: dark, dreary, and cold (the heater didn't seem to be working). In the middle of the night, I was awakened by a train that sounded like it was going through my room!! (Apparently there are train tracks that run very close to the hotel property.)
I ate an unremarkable dinner and breakfast in the hotel's main dining room.
There was just nothing about my stay that struck me as wonderful or even nice (except for the bellman).
I live and work in Malibu, so I *swear* that I don't work for a competing hotel chain in Santa Barbara. My advice to anyone reading this would be to consider The Simpson House Inn. It's super pricey, but it's an experience that you won't forget...unlike the Four Seasons, which is an experience I'd rather forget.
loved this hotel
This is a lovely hotel across the street from the Beach in Santa Barbara. The hotel has rooms and cottages.I stayed in the Odell cottage. The bathroom has a huge deep tub and seperate shower with 2 heads. It is very large and private. The grounds are landscaped really nice and afford privacy. They are finishing up renovations in April 2006. I didnt hear any construction during my stay. You do hear the train ocassionally, but its not bad and they provide ear plugs if you are a light sleeper.
The Restaurant has ocean views with large windows and very romantic. The bar has a fireplace and is very cozy. The staff is excellent and go out of their way to help you.
can i move in?
i often stay at this hotel for work. not pleasure. but coming to this hotel is the best pleasure any client could afford me. since it is business, and the needs are different, if you are on vacation, one thing goes unchanged., its a relief to know after a hard and long day... this hotel is the reward. everyone greets you and is the kindest of staff. always a smile. the hotel products are top rate, the food is amazing, the location is the best. you can enjoy the sunset, walk on the beach, or just chill out in your room and enjoy one of the most comfortable beds in a hotel. i have stayed at many a resort and hotel- all over the world. this place is one of my favorites, if you cannot tell by now. yes the health club could be better, and yes the room is not modern but traditional, things i usually like... great health club and minimal design... but i could care less when it comes to the biltmore... all the rest makes up for it. this hotel could be the training video of how hotels should train their staff. enjoy!
Sad and still under construction
Just wanted to let travelers know that this hotel is very overpriced and not that great. Yes the grounds are beautiful, Location is a 10. The hotel will tell you when you call that there is some constructions still going on. What they will not tell you is that This construction is noisy. The Spa has 1 shower for all females to share as you leave or arrive. YOu share an armoire for all women to store their clothes! No lockers of any kind for your personal items. YOu are told to bring your purse with you. The resting room and waiting for treament relaxing rooms are over the exact spot where workers are banging on a cement mixer with hammers ! The staff just says sorry, there's noting we can do , most people don't mind. Our owner , decided this even though we know its bad we have to go with it.!
This was from their Spa Director no less. They looked very uncomfortable. They had nothing to say except that there prices would soon be going up! They thought that it was much nicer than Barcara Spa. I asked the young girl had she ever been to Barcara and she admitted she had not.
I will never go here again. This resort does not live up to the Four Seasons Biltmore reputation. Mr. Warner should spend more time overseeing the daily problems. I have read that he is involved in every detail. Well , obviously , he is not.
I have traveled the world and seen many a place. I have stayed in all different classes of hotels. Surprisingly enough this was our first Four Seasons stay. Though initially hesitant to spend the money as it was originally only for a night on a return journey down the coast, I was encouraged to try it out by others who loved it. Within minutes on being on property, seeing our room and enjoying the initial pool side service, I was back at the front desk begging to stay a second night.
Needless to say, the hotel exceeded my expectation in so many ways. The proximity of amenities was wonderful. It was intimate, personable and had a great flow. The room size, bathroom size and subtle decor was perfect. Though we had a sunny room with a good size patio and a babbling brook, I could see where many rooms could be dark with smaller balconies. The service and hospitality was superb!! I have no experience at other Four Seasons so I can not compare. But if you love Santa Barbara, this is a must....it is the epitome of all it stands for with its Spanish flair... including the Amtrak trains, which was infrequent and depending on your location the noise level really varied. The cottages in the back seemed to get it the worse.
My kids are 7 and my husband was very concerned that it was not geared towards kids, however, they loved it and the hotel treated them like any other guest. The music under water at the pool was a gigantic surprise!! They were hooked!!
This is not a cheap property...dinner for 4 on the front patio ran us almost $300, but in our experience it was worth our 2 night stay at this Shangri La!!
Oh and the spa was nice but nothing extra special. My massage ran $130 which seemed low relative to everything else. They are currently renovating so perhaps it was a reflection of the lack of amenties available.
I highly recommend this property. It is across the street from the beach as well, which not many are. Spend the money and enjoy it!
Generally a Wonderful Stay
First off, the construction seems largely over so we didn't experience many of the problems previous posters did.
We spent 4 nights here at the end of a CA Coast Trip. (I also visited in September 2004 for a conference.) Upon arrival we were taken to our room which was quite a distance from the main activity of the hotel. At first, I was skeptical that we were being stuck off in a remote part of the hotel but in the end, it ended up being great. (Room 617) It was far enough from the hustle and bustle of the hotel and near enough to a self parking lot. The only complaint we had about the room was that we didn't have a balcony (it was a standard room with a rate in the $500s so from what they told me in reservations to get a balcony would have been an upgrade and there weren't any available.) The only other complaint was that the doors are heavy and the walls are thin, so late at night I could hear the kids next to us going in and out the doors, talking in their room and running up and down the hall. It didn't bother us enough to complain though.
The service was wonderful. Upon arrival we had a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us (we were celebrating a belated honeymoon). No matter what we wanted, there was always someone around to help us out (beach chairs and umbrellas, ice, valet, etc.)
We had two spa treatments, a couple's massage and then I had a 90 minute facial. The massage was one of the best I have ever had (and was my third on this particular trip). My husband and I were so relaxed that we sat in the spa and gazed at the ocean view in a daze for about 30 minutes afterwards before we could get the energy to head back to our room. The facial was completely relaxing, although I don't know if I have ever stayed still for that long and I got antsy at the end.
The food, both in the bar and the main restaurant was great. The staff was extremely attentive and was willing to make special drinks, etc. The food was wonderful. Although, after the first morning we discovered Montecito is a short walk from the hotel so we generally went that route for breakfast.
The only disappointment I had was the pool area. I had planned to bask by the pool for the entire 4 days but there were SO MANY kids in the pool and jacuzzis that you could barely move. As a result of the amount of people using the pool, the chairs were often all full and the poor staff, while seemingly working as hard as they could, were completely overwhelmed. At one point, in the 20 minutes I stepped from my chair to the pool for a dip, our umbrella was taken for another guest, despite all of our things being left on the chairs!
We ended up spending more time at the beach. It is across the street and is fine as far as beaches go. No service out at the beach but you can get towels and chairs/umbrellas from the concierge so it was fine. I am sure they would have helped you over there with everything if you asked.
In all, this was a great resort and we would probably consider it again on another trip to Santa Barbara, my new favorite place in CA!
Exceptional Dinner at Bella Vista!
We just got back from four nights (9/8 through 9/11) at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara. We received a friendly welcome from the bellman. We were surprised with chilled Chandon champagne and more than a dozen lovely and delicious chocolate covered strawberries. Our deluxe room overlooking the pool and grounds from the second floor, was pristine. The understated elegant decore was as expected.
The highlight was a wonderful, early, dinner Monday evening on the patio facing the ocean. While we watched the sailboats and the sunset, sitting at a table for two next to the outdoor fireplace. Amiable service was provided by Aaron. Lucious food! Our starters were handmade spinach and truffle ravioli and Ahi tuni sashimi and tartare. The main course: hawaiian snapper with glorious market fresh veggies and beef tenderloin and asparagus with enough bernaise for leftovers. The finish, pineapple souffle with vanilla rum sauce. Not a morsel was left! Bella Vista!!
The train whistle was muted and not even noticed until we were out walking the grounds later in the morning. The grounds are a botanical delight. The pool and grounds were constantly manicured. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly.
The location was excellent for access to local shopping and strolls along the beach.