Worst service ever A review of Inn At East Beach

The rooms at the Inn at East Beach might be lovely, but I wouldn't know since I actually didn't stay in one--in spite of having reservations. We were planning a drive from LA to San Francisco over Easter weekend, stopping in a different place each night along the way. Since we would be in Santa Barbara on Friday night, I phoned around and made reservations at the Inn at East Beach over a month in advance. When we got there, the man at the front desk, who owns/runs the place with his wife, was all smiles and friendliness until I noticed that he had charged us for two nights. It was like a switch went off, and he immediately became hostile, telling me that they have a two-night minimum on weekends and there was NO WAY that I could have gotten a reservation for just a single night, especially since his wife took the reservation and she NEVER makes mistakes. I pointed out that there was no reason for me to make a reservation for two nights, as we already had reservations to stay in another city the following night and we had made those other reservations first. At that point, he called his wife out, and she also told me that I MUST have reserved two nights because she NEVER made mistakes.

They seemed intent on a)refusing to admit that they could possibly have made any kind of error and b) getting me to say that I had deliberately made the reservation for two nights, even though I only needed one (though why I would do that, I don't understand as there are many other hotels in Santa Barbara that don't have a two-night minimum). I said that I had made the reservation in good faith and that I was sorry an error had happened, but we still needed a place to stay for the night and had expected to stay with them--and also expected that they would honor our reservation. They said the only way we could stay is if we moved to a different, more expensive room with only one bed (impossible because there were three of us). At that point, they refunded our money and we went off to find another place to stay. We found one--for $10 more per night--right accross the street at the Ramada. But the experience left a very bad taste in our mouths.

I have worked in customer service/hospitality for a number of places, and it is certainly true that customers are not always right. I'm sure they have their two-night policy for a reason, and understand them wanting to stick to it. But there are diplomatic and graceful ways of handling situations where misunderstandings/errors/differences of opinion or expection arise. The owners at the Inn at East Beach prefer to berate their customers than to work with them to find solutions to problems. I'd recommend staying elsewhere, among people with a better attitude.

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Inn At East Beach
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