For $95 a night, this frugal soul expects everything to work. An hour after we’d settled into our room, I went to the front desk with the following complaints: dead phone, dead electrical socket, and no closed-captioning on the TV (for my deaf mother). Abraham was sent to our room to trouble shoot. He immediately fixed the wall socket problem by bringing in a six-outlet power tap, plugging it into the working half of the wall socket. Checking the phone, he explained that sometimes they don’t work, but probably in the morning it would work. He found a Mitsubishi remote for the TV, but the model was pre-closed-captioning. He said he’d leave a message for Alejandro, the morning man, to see what he could do to help.
Bright and early, Alejandro was knocking on the door. Presto! There was a dial tone as he picked up the phone. But the next day, it stopped working again. The closed-captioning problem took much more time, and eventually, Alejandro returned with an old closed-captioning box, the kind used before closed-captioning became internalized in TVs. Try as he might, he simply couldn’t get it to work. The woman at the front desk brusquely informed me that if the box didn’t work, there was nothing more they could do. However, later that afternoon, we returned to the room to find a newer RCA TV with internal closed-captioning.
Besides access to two pools and a hot tub, every guest may pick up a free YMCA Athletic Club guest pass. The Y has a full service gym a 5-minute walk from Sandman. They’ve got cardio, resistance machines, free weights, pool, saunas, steam room, lockers, and even basketball courts. Other freebies include a complimentary continental breakfast between 5 and 10am and high-speed ADSL Internet in the lobby.
Our closet was in the entryway, which was unlit, making it difficult to see in the closet. It did contain a full-sized ironing board and iron. Our dark-blue carpeting was stained. Though vacuumed, it looked like it could use a shampoo. Though the service staff tried their best to be helpful, the front-desk staff was inconsistent.
Flowering jacaranda trees were all over the grounds. The dramatic blue-violet blooming trees are native to Brazil, but thrive in Santa Barbara’s balmy coastal climate.
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From journal Sublime Santa Barbara