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.
- 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