While my friend Ben at One Mile At A Time struggled in Mykonos, I enjoyed a totally ordinary, drama-free hotel stay in Santa Barbara at Hyatt’s Mar Monte Hotel.
An Ordinary, Drama-Free Hotel Stay…What A Concept!
If you’ve missed Ben’s saga, and it is an epic saga, you should start here. And as much as I’ve greatly enjoyed (while being horrified) about how Marriott’s Aegon Mykonos treats its guests, I’m pleased to report another nice stay at the Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara.
To celebrate the end of an educational milestone for my wife, I took my family to Santa Barbara over the weekend. We had free night certificates and I redeemed them prior to the Mar Monte moving from a Category 4 to Category 5 property. This particular redemption will be sadly missed, as the hotel is just 90 minutes from home but in a whole different world. Plus, paid rates can be high…they were over $450/night last weekend.
A brief rundown of the stay:
- I was warmly greeted at check-in, thanked for being a Globalist, and upgraded to an oceanview room with a balcony without asking.
- Parking is ostensibly valet only, but ample street parking is available
- My room was in the Santa Maria building, quite spacious, and did have a great ocean view
- We enjoyed going swimming and the jacuzzi is open again
- The beach across the street has a playground my children loved
- Fitness Center is by appointment only, but we easily reserved an hour block
- Breakfast remains only at Cafe Lido (the poolside restaurant) and the French Toast should be avoided, but everything else was tasty and the coffee was great.
- Costa, the hotel’s main restaurant, has re-opened for dinner only.
The biggest drama we had was that our Keurig in-room coffee machine broke. After quick call to reception a new one was delivered five minutes later. (Note to coffee aficionados: even Lavazza pods don’t save this dreadful excuse for coffee…)
And what I did not experience:
- Lying by front-desk associates about upgrades
- Slander from the hotel owners
- Power lines in the pool area
- Visible trash cans
- Personal attacks on the blog by hotel management
(read Ben’s piece for more context)
So yeah, a boring stay. Exactly what I was looking for. While the Duchess of Sussex was laboring at a nearby hospital, we were relaxing.
You can read my recent full review of this hotel here.