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In my introduction, I chose the word surprised because, to be honest, my experience with DoubleTree hotels has not always been one of WOW. I was rather apprehensive about what to expect at The Fess Parker.
However, the mother's day rates in Santa Barbara were a bit out of my comfort level, so I chose the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort in order to utilize my Hilton rewards points.
We arrived after dark from our long drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. However, the moment I awoke the next morning and stepped out onto our balcony, I was in love. To my left the beach and palm tree lined streets compete for my attention with the magnificent Santa Ynez Mountains to my right.
As an East Tennessee Appalachian girl, mountain ranges live in my heart. The mountains in Santa Barbara jut into the crystal blue sky creating a skyline much more punctuating than the soft rolling ranges of the Smokies. I now love them both!
Facilities & Grounds
Both the external grounds and the interior public spaces of The Fess Parker were beautiful. Clearly a wedding destination, the attention to detail and decor was evident. Nowhere was it more evident than in the beautiful outdoor spaces.
Arriving late is always a bit unnerving in a hotel, but as I said, we were pleasantly surprised. Our room was clean and well appointed. We had the King room with a pull out sofa which was large enough for our three children to comfortably share.
Unexpectedly, we received free breakfast certificates for The Roundhouse our second morning. We concluded it must've been a perk from our Hilton Honors membership, but could find no reason why it was only the second morning. We weren't complaining!
There was a mother's day brunch being held later in the day, but we were heading out to San Diego and were glad to get on the road after our breakfast.
The wait staff was very pleasant and made sure the chef came out to address our food allergies and walk my kids through the buffet. This always gets a vote for WOW from our family as it is sadly a rarity in many places.
The made to order omelet station is always a nice touch for our family. We have food allergies and also try to eat a low carb lifestyle. It is a nice treat when we can have a hot breakfast that doesn't include powdered eggs and boxed pastries.
We spent a lot of time in town or sightseeing so we didn't dine at any of the other restaurants, but The Fess Parker also offers a poolside lounge, Rodney's Grill for dinner, Java dél Mar cafe, and an outdoor bistro called The Set. If it is coming from the same kitchen as our breakfast, I am sure they are all delicious.
There is also a very nice wine tasting room . We, unfortunately, weren't able to participate in it's offerings, but I did find it pleasing to the eye.
One thing I do love about the DoubleTree properties are the warm Chocolate Chip cookies received at check in. The host forgot to give me ours, but when we came back for them, the valet immediately went after them. He also brought out extra bottled waters.
The staff were always pleasant, friendly, and helpful. I have no complaints regarding our experience at The Fess Parker.
My family enjoys the old Daniel Boone reruns. It was fun to tell them we were staying in a hotel named after Fess Parker or as we know him, Daniel Boone.
If you are ever in Santa Barbara and in need of a full service resort right on the beach, consider giving The Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort Santa Barbara a try.