Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

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Why Stay at Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort?


because its the best resort to stay in when you visit Santa Barbara for its location, value, comfort, and amenities!


When we decided to visit Santa Barbara, we had no clue where to stay. But we are Hilton Honors gold members and we have enough points to use, so I googled Hilton beachfront properties and Fess Parker Double Tree Hotel came up.


We were there April 2-4, 2018 and it was still the Fess Parker Hotel 


As of mid-April 2018 after months of renovation, the Fess Parker Double Tree Hotel is now the new Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort and thus assuring you that when you stay at this property from here on, you will enjoy the Hilton brand comfort and amenities in this iconic property.


Why stay at this resort then?


The Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort




A peaceful morning!


Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort is set along the beautiful East Beach of Santa Barbara! 


The beach is a short walk across the street from the resort.


Across the street is part of the Chase Palm Park and you can lay your blanket on the manicured grass under the shade of the beautiful tall palm trees and relax and watch the sunset.

There is a bike path that will take you about 1.3 miles westbound to Stearns Wharf.


Chase Palm Park at sunset.



I loved the tranquility in the mornings as we walked along the beach to the wharf and back to the resort.

I love to feel the sand between my toes and feel the cool ocean breeze on my face and drown in the sound of the crashing waves!

As you may have already noticed, walking along the beach is our favorite morning activity when staying in coastal cities!


A beautiful morning at East Beach! Up ahead is the Stearns Wharf.


The iconic State Street is only 2 miles from the resort and you and your family can shop at the upscale boutiques and stores, dine at the fine restaurants and go wine tasting in a number of wine rooms in this quaint Santa Barbara downtown.


State Street, Downtown Santa Barbara.


The Amtrak Station is only 1.3 miles away and the airport is about 12 miles from the resort, its close enough to take the shuttle or Uber or taxi.


The Resort 


This resort sits in a sprawling 24-acre well-maintained property with 8 beautiful mission style villas named after the plants cultivated around them and the massive $14 million renovations of the property made this resort a must stay! 

It is easy to lose your way inside the resort and even if we tried to pay attention to the signs, it is confusing. The resort is pet-friendly and all rooms are non-smoking, just ask the front desk for the designated outdoor smoking areas.


The Resort Lobby


The front desk with friendly and helpful staff. They give out warm chocolate chip cookies at check in!


The newly refurbished lobby has plenty of seating and a huge space that can accommodate a large group.






Aside from in-room dining, there is enough dining choices that you will never go hungry during your stay at this resort. As you enter the lobby, to the left near the concierge is the resort’s coffee bar Java Del Mar that serve Starbuck’s brewed coffee, sandwiches and pastries, and other snacks and drinks.


The Java Del Mar.

The business center with 2 computers by the wall is enough for your online and printing needs.



Across the Java Del Mar is the Fess Parker Wine Tasting Room that can comfortably seat 20 people to enjoy local wines for an intimate reception. 


The Fess Parker Wine Tasting Room


There was no wine tasting event when we were there but I like the industrial look of the small room and its overall appeal.


The Roundhouse Restaurant is where they serve the breakfast buffet at 6:30 AM to 11:00 AM. The breakfast menu changes daily and we love the made-to-order omelet station but the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner as well serving a la carte Traditional American menu.


The Roundhouse restaurant


The restaurant was also renovated and it looked elegant and roomy inside with views of the roundhouse rotunda and the ocean. In warmer months, dining al fresco will be wonderful with the warm California weather.



We only ate breakfast at the restaurant because by lunchtime we were out and about exploring the nearby attractions. The breakfast buffet has plenty of food to choose from and the food area is huge and is elegant and clean.



The breakfast buffet is $27 which include everything, while continental breakfast is $17 minus the hot menu like the omelets, sausages, bacon and breakfast potatoes.


Just off to the right of the lobby is the Set, which is a full-service bar and a perfect place to unwind at the end of the day. You can sit outside the patio by the fire pits and enjoy the ocean views and watch the beautiful Santa Barbara sunset.


The outdoor patio of the Set.


Or you can just stay cozy inside at the bar and enjoy tasty appetizers and salads and sandwiches and they offer craft beers, local wines, and specialty cocktails.


The Set, just off the lobby to the right.


And we love this panels of waterfalls at the hallway leading to Rodney’s Grill.


And then there is the Rodney’s Grill for a more quiet and elegant dining experience and located just off of the lobby to the left. They serve all natural aged beef prime rib and seafood sourced from the local fishermen, and local wines and fine spirits.


The elegant Rodney’s Grill, just off the lobby to the left.




We love the spacious rooms, the 2 vanity bathrooms, and the comfortable Hilton beds and pillows.

The renovated rooms feature ocean theme decor and furniture, and all rooms and suites have a balcony or patio featuring an ocean or garden or mountain view.  The guest rooms are spacious, with 2 queen beds or a king bed with sofa, and all suites have a separate living space and a wet bar.


Our spacious 2 queen room on the ground floor with a patio.


The bathrooms have 2 vanities with their signature toiletries.



We booked a mountain view room and we were happy the front desk staff upgraded us to a garden view room that was a mere 20 feet from the outdoor swimming pool with our patio that is wonderful for lounging.


The patio of our garden view room.


Our original booking was for 1 night only but when we got to the property, it was so beautiful that we decided to stay for 1 more night. The rooms were spotless clean and newly refurbished as well. We love the Hilton beds which are comfortable and we enjoyed 2 nights of restful sleep.


The Swimming Pool

Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort has the largest heated outdoor swimming pool in the area which is at the center of the resort and there was enough lounge chairs and tables and towels for everyone. 

There is only one hot tub and I imagined that hot tub would be crowded during weekends and in warmer months.



Our little fishes Treigv and Troy enjoyed the swimming pool and the hot tub so much and they swam every day that we were there. They went swimming at night as well.



Terraza Del Mar is the poolside dining that serves snacks and drinks but it is only open seasonally and it was closed during our stay.


You can pamper yourself at the luxurious Spa Del Mar which offers salon services, massages, and signature facials, and body treatments or you can shop at the Fess Parker Gift Shop for their souvenirs, assorted merchandise, and nautical items.



The Gift Shop


The 24 Fitness Center will allow you to continue on with your exercise routine on vacation while enjoying the ocean view.



You and your family can enjoy the putting green, shuffleboard, and can play basketball together, and there is a lighted tennis court as well for night time use.

Just head over to the concierge to borrow the recreational equipment at no charge while the beach equipment and bikes are available for rent though. And there is a car-rental desk as well if you need it.


Our short stay at the resort did not allow us time to enjoy the activities mentioned above.


What fascinated us was the Plaza Del Sol, the circular outdoor event space that offers 180-degree views of the ocean. It is the remnant of the roundhouse operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad, which was demolished in 1982 to be incorporated in this resort.


The Plaza Del Sol seats up to 800 and offers 180 degrees of ocean views.



The circular center is where the turntable was and we love to stand and listen to the echo of any noise we make, which is louder and clearer at the center. Other event spaces at the resort are 2 grand ballrooms and a number of smaller venues that can cater to any event need. 


The arch windows were once stalls for the locomotive engines.


It is of note to mention that they also have a Laundry Room for guests who have long stay at the resort. The drier is old and not efficient and somebody already brought this to the front desk’s attention and I hope they took care of it as soon as possible. It took 3 rounds of drying for our clothes and even with that it was still damp.


The Laundry Room




The price is competitive with other beachfront hotels if not cheaper, and stays on weekdays are less expensive than weekends and I noticed its more expensive too during the warmer months. The guestrooms start at mid $200s on weekdays but about $500 on weekends and the suites are much expensive. 

But then, if you make sure that you and your family will use and enjoy the amenities available and with the resort’s location, you get what you pay for. 



There is enough space for self-parking that is close to your assigned building and self-parking cost is $21 per night but if you prefer the convenience of valet parking, it will cost you $30 per night with in and out privilege. 


Will I recommend this resort to my friends and family? Yes of course! We had a wonderful 3 days and 2 nights stay at this resort and we will go back again when given the chance in the future! 


What are you waiting for?


Whether you want a quick getaway or a long-term stay, go visit Santa Barbara and stay at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort!


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If you have any questions please feel free to ask me or leave a comment or feedback at the bottom of this page.

You can also email me at lilibeth@lifeisadventures.com.

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