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“Expensive. Lovely service, average food, decent room.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Simpson House Inn

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Simpson House Inn
Ranked #2 of 51 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Expensive. Lovely service, average food, decent room.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

I stayed at the Greenwich Cottage. It's nothing too extravagant and quite small. Though the bathroom tiles were sparkling, the grout was white, and every surface of the room appeared clean, there was an odd, sort of "vintage" smell to the room that took some getting used to.

Elegant touches: Skylights, recessed dimmable lights in the ceiling's wooden beams, surround sound radio (great balance of sound, but the system was definitely from the 70s).

Weird: The bathroom door hits the toilet when opened. The television is awkwardly stuffed into a nook too small for it. The fireplace required extra cleaning that wasn't done before I checked into the room, and which I later had to call about, and that was a bit of a nuisance.

STATIC WARNING -- I think new dryer sheets are in order. The sheets of the bed, while obviously very high in thread-count, literally sparked blue and white light in the dark. For DAYS. Obviously veryveryVERY unnerving for me. I went through two robes that also had severe static. I've never seen anything like this before, to be honest. The static really distracted me from how soft and luxurious the sheets and robes probably were.

Amenities / extras: All nonalcoholic beverages are complimentary and bottomless. Cold water is filtered for making drinks as well. I was greeted with chocolate covered strawberries, sherry cakes, and a bottle of SB white wine. All delicious. Newspaper delivered to your doorstep every morning wrapped with a bow and nice inspirational quote. The bathroom products are very large, generously sized bottles of Kiehl's and were restocked everyday. Needless to say, I ended up with a bunch of lovely extras after spending a week here. :) Turndown service leaves small chocolate truffles before bed. The "complimentary kettle corn" (delivered to you if you'd like to stay in and watch a film) is just your run-of-the-mill Orville Redenbacher's. Though I still appreciate the gesture.

Food: Portions are perfect here, but what some might consider "too small." Don't be fat. Lemonade was AMAZING. Definitely have some in the sugared glasses. Dessert is really just cookies, though one night there was pecan pie. "Wine tasting" remained the same throughout the week, so it's not really a true "tasting." The Mediterranean apps were standard fare with a few surprises (highlights -- unique cheeses, prune dishes, balsamic dressed fruit). Breakfast was disappointing on some days, though I really enjoyed the delicious almond crusted french toast with ricotta cheese served one particular morning.

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SHI also offers their own tourist pamphlets in the living room of the main house. I am so glad to have stopped by and picked up a few. One of them is a very lovely and detailed walking tour best taken in the morning, that passes by several beautiful, original 19th Century homes. The history in the neighborhood is so rich! I learned the architects of certain buildings, the short stories of some of the owners, and of course detoured over to Alice Keck Park for some serenity.

Also, without those SHI pamphlets, I never would have discovered the Butterfly Reserve near UCSB (which was absolutely INSANE and wonderful) and I never would have known there was a Seal Rookery in Carpinteria; magical discoveries I knew nothing about in my years of visiting SB. Thanks to Simpson House, I witnessed a sea of hundreds of butterflies flying about me and I saw a live birthing of a seal pup in the wild. Those are moments I will never forget.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hilleliza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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512 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    450
    38
    16
    7
    1
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10
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (137)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2012

This B&B is charming, well-appointed and has lovely enchanting grounds. The staff is outstanding and gives the utmost attention to detail. I would have given a 5-star rating, but I felt overall it was very expensive for what was offered.

Room Tip: I would recommend staying in the most expensive rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tinastravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Foley, Alabama
Level Contributor
116 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2012

We spent the last nite of our week long 25th anniversary celebration here and obviously saved the best for last. The house and grounds are beautiful. The owners spared no expense when they did the restoration. The living room is filled with comfy chairs and sofa facing a fireplace which the manager will light upon request. The colors on the walls are perfect and the decor is quite fitting for an historical hotel. There is a wall of bookcases holding DVD's and VHS tapes which are in cartons which look like leather bound books from the outside.
The rooms are all different and great attention has been spent on the detail. Our room had a nice bed, two chairs and a table between, a chest holding the large flat screen tv and a really nice bathroom-claw foot tub, brass shower rod, pedestal sink and for a touch of whimsy a rubber ducky in the tub. Beautiful linens complemented the room.There were personal touches everywhere from a small silver tray holding the chocolates that come with turn down service, robes with slippers, morning paper tied with a gold tie and a card with a nice quotation on it. Everything has your name on it. All the modern amenities were also in the room.
Breakfast was great and can be enjoyed either in the dining room, at a table on the lovely wrap-around porch or in your room. You are also served afternoon tea and a wine tasting with enough great food to eat as your dinner. Later they put out sweets for a little taste before you retire. If you are so inclined, you can also ask the manager to pop up a batch of kettle corn for you. Coffee and tea are always available on the sideboard.
The location is excellent within walking distance to shopping and restaurants.
All the wallpaper on the walls and ceiling are incredible.
The staff are all knowledgeable and really nice and helpful and the service is impeccable. It is a non-gratuity hotel which is nice.
This B & B has really earned its 5 diamond rating. It is perfect in every way. Though the rooms are on the expensive side, I think it is well worth it. I am saving up for a return visit.

Room Tip: Look on the internet because all the rooms are different. Some have a deck, a porch, one has an acr...
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  • Stayed February 2012, 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 oaklanding10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2012

This is a beautiful B and B conveniently located in Santa Barbara - within walking distance to many attractions. The house and gardens are glorious. We had a lovely room with a large wrap-around balconey that included a dining area and several lounge areas. The food was delicious and the service excellent. I'd highly recommend this establishment.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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 dsmooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2012

We stayed here as part of our wedding anniversary celebrations and the staff couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. The house and grounds are stunning and we stayed in the sun room which has a lovely deck, perfect for the sunny autumn day we were there on. The afternoon wine and nibbles were a nice touch and breakfast in our room was great. Enjoyed Santa Barbara itself, if I could criticise the town I'd say it was almost too perfect and a little over-polished, but that isn't much of a complaint!

Do not hesitate to stay at this hotel, its worth every penny.

  • Stayed September 2011, 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 surfingonsinewaves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2012

Everyone was really nice. I was at peace when I saw the Garden with fountains everywhere. The best thing about the hotel was their breakfast which you could request to be deliver right at your door steps. The lemon pancake was to die for. We stayed in the Greenwich Cottage, it had a Jacuzzi and a fireplace. The only complaint I have was the pillows, it was too soft but I guess that's just me. I did though found some left over hair on the floor (not a big deal). Everything else was clean and in top shape.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dreamy_Traveler143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Napa, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2012

This is one of the best B&B's anywhere. I was there in October for my birthday for two days after spending one night there in January. You drive in to this pretty little driveway & people are standing there to greet you. They ask your name & tell you a little about in Inn, then one will show you to your room ar cottage. I had a cottage that looked like it should have been in a Hansel & Gretal storybook! A beautiful bed, a jaccuzzi bathtub, a huge rock fireplace. They have cut wood outside your door for you & if you request it, they will have a fire going for you when you come back from downtown. The bed is so comfortable! There is a smal bathroom with a shower.
The first day I was there I went downtown & got back about 8:00. They asked me if I was going to join them for the sweet buffet. I thought I would just like to curl up with some popcorn & a fire. You guessed it. They went in & popped me some corn & brought it out to me. They serve a veg. breakfast that you can have delivered to your room & you can join everyone in the dining room. I had it in my room both days. Opened the shutters, let the sun in & enjoy!
The Simpson House is close to downtown Santa Barbara. I drove downtown & went on a catamaran ride, had dinner, went shopping & ate frozen yogurt!
You can sit outside & enjoy th efresh air or take a video from their massave DVD library. All in all, I can't think of much that you can't get here. Definately a thumbs up for this girl!

Room Tip: I stayed in the Greenwich Room the first time, which is a beautul cottage. The next time I was in Ab...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • 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 sls1047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Simpson House Inn

Property: Simpson House Inn
Address: 121 East Arrellaga Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Simpson House Inn 5*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Simpson House Hotel Santa Barbara

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