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“The Secret Garden...”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Manzanita Cottages

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Manzanita Cottages
Certificate of Excellence
Riverside, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“The Secret Garden...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

We stayed in this gem of a find for 3 nights this past week. There are 4 cottages and 1 studio apartment. It is a step back in time with these restored cottages from the 1920's, on their website you can read the history of the cottages and why they were commissioned. Interesting note that Joan Crawford was rumored to have spent her honeymoon in the Yellow cottage which is the most popular one. We stayed in the Green cottage and enjoyed every minute of it. If I had to think of one negative it would be that we tripped a circuit breaker by plugging in 2 space heaters into the same wall/outlet. We couldn't find the breaker box and had to call Diane the property manager but she told us exactly where it was (in closet hidden behind our clothes) so that was really nothing to effect the rating.
The pluses are too many to list...but a few are the proximity to everything: Close walk to downtown galleries, Main Beach in Laguna, Ralph's for groceries, dining and much more. We brought our Maltese because Laguna is such a dog friendly city and we were able to take her everywhere we went except K'ya (which by the way is our favorite restaurant - we left the dog with our older daughter that night. Anyway, this place is really amazing. 1 cottage down and 3 to go :)

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank Gia_artist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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93 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2012

My wife and I stayed in the Green Cottage just after Thanksgiving last year. There is no on-site staff but everything was well communicated up front and we quickly settled in. The cottage was exactly what we were looking for and is in a great, central location. The kitchen was well provisioned, the bed comfortable and the living room with the fireplace and overstuffed couch couldn't have been improved upon.

We really enjoyed our time at Manzanita Cottages and will return soon.

Room Tip: I didn't see all of the interiors but it looks like the red and green cottages are the nicest.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank liningrs59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Smith
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2011

The pictures do not do it justice! The Price so reasonable!I stayed a week in the studio and it was plenty big for a single get away or for a romantic couple. Everything was spotless. Dianne was wonderful and left chocolates and coffees to greet me. So comfortable, So cozy so welcoming and it smelled terrific. So welcoming! The gardens are so beautifully manicured and frame the walk to the wishing well where u can cast a penny for a wish. There are multiple sitting areas on the way to the back gate which leads to the beach and to downtown in only 5 minutes. I didn't want to leave then my flight was cancelled and Dianne was able to arrange for me to stay another night! Part of me is still there. You just gotta stay there!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank suz2929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Fe
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2011

We stayed in one of the cottages several years ago and then again in December, 2010. Each time we loved our cottage and the lovely secluded garden compound. I read some of the negative reviews and can only guess that as the owner responded, they must have suffered from a bad manager. Our recent experience was very positive. We had a cottage (I can't remember which color) that had a small kitchenette, a very comfortable bedroom and livingroom with a fireplace. The bed was very comfortable and there was a choice in pillows (firmness to soft) and good reading lights. The bedroom closet was quite large and had extra pillows, blankets, a space heater and I think even a crib. Everything was immaculate (I confess that I sometimes refuse to walk barefoot in hotel rooms).

Having the kitchen was quite nice and not only was it darling, it was quite functional and well-equiped for a little space. The cottages were well-maintained and while the compound has historic charm (they almost look like something from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves"), the interiors have been updated or restored and very tastefully decorated.

The walk to town and the beach is a few blocks (I never counted) but it was an easy stroll and we enjoyed the farmers' market that is only a couple of blocks away.

Our experience is that the cottages are a lovely retreat on a quiet street, they have charm and character with no compromise on comfort. We'd stay again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WorldloverSantaFe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Del Mar, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2011

My wife had been to the cottages before and loved them. I read the reviews and was skeptical. I am a convert. What a lovely way to spend a few days. I am very picky about dust and dirt and had absolutely nothing to complain about. The place is spic and span and just so darn cozy. Sitting in front of the gas fireplace was so relaxing since the wide floor to ceiling window made you feel like you were sitting in the garden, but looking at the fire. The place is so quiet, you would never believe you were just a 5 minute walk from the coast highway. I can't wait for an excuse to return for another breather.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AM-Jog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ventura CA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2011

I was suprised to find this beautiful garden property in the middle of town but tucked away in a world all its own. Its like stepping back in a time warp. The cottages are like nothing I'd ever seen from the 20's/30's don't remember the exact build date but they leave nothing to be desired. Floor to ceiling windows look out on gorgeous garden landscaping. If you are looking for a relaxing getway destination look no further. The town has nice views and restaurants but the cottages made the trip for us. Would recommend to friends.

Room Tip: Yellow cottage was our favorite
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  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CoastRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, CA
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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.
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Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank BohemianCowgirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Manzanita Cottages

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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