by Lissa Poirot
This isn’t your ordinary DoubleTree hotel. Instead, the Fess Parker is a 24-acre, beachfront resort located in the heart of Santa Barbara, formerly a resort opened by Fess Parker, the actor who played Daniel Boone on the 1960’s TV show.
The guestrooms in the resort’s Mission-style buildings overlook the Pacific and the marina. They are just steps from the harbor and Santa Barbara’s many restaurants and wine tasting shops. The resort is pet-friendly, too, with onsite dining, one of the largest outdoor, heated swimming pools in the area, and beautiful views.
Our Editor Loves
- Short walk from beach and harbor
- Suites accommodate up to five
- One of the largest outdoor pools in Santa Barbara
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The Fess Parker features 360 rooms in multiple buildings with views of the ocean, mountains or resort. All rooms are 450 square feet in size and renovated as of 2015. They feature flat-screen TVs, bathrooms with double vanities (one outside of the shower/tub for shared use), and a patio or balcony. Patio level rooms overlooking the pool are popular for families who want fast access to the pool; they can be requested at booking. Wi-Fi is available in all rooms, but for a daily fee of $12.95. Cribs and rollaway beds are available upon request.
Standard rooms feature either two queen beds or one king bed and a sofa bed. They are large enough to fit a rollaway bed in either configuration, allowing room for up to five guests. Select from mountain or oceanview rooms.
One-bedroom suites with kid beds and a queen sofa bed are available with separate living and bedroom spaces. Suites come with CD players and Bose Stereos. Connecting rooms can enlarge the suites to two-bedrooms with one king bed, two queen beds and one queen sofa bed to accommodate up to eight.
by Mark C
Wonderfully located ocean side with great views of the water. The only downside was all the dogs; there seemed to be dogs everywhere I turned. The staff was helpful and the rooms were clean with good accommodations.
The location a few hundred feet from East beach and an East walk to the zoo and Funk Zone with onsite car rental are big advantages. The facilities and staff make a great first impression! I've rarely encountered more helpful, friendly, and attentive staff. My only major complaint is that the rooms are not the quality I expected for the price. I even paid extra for an upgrade after check in and was not pleased (relative to other hotels of similar cost... obviously this place is waaay nicer than a Motel 6 or Super 8).
The hotel's heated, outdoor swimming pool is the second largest in Santa Barbara. It is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The resort offers three tennis courts, a half-court basketball court, a putting green and shuffleboard.
Located directly across from the resort is East Beach. Families can soak up the sun in the sand, enjoy the ocean, have picnics or play on the playground. Bathrooms and showers are available and lifeguards are on duty during the summer months.
During the summer months, the resort may show outdoor movies on occasion. Bike rentals are offered near the pool during summer months, as well, but the resort does not offer any children's activities.
The hotel's all-day restaurant, Roundhouse CafÃ©, is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. A hearty breakfast buffet is offered daily, with special pricing for children, as well as a la carte dining.
Open for dinner only, Rodney's Grill is an upscale restaurant that serves steak, seafood and pastas. A children's menu is available.
Java del Mar
For grab-and-go breakfast items and Starbucks coffee, visit the Java del Mar in the lobby from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
Terraza del Mar
During the summer months, the poolside Terraza del Mar grill provides lunch and snack options for guests lounging in the sun or water.
Enjoy lunch, dinner and snacks at the Set, a bistro-style spot that offers ocean views and two fire pits on the outdoor patio.
In-room dining is available daily for breakfast from 6:30 to 11 a.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Late-night dining is available on weekdays from 10 p.m. to midnight and weekends from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport is provided.
Free Wi-Fi is offered in the hotel lobby. Wi-Fi is available in rooms for $12.95 per day.
Pets are welcome at the hotel with a $30 fee per night. The maximum weight is 75 pounds.
Self-parking is $19 per night and valet parking is $26 per night.
Onsite coin-operated laundry is available, as well as dry cleaning service.
The Art of Smart Timing
Santa Barbara is a year-round destination and the Fess Parker is mainly popular for conventions, meetings and weddings, which could bring crowds year-round. Inquire about business schedules when planning to visit.
The hotel is located along Cabrillo Boulevard, just across the street from East Beach and the Santa Barbara waterfront. The hotel provides complimentary shuttle service to the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, just 15 miles away. From Los Angeles International Airport, the drive is about two hours and shuttle service is not provided.
If staying at the resort, park the car and enjoy Santa Barbara on foot or by trolley, bike or surrey. Rentals are readily available along the waterfront.
For Mom and Dad
A small spa, the Spa del Mar, offers salon services and treatments, including haircuts, hair styling, massages and body treatments.