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“A Wonderful Experience in Encinitas”

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Moonlight Beach Motel
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Encinitas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 April 2014

My wife stayed in this little gem of a motel in the quiet beach town of Encinitas a few years ago, and was delighted with it. So when we planned our family's weeklong vacation to San Diego this winter, we booked a room at the Moonlight Beach Motel's weekly rate and used it as our home base, rather than move around to different (and more expensive) motels. It was a great decision, I'm glad to report! We got personal and courteous service from the motel's staff when I made the phone call to inquire about rates and book the room, and were treated with great courtesy and friendliness by George, Deb, and the cleaning staff during our week's stay.

I almost hesitate to wax too eloquent about the motel and its location, lest it become too popular and we have difficulty booking a room on our next trip, whenever we're lucky enough to return. But our experience was so pleasant and comfortable that I can only commend the MB Motel to other travelers looking for a quiet place to stay near the motel's beautiful namesake beach, which is less than a 10-min walk away (about 2 blocks). Also within easy walking distance are numerous shops and restaurants in the charming town of Encinitas, where we could very happily have spent a week poking around, beachcombing, tidepooling, etc.

As parents with two kids, ages 11 and 6, we found our 1st floor suite perfect for our needs: two queen beds in a back bedroom, a fully equipped kitchenette, and a 3rd queen in the front room. Every morning we enjoyed opening the door, looking out toward the beach over the motel's charming patio, and letting the fresh ocean breeze come into our room. (Coming during late March from the snowy Midwest, this was a little like being in heaven for us!) While the women of the family slept in, I got up early and walked around the corner to a delightful coffee shop (Lofty Coffee), which served excellent java and food and is now my favorite such establishment west of the Mississippi River. On the way to get morning coffee, I'd say hello to the Motel's resident Anna's hummingbird, which has built a nest on the grounds these last few years. Mrs. Hummingbird provided all of us with several occasions of delightful observation as she sat on her nest or buzzed around the property, and we enjoyed chatting with George about her comings and goings.

Our thanks go to George, Deb, and the Motel's staff for their friendly welcome to Encinitas and for making our stay so pleasant and comfortable. The quiet hours of the motel suited us just fine. And the magic of Encinitas already has us dreaming about our next vacation to San Diego's North County area.

Room Tip: Uppers floor rooms have a lovely view of the ocean and beach, but some of the 1st floor rooms are ni...
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoonlightBeachMotel, Manager at Moonlight Beach Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2014

Mike B
Thank you Mike for taking the time to review and describe your visit. It really helps other travelers know what Encinitas and the MBM motel is all about !
Yes, we agree ... the cat is out of the bag about Encinitas and the MBM, but we always seem to have something that works ...
We look forward to your return ...
cheers geo & deb ...

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Reviews (201)
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75 - 81 of 201 reviews

Reviewed 14 April 2014

We originally decided to stay here because of 'bad' reviews by guests who stayed here and were upset about being asked to be quiet after 9 pm! We immediately booked and have returned every year for 5 years.
The spacious room with a simple kitchen arrangement and a view of the ocean makes us feel as if it is our own private cottage near the beach.
The nearby neighborhoods are very charming, making the mile walk to the excellent Pannikin Coffee House a nearly daily routine for us.
While you could easily spend your time here without ever needing to drive, the easy access to the freeway makes day trips to San Diego simple.
While this is not the place for those who need to have a feeling of luxury, it is a well maintained, clean, friendly place which brings you back to an earlier, simpler time.
Don't hesitate to stay here!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Flagsteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoonlightBeachMotel, Manager at Moonlight Beach Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Flagsteve,
Thank you for taking the time to review the MBM and your visit to Encinitas. Deb and I have only been the keeper of the keys for 3 of your 5 year visits, but we have continued to policy that we have guiet hours from 9:00 pm to 9:00 am with no gatherings in the rooms during those hours. Thank you for bringing this up before the busy summer season ... Bitter sweet as it is ... It is the worse part of my job here at the MBM but very necessary for all guests to enjoy the "private cottage" feel that the MBM is all about ...
We look forward to your 6th year return ...
cheers ... geo & deb ...

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Reviewed 2 April 2014

Traveling along the California coast far from home in coastal Florida, our Roadtrek's passenger window suddenly needed a motor--a kind of blessing as it turns out because we discovered Keith's Auto in Encinitas (emphatic 5 stars btw) and our new favorite southern California hotel.

This place is the real thing: genuinely enjoyable amenities in elegantly homey condition, real people managing everything who don't think in theory but in fact, no smoking anywhere so your window can freely admit the ocean breeze as well as the view, proximity to a darling little nature preserve, through which you can take part of the short walk to Moonlight Beach and which highlights gorgeously fragrant rockroses and native California sages that knock you over after a rain, and of course, it's situated at the gateway to one of the sweetest little towns in coastal California. Rates were literally reasonable and as a bonus, the other guests were top notch. We couldn't be happier with Moonlight Beach Motel.

Room Tip: While many seem to prefer a top floor suite, we were especially fond of our wide open and expansive...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Don D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoonlightBeachMotel, Manager at Moonlight Beach Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2014

Don D AKA "Robin Hood" I wish I had a jpg to post !
Thank you for taking the time to post your first review on "TRIP ADVISOR"
I know you will use it more as your travels continue ...
I'm so glad you found us, Encinitas and Keith's Auto !
Yes, Encinitas and Moonlight Beach are special ...
You and your lady were a breath of fresh air as to what the MBM motel and Encinitas is all about ... Happy Trails on your USA adventure and we hope you pass our way again ...
cheers geo & geo

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Reviewed 24 February 2014

I have been staying here for several years and I always feel like I am coming home on every visit. I love to walk, bike and take the train when I travel and staying at the MBM makes all 3 so easy to do. The motel is perfect for a solo traveler. Walking distance to the beach, good restaurants and Whole Foods. Having the kitchenette is a great addition. The "keepers of the keys" Geo and Deb are 2 of the best hosts you could imagine...thoughtful, welcoming and helpful....they seem like old friends. I like the simplicity of the rooms and how I can sleep with the balcony door open and listen to the ocean at night. Plus not needing a car and taking the Coaster - which is just a short walk -on day trips makes this the perfect place to stay and see the sights from San Diego to Oceanside. Enjoy!

Room Tip: The 3rd floor has great views but any room here is worth the stay!
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank SGM60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoonlightBeachMotel, Manager at Moonlight Beach Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2014

SGM60,
Well ... I have nothing to say except "Thank You ! "
You nailed what Encinitas and the MBM has to offer ...
Yes ... Any room on the third floor has great views ...
But again I have to say ... we only have 24 rooms, (8 on the third floor) and we are in a quiet residential area so please don't be disappointed if you can't get one of those rooms ... they all have their own charm, but get booked three months in advance. But much more important, you are west of historic "Coast 101", three "true" blocks - 320 steps to the "Moonlight Beach" ... five blocks - 1100 steps to Whole Foods ... and one and a half block to the "Coaster" ...
We look forward to your return ...
cheers geo & deb ...

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Reviewed 17 February 2014

Great place to stay for travelers with simple needs. Wonderful owners and staff, very accommodating and friendly. Clean and well kept rooms, nothing fancy, but all functional. Great little kitchenette for those who don't always want to dine out. Just two blocks to a great beach, and walkable to practical stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Really great coffee and tea just on the corner too! Highly recommend and will be back to visit!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jeanne8jones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoonlightBeachMotel, Manager at Moonlight Beach Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 19 February 2014

jeanne8jones,

"KISS" Productions "Keep It Simple Silly" Yes ! Simple we are at the MBM
But we are not the owners, only the "keepers of the keys"
Thanks for your kind words ...

I would like to remind all of our Trip Advisor readers as we come into the busy summer season that everyone must realize with only 24 rooms we can NEVER guarantee a certain room or room number but we always try and honor all requests. As more travelers read the wonderful reviews of certain rooms, we book three months in advance and only when you book 7 or more days, non refundable and non changeable can we guarantee a requested room.

Please read the "Hotel amenities" on this page to give you an idea of some of our policies and information about Encinitas and The Moonlight Beach Motel

cheers geo & deb

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Reviewed 14 February 2014

Read about this motel on Trip Advisor. Everything was just as written up! Great location! Close walk to the beach and downtown. Spacious suite. Dated inside but clean and gorgeous view of the ocean from the balcony. Train is close and whistle lets you know it is there, but didn't disturb our sleep and we are very light sleepers. Dollar for dollar a great deal!

  • Stayed: February 2014
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Thank Pat G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoonlightBeachMotel, Manager at Moonlight Beach Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2014

Pat G
Yes, like I have always said ! Trip Advisor is our number one, and the ONLY Internet web site we use ... We are small and although it may seem dated like the TV's and furniture, we only book by phone and personal contact because we try and make everyone happy ... BUT PLEASE realize, we try to honor all requests for certain rooms and types of rooms, but sometimes it just can't happen. Please realize this when making a reservation because we are independent and only have 24 rooms.
Thank You for taking the time to review The Moonlight Beach Motel ...
cheers ... geo & deb

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Reviewed 14 February 2014

The owners are wonderful; they are so friendly and helpful. It's a bargain for the location. It is a motel - so no frills (older furniture, tv, and old school bedspread and blanket) but it is clean and has a kitchenette with a full size fridge.

Highly recommend this place if you are looking for a simple place in a great location with a great view of the ocean.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Sls1104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoonlightBeachMotel, Manager at Moonlight Beach Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2014

Sls1104
Thank you for your review ... we always try and match up the review with past guests but it is always near impossible ... Deb and I are not the owners, we are just the "keepers of the keys". I was a guest since 1991 before the original owners that built it in 1976 and still operate it today needed a new manager team ... We were at the right place at the right time ... Your review says it all, and yes we know it's dated, but "clean" and "bargain" and "location" is what the MBM is all about ...
cheers ... geo & deb

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Additional Information about Moonlight Beach Motel

Address: 233 2nd Street, Encinitas, CA 92024
Region: United States > California > Encinitas
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Encinitas
Price Range: £59 - £126 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Moonlight Beach Motel, located two blocks from Moonlight Beach in scenic Encinitas, California, is one of the few true "beach motels" left in Southern California. Referred to as the "American Riviera", Encinitas has the charm of the past but all the amenities today’s travelers are looking for. There are many wonderful restaurants and boutiques within walking distance. Its quaint 1970’s charm brings guests back year after year. Whether a romantic getaway, a quiet retreat, or family vacation, you will find a room that fits your needs. We try and honor all requests for special rooms when making reservations, but we can not guarantee ANY room in the event of changes that are beyond our control, but we will do the best to accommodate your requests. This is a entirely smoke-free and pet-free property. We open the office at 9:00 AM and close at 9:00 PM. We enforce quiet hours between 10:00 PM and 8:00 AM which include the Patio – Garden area and the rooms for the consideration of all the guests enjoying their stay. We look forward to seeing you at the Moonlight Beach Motel! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Moonlight Beach Hotel Encinitas
Moonlight Beach Encinitas

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