Marina Beach Motel

21 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, California, 93101, United States

2 Reviews

Marina Beach Motel
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good


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Good For Business
  • Families94
  • Couples87
  • Solo100
  • Business100
  • Horrible Customer Service - Dirty Bedding


    The first time we stayed here, we had no complaints. Sure, the room was a bit small, but it had a great jacuzzi tub, and the price wasn't too terrible considering the location.

    The second stay was a completely different story.

    1. They no longer allow dogs in the jacuzzi rooms. Massive bummer, considering it was our anniversary - and we desperately wanted the use of a jacuzzi tub.

    2. There was feces on our comforter. We didn't complain - we just didn't use it, because the room was pretty small - and with two people and two dogs, a lightweight blanket and sheet was more than sufficient.

    3. Our dogs on a hypo-allergenic raw food diet. We brought enough food for them for three days in Santa Barbara. Only problem was, we weren't aware that the refrigerator wasn't working until it was too late. When we reported the problem, a child came to our room to take a look at it - and he tried plugging the refrigerator in to different outlets. It still wasn't working. He said that something, (a surge protector perhaps?) had to be replaced. He said he'd try to see if another refrigerator was available too, but he didn't think one was. He never came back to fix it. All of our dogs food, and special snacks we brought for ourselves were ruined. The stench from the rotten dog food and dairy products we'd brought for ourselves was overwhelming. We had to purchase hamburgers and what not from local restaurants to feed our dogs. Needless to say, it was upsetting.

    Combined with the fact that the bathroom was literally the size of a tiny closet, it was less than stellar.

    To make matters worse, my husband spoke with the manager on the day we left, to complain about the refrigerator that was never fixed, amongst other issues we had during our stay. He agreed to comp two nights. This, we were pleased with. It was only fair considering the issues put a major damper on our fifth anniversary celebration.

    3 1/2 weeks later, I get a voicemail from the manager stating that he wants to discuss the matter further... that he was vacationing and hadn't been able to discuss it with his staff during that period - but that he had finally gotten around to doing so, and that their story didn't line up with ours.

    Seriously? You're going to believe you're incompetent teenage staff and accuse us - second time guests of making this stuff up? Seriously?

    My husband didn't call him back immediately, so he charged us for one of the nights of our stay. I emailed him to explain that he had been grossly misinformed by his staff. They insisted that the refrigerator had been fixed. Um - not so. We had no refrigerator for one minute of our stay.

    Despite me sending a detailed letter explaining what really went down yet again, he wrote back and said that the refrigerator had been fixed - and that we would only be comped for the one night it hadn't been working.

    I responded by saying that his staff lied to him. The refrigerator never worked.

    Now I know, a busted fridge isn't the end of the world - but it did inconvenience us greatly because of our dogs- and between that and the feces on the bedspread, we were pretty appalled at being charged $200 a night. And who in their right mind agrees to comp two nights, and then changes their mind nearly one month later? That's just completely asinine.

    We are disputing the charge and we will never return to this place again.

  • gripdxd's Profile Photo

    Near the Water, Great Value


    This place is walking distance to the waterfront and it's a great value for the area. The rooms are clean and adequate, but the walls are paper thin (you will hear your neighbors). There were lots of families staying here, so I wouldn't exactly call it private. It's a cute motel and the staff is friendly.

    Unique Quality: Free Continental Breakfast in the morning and you can sit on the patio. They also have bikes available for free use. Plus, there are restaurants in walking distance.

    Directions: Santa Barbara Waterfront and slightly off the main drag of State St.

More about Marina Beach Motel

A Lovely, Friendly Motel

by TripAdvisor Member LondonRover

I am a bit of a snob and always stay in big expensive hotels. We recently visited Santa Barbara, as part of a US tour from the UK, and also stayed in Los Angeles, Naples, Las Vegas and New York. In all the other places we stayed in big 5 star hotels, but not in Santa Barbara, partly because they don't exist and partly because Santa Barbara seems to be one of the most expensive places I have ever visited !!

Anyway, both my wife and I, and our 4 year old, have fallen in love with Santa Barbara - what a charming, nice, kind and fun little town. All the people seem to be nice and the restaurants are excellent with numerous choices for all budgets. Even 1000's of American Serviceman from a docking ship did not spoil our opinion of this beautifull place.

The Marina Beach Hotel seemed so friendly and just not what I am used to in the US. The family that run the hotel are very approachable and will go out of their way to help in any way they can. The breakfasts are a little boring - but this did not spoil our fun - just a small observation.

Our room was spacious, very clean and comfortable - I enjoyed this place more than any on our trip, and that includes a 5 star Hyatt Resort in Florida and The Hotel At Mandalay Bay in Vegas. I just felt relaxed at the Marina Beach, sort of like I felt before I was married with responsibilities.

The hotel location is excellent and you can walk to State Street in about 7 minutes, or the peer in about the same time. The hotel give bicycles to all it's guests if required.

Someone complained about the noise. Well I am a very fussy person and I light sleeper. I can assure anyone that I had the best 3 nights sleep out of 21 days in America in total, at this hotel, and the hotel was fully booked during our time there.

I can't recommend this hotel enough. We have fallen for Santa Barbara and when we return here - this is where we will stay. Thanks Marina Beach Motel for a loveley 3 days in your town.

Absolutely Loved it here

by TripAdvisor Member Dolphin100

Loved this place. Had a king room with jacuzzi - beautifully decorated, easy parking, 5 mins to beach - I wished I had allowed myself longer to stay here. SB generally was a haven and this motel was the icing on the cake. I will return and I would definately recommend. Noted some comments re train noise on the reviews but have to say in my room I heard absolutely nothing.

Liked the Marina Beach, good price-some noise

by TripAdvisor Member 234rhc

Two couples met at the Marina Beach in late August for three nights.We loved the moderate price and the facilities were just fine.The location is handy and parking is free in front of your unit (think of the layout of an old time auto court).We had a full kitchen and our room was extremely clean and cleaned thoroughly every day.
We walked to the ocean several times (two blocks) but drove to the downtown area.Didn't use the free bicycles but enjoyed the complimentary continental breakfast each morning, out of doors on the patio.The only problem was the lack of sound proofing and the "black night Heron" who was the loudest bird I have ever heard (nightly at 2am)-next time ear plugs! Nonetheless we would stay there again.

Very nice stay in Santa Barbara

by TripAdvisor Member wc836294

We had a nice stay at the Marina Beach Motel. Our room was a king with a kitchenette. The room was comfortable. Everything was very clean and we didn't notice any noise. The staff was friendly. The beach is a half block away, and State Street shopping is a couple blocks down. If you're taking the train, it's a really short walk from the station. The motel has free bike rentals, and a little breakfast in the morning. We were looking for a good location and an affordable price, and we found it here. I shopped around -- we spent two nights here for what we would have paid for one night at neighboring properties.

Great place to stay for alternative transport

by TripAdvisor Member Bay_Area_traveler_1

We stayed here 4 nights over the Christmas 2005 weekend - first time at this place. The staff were very helpful, especially when we had to arrive very late at night via AMTRAK. Although it is more like a motel (1 story, park your car in front of your room), the rooms were not that small ... they were clean and in good shape. Looks like the rooms were re-done fairly recently. We stayed there without a car for this trip and the staff was very good at helping us get around via walking, bicycle, bus, etc. Although it is not on the beach (about 1 block walk) it actually seems like it was quieter than the hotels on the main road. Pretty close to restaurants, small stores, pretty easy to get to the State St. shopping, museums, etc. Would go back.

Very good for the price, but not superlative

by A TripAdvisor Member

So we read all the reviews making this little motel sound like a 7-star resort, and we headed off to Santa Barbara.

Well, no doubt it's the best cheap option available -- $150 or so a night doesn't get you much in Santa Barbara, but at Marina Beach it gets you a clean, comfortable, centrally located room.

Now to address some common complaints:

"Bed is like a sack of coils": OK, I kind of have to agree with this one. If you're used to firmer beds, this one is definitely going to have some flimsiness and bounce to it. Part of this is endemic to motels generally.

Noise: Not as bad as some made it, ahem, sound -- but there IS noise, and if you're a light-sleeper, beware. Yes, the train whistles by periodically, but doesn't sound any louder than in many good American suburbs. The guy in the room next door could be heard snoring all night, but I'm not a light sleeper and this didn't matter to me. What DID cause a bit of a problem was the opening and shutting of our neighbors' doors in the morning. My wife and I wanted to sleep in during this holiday -- till like 9 or 10 -- but by 7 or 8 there was definitely activity out there.

None of this was fatal to our trip. We had a very nice time in Santa Barbara, and Marina Beach Motel is the biggest reason we could afford to go and enjoy nice meals in the first place. So take the downsides I have described in stride. If you're not a super-light sleeper, then save yourself some money and stay at this nice, clean, central, friendly place with a nice breakfast spread in the morning.

Fabulous Find in Santa Barbara

by TripAdvisor Member kd11605

My husband and I stopped here for a night while on our drive from San Francisco to San Diego. The rooms are very clean and well kept. The motel serves a lovely continetal breakfast daily which you can enjoy on their front deck. The staff was very accomidating. When visiting Santa Barbara again I will go staight to the Marina Beach Motel!

Enjoyed our stay!

by TripAdvisor Member TZK

After checking to be sure it was AAA approved, we chose this motel based on the Trip Advisor reviews. We were very happy with our choice! It was nice being on a quiet street but only a block from the ocean. We like to walk and walked to the downtown area & to the harbor.

Our room had a queen bed with a kitchenette. It was attractive and very clean. We had a mid-week, off season rate that I thought was very reasonable for Santa Barbara. The motel was quite full and I don’t remember any noise problems.

Charming and convenient

by TripAdvisor Member cin103159

First of all, Marina Beach Motel is in an extremely convenient location just a block from the beach, especially for the price. One arrives in a cobblestone courtyard with a central grassy area containing flowers, a fountain and seating. There are lovely plants and flowers all about the property, which is impeccably cared for. The lobby is small but adequate, tasteful and clean. All staff were extremely pleasant and seemed ready to please. We loved it that they had complimentary bikes, which we took full advantage of, and had a blast with the tandem bike.

The continental breakfast was better that many we've had; bagels and pastries, hot and cold cereal, coffee, tea and juice, apples and oranges. All food was obviously fresh and plentiful. One could eat in the comfortable lobby, the charming patio, the lawn area or, I suppose, your room.

Our room was very clean and nicely decorated, with newer furniture. It seemed to have been refurbished recently, except the patio was a lttle sad (rm 12A). I think they were getting around to it though, because the other patios we could see had nice plants hanging over the edge. We had a kitchenette which was a good size and had everything we needed. It was also nice to have the extra room, although the room itself was adequate in size, with a REAL closet. The mattress seemed new, although a little firm for my taste, but couldn't feel any coils. Just personal preference.

Regarding the noise: We must have had considerate neighbors because we didn't hear much conversational or television noise, which we have at other places. In my experience I don't think motels in general are built with that in mind. However, there did seem to be an issue with doors slamming, which I think was due to over-exuberant door hinges.

Now, you know there had to be a caveat - Although we loved the charm and impeccable upkeep of this motel, as well as the price and the location, our room was not in a desirable location. The back wall of our room looked out on the neighboring motel's parking lot. The view didn't bother us, but the coming and going of cars and people did. Cars actually park right up against the other side of the wall which is your room. At times it sounded as though they were parking IN our room and we could have reached out the window and touched their cars and the tops of their heads. There also seemed to be quite a bit of noise from the staff using the dumpster; which the truck came to empty at about 7:30 almost every morning; and people just accessing their cars. However, the noise was mostly during the day; the nights settled down nicely.

In summary, we enjoyed our stay very much. We like motels that have a little character, which this one certainly does. The location, price, upkeep, amenities and staff were very desirable. The only thing I would beware of is which room you are placed in. I would ask for one bordering Mason St, which is a quiet neighborhood street with no parking lot.

Hope this helps - LOVE Santa Barbara


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 Marina Beach Motel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Marina Beach Santa Barbara
Marina Beach Hotel Santa Barbara

Address: 21 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, California, 93101, United States