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“Disappointing....”

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Hotel Amarano Burbank
Ranked #7 of 20 Hotels in Burbank
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 November 2010

Where to start? My wife and I selected the Hotel Amarano Burbank for our three-night stay in Burbank, California over the 2010 Veteran’s Day Long Weekend because of Hotel Amarano's ranking as the number one hotel in the Burbank area. Simply put, we were disappointed.

Hotel Amarano is only a short ten-minute taxi ride from the Burbank Airport (at a cost of $20 – including the “airport pick-up surcharge” and tip). Hotel Amarano has the appearance of a condominium development and is across the street from a strip mall that includes a Vons 24-hour grocery store, a Bank of America, Bea Bea’s restaurant (great breakfasts!) and a Starbucks. The property itself is well maintained and presents well.

Given Hotel Amarano's location in a quiet residential neighborhood near Warner Bros Studios and away from downtown Burbank, it is ideally situated for people wanting to travel to Hollywood, Universal Studios and such. However, Hotel Amarano is not in the center of the action and -- despite what other people have written in their reviews of Hotel Amarano -- during our three night/four day stay there was no complimentary limo service offered to us, except on the Saturday morning when we checked out (we were offered, and accepted, a complimentary limo ride back to the Burbank Airport). Accordingly, a rental car may be worthwhile as taxi fare started to add up by the end of our stay.

We arrived at Hotel Amarano by taxi at approximately 10:30 pm on Wednesday evening, November 10, 2010. Although we were ignored by the two doormen standing outside by the hotel’s front entrance (no help getting out of the taxi, no offer to help with our luggage, no opening the front door to the hotel, etc...) we were greeted by an enthusiastic check-in clerk. After getting our names and check-in documentation, the clerk informed us that the Hotel Amarano was 100% full for our stay and that consequently we had been given a complementary "upgrade" (I had reserved a "Superior King" room at the AAA discounted rate). We said "thanks, that's nice" and headed up to our room 221.

Upon entering room number 221, we were greeted by a distinct and unpleasant chemical smell (could it have been pesticide or carpet shampoo? Or both?). My wife took off her shoes and noted that the carpet felt damp, so we'll go with the carpets having been shampooed, although I swear it also smelled like a commercial pesticide had been used in the room.

Room 221 is your basic hotel room. It has a king size bed, small kitchenette, large 42 inch LCD television (nice touch!) and a very disappointing older, basic washroom (not unlike what you'd find in any $59 a night motel). As we discovered the next morning when taking showers, the water pressure was minimal and despite playing with the settings on the cheap old shower head, getting wet required standing in the shower for several minutes more than normal. The king size bed was very comfortable, the linens soft and nice, and the pillows worked well for my wife and I. Sound proofing in room 221, on the other hand, is non-existent. If the person in the next room (or in the hallway) coughs, burps, turns on their television, or makes love, you'll hear it -- for better or worse!

Hotel Amarano is into being "environmentally sensitive." My wife and I like that. What we did not like is that upon check-in our tub had some hairs in it from a previous guest (yuck!) the two towels that we'd left in the bathtub after our first night at the hotel (one of which was quite dirty with makeup residue) had been hung back up on the towel rack by the house-keeping person who cleaned our room -- instead of having been replaced with fresh, clean towels. We get the whole "change linens only every fourth day thing...", but when someone leaves a towel in the bathtub, it is universally understood that the towel is to be replaced. And especially when the towel is dirty! To add insult to injury, after our second night at the hotel, some practical joker turned the “service requested” sign on our door to “privacy please”, meaning that house-keeping did not make up our room at all. Not the hotel’s fault, I know. But nevertheless, especially irritating, given what had occurred the previous day with the lack of stellar housekeeping.

Pros:

1. Located near the Warner Bros studios in a quiet, safe residential neighborhood. Well suited for trips to Hollywood, Studio City, Universal City, and the like.

2. Business center with free use of two computers and a printer.

3. Understated luxury for the main lobby and restaurant areas.

4. Comfortable king sized bed and 42 inch LCD television in room.

Cons:

1. Room 221 stank like chemicals.

2. Washroom in room 221 was cheap, not in keeping with the understated luxury feel of the rest of the Hotel Amarano.

3. Poor house-keeping service (hair in the tub -- not cool. Hanging up -- instead of replacing -- dirty towels, not cool).

4. Taxi fares add up real fast, as Hotel Amarano is in the middle of nowhere (not an issue if you are on an expense account or you have a rental car).

5. No sound proofing in room 221 (cannot speak for other rooms).

6. If room 221 was an upgrade from a regular "Superior King", I'd hate to see the regular Superior King room.

7. Sliding door for the washroom weighed too much, and my wife had to struggle to open and close it. And did I mention no sound proofing...?

8. On the Friday evening of our last night at the hotel, we requested a 7:45 am wake-up call for Saturday morning. Luckily we woke up on our own at 7 am, because we did not receive our 7:45 am wake-up call.

Conclusion:

Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is terrible and 10 is perfect, I'd rate Hotel Amarano as a 6. Unfortunately, given our less than overwhelming impressions of the hotel, I would not stay here again and I would not recommend it to other travelers.

Footnotes:

1. Although the main restaurant was closed when we checked in at the Hotel Amarano on November 10, 2010 the “Library Lounge” was still open and we were able to have some food and drinks. Pricey, but actually quite good. We did not try out the hotel’s signature restaurant.

2. Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings we elected to cross the street and have breakfast in Bea Bea's Restaurant (literally across the street from the front doors of the Hotel Amarano, in the strip mall). Bea Bea's has excellent breakfasts (huge menu and quality food) at half the price of the breakfast items listed in the hotel restaurant's menu.

3. Thursday night we had dinner two blocks south of Hotel Amarano at a great little Thai restaurant called "gindi thai" (located at 4017 W Riverside Drive, corner of North Pass Ave and W. Riverside Dr). Excellent food and well worth the two block walk.

4. Friday we enjoyed a nice afternoon at “rA Organic Spa” in downtown Burbank (located at 119 N. San Fernando Blvd). Highly recommended by my wife!

5. Friday evening we had dinner in downtown Burbank at a disappointing Greek restaurant called “Golden Chicken” (located at 164 E. Palm Ave). We shared a hummus and pita bread for an appie, then we both had chicken gyros with Greek salads for our main courses. The pita bread was very thin and hard. While the gyros were edible, the Greek salads were a tasteless lettuce with a little cucumber, tomato and feta cheese on top.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank carfaxdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
twhelan, General Manager at Hotel Amarano Burbank, responded to this reviewResponded 1 December 2010

Thank you for taking my phone call this morning and for giving me the opportunity to discuss the issues you experienced here at the Hotel Amarano. Your comments have been shared with the appropriate staff and we sincerely apologize for all the inconvenience during your stay.

The Hotel Amarano prides itself on superior service and guest satisfaction. I am very grateful that you are willing to give us another opportunity on your next visit to the LA area.

Sincerely,

Tom Whelan
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 November 2010

We chose this hotel mostly for its proximity to Warner Brothers Studios. The room was very nice, clean, and well decorated. I would say it was overpriced, however.

The staff was professional although I would have appreciated it if the desk clerk would have looked at me while speaking instead of my daughter. After all, I was the one who was paying!

The cleaning staff works hard and does a lovely job but they need to remember to clean the vents in the bathroom which were covered in a thick dust.

I would not recommend this hotel because the walls between rooms are not soundproof. The person staying next to us received cell phone calls at 5 a.m. which woke us up and we could hear his entire conversation. There was also a lot of traffic noise from the street.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
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Thank sinkasub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
georgia626, General Manager at Hotel Amarano Burbank, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2010

Thank you for your comments and my apologies for any inconvenience you experienced during your stay here at the Hotel Amarano. We have addressed your concerns with the Housekeeping Department.

We would look forward to you giving us another opportunity on your next visit to the L.A. area. Please let us know in advance if there's anything we can do to make your stay more comfortable.

Sincerely,

Tom Whelan
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2010

We like this hotel so much we are staying for our last night of our trip to the USA.
Staff are friendly and helpful.
The rooms are clean, great size and the one we had on our first stay had its own 'courtyard', TV is great, bed is great, its all great.
In our 25 day trip this has to be one of the best for the price and location (booked via Expedia/Wotif).
What else is there to say, we returned...says it all.
Parking is $28/night...perhaps the only downside but this may be normal for LA
PS:
If you're looking for nightlife/restaurants the location may not be the best, but we had a car and its only a short drive to everywhere you need to be. However, the BEST pancakes/omelettes ever are across the road.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Michellebentravellin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2010

We stayed at the Hotel Amarano for 1 night for a wedding. We were allowed early check-in, and were in a handicapped-accessible room on the 2nd floor. Our view was of another building (lol) but the room was very spacious - not sure if it was because it was handicap-accessible or not. There was a sink, stove, fridge and other amenities like a nice flat screen tv and the ipod player. I liked the soap, shampoo and conditioner dispensers in the shower. Little touches make a huge difference.

We had no issues with our room, but someone else in our group had an a/c issue and it was resolved quickly by the staff, even at 3am.

Besides the steep valet parking prices, everything else was great.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank DeniDen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2010

Stayed here after tonight show and before Warner brothers studio tour. Both of which I reccomend. Valet only so be ready for that. Place was very nice. Right off the expressway and could walk to tonight show and Warner brothers ( about a mile away each). Rooms were great. Very comfortable beds. Would definetly stay again when in Burbank. Worth the few extra bucks over the chain places.

  • Stayed: September 2010
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Thank RJ24R2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2010

What an amazing little hotel. The employees were extremely pleasant, and helpful. Our room was stocked with everything we needed and more. The beds were so comfortable. Loved the soap/shampoo/conditioner dispensers in the shower. The use and convience of the town car was so helpful and prompt. The rooms were very spacious and comfortable. I must say the best asset to the hotel was Harvey the Bartender. What a gentleman, and quite the cocktail maker. Thanks Harvey and everyone at the hotel for making our short stay so memorable. Oh, and the green chocolate mints at the front desk....yum!!! Close to NBC studio and Airport.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank googoodollfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2010

We spent 1 night here and were pleasantly surprised upon arrival. The exterior of the building looks like a NYC penthouse building with doorman service. The valet guys were very nice ($28/night) as was the front desk personnel. The lobby is very intimate yet has a hip feel to it. There's a nice bar and restaurant too. The room was fairly spacious and my significant other and teen son very pleased with the 42"plasma. The bathroom was clean, minus a mild moisture odor coming from the shower curtain. The room had an ipod dock. It was conveniently located 10 minute drive from Universal Studios... we would DEFINITELY stay here again!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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Thank lilio74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
georgia626, Manager at Hotel Amarano Burbank, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2010

The Hotel Amarano Management & Staff want to thank you for your comments and we look forward to your next stay with us.

Tom Whelan
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Amarano Burbank

Address: 322 N Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505-3882 (Formerly The Graciela Burbank)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Burbank
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 20 Hotels in Burbank
Price Range: £155 - £293 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Amarano Burbank 4*
Number of rooms: 132
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Amarano Burbank is the only luxury boutique hotel in Burbank, California. We welcome our guests with personalized service, elegant room and suite accommodations, and an intimate atmosphere.With only 132 rooms and suites at our boutique Burbank hotel, we provide individualized attention to our guests and their unique needs. Because we are a "home away from home" for so many of our guests, many of our accommodations have full kitchenettes and walk in closets. Spacious and stylishly designed, our uniquely crafted Burbank hideaway seamlessly blends upscale tranquility with affordable luxury. Our accommodations in Burbank are perfect for business, leisure or long term stays in Los Angeles, Hollywood and the Media District.Our luxury Burbank hotel is located in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world, around the corner from Warner Bros. Studios, one mile from Universal Studios, and only minutes away from NBC Studios and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Hotel Amarano is also convenient to all other media centers and studios including Paramount Pictures, ABC Studios, DreamWorks Animation Studios, Capitol Records and Turner Broadcasting along with Hollywood Bowl, Pantages Theater and Hollywood Blvd. ... more   less 
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