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“Fabulous escape in Santa Barbara country”
Review of Ballard Inn

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Ballard Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Ballard B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Fabulous escape in Santa Barbara country”
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Just spent 3 nights in the Vineyard Suite at the Ballard Inn and had a wonderful time. We didn't really know what to expect as Ballard is the tinest town that doesn't appear on all maps. It's actually in the perfect location for wine tasting in 3 main regions of the Santa Ynez area...less than 10 minutes drive to Solvang, or Los Olivos or Santa Ynez. There must be over 60 wineries within a 30 minute drive from Ballard so the biggest challenge is which ones to visit! Inb Los Olivos, you can walk two blocks of the Grand Avenue with a dozen+ tasting rooms side by side -- a very efficient way if you're pressed for time or don't want to drive, although without the fun of visiting actual wineries.

The Vineyard Suite is very charming with furniture that looks as if it were made from grape vines....much more comfortable than that sounds. The room has a king bed and small glass dining table with 2 chairs in a nice size room. Interestingly, the basin is in an "antique" vanity in the main room, outside of the shower and toilet room. It works.

I peeked in a couple of the other rooms and they're all decorated quite uniquely, but all very nice. Some of the suites had a fireplace, but no dining table. Note that all the sleeping rooms are on the second floor...and there is no elevator. There are also no tv's in the rooms -- a smallish set is hidden in an armoire in the public sitting area.

The included breakfasts are a step above a normal b&b, with 4-5 selections on the menu. It's basically a small restaurant with fruit, juices, cereals and muffins set out. Each guest then orders a hot dish. There were two special breakfasts offered each morning.

There's nightly turn-down service with freshly-baked cookies left on the pillows. At 4:30 - 5:30 daily, there's complimentary wine and finger-food in the living room where it's fun to meet the other guests in the inn.

We had dinner in the dining room one evening and were impressed with the cuisine. The chef is originaly from Indonesia but he's had a lot of West Coast experience which results in an interesting menu with an international flavor. It's one of the top local restaurants and non-hotel guests drop by just for dinner; you definitely need a reservation. The restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday, which sent us out searching for other outlets. There is a great selection of excellent restaurants nearby -- our favorites being Don Carlitos and Trattorio Grappolo.

I'd have no reservations recommending the Ballard Inn for couples. It generally seems to host an older clientele and would definitely not be appropriate for families with children.

Room Tip: The rooms facing Baseline Street have a little traffic noise in the morning but Ballard is such a sm...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HoffersHawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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177 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
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  • English first
  • Any
English first
Toronto
Level Contributor
141 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2012

The Ballard Inn was an oasis between Los Angeles and San Francisco. We missed the restaurant -- closed the night we were there -- though the breakfast the next morning certainly indicated it to be of superior quality. The staff were very friendly and helpful in everything from booking a restaurant to explaining and starting the gas fire. We were very happy to be outside the main building -- unlike other inns we have visited, we did not discern that we had a lot in common with the other guests.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank winst0n4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
160 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2012

We visited Ballard Inn many years ago, right after it opened. It is still as lovely as it was then - if anything it is better as they've added nice touches over the years. It's clean and comfortable and has great public spaces. The breakfasts are nicely prepared and served by very friendly and accommodating staff.

Their appetizer and wine spread in the evening is a wonderful treat and a chance to share wine discoveries with other like-minded travelers, since this is a wonderful wine area.

The only complaint I have is that the room we were in had 2 very uncomfortable chairs and no work area to place a computer (they do have free wi-fi) and not many areas to lay out your toiletries and other items. There was adequate lighting which is always a pet peeve of mine.

If you're looking for first class, this is the place.

Room Tip: Don't take Jarado if you can avoid it. Alamo Pintado also had uncomfortable chairs and a very s...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Discerningwon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crestline, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 20 February 2012

This was our third visit to the Ballard Inn. We stayed in the "western room" which was on the lower end of their room rate costs, and really enjoyed it. We dined at the restaurant downstairs, which was excellent. We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank landarch1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2012

We have been coming here at least once every year for the past 5 years and just love this place. The themed rooms are comfortable and have all the amenities that one may need during their stay. It is close to our the wineries in the area and the staff is very helpful in meeting all of your expectations. We usually stay at the farmhouse room. It is cozy and quiet. We have stayed at other rooms as well but you will find a favorite after a few stays. I hope this place stays in business for a long time. The foodies also fantastic and the restaurant serves a great meal nightly.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marathondude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emerald Hills, CA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2011

Actually our stay was only over night...but it was fabulous all the same. The Fiesta room was lovely and the heat worked really well. The bathroom being at the back of the room, furthest from the heat, was a bit cool, but once the shower got going, it warmed up nicely. The King sized bed was very comfy and sheets were crisp and clean. We found unique pumpkin cookies on our pillow at turn down time.
Dinner in the restaurant was divine! We ordered several appetizers to share, and one entree each. We would have been fine with one shared entree and dessert, but we couldn't agree on the entree. (lamb or duck...tough choice)
The waitress even complimented our idea, that allowed us to taste a variety of the chef's specialties. The DUCK IS AWESOME. Its the chef's signature entree and he does it with perfection. YUM! (Duck is so easy to do Wrong....) I highly recommend this inn and its restaurant! Since our stay was limited, we did not get to enjoy the on site wine tasting, or the early evening snacks in the common room with the fireplace, or the inviting wrap around porch with the lovely . I would like to return for an extended stay.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank lecknox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria
Level Contributor
94 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2011

Wow! A good B&B set in a romantic town.

- Rooms are beautifully furnished, and the atmosphere is great.
- Staff especially the front desk is excellent
- The building is magnificent, as are the rose gardens

Cons:
- expensive
- no hand basin in the bathroom
- kitchen is noisy at night, and this spoils the rooms immediately above
- noise from the lounge until 10pm at night is bothersome
- dinner is OK, but my rib-eye (why such a cheap cut?) was tough and undercooked
- breakfast is good, with each order cooked immediately. However, if there are no items you
want, you are out of luck, as there is minimal cereal or other goodies. The Hadsten House
in Solvang would be a good example of what one would expect. However, this is a small
place, and one should not expect everything.

But these are quibbles and I want to come again.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank piet10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ballard Inn

Property: Ballard Inn
Address: 2436 Baseline Ave, Ballard, CA 93463-9711
Region: United States > California > Ballard
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Ballard
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballard Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 15
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Also Known As:
Ballard Hotel Ballard

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