Cliff House Inn on the Ocean
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Historical Traveler Reviews Cliff House Inn on the Ocean Ventura
Rundown MOTEL on ocean. Needs an update.
I received a stay here as a gift. If given the choice, I would NEVER stay here. I will try to describe as much as possible, the good and bad.
-The view is beautiful.
-The sound of the waves crashing is so wonderful.
-They have free Internet access through ethernet cable. If you don't bring your own cable, they will loan you one.
Bad - (This list will be longer)
- Access is horrible. You have to cross the 101 Freeway to get in and out. So, you must time your comings and goings according to traffic.
- The rooms are REALLY rundown. This INN is really only a really old Motel 6 on a cliff with beautiful views.
- You have to drive to get to everything. Santa Barbara is a significant drive away. PLUS, to get to Santa Barbara you must cross both North & Southbound 101 Freeway. Therefore, we opted to go South for everything. The first exit with a cup of coffee was 11 miles away.
-The rooms are really old, outdated, and just gross. We were originally in room 8, but it had a horrible stench, so we moved to room 5. It only had a shower stall. We asked about a room with a bathtub, but none were available (although it seemed like we were the only people there). The room did not have any luxuries. It did not have a COFFEEMAKER, a blow dryer, or a tub. Just very basic and rundown. The furniture is very old and the decor is just plain depressing.
- The staff had a lot to be desired.
All in all, I hated this place. It is overpriced, rundown, and in desperate need of a renovation. I would never reccomend it to anyone.
Terrific stay for our 25th anniversary
Like an earlier review, we stayed in room # 24 and after reading that one, was a little hesitant about paying $170 for it...Glad we did.
Yes, it still has a broken slat but it's in the bathroom, and yes the carpet has a small rip...But I didn't pay to stare out the bathroom window or stare at the carpet. I paid to have a room that sits right on the ocean and has a terrific view. The window that looks out at the sea is floor to ceiling, probably 8'x8'. Could have and did sit by the window and stared at the sea and talked to my wife for hours. Highway noise...yes, if that small window facing the highway is open. We closed that one and opened the small one facing the ocean at night and heard nothing but the wonderful ocean while we slept. No problem with the staff either, they were helpful and courteous.
Yes, Santa Barbara is 16 miles away ( a 15-20 minute trip) and if you want to spend all your time in Santa Barbara, then stay at a high priced with no ambience motel in town. This is a place to stay and spend time with someone you love, enjoying the ocean. It's old yes, so expect an older hotel..and spend the extra on a deluxe room so you get more privacy and a bigger view of the ocean.
Would I do it again...You bet I would. My wife and I both loved our stay there.
It was the Best
I must say," It was the Best "...Spending time with my high school sweetheart and visiting an old surf spot..mondoes...after 36 years being apart from both, I can only say that dinner last at the shoals was a world class event....from the time we arrived and were immediately seated on the lanai, next to the lawn with the glassy pacific ocean waves gently breaking on the beach , I never anticipated what a great restaurant we were about to experience....our server and waitress was business like with information.and a smile, first the wine, perfect...bread , warm....the salad ..out of this world, the main entres...quite spectacular.....over the top...coffee and deserts, made with passion....well, the complete meal and surroundings and service was far above what we were anticipating....from the South Pacific, Tahiti, Kauai. and around the world, this was just on top of the my list of favorites, ....California Style..World Class Quality.... I am hard to please and am very critical of resturants .....Honestly, It was the Best ........David Whipple
This is the place we come for a getaway! Granted it's not a new place, but that's the charm of it! It makes you feel like you are in the past, when romance was in style! Just to sit and look at that ocean view, and hear the waves crushing down, hmmmmmm. The Shoals is the best around! Dinners are excellent!! The staff very friendly! Yes, this is our getaway!!
Romantic with Character
My wife and I now make it a point to stay at the Cliff House Inn at least once a year. If you're looking for Corporate style accommodations with that "starched regulation feel"......go elsewhere. If you're open to experiencing a place with character, the most awesome view of the ocean, an excellent restaurant and the potential for making memories, try the Cliff House Inn.
Some places serve a roll and coffee and call it a continental breakfast. Here you have a choice of breakfast cakes, bagels, cereal, oatmeal, juices, coffee, tea or hot chocolate, fruit.....it varies to some degree, but it's always nicely laid out and the staff is always friendly.
It's only a hop into Carpenteria or Ventura, and not that far to Santa Barbara for all that city has to offer, but it's always nice to come back to that great view. Every room faces the ocean which is only about 50 feet away. Low tide is the best time to make your way down to the shoreline. You have to negotiate about 15 feet down the hill from the parking lot, but it's easy. And if, like my wife and I, you have a penchant for finding pretty rocks..... it's a treasure trove down there. It's an adventure every time.
I can't remember the last time we didn't see a pod or two of dolphins. Last time a couple of them were surfing the waves about 50 yards from the cliff.
We both recommend the place highly for anyone looking for something nice as well as a little different. It's a natural for creative and romantic people and, by the way, they have free internet hook-up.
Joe and Patti
An Overpriced Motel with a Great View
Well! I knew what to expect because I stopped in and previewed a roo before booking my stay. I stayed in room #24, a "deluxe" corner room on the second floor. The deluxe rooms boast a panoramic ocean view with a little more privacy than the regular rooms. However room #24's ocean view is blocked by a huge queen palm tree if you're laying in the bed!
To see the view you have to stand or sit int the window. Too often there are people sitting in the seats below the window (not nec.
Cliffhouse Inn guest as this is not a private property) so make sure you are properly attired before enjoying the view. We arrived at 8:00 pm to a friendly clerk. Unfortunately he didn't give any info about the creature comforts of the room, like how to heat it on a cold evening.
Consequently, the room was freezing which made going to the bathroom in the middle of the night an igloo-like experience! The next morning I found a space heater tucked away under the nightstand in the second bedroom (which had a baseboard heat element). When I brought this up to the same clerk the next morning he informed me that there is a in-wall heater in the main room. I found it the first night hidden under a desk. When I turned it on it blew out lukewarm air that felt like an air conditioner! Not at any time did he offer to give me any break on the extremely overpriced room rate ($170/night for a room that had torn carpet, a window blind with a slat broken in half, water temperature that went from cold to scalding with little increments in between and a door that was too small for the doorframe as the light of day could be seen surrounding the door with a huge gap at the bottom). The bed rumbled to the vibrations of the highway traffice right in front of the property and in full view of the window. On positive note - The ocean view is spectacular and the on-site gourmet restaurant, though a minimal of selections, was very good). The staff needs to inform guests upon check-in about the free continental breakfast and popula Sunday brunch. Another caution is that the front desk hours are 8:00 am - 11:00 pm. I noticed that upon check-out the female staff person didn't bother to ask me if I was satisfied with my stay. I think they don't inquire because they know everyone is going to have at least one negative comment. Think about the last time you stayed at a hotel/motel that charged you $170 for a room and didn't ask you at check-out how your stay was. We decided we would go back for the restaurant and poolside view but we would NEVER stay there again. Try the Inn on the Shore in Venture. They are right on the beach, cheaper and the rooms have balconies!
Best Inn in Santa Barbara area
From the moment we first visited the Cliff house Inn we were rather in awe. Walking through the lobby onto the veranda, we were treated to an amazing view of the surf and the pool. Our room was simple beach accommodations: clean and comfortable. I was surprised that they had free internet. I had just been charged $9.95 at another establishment.
When we sampled a few bites in the restaurant, my wife and I looked at each other in pleasure delight. i would recommend this place to my friends, but keeping it a secret crossed my mind. Staff were nice. Bill and Nancy
Friendly staff, but still a dump!
I asked the receptionist 3x how far the "motel" was from Santa Barbara, every time she responded, "it's just outside SB". We found out it was 16 (out of the way) miles.
This place is literally right on the highway and the train tracks. You have to close the windows in the stuffy motel style rooms to hear the TV or have a conversation. If you open the window facing the ocean, other guests can look right into the room as they walk to their rooms.
The phone in our room didn't even work. Rooms are tiny and extremely cramped and the entire structure is rundown with sloping floors and chipping paint. All this for $135. per night???? In all fairness, the room was clean and the staff was friendly.
The motel 6 just North of The Cliff House would be a better choice for $44.00/night.
I'll stay again. . . But....
The setting is great, though the "private beach" is not really accessible and is only there at low tide. Nonetheless, the place does have that soundtrack of surf and the terrific view. The room was OK (#6) -- but the shower either scalded or froze, several times during the same shower! It was also VERY small/claustrophobic; the room needs some help. . . but, again, there was the great view and soundtrack. Desk staff was very helpful and pleasant, hostess in the dining room much less so; we had to mount a campaign to get more than minimal humanity from her. Food was good, though no better than it should have been given the menu prices. I'll go back because of the great setting; I'll put up with some of the aggravations because it's gorgeous outside the windows -- but I probably will not eat there again, and I won't go expecting more than the setting and adequate accommodations. My pain lies in the fact that it COULD be so much better with minimal effort and dedication; this could be a jewel!
This Jewel Needs Polishing!
The Cliff House Inn calls itself the Jewel of the Sea, but that's about the last thing I would call it.
We'd specifically requested Room #1 that is shown on their website at cliffhouseinn.com. We ended up in Room #1, but it's not the same one that is shown. There were huge banana tree leaves covering the window which blocked the view. The electric fireplace had exposed wiring and we wouldn't dare have attempted to light it. The closet smelled so badly of mold that we were unable to hang our clothes in there; instead we had to make do with what dresser space there was and the hook on the back on the bathroom door!
We requested an ice bucket and were told they didn't have one to give us! Please!
The beach is not as accessible as they would like for you to believe, and the "heated" pool was heated to all of 72*. If you don't mind swimming with seagulls, jump on in!
Their only saving grace was the food at their restaurant was good.
In summary, their website is highly misleading and contains several inaccuracies. And don't overlook the fact that there are no photos of the Inn. It's that way for a reason.
There are many other much nicer places to stay in the SB/Ventura area. I would choose any of them over the Cliff House Dive!
TripAdvisor Reviews Cliff House Inn on the Ocean Ventura
Travel Blogs from Ventura
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