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“No "Wow" Factor”

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Grande Colonial La Jolla
Ranked #4 of 24 Hotels in La Jolla
Certificate of Excellence
Indy
Level 5 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“No "Wow" Factor”
Reviewed 28 October 2008

Let me start out by saying that I think the hotel itself is what you'd expect for a hotel over $200 a night. It's above average in room decor, elegant common areas, high end restaurant. But I was not impressed above and beyond that.

My initial check-in experience did not set the tone well for me. We checked in last week for a 4 night stay, and I waited at the desk for several minutes. It was 3pm, so it was prime check-in time. There was no bell at the desk, and at first I thought I was at the wrong place and began exploring the lobby. Nope… right place…seems that everyone was on break at the same time. When someone came to the front desk, she mumbled an apology. I was more than friendly and said it was fine. I mentioned to her that I heard (through Trip Advisor) that the rooms facing the street had noise problems, and was hoping to get a room off the street. She said all rooms that had a village view (which is what I booked) were street views, and let me go to the room to check out the noise prior to checking in. If I wanted to “change my reservation to a higher level”, she could see what she could do. Luckily my room was on a higher floor, so the noise didn’t seem that bad. When I came back to let her know the room was fine, however, I overheard another couple checking in received a complimentary upgrade to a full ocean view room for their one night stay. I’m not sure what their policy is in upgrading, but it didn’t go over well with me that I was told I needed to pay for an upgrade. I immediately felt like a second class guest.

The room itself was nice enough. The layout was a bit strange – there was a bar area, but no amenities other than a couple of bottles of water, two glasses, and a lamp. The bed was comfortable – down comforter, high thread-count sheets – what you’d expect at a hotel at this level. The flatscreen tv, iPOD alarm clock, robes and slippers were nice touches. The bathroom was nice as well, intricate tile floors, wainscoting, nice fixtures. The pedestal sink made it a bit difficult to spread out; very little room to put toiletries from home. But, this is an historic hotel, so it’s not unexpected. It would have been nice to have complimentary coffee or tea in the morning (which there was if you got up before 6:30am, but it wasn’t advertised.) Nothing else was complimentary other than the newspaper. Guess we needed to spend more than $250 a night.

The noise level wasn't bad with the Village View on the 3rd floor. We live in an urban area, so we're used to street cleaners at all hours. But if you aren't used to that, yes, you will hear street noise. I imagine it'd be worse during peak season.

We didn’t use the hotel pool – too busy doing other things – but it was in a nice courtyard setting. The hotel location was great. It was walking distance to everything in town – a couple of beaches, restaurants, shops. The best swimming beach (La Jolla Shores) was a short 5 minute drive.

All in all, this hotel is nice, but there was no “wow” factor for me. It was all as I expected, or less (especially front desk service, which was useless too when I asked about the location of a couple restaurants.) With the exception of a couple of doormen, there just seemed to be a pretentious air. I won't be returning.

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Tina_Tracey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Dallas
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2008

Don't stay in 124 - actually the entire wing - out by the pool is stinky. The carpet in that area smells as though it has been flooded with not-so-nice-toliet water.

Bar is excellent. They smoke their own salmon on site.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Our room was old and smelly
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Tzee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carol Stream, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
69 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2008

Grande Colonial....let me tell you it lives up to it's name. We pull up with our 4 pieces of luggage plus carry-on and they would not let us touch a thing. Greeted with a glass of cold water and a glass of champagne. Check in was a breeze and off to our room. The room was just a standard room, as we had booked. Although it was lovely it was a bit on the smaller side and no view to talk of but the bed was plush and comfy and as clean as a whistle. The closet was a nice size, walk in and 2 robes were there for our use as well. They also had a safe in the closet but we did not use it . the bathroom was immaculate. I had read some reviews that said the bathrooms were run down....no way....ours was in perfect condition.

Breakfast was included as we booked the package. It was a full breakfast....not just bagels and toast. It was delicious. The service was good although there was some confusion as to what exactly was included with our breakfast but the manager came out and took care of it. We sat outside over looking the pool and gardens that seemed to be well manicured.

I also had 1 of the best chocolate martini's at Nine-Ten's bar after dinner.

This historic hotel is so charming. We walked around the inside, visiting the halls of other floors and it was so neat to see all the old pictures of La Jolla and the hotel. It is in a great location....within walking distance of everything you need to see and do. The staff were gracious and helpful and check out was also very organized. We would stay here again without a doubt!

  • Liked — location, history
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sunlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wickham, Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2008

Booked it after reading other recommendations on Trip Advisor so feeling confident I'd made a good choice.

Even though the room was sylish our first night on main road so no chance of sleep! But luckily got moved to the back for the next night which was much better as it overlooked the pool and garden area and had sea views. Did breakfast at the hotel but very expensive ($6 for a cup of tea and no free refills which is just a rip off), So didn't make that mistake twice!

If you can't get a quiet room at the back then no amount of stylish decoration would make for a pleasant stay - unless you're an insomniac anyway!

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pandypoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2008

We stayed at the Grande Colonial from 9/19 to 9/21 and were very happy with our experience. The staff was helpful and attentive and our room had a fantastic ocean view. It is well-situated in La Jolla(could see the seals from our room) and is walking distance to some great restaurants.
While it would be nice if the pool was bigger and the hotel had a fitness center, we would definitely stay here again in the future.

As a tip, we found street parking the entire time without much difficulty.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — Lack of gym or large pool
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank raosdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2008

We stayed 2 days at the Grande Colonial. The location is perfect for walking around La Jolla Village or down to the beach and along the seafront. The restaurant Nine Ten is pricey but highly recommended (we didn't eat there).

We had booked a view room with a king size bed through Travelocity, but were given a room with a queen bed instead. When we spoke to the staff, they advised that bookings through Travelocity do not guarantee a room type, as they had no king rooms available, they upgraded us to a junior suite with an ocean view. The hotel will price match any price you find that is lower, so I recommend always booking directly with the hotel.

Parking at the hotel is by valet, which costs about $10 per day which seems to be normal around many hotels in the area. I would definitely stay again and would recommend the hotel to anyone staying in La Jolla.

  • Liked — Style of hotel and location
  • Disliked — No coffee making facilities in room
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank SoCal_bound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange County
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2008

My husband, daughter and I had a great stay at the Grande Colonial. Since we don't live far from La Jolla, we have always gone down for the day. But this year we decided to stay over and we are all delighted that we chose this hotel. Having read mixed reviews, I felt the good ones far outweighed the bad, and we have to say we truly had a terrific stay.

The hotel's historical charm surpassed my expectations. Having stayed in historical hotels in the past, this was among the best of them! It was clean and well kept. Nothing appeared worn or tattered. There were plenty of electrical outlets (often scarce in historical buildings.), the beds were comfortable, the AC was great, and the new TV was too. Extra pillows I'm sure were available, but it would have been nice if they were already in the room in the very large walk-in closet. I suppose that is the only adversity worth mentioning. The decor was new and classic with lots of fresh paint on the detail woodwork. I had read that stars performing at the La Jolla Playhouse used to room here when they were working a show. I could very well see someone renting a room here for a time because of the layout and roominess in this room.

The staff gave us an unexpected upgrade to an ocean view room, and we had a great surprise-- when we pulled back the drapes at the head of the beds we discovered that we had a FULL ocean view from our corner room! Room 320 is set off on it's own, so it was quiet in the hallway.

From our arrival at the door, to check-in and check out, the staff was delightful, kind and polite. We couldn't have asked for more!

Stayed September 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank lovestravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grande Colonial La Jolla

Property: Grande Colonial La Jolla
Address: 910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-4198
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Diego > La Jolla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in La Jolla
#2 Romantic Hotel in La Jolla
#3 Family Hotel in La Jolla
#3 Business Hotel in La Jolla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grande Colonial La Jolla 4*
Number of rooms: 93
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the seaside Village of La Jolla, just 15 minutes north of downtown San Diego, the Four Diamond Grande Colonial offers classic European styling in the intimate setting of a boutique hotel. For more than a century, the Grande Colonial has been one of the most esteemed hotels in San Diego. But beyond the turn of the century architecture, our true hallmark is our warm, friendly staff and gracious service. We take pride in preserving the heritage laid down by our founders more than 100 years ago by providing the finest experience in first class accommodations. And just as those founders envisioned in 1913, the Grande Colonial remains today a classic hotel that rivals anything in the West. Commanding views of the California coastline, the Grande Colonial overlooks the shores of the Pacific Ocean and is ideally located just steps away from miles of beautiful beaches renowned to Southern California. Within walking distance are world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment and within a short drive are an abundance of golf, recreation and visitor attractions.The hotel features 93 air-conditioned, non-smoking guest rooms and suites (some with fully-equipped kitchens and fireplaces). With its ideal location, gracious service and environment of extraordinary comfort, the Grande Colonial hotel provides the ideal destination for travelers to La Jolla. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Grande Colonial La Jolla Hotel La Jolla
Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

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