Ballard Inn & Gathering Table4.0 out of 5.0
Ballard Inn & Gathering Table4.0 out of 5.0
Recent guest reviews
Overall we were very pleased. The Inn provided a very generous social hour with a meat and cheese selection as well as local wines. They also provide a discount card to tastings, but we only stayed one night so we missed out on this perk. There is a turn down service w fresh cookies and a lovely breakfast with eggs to order. We stayed the night before Memorial Day weekend so the Inn was quiet. Staff was very friendly. The outside was beautiful with many rose bushes blooming. The inside is tastefully decorated with a number of fireplaces, wide plank floors, neutral colors. I was able to look at a number of empty rooms and they are fairly similar with either a front street or a back yard parking view. I was really pleased with the room I had chosen after reading reviews, the Davey Brown room, which has a fireplace. However, it turned out that this room is over the kitchen and the kitchen exhaust fan. It was very noisy until after 10 pm when the staff is done. Lots of plate stacking and banging and the fan. The noise starts up again in the am for breakfast. I was surprised no one mentioned this on Trip Advisor. Also the bed is really cool and comfortable, unless you like to sit up in bed, which you can’t do without hitting your head. So I would recommend the Inn, but pick a different room.
This is the most charming hotel. Service unparalleled, could not of asked more the perfect setting. Stayed in the Windmmill room. The bed was the most comfortable and the sheets were perfect. Bathroom could use more counter space but a side table added charm. The Gathering table dinner was outstanding and the salted Carmel desert was off the chart delicious. Loved this Inn
Expectation is the mother of disappointment. Having stayed at the Ballard Inn on four prior occasions, and having truly loved it, we returned with the expectation that we’d thoroughly enjoy another stay. We didn’t. We were very disappointed. Almost everything about the place was different. Why? It had been significantly remodeled (“upgraded,” we were told). Gone was the vintage character, charm and color of the prior “country inn” version. In its place is just another “farmhouse style” place that is like countless other “upgraded” places available everywhere these days. Uniqueness was surrendered in favor of faux-chic sameness. If you like everything in austere black, sterile white, and dark brown, you’ll like it. It’s minimalism run amok. The former living/sitting room has been converted into what looked like a Restoration Hardware showroom. It was the antithesis of the warm and inviting room it used to be. On prior visits, a fire was going in the fireplace during the afternoon happy hour gathering, which always including other guests sitting on comfortable couches and chairs, chatting and enjoying wine and a remarkable array of wonderful Hors d’oeuvres. Now, it sat cold (no fire) and empty (no other guests) and the country comforts were gone, with a small tray of untouched cheese, olives and grapes (wine also included). The nearby former TV/family game room has been converted into a uninviting slapdash space that is indescribable (in a bad way) and serves no apparent function other than being a place to store a very odd collection of unappealing furniture. Apart from the new decor, the heater in our room didn’t work. We awoke to a very brisk 59° and could get nothing but more cold air out of the heating system. There are no phones in the rooms, so quickly calling the front desk for maintenance wasn’t an option. When we dressed and went down for breakfast, maintenance went to the room and “reset” the system. It worked when we returned. On the positive side, the staff are wonderful, without exception — always have been and still are. The front desk voluntarily made a nice deduction in the room charge for the heating problem. The breakfast food offering was excellent, as it always has been (the decor in the dining area, called The Gathering Place, is as colorless as the other spaces and includes four very different seating styles in a very small place). The beds are comfortable and the linens are high quality. Sadly, we will not likely return. We’ll find another warmer, more inviting place that still embraces being truly unique.
Unfortunately you will not find any information on the locations of each room so I will attempt to help out. When you walk into the front door you immediately see a staircase leading to the second floor. I will provide the names of each room you encounter assuming you turn left at the second floor landing (and walk in a clockwise fashion): Alamo, Vineyard (both face the street), Western (the first room facing the back of the building), Valley, Jarado's (the room closest to the staircase and I imagine the nosiest ?), Farmhouse, Mildred, Davey Brown, Mountain (which is at the far end and the largest room, sits over the portico you see from the street, has views of both the street and parking lot; also has a small balcony with chairs), Gaviota (facing the street with a small balcony), Equestrian, and Cynthia (which is the room closest to the staircase were you to have turned right at the second floor landing). Those are also three rooms downstairs in an annex (which is located to the right of main building when viewed from the street). The rooms (ordered front to back) are: Fiesta, Windmill, and Wildflower. These appear to have access for wheelchairs. I did not have an opportunity to peer into these rooms We stayed in the Mountain room which was indeed spacious. But I'm not sure you need to pay up for the experience. We happened to be there when only two rooms were occupied and since the doors were open to each, we can confirm that there isn't a bad room in the inn. (The only one we did not see was Jarado's but I think it should be avoided given its location.) Some reviews have mentioned a preference for the street view. I can't imagine why. There isn't a view of any value plus the street can be a bit noisy. If you value silence, stick with those room facing the parking lot. Were I to visit again I would target either Davey Brown or Mildred. Each is far enough way from the staircase and face the parking lot. Another point comes to mind: Cynthia and Equestrian sit on top of the dining room which could also make them a tad noisy until the dining room shuts down, but may disturb you when breakfast is served. Another consideration: since the inn sits on a corner, both Vineyard and Western also face a side street. Cannot comment on the traffic for that street, but Vineyard would have two streets to contend with. Hope that helps.
Romantic B&B with a wonderful breakfast. Fine local wines and tasty cheese and crackers in the afternoon. Staff is very attentive. Area is full of fun activities from shopping in Solvang to tasting at the superb local wineries. Take a trip to the wild coast about 40 minutes away.
My husband brought me to this hotel as a surprise for my birthday. I have pretty high standards for a hotel and the Ballard Inn did not disappoint! Our room, the Davy Brown Room, was wonderful. The bed was comfortable and the fireplace added to the atmosphere. There are no TV's in the individual rooms which make for a very relaxing stay. The WiFi worked great in our room. The restaurant was AMAZING! One of, if not the best, meals I've ever had. I had the filet and my husband had the hanger steak. Both were wonderful. Breakfast is also served each morning with a few standard items on the menu along with daily specials. If you're looking for a quiet, out-of-the-way place with a fantastic restaurant attached, this is the place to stay!
The new remodel on the Ballard Inn is fantastic. The hotel is in a great location smack in the middle of downtown Los Olivos and Santa Ynez. It is well appointed, clean, and has incredibly friendly staff. Included was breakfast at the restaurant downstairs, our table on the deck facing the small but beautiful garden. Really nice. There are no phones in the room, which is not a big del with cell phones nowadays...and no TV's either. Bring your laptop or enjoy the company of whomever you are with...it is a pastoral, quiet setting highly conducive to romance, unwinding, and the pleasures of Santa Ynez Valley. I would highly recommend!
We've stayed at the Ballard Inn several times over the past decade when traveling between San Diego and the Bay Area. More than an overnight rest stop, it's a pause that really refreshes with beauty and calm in the gorgeous Santa Ynez Valley. Now the hotel and its restaurant have vastly improved under owner/chef Budi Kazali. The rooms have been stripped of fussy, "quaint" B&B touches; they are now both modern and warm. The restaurant, "the Gathering Table," is terrific. The room is somewhat crowded, with a big central table and surrounding booths, but it's so friendly that we didn't mind. The food is fabulous, featuring creative combinations of flavors that really work together. And the prices are reasonable, which helps accounts for the many local residents now joining hotel guests for dinner.
If you haven’t been here since the format changed, go ASAP. The flavors and freshness are wonderful. Prices are quite reasonable and there is a very good local wine list. Share as many dishes as you can.
Everything about this Inn is truly exceptional. Charming, lovely and helpful staff, beautiful decor. The food is superb (both dinner and breakfast). My only issue is with the dining room service, which was friendly but a bit slow. But it’s vacation, so what’s the rush. I would definitely go back next time I’m in the area.
- Free cooked-to-order breakfast
- Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
- Free parking
- Onsite dining
Lincourt Vineyards is a short stroll from Ballard Inn & Gathering Table, and other popular attractions like Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard are within a mile (2 km). This 15-room, 4-star bed & breakfast has free breakfast, free in-room WiFi, and free self parking.
Free cooked-to-order breakfast is included with your stay and awaits you each morning from 8 AM to 10 AM. Enjoy a bite to eat at Ballard Inn & Restaurant, the bed & breakfast's onsite restaurant. Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with room service.
Guests can expect to find free WiFi. Other standard amenities include free bottled water, an ironing board, and free toiletries.
Renovated in 2017, Ballard Inn & Gathering Table offers free WiFi in public areas, coffee in a common area, and free newspapers. Free parking is included with your stay. Front-desk staff can help with tours or tickets, and provide local restaurant recommendations. This adults-only bed & breakfast also has a TV in a common area.
Reviews from Trip Advisor
90.0% of guests recommend this hotelTotal of 191 reviews