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“Hard to believe that Hotel La Jolla is a Kimpton Hotel”

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Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #15 of 24 Hotels in La Jolla
GreenLeadersBronze level
Vancouver
Level Contributor
102 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Hard to believe that Hotel La Jolla is a Kimpton Hotel”
Reviewed 25 September 2013

After a 4 day cruise, we planned to stay 5 days at the Hotel La Jolla. In the past, we've always had good experiences with Kimpton, whether it be ordering gift baskets for friends, planning a conference or staying as a hotel guest. When planning a trip, we always check to see if a Kimpton Hotel is in the vicinity. But, our recent experience at Hotel La Jolla has changed our impression of Kimpton. We wish we had done more homework and stayed elsewhere. Our vacation days are precious and we want an opportunity to rest and relax. This was not possible at this hotel.

The valet and front desk staff were pleasant enough. The problems began with the room. We were originally assigned a 10th floor room. We read on trip advisor that the 10th floor rooms were noisy, but people have different tolerances for noise so we thought we would give the room a try. Within minutes, we knew what people were talking about. We went to the 11th floor to check out the source of the noise, expecting to find a room full of people. Instead, we found a group of 10-12 people having lunch. Whenever someone moved their chair, we got to hear it in our room. I phoned the front desk and requested a quieter room. I was told that I would get a call back - which did not happen. Fifteen minutes later, one of the valet staff knocked on the door and said we could move to the 8th floor. We scrambled to load our luggage onto the cart, thankful that we were moving.

The 8th floor room was the same layout as the 10th floor room. The rooms are relatively small and dark, with a glass wall separating the shower from the sleeping area. However, there is a blind that can be lowered if one doesn't want to share their showering experience with others in the room. On the 8th floor, we did not hear chairs scraping across the floor above, but we did get to hear the noise from the lounge below. Sitting on the teeny, tiny deck was not a pleasant experience due to the noise coming from the lounge below. We knew our desires and expectation for quiet, relaxing vacation would not be possible if we continued to stay at this hotel. Thus, we checked out earlier than planned. (Thankfully we were able to find superior accommodation with a great view, large deck, for the same rate. And, it was quiet!)

While in La Jolla, we met some friends for dinner. Originally, we thought of meeting our friends at the hotel's restaurant. However, the parking rates our outrageous. For non-hotel guests, the rate is $7 for the first hour and $4/hr thereafter. Our friends would have had to pay at least $15 to park while eating at the hotel's restaurant. We opted to dine at another restaurant in town. The parking rate for hotel guests is also a rip-off ($28/day). The parking lot isn't secure and more often than not, our car was parked 50 feet from the front door of the hotel. Waiting for the valet to get our car was crazy when we could walk to it ourselves.

Our other issue was the lounge. When travelling, we love to have a glass of wine before dinner. From 5-6 pm, Kimpton provides complimentary wine for hotel guests. At other Kimptons, we've been able to enjoy the wine in the lounge. However, this was not the case at La Jolla Hotel. The first night, a private event was held in the lounge. Granted, we were able to sit off in the corner, but it was very noisy. The second night - same thing. A large party overtook the lounge and again it was very noisy. The noise carried to our 8th floor room.

Given the price we paid and the experience we had, I would strongly suggest other travellers consider staying elsewhere. Also, the hotel is located very close to a major road so one can also expect to hear traffic noise. On a positive note, being a member of Kimpton Loyalty allows for free internet access. This was helpful in finding new accommodation.

Room Tip: Take ear plugs.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cuteluke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shannon F, General Manager at Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 28 October 2013
Ouch Cuteluke, this review was painful to read! I can certainly understand your desire to enjoy a nice quiet vacation after spending a week on a cruise ship and I am disappointed we weren't able to provide that for you on this trip. Our lounge is like a moth to a flame in the summer, especially when the weather is nice but we do have another bar upstairs on the 11th floor where you can relax, enjoy your wine and the views of the pacific ocean. It sounds like we should have blocked you on the north side of the building to ensure you had a quieter room away from the happenings around the property. I'm disappointed in the impression you have developed and I'd love it if you would give us another chance. Feel free to contact me directly if you would be willing to try us out again.

All my best,
Shannon Foster
General Manager
858-551-3690
shannon.foster@hotellajolla.com
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Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Very much liked my stay at this lovely hotel. Stayed there during a roundtrip which included 4 nights in San Diego / La Jolla.
The valet guys are so nice and friendly which makes paying $28 per night for the stupid valet only option somewhat besrable.
The rooms are spacious and have all the amenities you expect in a 4* hotel.
Every staff member we met was friendly and helpful. The bar was also a cool spot for drinks with reasonable prices.
I would definately return to this property.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Heise69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shannon F, Manager at Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
Hey traveler!

Thank you for the 5 star review!! I was thrilled to read how much you enjoyed your stay. I may be a little biased but I think our staff is great also.

We look forward to having you back next time you are in the states!

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Director of Rooms
858-551-3606
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2013 via mobile

The Hotel La Jolla is very nice (and relatively recently refurbished), with decent-sized rooms and good amenities, as well as a very good restaurant on the top floor. Their parking policy is, however, absurd. There's no self-park available (paid or otherwise). Instead, guests must use the hotel's valet service which costs $28/night, and results in your car being parked in the (perfectly acceptable, large) car park outside the front of the hotel. On several occasions, I simply retrieved my car keys from the valet and got my car myself (my car being all of 25 yards away, in plain sight!), as this was faster and easier than waiting for it to be retrieved. (For what it's worth though, the valet team are really friendly and very helpful...if rather pointless!).

Stayed September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Christopher M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shannon F, Manager at Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
Dear Christopher,

Thank you for taking time to review us after your most recent stay. I am disappointed to read that we did not exceed your expectations. We expect our valet team for provide a service when our guests valet their cars and we would never want someone retrieving their car themselves. Additionally, we provide valet as the only option for parking because of the limited spaces that we have for the hotel and for our restaurant patron, we want to ensure that the spots we do have are reserved for those people instead of for public beach goers. I apologize for any inconvenience this caused for you.


Thank you again for your review.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
858-551-3606
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

I stayed at three different hotels while I was in San Diego for my birthday. Of all the hotels, this was the one I was looking forward to the most as I love La Jolla area. I have to say...I was disappointed. Let's start from the beginning.

I drove up and handed my keys to valet. The price was $29 a night which was in keeping with the San Diego area. The difference though was that this hotel had a regular lot with all uncovered parking. It was in a residential neighborhood and I'm not sure it would have been an inconvenience to just let people park their own cars. I could seriously go to my car a lot quicker 100 feet away, then waiting for the valet attendants to finish up with other guests and go retrieve it for me. It made the $29 a bit hard to swallow. I checked in and was greeted by a friendly front desk attendant. I had been upgraded due to being Inner Circle and got a hearty "Happy Birthday". All of the front desk attendants were extremely gracious and friendly throughout my stay. I grabbed my luggage and headed for the elevator. One was out due to maintenance issues so I grabbed the other one and headed to my room. It was a nice room. Spacious, with nice view of the ocean. There was a handwritten note and a cupcake there which I thought was a very nice touch. If there is one thing I love about Kimpton, it's the level of customer service. It's like nothing I've experienced at other brands.

There was an issue though - noisiness. Beauty, space, customer service aside, the one thing I value the most is quiet and the ability to relax when I'm on vacation. This is not the hotel with which to do that. The floors are extremely thin. I heard the people above me moving chairs, dropping bags, throwing shoes, walking, opening and shutting doors, etc. Also, because part of the flooring is tile, the noise was amplified. I had to put my earphones in and crank the music up to get sleep. The next day I was awoken at 7 in the morning. A house next to the hotel is doing construction and starts fairly early. There was no more sleep for that morning. The next night was the same issue, only there was the sound of furniture being dragged around a bit. I called down and they sent a maintenance guy up who stopped by and questioned me about what I was hearing. They seemed skeptical and not that concerned, so I recorded the sounds in case they followed up. They didn't and I put my earphones in again and went to sleep. The balcony's were a nice touch though, and if you open up all of the balconies you get a lovely breeze that sweeps through the room. While it's a very pretty hotel and the staff was very friendly, the noise issue makes it unlikely that I'll return.

Room Tip: Stay on the side closer to the downstairs lounge area. You won't have great views of the Ocean...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nikki30M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shannon F, Manager at Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
Dear Nikki30M,

Thank you for taking time to write such a detailed review about your experience upon your departure. Additionally, thank you for your loyalty to Kimpton Hotels! I am glad that you chose to stay at Hotel La Jolla for your birthday, but I am disappointed that you did not have the ultimate birthday experience with us. It is always disappointing to read about less than favorable experience. I was delighted to read that our staff did take great care of you, I am a little biased with it comes to our staff but I think they are the best. Next time you are in the area and if you decide you would like to give us another shot please reach out to me directly so I can be certain we can get you in a quiet location of the hotel.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Director of Rooms
nikki.carslon@hotellajolla.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2013

To begin with, we often stay at Kimpton hotels. They usually are a bit funky and fun, with lots of energy, and an efficient, professional staff. I should state that I am a Kimpton loyalty member.

I had business in La Jolla, so my husband and I thought we'd spend an extra day enjoying the scenery and the ambience. It had been quite a long time since we were in the area, so I was relying on Trip Advisor and its reviewers. Normally, I delete the first few reviews, since I figure it's the owners relatives writing positive reviews, or the competition severely critiquing.

Even eliminating the first page of reviews, I still am amazed at the consistency of reporting, which was totally opposite our impression.

Arriving at the hotel late in the afternoon, after a tediously long drive from L.A., we were met at the desk by an all too casually dressed desk clerk, who looked to be wearing a tennis sweater & laughed when asked if breakfast was included. He proudly mentioned the new lobby, bar area. None of the other clerks seemed to be wearing any thing other than small badges to identify themselves as employees. It was not professional.

The high-rise hotel must have been an older hotel in its former life, so they decided to remodel the public places. It's too bad the renovations did not continue to the rooms.

Our room was actually a small suite with bedroom, separate living area, and a bath and powder room. At first glance, it was dark, but all right. Strange layout with a rather large foyer. We unpacked, looked at the "ocean view" ...way in the distance, and went to the famed, Kimpton, complimentary, cocktail hour, including choice of wines and delicious grilled pork cakes, prepared by the chef.

Returning to our room, and putting on all the lights, we realized how filthy the rug was, dust in obvious places, and furniture totally scuffed and scratched. As I mentioned before, would they had skipped the free wine and fixed up the rooms. At least, they could have done a better job cleaning the rooms. Ironic, since every time we took the elevator there was a service guy or housekeeper pushing large bins with dirty laundry.

Based on the tasty snack at happy hour, we went upstairs for dinner. We arrived a few minutes before our reservation. Although there were empty tables, we were asked to sit at the bar, an old restaurant trick. My husband finally went up to "chat" with the hostess and we were given a small, but window side table with a lovely view of the twinkling lights of La Jolla.

Service was slow, with the wait staff having tunnel vision. The menu was impressive, but proved to be a bit over reaching. My sole, wrapped around crab, was dry, which was a shame, as the sauce was tasty.

We decided at dinner to depart the hotel a day early, cutting our time spent in a dirty hotel to just the one night.

In its present format, Hotel La Jolla is an expensive, over rated lodging. I would give it two stars, at best. It is not an asset to the Kimpton Chain.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank n_bi-coastal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shannon F, Manager at Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
Dear Traveler,

Thank you for taking time to review our hotel, even though it is a less than favorable review for us. We need all of the feedback we can get so we can make improvements! I am not a big fan of the sweat vests either, but that is our uniform for the time being. We might have the clerks wear the zebra print robes until we can get them into matching outfits! On a more serious note, please be certain the service flaws you experience in Cusp and in your guest room are being addressed and we take this feedback seriously.

We hope you will give us another chance and if you choose to please contact me directly so I can make sure that you have a great experience!

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Director of Rooms
858-551-3606
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2013

booked this hotel last minute and was such a pleasant surprise. the hotel is in a great location in La Jolla, only a 5-7min walk to the beach. The staff are so friendly and helpful. Stayed on the 3rd floor, had water glimpses of the beach, if you stay at a higher floor, 4 or 5 above would have some fantastic view of the beach.

there are some fantastic restaurants down the road. the hotel has complimentary bikes you can use as you please.

the only negatives are the cost of parking/valet at the hotel of $28+tax per day is very steep, the hotel also doesnt provide free Wi-fi for guests. there is a starbucks next door though if you want to go and use the internet and get a coffee.

the hotel offers free morning coffee for all guests and every evening from 5-6 has free wine tasting with nibbles which is a great touch. the hotel has a wonderful bar downstairs and also on the 11th floor called Cusp, which has the best view of La Jolla.

one of the nights, they had a movie night at the bar in the outside bar by the fireplace, which was such a nice way to end the evening.

also, when we headed to the beach, we were given a beach pack which was such a nice touch that contained, towels, sunscreen,chapstick, bottles of water, sand bucket.

i recommend eating at Cusp restaurant on the top floor for drinks and the food and seeing the sunset.

We had such a pleasant stay and would definitely be back!

Room Tip: rooms from level 4 and above would have an amazing view of the beach
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mazydee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shannon F, Manager at Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
Hey Mazydee,

Thank you for the great review! I am glad you had such a great time while you were staying at our hotel. I am glad you enjoyed coffee service, wine hour, and Cusp all three are things we hope all of our guests experience when they are here.

Until Next Time!

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Director of Rooms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 13 September 2013

My husband and I stayed here when we were visiting family in the area. The hotel is located in a great neighborhood. The beaches nearby are pretty good - we preferred the beaches in Encinitas and Del Mar which are only a short drive away. However the hotel is within walking distance from a pretty nice beach. The amenities are great - free bike rentals, free happy hour wine, valet service to name a few. The rooms were clean and modern with a touch of quirkiness (pretty typical of a kimpton resort). The best part about our experience there was definitely the staff. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. From the front desk to the valet to the maintenance staff, the service was top notch.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jlbren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shannon F, Manager at Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
Hey Traveler!

What a great 5 star review! Thank you for sharing your feedback with other travelers. I may be a little biased but my favorite thing about the hotel is our staff too, they just rock! Thank you again and we hope you will visit us in the future.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Director of Rooms
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 La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton

Property: Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton
Address: 7955 La Jolla Shores Dr, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-3301
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Diego > La Jolla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Green Hotel in La Jolla
#8 Luxury Hotel in La Jolla
#11 Family Hotel in La Jolla
#13 Romantic Hotel in La Jolla
#14 Business Hotel in La Jolla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton 4*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique hotel with upscale decor and high end bedding and amenities. All non-smoking rooms, glass balconies, small gym, heated pool, walking distance to beach and La Jolla Shores shops and restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel La Jolla Shores
At The Shores La Jolla

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