Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria Santa Maria, CA

Offers Assisted Living, Independent Living, Continuing Care Communities, and Memory Care

43 Reviews
1220 Suey Road, Santa Maria, CA 93454
Call (800) 385-2527
Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria (800) 385-2527

Reviews of Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria

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(4 Reviews)

Assisted Living Reviews for Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria

July 17, 2020

By Peaceful

I am a friend or relative of a current/past resident

I relocated my folks to this facility in June, 2020 during the COVID-19 period and they were extremely helpful managing all of the restrictions and guidelines from the medical requirements to move in day. Special thanks to Gary G., Kim A., Audie S. and Chris R. for their assistance and guidance. Very dedicated and helpful staff from Kitchen, Care Givers and MedTech. The comfort level to the family of the resident is very special.

October 09, 2019

By Shirlee

I am/was a resident of this facility

I was at Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria. I liked it. It was run by a bigger corporation, but the rent was twice as much as other places. My room had a kitchenette with a full sized refrigerator and a two-burner stove. I had a very big bathroom that was big enough to put my walker in. I enjoyed that room very much. They had so many activities, too. They were able to us on the bus. They also have doctors' days. Even though it costs double, you get that much square footage and activities. They also have more buses.

March 14, 2019

By George

I visited this facility

The restaurant at Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria is pretty much open from 7 in the morning to 7 at night, and I like that feature very much because I don't always feel like eating at a set time. It was very good but what I didn't like it is it's so huge. The staff was very nice. I was impressed with the place.

August 13, 2018

By Kelly

I am a friend or relative of a current/past resident

My mom is doing pretty good at Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria. The staff is very good, professional, and pleasant. The food is very good and high quality, and they're all happy with it. The facilities are very nice and high grade. The amenities are very nice. They have a garden and pool. People should go check the place out. It's worth their time to look at.

September 08, 2017

By Elaine

I visited this facility

We had a very positive visit at Merrill Gardens. The staff was very pleasant, friendly, and knowledgeable. Everything was completely clean, there were no smells of any kind, and the food looked good. I think it was one of the nicest facilities I saw in that area.

July 07, 2017

By Drpet2017

I visited this facility

I do not recommend the memory unit. While things are pretty on the outside the care is not sufficient. The staff cannot watch all residents and I have witnessed unsafe situations. Residents who cannot get up on there own are often ignored when they plea to get up or dress themselves. The activity director is awesome and there are a few caregivers who are caring and try hard. It's upsetting that things happen and the none of the employees can tell you why or how. Also, I know that a few caregivers have reported concerns to the supervisors and they were pushed aside. I think that if all parties would be honest and upfront then this place could be wonderful and worth the money. The most important thing is safety and respect for ones dignity.

May 31, 2017

By catherine756678

I visited this facility

I didn't like Merrill Gardens as much. It's a little more businesslike. I didn't think it was as homey. It just didn't feel as good. I think the staff was doing the best they could, but it seemed so large. It's not very pretty, and the structure seemed too industrial. I couldn't tell if the staff is happy or not. The room I was shown hadn't been clean. It didn't leave me with a good impression. The dining area was closed, so I just looked at it. The structure itself didn't feel like a place like you'd want to leave your loved one. When I think about leaving my loved one somewhere, I want them to feel they're at home. It didn't look good even from the outside.

April 19, 2017

By Son of a happy Mom

I am a friend or relative of a current/past resident

My mother has been residing at Merrill Gardens for nearly a month. However, it was a three year process for her to grudgingly accept living in a senior community. At this point she is settling in very nicely, and my siblings, as well as all of our spouses are extremely pleased. The management and staff are excellent, and the facilities, meals and activities are perfectly suited to the specific needs of each individual resident. Prior to entering Merrill Gardens various family members toured the facility, met with the management and were provided with a great deal of information regarding their program, including the typical adjustment curve for new residents to feel comfortable. I am happy to say that our mother is following that curve, just as described. Our family is now secure in knowing that Mom is in a safe, well-appointed and stimulating environment.

Provider Response

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We know that the move to senior living is an adjustment for the entire family, not just the residents who move in with us. We are happy to hear that your mother is settling in nicely.

March 30, 2017

By Robert488005

I visited this facility

Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria was very clean and very neat. No buy-in dollar-wise. The individual cottages were very attractive and very roomy. The grounds were spacious and very well kept. It was a very nice place.

Provider Response

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Merrill Gardens. The cottages are great and many people really like that option. And the month-to-month rental is very appealing for those that don't want to do a buy-in.

March 27, 2017

By Deborah288882

I am a friend or relative of a current/past resident

My dad has been in Merrill Gardens since January. It is really nice, and people are very friendly. My dad seems to like it OK, and so far so good. The staff is good. They're not medical qualified -- they are more like aides -- but it’s OK. I wish they had more medical experience. Dad is doing all right. He's in a shared room, and he didn’t care for that much. They have a lot of activities, like bingo and music, and they go on field trips. He's in a wheelchair, so it's little hard for him to get in and out of the bus. He just likes to watch TV, and they have a nice big screen TV.

Provider Response

Thank you for writing us this review. We are glad to hear that our team members have been friendly and that your dad is able to enjoy some of the activities.

February 07, 2017

By John P.555552

I visited this facility

Merrill Gardens was fine but too expensive for us. My dad needs more care than they can give. It's good for someone who is aged 75 to 95. They had independent living as well.

Provider Response

We appreciate you sharing this feedback with us, and we hope you found a good option for your dad. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance in the future.

November 14, 2016

By Joan802622

I visited this facility

Everything at Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria is beautiful, and it's great. The place is wonderful, the food's great, and the tour was very good. It was bright, cheery, and very well planned out. It just was a very nice place, and I was impressed.

Provider Response

We think that Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria is a wonderful community, and receiving this feedback makes us very proud. We are so pleased that you had such a positive experience.

August 24, 2016

By Suzzane133545

I visited this facility

We visited Merrill Gardens. The gentleman that was there did not know we were coming, but he took a break and showed us around. When we got there, they were having a special lunch. He showed us around, but he had to leave, so I sat and talked with some of the people, wait staff, and the employees. It was very similar to where my mother lives now, but it was $1,000 cheaper. They had all types of activities, two big dining rooms, a pool, a spa, the hairdresser, and activities in the gym. The only thing that they did not have was the size room that she needed. They were very nice.

Provider Response

Thank you for sharing your positive review with us. We are glad that you had good experience during your visit to Merrill Gardens!

April 23, 2016

By Anonymous Visitor22

I visited this facility

Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria looked like a very nice place. We liked it a lot. The staff seemed friendly and knowledgeable, but we didn’t see very many of them and didn’t really talk to anybody besides Gary. The cleanliness was excellent. The dining area and rooms that we saw were very nice.

Provider Response

We appreciate you giving us this positive review for Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria. Please reach back out should you have any questions or need additional information.

January 29, 2016


I am a friend or relative of a resident

Everything at Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria is wonderful. The staff is knowledgable, and answered all the questions we needed. The rooms were excellent; open, friendly, and in excellent shape. The food is excellent too. They have too many activites for my mom to participate in.

Provider Response

Thank you so much for providing us with this positive feedback! We are so pleased to hear that you had a wonderful experience with Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria.

December 29, 2015

By Robin121430650

I visited this facility

My parents will be moving in Merrill Gardens. This community has very high standards. They are very good, unlike the other facilities that I checked out. Everybody -- the staff and residents -- is friendly. I like them a lot. When we had lunch during our visit there, the residents turned around from their tables and told us that Merrill Gardens was a really happy and fun place to live. Their dining room reminds me of a crew ship on land. It opens from 7:00 to 7:00 and serves special meals every day. You can even tell them what you want in your salad bar and they put it on it. They have one-bedroom apartments, studios, and two-bedroom apartments. Everyone there has their own air conditioning and heating. They have a calendar of activities they do every day and do bus trips almost everyday. They have puzzle games to play, too. It's a very secure place, as well, because you have to sign in and out at the desk to get in. They have security guards, which very much impressed me!

Provider Response

We appreciate you taking your time to write us this kind review. We are so glad to hear the positive feedback about your experience, and we look forward to providing a great environment for your parents!

September 12, 2015

By Sylvia19

I visited this facility

Merrill Gardens was really nice with really nice activities, and you didn’t have to go outside to go to the dining hall; that was really nice. They have washers and dryers in the room, which was really nice. The one thing I didn’t like about it is that it had a kitchen; I wish they wouldn’t have kitchens in them because they don’t really use the kitchens, and they could use the place for something else. They all go down to the dining hall after all. The staff was very nice and good. The activities were really nice, and they take them to different places. We really like it.

Provider Response

Thank you so much for providing this review for our community. We are happy to hear about your positive experience and we appreciate the feedback regarding kitchens. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.

August 31, 2015

By Caring112854750

I visited this facility

The first one I visited was Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria. It is well-known in the area. They have a lot of features, and the units have a lot of features as well; those seemed good. The units were like a big apartment house. They have different sizes. Also they have a big dining area where anybody can go in and eat at any time from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. They have exercise classes, and they have transportation to and from doctors and shopping.

Provider Response

We would like to thank you for taking your time to write us this review. We appreciate your feedback! Please don't hesitate to contact us directly with any questions.

June 13, 2015

By Trudy5

I visited this facility

I visited Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria. We were very impressed because it is a beautiful place. It was expensive, but we kind of expected it to be. There was a living room, a bedroom, and a small kitchenette in some of them. We were looking more in the assisted living section. I was very impressed. It was very nice with a balcony on them. They offer a lot of amenities. They have crafts, meeting rooms, and exercise rooms. It looks like there was a lot of socialization going on. The people that we met were very pleasant and seemed happy. We didn't have a chance to taste the food at Merrill Gardens, but it seems very pleasant, and the residents were happy and contented. They were still very mobile in moving around. We were very impressed.

Provider Response

We would like to thank you for taking the time to write us this 5-star review! Thank you so much for the detailed feedback. We are so glad to hear that you had a great experience while visiting Merrill Gardens. Please don't hesitate to contact us directly if you have any questions.

May 22, 2015

By Caring106544150

I visited this facility

I think Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria is institutional. It is too big with three stories, and I don’t like that. The place is very, very clean. The rooms are very nice.

Provider Response

Thank you for taking the time to write us this review. We are glad to hear that our community was clean and you liked the rooms, though we are disappointed that our large community felt institutional for you. If you have additional feedback or questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us directly.

May 01, 2015

By Audrey19

I visited this facility

What I like about Merrill Gardens is that the grounds are large. There are a lot of outdoor areas. They have a pool and a garden area. The staff was very friendly. The rooms were very nice and spacious. They were also clean and very well kept.

October 21, 2013

By Kym1

I am a friend or relative of a resident

My mom is all settled at the Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria. We had nothing, but really good experience. All of the staff is really nice and the facility is nice. The room is fine and I thought it was a good place. My mom is really happy and she likes it there. I like how the food and the dining is all day. They don't have a set mealtime, they can just go in and get food any time that they want. So it is more like home in some ways instead of having to stick to a schedule.

April 18, 2013

By Caring9933

I am a friend or relative of a resident

Merrill Gardens was the facility where my mother-in-law stayed. The place was just fabulous. There were tons of amenities. The food was delicious and tasty. The staff were just amazing. She was super happy there.

May 18, 2012

By Caring310

I visited this facility

Nothing really impressed me about Merrill Gardens in Santa Maria. We had dinner there and the food wasn't that good. The environment seemed kind of sterile, not as warm as other facilities I've visited. There was a smell to it and the rooms were dark like dungeons. My mom didn't think much of it either. I didn't get the feeling that it was a homey atmosphere.

Provider Response

Thank you for taking the time to share feedback regarding your recent experience. We take quality service and customer satisfaction very seriously at Merrill Gardens and have reviewed your concerns with the community team. If you have additional feedback, please don't hesitate to email us at or call us at 800.379.8831

September 06, 2011

By hinshar

I am a friend or relative of resident

My Mother and Father became residents in June of 2005 when it was Arbor View and was bought out by Merrill Gardens. My Mother was placed in the Garden House unit which specializes in dementia, alzheimers and other issues that could not be handled by assisted living. My father went to the assisted living facility. My Mother and Father were treated respectfully and I had no worries that they were not taken care of at all. My Mother passed at the facility in 2009 and my Father is now in the same unit that my Mother was in. He loves the caregiviers and the people there and they treat him like he is their own father. The staff caregivers are wonderful and I love visiting with them when I go there. I recommend Merrill Gardens in Santa Maria wholeheartedly.

June 24, 2011

By TaryJer

I visited this facility

Everyone there was very friendly there and welcoming,very warm,they were very helpful,i enjoyed the tour very much.they assisted me to my full expectations,i've also heard from other people that have obtained assisted living from that place and they all say good things so i decided to go on a tour there.
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Independent Living Reviews for Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria

April 13, 2017

By Susan170023

I am a friend or relative of a current/past resident

Mom is in Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria for 1 month now, and it has been very good. Everything is very nice compared to other places that we visited. The staff has been very caring, and my mom has made friends with a lot of them. Mom likes their restaurant style dining area where she can eat whenever she likes. We checked a lot of places, but Mom was happiest with this one. They have lots of activities, but Mom is still adjusting, so she doesn’t participate much in their activities yet.

Provider Response

We are glad to hear that your mom is adjusting after her move to her new home at Merrill Gardens. Thank you for sharing that our team members have been very caring.

July 02, 2016

By Fely038220

I visited this facility

Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria was very nice, well maintained, very clean, fresh, and new. It is just a very nice place. It looked like an upscale hotel. There wasn’t really too much going on at the time when we went through, though. The food was great, and the dining area looked nice.

Provider Response

We are happy to hear about your positive experience at Merrill Gardens! We would love to invite you back to experience some of the many activities that we have going on each day, since it sounds like you didn't have an opportunity to do that during your last visit. Please don't hesitate to contact us and come back for another visit!

May 10, 2016


I visited this facility

I looked into Merrill Gardens. It was a very nice place but too far away from the people we knew and the activities that we were involved in. I thought the place was relatively new and had been kept up in very good condition. The people seemed friendly and alert. They had a very good selection of activities. They sponsored a very active local bridge game with a number of occupants there and there were also people not living there who came in and participated. The people running the place were very friendly, accommodating, and understood that these kinds of transitions were difficult. I thought they were as supportive as possible. The place was very attractive, physically.

Provider Response

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this positive and detailed feedback! We are very proud of our activities program and all the options available to residents. Please reach back out to us with any questions.

January 16, 2016

By Sam34

I visited this facility

The rooms at Merrill Gardens weren’t as big as the ones where I’m living now. The staff was very helpful; they explained everything and were very courteous.

Provider Response

Thank you for taking the time to write us this review. We are glad to hear that you had a positive experience with our team members at Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria. Please don't hesitate to reach back out with any questions.

October 31, 2015

By Denise43

I visited this facility

It is a gated community, which is nice. It says Merrill Gardens. It doesn’t say, like, assisted living or retirement community. It’s like you’re driving through a gated neighborhood. They have three-story buildings when you first drive in. One of them is independent; one is assisted living. To the left of that, they have three streets that have cottages that are independent living. There are 40 of those cottages on three streets. There are four of them connected. You have your own garage, but you take your trash out just like you do in your normal home. Your mailbox is right down the street from your home, just like in a normal place. There’s a central green area in the middle of the cottages, with community gardening if you wanted. They have patios in the front door, off of the master’s bedroom, and a huge patio off the dining-room area in the kitchen, which has very nice landscaping, so you can putter in the front yard or in the back yard if you wanted to. They do, however, take care of the landscaping they put in. The units are two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, huge kitchen with an island and an eating area. It’s very well-laid-out and with nice square footage. They’re almost 1,300 square feet, like 1,280. The garage is very nice-sized -- a car and a half garage. If you’re still into having a work bench, a car or a golf cart, you had space for all of that. But in addition, they also have apartments, which have full kitchens. They have a lot of activities going on. They have all kinds of clubs for whatever you happen to be into. If you don’t want to drive, they have shuttles that go to Costco, the grocery store, and the malls. They have outings to the casinos and concerts too. The assisted living has their own three-story building. They have very nice apartments. We only looked at the two bedrooms because that’s what we were interested in. They have lots of square footage, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and nice balconies. Their own buildings are three-story, nicely decorated with good colors. It was very nice. In assisted living, they have more kitchenettes versus the kitchen. The nice thing about Merrill Garden is when they built their apartments (the three-story buildings) one echnically is independent and the other one is assisted, but they are both licensed for assisted living, which is nice. If you are living in the so-called independent apartment and you need assistance, you can still get it in that apartment without moving, which is nice. Their assisted living is not a cookie-cutter program. Whatever you need assistance in is the assistance you will get. All the activities are for everybody. Even if you live in the assisted living, you’re not sequestered to the assisted-living dining room. It's the same thing in the independent living -- you’re not sequestered to that dining room. You can eat whatever venue you want; you can attend whatever activities you want. It doesn’t matter what assistance level you need. You can do everything you want to do. The caregivers looked like very caring people. We ate in the dining room that day; the dining room staff was fabulous. The food was really good. We also toured the memory-care facility, which is three buildings. They call them houses. It’s inside the gated area inside the gated area, so they’re double-gated. They house 14 people in each one of these houses. They each have their own dining room and everything. The rooms were very nice. They’re 150 square feet, nice-sized rooms and bathroom. It didn’t feel like you’re in any kind of a hospital or nursing home. It was very homey, nicely carpeted, walls are wall-papered, nice oak railing going down the hallway, and artwork from residents and artists alike on the walls. Each of the buildings is identical to each other. If they had to move somebody from building 1 to building 3, they wouldn’t get agitated because the buildings look identical to the one they just came from. They wouldn’t even know that they transferred from a different building. I think the biggest difference between Merrill Gardens and some of the other ones is that Merrill Gardens is built as a senior continuing-care community, where some of them that we looked at took over a hotel or a student housing. It was actually built for older people. The bathrooms are the correct size, rooms are nice-sized, and doorways are big enough for wheelchairs and walkers. They seemed to saw almost everything.

Provider Response

Thank you for providing such a thorough review! We are so happy to hear this positive feedback about your experience with Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria.

July 28, 2015

By Lori44

I am a friend or relative of a resident

Our friend has been in Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria since the 25th of June. They have several buildings, and she is in 1350. I have nothing but good comments about the staff and the facility. The staff is excellent, the facility is very nice, the food is very good, and the people are very caring. The room that my friend has is very comfortable and larger than most that we checked in the area, and the price is a good value. She has a one-bedroom apartment, and it has a complete kitchen with a regular stove and a refrigerator; however, she doesn't plan to cook. All meals are included. and they can eat anytime they want from 7:00 to 7:00. It's the best of all worlds. She has a 700 square foot apartment. and it has one bedroom and one bath. The dining room is lovely. They have all sorts of activities. They have outings where they take them on little bus tours for the day with boxed lunches. They take them to plays, their medical appointments if they need to be taken, and to shopping places. They have a happy hour on Friday night and barbecues on the 4th of July or Memorial Day -- they seem to celebrate every holiday.

Provider Response

We thank you for taking the time to write us this great review! We are so pleased to hear that your friend is enjoying Merrill Gardens.

February 23, 2015

By Caring94056650

I am a friend or relative of a resident

I visited Merrill Gardens, and it was excellent; there was excellent care, good meals, good exercises, and entertainment. The staff is very nice, and my friend is living in a 2-bedroom apartment. It’s not large, but it’s adequate and he has a nice balcony.

October 30, 2012

By Caring805

I visited this facility

Merrill Gardens looks pretty nice. It's clean and modern-looking. The have enough common areas, exercise areas, dining, library and social areas. Of all the places I've seen it seems one of the nicest and I would recommend them.
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Memory Care Reviews for Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria

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Photos of Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria

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Services and Amenities of Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria in Santa Maria, California

Room and housing options

  • 1-bedroom apartments
  • 2-bedroom apartments
  • Companion Suites: We Do Not Offer Companion Suites
  • Studio Apartments
  • Detached Homes

Dining options

  • In Room Kitchenette
  • In Room Kitchens
  • Dining Room Shared Meals


  • Beauty Barber Shop
  • Computer Room
  • Resident Transportation
  • Garden And Patio
  • Resident Parking
  • Pool

Cleaning services

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry For Clothing

Health services

  • Medication Management
  • Nurse On Staff: On Call 24/7
  • Pharma


  • Offsite Activities

Guest services

  • Guests At Mealtime


  • Renal


  • English


  • Resident Capacity: 242
  • Minimum Age: 65
  • Pets: Yes

Types of care

  • Meal Preparation


  • State Licenses: 425801806
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About Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria in Santa Maria, California

Conveniently located between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria is a campus-style retirement community that provides a wide spectrum of care. Enjoy being near golf courses, wineries, the Veteran’s Administration Building and Marian Regional Medical Center.

Residents enjoy celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and holidays together, as well as being involved in local volunteer projects. They enjoy use of the community’s private dining room for special occasions. Santa Maria offers scenic coastal state and county parks for picnicking, strolling and more. The nearby Luis Oasis Senior Center offers classes, hiking trips, volunteering, a travel club and more.

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Map of Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria

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