Part of this hotel is housed in what appears to be a former apartment complex on Bath/Los Olivos Street.
We stayed in two rooms for two nights on an early September weekend. We had the King Bed rooms, which are King Beds with a Queen Sofa Pullout Couch. There are two separate rooms—a bedroom and a living room, with a full kitchen. The layout is great and can accommodate four adults without a problem. The rooms were very clean, even down to the individual cleaned and bagged tv remotes. The bathrooms were spotless and well stocked.
Air conditioning was a single wall unit in the living room area, so if we wanted cold air in the bedroom we had to leave the separating door open. Heat was available in both rooms.
Because it’s Santa Barbara, hotel prices are inflated. This hotel is definitely not a budget option. Friday night was $287.10 and Saturday night was $305.10 and that was with a AAA discount. For comparison purposes, that is 1/3 more than a Hyatt Regency in Orange County for a Friday night. So, for a Best Western, those rates are high. For Santa Barbara, however, they’re in line with rates at comparable area hotels. I researched several options online and BW Encina Inn and Suites was actually on the lower end of the scale for similar properties on this particular weekend.
The jacuzzi is in a strange spot, away from the pool and near to the rooms. Overall, the part of the hotel we stayed in had a funky, apartment-complex layout. It did t really bother us, but having to negotiate latched picket fences while hauling bags might be tough for less mobile folks, or seniors.
Parking can be tight in the hotel lot, but there was also some street parking not far from our rooms.
The front desk staff was efficient, if not overly friendly. While we were checking in, two of them seemed to be having a disagreement of some kind. Still, they were professional with us.
Housekeeping was excellent. To repeat—our rooms were well cleaned. The sheets, pillowcases, blankets and towels were spotless. The sheets and blanket for the pullout sofabed were clean and bagged in the closet. I stopped at the front desk on our second night and requested more towels and they were delivered before I made it back to the room.
All in all, the Best Western Encina Inn and Suites was comfortable and clean. Having two separate rooms and a full kitchen was very nice. The option to refrigerate groceries and cook meals is good for families. That is always a consideration for our family when we travel.
A negative for us was the jacuzzi placement. Because it’s so close to the rooms, our young kids had to walk next to it a number of times, exposing them to a lot of bare skin and some tattoos that weren’t especially age-appropriate. Just want to mention that, for the families who would rather avoid it. Request a room away from the jacuzzi side.
There is a very nice cafe attached to the hotel. The Live Oak Cafe. Worth a visit. We had breakfast there and it was very good.