This is my second trip to Sycamore Springs, our second trip for an anniversary outing. The first time we stayed in a large cottage, which ended up being right on the very busy, noisy road that runs through the resort. This time we stayed in one of the king suites; through email, we requested to be as far from the road as possible. I never heard back but apparently they weren’t able to grant that request since we didn’t end up in a room far away from the road. If you have a place to ask for requests, then it would be a good policy to respond OR grant the request, or maybe both?
We arrived in Avila Beach/SLO early and were able to get into the room about an hour early; that was nice!
Several days prior to our arrival I made a phone call to the resort to request a late check out. The reservation agent was very accommodating and was able to promise a noon check out, which was okay since it was just enough to be able to take a quick morning walk, have a last hot tub soak, eat a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant and get on our way back to Santa Barbara. He was pleasant and said to call the front desk on our checkout day to see if we could get an even later checkout; he said it depended on how busy the resort was going to be on that Sunday night. When we arrived they said they had NO record of that call, would NOT accommodate a noon check out but if we wanted, we could call in the morning and request it again. In the morning, guess what—no noon check out. That is bad, horrible customer service! Bad enough that it changed the tone of my review and how I will relate my experience to others. They should have never made the promise in the first place and, given we were there for under 24 hours but spent almost $1000 (on a room, dinner and spa treatments), you think they would have granted that small insignificant request - a request that they had ALREADY previously promised would be accommodated by the way. Oh well, obviously a management issue. As an aside, on the advice of someone in reservations, we reserved everything separately when in fact had we done the spa package special advertised, we would have saved a few dollars. That was no big deal, just worth paying attention to if you are doing room, dinner, breakfast, and spa while you are there.
Dinner and Spa: We ate dinner at the restaurant and got 1.5-hour spa treatments as well (not including 30 minute pre-soak in a hot tub). I will do a more in depth review of the restaurant, The Gardens of Avila, under a restaurant review. For here suffice it to say it was pleasant, satisfactory and very convenient. We would eat there again if we were staying in the resort. After dinner we had a Swedish massage and a hot stone message. Both were good, not great. My wife mentioned that the massage therapist asked if she had any special requests of where to focus, but then disregarded those requests. Again, bad customer service to create expectations when you cannot or do not intent to follow through. This seems to be a theme for the Sycamore Springs experience. My wife said the hot stone massage was still relaxing and enjoyable. All in all we had a nice time. We would use the spa services there again if we were staying in the resort.