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“A Heavenly Escape Tucked Away”
Review of Manzanita Cottages

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Manzanita Cottages
Reviewed 19 April 2011

Neither my partner nor I had been to Laguna Beach before. And while the city was different than what we'd expected, the cottages exceeded our every expectation and we wondered why anyone would want to leave their cottage anyway!

When you first pull up , there is a wooden gate in which you park face in. You have no idea the treat that you are in for, once you open that gate and get off the street.

You open the gates to a secret magic garden with charming little guest cottages all surrounding the enchanted grounds. We stayed in the Yellow Cottage. It was immaculate. Every detail lovingly tended to. Authentic vintage 1930's touches, all fresh and clean. Gas fireplace, hard wood floors, authentic large windows we opened up to let the fresh breezes and garden views in by day, a darling little kitchen with "starter" items such as coffee, hot chocolate, tea, popcorn, a microwave, mini stove, fridge and plates, silverware and much more. All items appear brand new and again - everything - every nook and cranny- looks brand new and just immaculate. We had our own little private patio off our Master bedroom. Also on the grounds is a "yard" with grill and chaise lounges. Truly a home away from home. It was peaceful and quiet. I suppose the hardest thing to quantify is just a feeling of "soul" and protection and being embraced by a graceful, loving environment. How does one describe that? We needed to retreat and there simply is no better place.

While the beaches in Laguna are stunning, they were packed (we were there on a Saturday in the midst of Spring Break), parking was a bit of a challenge in the town (if you're up for a bit of a walk downhill and then back up again, you can always walk easily from Manzanita Cottages anywhere). But then again, there was no reason to really leave the cottage - it was such an oasis.

I cannot recommend this property enough and while I believe in writing both the negative and the plusses, there were simply no negatives on this property. We will be back. And we will tell our friends. Then again, maybe not - I like having this "hidden gem" of a property as one of my secret spots to escape to!

Room Tip: All the cottages look equally charming.
See more room tips
Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
3  Thank BohemianCowgirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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92 - 98 of 101 reviews

Reviewed 16 April 2011

We stayed (parents and two kids) in the Green Cottage with Grandpa in the efficiency apartment. Both places were really cute and had everything we needed. We were there for Thanksgiving week, had a great time, and plan on going again. We too had problems with the manager (couldn't get any confirmation on our reservation, had no heat during a very cold week in November and she didn't do anything about it, etc.). But the cottages are really nice, the grounds are nice, it was very quiet, walking distance to everything, and we had a great time. With a new manager, I'm sure it is a much better experience. The kitchen in the Green Cottage was small but we even managed a holiday dinner by being a bit creative. It's a great place and I hope people don't stay away because of a problem with the former manager. We hope to make a stay there an annual family tradition.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Kris049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2011

This was my second time visiting the Manzanita Cottages. The rooms are cheerfully and beautifully appointed, the beds quite comfortable, and the courtyard between the cottages with its well kept gardens make it feel like a little oasis. The architecture really gave us a sense of what California must have felt like back in the day. My husband and I enjoyed our days at the Cottages reading in the courtyard, walking to the local shops (7 minute walk to a really great downtown area), frequenting restaurants (the fish tacos at La Sirena Grill were amazing), and playing at the beach. My only additional comment would be that the kitchen was less equipped than I usually prefer, but like I said, there are a bunch of great restaurants within walking distance. Other than that our stay both times was outstanding. I would definitely recommend the cottages to anyone wanting something extra-special when they travel.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Parisbound76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2011

We loved this place! The cottage was cute, comfortable and very clean - and dog friendly! Lots of room to spread out, very nicely decorated and quite. The owners happened to be there during our stay - very gracious and welcoming. Great location - easy to walk to downtown Laguna and to the beach.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank md724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2010

I'm still so disappointed I didn't get to stay in my Red Cottage over the weekend (Sept 30th). I spent hours researching just the right place for me and my husband to stay and spend a romantic weekend in Laguna. I read the negative reviews on the Internet about reservation problems but thought surely these had been resolved by now! Imagine my 'anger' when we showed up in the dark after a long day to find someone already occupying our cottage! Just what we had read about! And Rose could not be contacted! We ended up down the street at the Holiday Inn. The next morning, Rose claimed to have moved us to the Green Cottage which wasn't communicated to us and this cottage was still not cleaned from the previous renters. While Rose offered it to us free for the rest of the weekend we decided not to wait for the cottage to be cleaned and get on with enjoying our weekend and stay put. I love to get settled in when I go on a trip and not have to move. I must say, I still have a heavy heart from this experience. I just can't imagine a place being so poorly run.And I was so excited to stay at the cottages vs. a hotel. I even confirmed my reservation 2 weeks prior! Read the reviews people and make your decisions accordingly.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Desertbound_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Easy2please1951, Owner at Manzanita Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2011

I am the owner of Manzanita Cottages and am deeply sorry for this and other negative reviews. We have been in business for ten years and went through a serious rough patch with an ineffective manager. I am happy to say that she has been replaced and we are totally back in the business of delighting guests during their stay in Laguna. If you are reading this review and are willing to give us a chance to delight you, go to our website and utilize our online reservation process. In the comment section let us know that you have seen this comment on Trip Advisor and we will give you a 10% discount on the rental fee. Thank you for giving us a chance!
--Todd Herzer, owner.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2010

I was in town with my husband for a friend's wedding and bc we're always looking for charming, unique places to stay we booked here. We arrived after a transatlantic flight absolutely exhausted and found the place to be almost deserted and that our cottage did not have air conditioning. I should have checked this before I reserved but we did call the manager to ask if any other cottages had air which none of them do. We were also told it is normally fine bc of coastal breezes - not in July. The room was humid and uncomfortable so I asked for a refund of my deposit and we left. We were lucky enough to find a room at the Inn at Laguna Beach last minute (which was lovely). The real nightmare was after we left as the manager at Manzanita never refunded our money as agreed and then stopped answering my emails and calls. Basically after almost 6 months and turning them in to American Express they were forced to pay us back but what a complete nightmare. DO NOT reserve at this hotel!!!!

Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
1  Thank London93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manzanitalagunabeach, Owner at Manzanita Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2010

We strive to ensure all guests an enjoyable and memorable stay.
This particular guest reserved the studio apartment for August 2009.
This historic property was built in 1927 and as a seaside village, air
conditioning was not a necessity. August 2009 was warm and while we do
supply fans in each cottage and apartment, this guest was not happy.

We wanted to ensure her comfort for her visit to Laguna Beach so we
assisted in finding alternate accommodations and issued a credit,
which is against normal policy.

We certainly hope this guest will visit Laguna Beach and Manzanita
Cottages again.

Sent: 01 August 2009
Subject: Manzanita Cottages of Laguna Beach

We hope you had an enjoyable time in Laguna Beach.
We are sorry you chose not to stay with us, but do hope you will
be back in the future to experience a cottage.

As you know, our cancellation policy stipulates refunds within 90 days
of arrival date, particularly during our busy summer season. We have,
however, issued you a refund. Below is your transaction refund summary:

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2010

My husband and I have stayed at the cottages multiple times. Last year's reservation was a nightmare, finding out only a few days before we'd been moved to the yellow cottage. Not what we booked.

This year we booked in February for our August trip. Just days after we paid our deposit we were informed by the property manager she "forgot" about another reservation and the blue cottage wasn't available for one of the 14 nights we booked. It was the last straw for us, reminiscent of what'd we'd been through the year before. Emails unanswered and issues throughout the summer attempting to get us to spend one night here and move, etc.

We are sad to say goodbye to our favorite BEAUTIFUL Laguna vacation spot. The integrity issues were just too much to deal with.

One last thing . . . we still haven't received our check back in the mail for our deposit, despite regular email requests send to Rose.

Manzanita Cottages, we will miss you so much this year.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LUNNLV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Easy2please1951, Owner at Manzanita Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2011

I am the owner of Manzanita Cottages and am deeply sorry for this and other negative reviews. We have been in business for ten years and went through a serious rough patch with an ineffective manager. I am happy to say that she has been replaced and we are totally back in the business of delighting guests during their stay in Laguna. If you are reading this review and are willing to give us a chance to delight you, go to our website and utilize our online reservation process. In the comment section let us know that you have seen this comment on Trip Advisor and we will give you a 10% discount on the rental fee. Thank you for giving us a chance!
--Todd Herzer, owner.

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 Manzanita Cottages

Address: 732 Manzanita Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651-1962
Region: United States > California > Orange County > Laguna Beach
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Laguna Beach
Price Range: £89 - £203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
These are four enchanting cottages nestled in a private, garden compound located within walking distance to the beach and the village of Laguna. The cottages capture the original charm of the original Laguna Art Colony. Guests particularly enjoy the quiet garden setting as well as the privacy of living in their own stand alone cottage. There is also a studio apartment located on the site. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Manzanita Cottages Hotel Laguna Beach

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