Our daughter was recently married in a destination Santa Barbara wedding, and we rented El Zapato for a week. It was Wedding Central for friends and family! To say it was an exceptional experience would
Our daughter was recently married in a destination Santa Barbara wedding, and we rented El Zapato for a week. It was Wedding Central for friends and family! To say it was an exceptional experience would be an understatement. The location, the ambience, the convenience and the amenities were top notch. We would recommend any or all of the units without hesitation.
We loved staying on Garden Street: easy to locate, easy access to 101 and downtown. In some reviews on HomeAway, the traffic noise was mentioned, but this was never an issue. Street parking was readily available, in addition to designated El Zapato spaces nearby.
Our family flew or drove into Santa Barbara throughout the week. It was such a joy to not have to think about how many hotel rooms we needed, on which nights, when to check in, when to check out, or to worry as plans changed over the months leading up to the wedding. We knew we had plenty of room for everyone and the schedules could change, overlap or not. There was time AND SPACE for talking, laughing, crying, connecting. One of my favorite pictures is our son, his fiancé and our granddaughter, on the small patio of the Turquoise Penthouse, hugging and giggling, eating pancakes in their pajamas on the morning after the wedding. You can’t get moments like that in a hotel lobby.
The bride to be and her matron of honor stayed in the Green Cabana. Being able to stay in a place “like home” was so wonderful for her. I stocked the refrigerator with her favorite foods and beverages so she could relax away from the hubbub of the guest hotel. Having her routine breakfast was a bonus. She had room to hang her dress, organize her things and a place to unwind and regroup. I know she enjoyed wrapping up in a blanket and watching some Netflix, the ultimate relaxation and guilty pleasure. The night before her marriage, it was just our family, enjoying El Zapato and feeling we were in our own home. I can’t imagine a destination setting being any better for a family preparing for the big day.
Although Santa Barbara has a terrific range of fabulous places to eat, it was even better to have our own kitchen. Everything you could need was available and what a joy to lounge in your pj’s, both morning and night! Sometimes all a 5-year-old (or 65-year-old!) needs is some mac and cheese, not another outing. As it turned out, the rooms at the guest hotel (Hyatt) didn’t have any freezer capability. What is a trip without ice cream to nibble?! We were grateful for a well-stocked kitchen. We got 4 cases of wine from the Santa Barbara Winery as wedding favors and it was nice to have a place to store them, in the garage. Handy! The garage also proved invaluable to my husband, an avid road cyclist. He rented a nice road bike for the week and was so happy to have not only a very safe place to store it and the pump, but also easy access to get out on the road. No hauling a bike in and out of a hotel room (which is often difficult AND frowned upon).
The owner, Carla, and property manager, Diane, were both delights, easy to communicate with and quick to respond. I marveled each time I got an email, text or call, that we were so lucky to find such like-minded people.
On the afternoon after the wedding, the newlyweds spent time with friends, my husband went for a 50-mile bike ride, my son and his fiancé kayaked at the wharf, my daughter and granddaughter had lunch with friends up from LA, my sister walked to the SB Historical Museum and SB Mission…and I stayed blissfully alone at El Zapato, wrapping up loose ends and enjoying my last views from the deck. We walked to Jill’s Place for our last meal that evening. All of us said the same thing over the week, in so many moments: this would not have been possible without El Zapato.