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“Great Time at The Trop!”
Review of Casa Tropicana

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Casa Tropicana
Ranked #11 of 18 Hotels in San Clemente
Reviewed 19 July 2013

I arrived at the Tropicana to a friendly greeting by Patty, who showed me to my room, the Del Sol. The room was freshly prepared, clean and bright, full extra amenities like snacks and free beverages - juice and water in the fridge.

The bed was comfortable, television had many unexpected extra channels including music. The bathroom was well stocked with personal care items - lotion, shampoo, conditioner, cotton balls and salts for the tub. Bathrobes and towels are nice quality and well stocked.

Morning coffee supplies are always available, coffee is good quality. Drinking my coffee out on the patio watching the crowds at the pier was a pleasure.

As a San Clemente native, I've always wanted an excuse to stay at the tropicana to try it out - a friends wedding was the perfect reason! I stayed for 4 nights and had a wonderful experience all the way around. Each day the room was taken good care of, the staff was always pleasant. Sunsets restaurant served a great salad as well the one time I dined there.

All in all I definitely recommend the Tropicana!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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Thank IslanderExpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2013

Four days isn’t quite long enough is it? From the sound of your great comments I think you could have stayed a month! We love taking care of our guests and I’m glad you did get a good long stay with us. I’m just sorry you took so long to come and check us out. We do get a lot of locals staying with us. They agree it’s like a little piece of paradise. Don’t stay away so long next time. See you soon.
Rick Anderson
Owner

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62 - 68 of 204 reviews

Reviewed 19 July 2013

We always have a memorable time at "The Trop" as the locals call it. My boyfriend and I have been here a handful of times. We love the location with tons of fun places to eat downstairs- pizza, diner(ish) breakfast, GREAT seafood, creperie, sushi, etc. and the heart of San Clemente a quick walk up the hill. Sunday farmer's market is fun!

The staff is friendly and accommodating. The rooms (our favorite is Clemente) are very clean and nicely done with a cool beach style. They make you feel welcome by extra special touches like reggae music when you walk in the room, snacks, beach gear at your disposal, daily paper, lots of good magazines- my favorite way to relax. You can even request champagne, roses, and chocolate covered strawberries. People watching from up above is really fun, especially in busy summer months. We make a game of it! It's a view unlike any other AND if you don't feel like lugging gear to the beach you can lounge on the deck and still hear the waves and kids having fun in the ocean- nice option for us fair skinned folk (who like to have a private bathroom and a cocktail nearby).

I always think it would be a great place for a solo get-away because the rooms are private- who wants to share a bathtub anyway- you can get up and go to the beach, grab dinner or room service on the way back and just RELAX alone! Movie channels are a luxury to us too :)

A good review from us is long overdue. We've been staying for years and love it! We'll keep coming back.

Room Tip: Spring for the pent-house if you can. Complete privacy- well worth it. You'll feel like a King...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank taylor m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2013

Thank you. I need to hire you as our PR person! Thanks for pointing out there are lots of great reasons to say with us here at Casa Tropicana. I could say it, but I couldn’t say it any better. One comment you did make about recommending the Penthouse, Casa del Rey. You said besides being well worth it for the great privacy, you commented; You’ll feel like a king! Well Casa del Rey means; House of the King, or; the Kings House! Again, I couldn’t have said it any better.

Thank you,
Rick Anderson
Owner

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Reviewed 19 July 2013

My parents recently travelled half way around the world to visit me here in San Clemente. They stayed here after I had checked out the rooms and thought the place seemed good. Unfortunately the Casa Tropicana failed to meet our very reasonable expectations on multiple occasions. I was very disappointed to hear from my parents that they had been without hot water to shower with (or to use the spa bath) on multiple occasions during their 4 night stay. After notifying the staff there was little urgency taken in their actions and rather apathetic, uncaring attitudes. This place is not exactly cheap to stay at, and you would expect at the VERY LEAST that you would have hot water available to you for bathing/showering at all times. Other issues were that the TV wasn't working when they wanted to watch it after returning from dinner one evening (no one around to fix it or address this problem) and I also noticed a tone of sand flies/mosquitos constantly on the balcony/deck area outside their room. This is definitely not desirable and meant that we were unable to sit in this area and enjoy the view. We were all VERY LET DOWN by the Casa Tropicana and I felt compelled to share this online as I hope that this does not happen to other guests. It's really not good enough and it is no wonder that this business is for sale.
Such a shame.....

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank littlemisstravellerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded 20 July 2013

No Hot Water is a Disaster!
Yes, we did have a hot water crisis! When your hot water heater goes down it is a very big problem...huge. I can guarantee you no one took it lightly or apathetically. I live here too and we had the same experience. I can promise you this is a very serious matter. The failure occurred late in the evening and was back up by 10:00/10:30 the next morning. I can show from the emergency call bills I was very serious about this. However, our tank less instant hot water system did not completely fail. It did produce warm water, not hot enough to use the in room spa with, but warm enough to shower with, as my wife and I did. Not acceptable, but satisfactory until the repairs were made and reasonable under these trying conditions.

I am very sorry but sometimes things are well beyond my control. I acted diligently and successfully to resolve the problem in a very fashionable time. We were full at the time and all of the other guests were understanding, so I thank them for that. It makes it easier with things go wrong.

I cannot address the TV problem because we were unaware, and still have no knowledge of it. Apparently they we’re able to fix it, or it fixed itself. We have no record of a call for service on it and its working fine now. We are beach front, we do get sand, and we do sweep the decks daily, I’m sorry you caught us with sand on the deck. However we do not have mosquitos here, but sometimes do have harmless kelp flies that will hover in dead air spaces for a day or so.

I am glad after you researched you options for your parents you did choose us for them. We try to make everyone happy whether they come from next door, or half way around the world. Each and every one is very important to us. Sue, my staff, and I are very sorry that you feel we let your parents down. My front desk staff felt very bad and took your comments personally that they failed you. They also send you their sincerest apologies.

Finally, I resent the cheap shot at me personally insinuating I have turned away from my responsibilities as the owner and innkeeper because after 23 years of successful operation that I have decided to sell my property! Sue and I now have 8 grandchildren, and when I built this project in 1999 my plan was always to someday sell and hopefully retire. I feel no shame in pursuing the American Dream.

Rick Anderson
Owner

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Reviewed 1 July 2013

I want to be fair, because I believe these owners and staff are trying, and some features are very nice. I booked this property, however, in large part because of the glowing reviews on this site, which did not at all reflect my experience there.

So, here's the good:

Location: Can't be beat. Views from the shared patio are excellent. Rooms nicely decorated, with nice amenities like flat screens and wall unit air conditioners. Free snacks in the room and fridge, free breakfast basket, fruit, and coffee, rose petals on the bed. The beds and sheets were exceptionally soft and comfortable. Beach chairs available to take to the beach, cozy blankets on the chairs on the patio. Dinner delivered from the restaurant was delicious. The train is charming.

BUT--we left after one night for a few reasons. Our room was essentially windowless. There was one tiny window, which opens half way, so there is no ocean breeze, or really any other fresh air for that matter. All the rooms on the second floor open to a "shared kitchen", which was swarming with flies. So if we had chosen to leave our door open for air, we would have been exposed to all the other guests on the 2nd floor, as well as the flies.

The photos of the shared patio appear larger than it really is--there is virtually no privacy if more than one couple/family is on the patio--and there are five rooms on that floor. Again, all the windows open into this shared space, so if you keep your windows open (if ours had had one!), you will be hearing anyone on the patio--possibly inches from your head in bed. We felt like we needed to whisper anytime we were outside of our room in order be considerate of the other guests who had their windows open. Other people on our floor who stayed in the front room, right on the patio, were kept up all night with loud thumping noise from the restaurant right below them. They said they got no sleep until it shut down for the night, and to beware of their room as well.

I do not consider $375/night a bargain--and didn't expect a bargain setup, which honestly is what it felt like. I believe the 3rd floor has only two rooms, so it is probably quieter and more private.

Pretty much immediately upon arriving, we decided to change hotels to something more conventional. I immediately let the staff know, as I wanted to be as considerate as possible to a small business--we had been there about 30 minutes. I was told by the staff, though, that I would need to pay for all of the nights I had booked--at a cost of about $1,400! Fortunately, I had only paid a partial deposit upon check-in, so I did not end up having to pay the whole thing.

Even though I requested it, I did not receive any refund of my deposit over my nightly rate. I was told by the manager that she would contact the owner, who was out of the country, but I never heard anything, so our unhappy night ended up costing us nearly $600. Given all of this, I cannot recommend this property.

Room Tip: Avoid the 2nd floor!
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
casatrop, Director of Sales at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2013

Thank you for letting us know how your experience was. I’m happy you weren’t completely dissatisfied with your stay. We appreciate the positive things you confirmed in your comments. Unfortunately it seems we were just not the right fit for your expectations. Here at the beach in the season, it does get really busy. Guests do enjoy the decks more, it gets dark around 8:30 and they love the great sunsets from the comforts of the common deck.

As you pointed out there are 5 rooms on the second floor and only two on the third. The fifth floor is a completely private penthouse deck with total seclusion. This may have been a better choice in your case. Our photos are exactly as they are in real life. It would be short sighted to try to deceive a guest with wide angle lenses or other deceptive measure’s to lure them here only find otherwise. Most guests enjoy the decks, and meeting other guests. I’m sorry you weren’t happy.

Our policy regarding refunds is very clear and you agreed with then when you made the reservation, and when you checked in. We were not obligated to refund any of your total amount as you acknowledged, but we did! You just paid for you stay. A very important neglected sign of our hospitality.

Living and working here at the Pacific Ocean has its unique sets of environmental issues from rusting wrought iron rails to kelp flies. Here at the beach, especially as close as we are, about 150 yards to the water, we often seem to be right on the beach.

Occasionally the tide brings up kelp from the ocean to the beach. As the kelp dries on the sand, little kelp flies begin to feed on the kelp. Sometimes they don’t know they shouldn’t be entering the buildings in close range and just hang around, as they sometimes do. This is what you experienced. The area you described as our out door kitchen is in fact a coffee station. As it is in the center of our building the kelp flies like to hang in the dead air and, well…just hang around circling in a tight mid-air area. They only are here until sunset and they depart and die.

It’s just living at the beach, nothing to do at all with sanitary conditions, cleanliness, or humanly. It’s just nature at the beach.

Rick Anderson
Owner

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Reviewed 27 May 2013

We stumbled upon this quaint boutique and were pleasantly surprised with our stay!! The staff went above and beyond to make us feel at home! The views from the patio In the afternoon and morning were breathtaking.. The yummy snacks and morning breakfast basket were wonderful!! Marjorie was a delight and my chat with Sue during checkout was so nice!! Warm and inviting was our entire experience!! I would mot typically leave a review, but a night on a whim turned out to be amazing!! We will absolutely venture this way again at some point and spend another night or two :)

  • Stayed: May 2013
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1  Thank Wldblnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded 13 July 2013

Thank you for your great comments, especially about my wife Sue and our general manager Marjorie. They both work hard to make sure everyone’s stay is best as possible. I’m glad you got the chance to relax and enjoy the views and comfort of our ocean view decks. Please hurry back and stay with us again!

Rick Anderson
Owner

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Reviewed 25 May 2013

After leaving a horrible hotel down the street, we went walking to see what else was available.
Casa Tropicana said they had a couple of rooms for us to choose from. It is renovated and breakfast is included in the price. The staff were all very friendly and accommodating. It has a lovely view of the pier and the Pacific.
Only down side is the Amtrak train runs by from 5:00am until about 10:00pm. They give you ear plugs to try to make up for that!
We had a lovely stay, to what may have started as a very bad experience down the street. We highly recommend!

Room Tip: Rooms in the back with no view are quieter. Rooms in from have train noise.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Tovah N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded 13 July 2013

I am glad we had the chance to rescue your getaway! We enjoy being the only Boutique Inn in San Clemente or for that matter in South Orange County, plus being right at the beach! Unfortunately we do share our piece of paradise with the railroad. Currently our city and the railroad are working on agreements to make this area a Quiet Zone. We’re hoping this happens very soon. When it’s approved, the passing trains will no longer need to sound their horns! But I know that won’t keep you from coming back for now. See you again very soon.

Rick Anderson
Owner

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Reviewed 21 May 2013

My family and I just returned from spending 3 nights at the Casa Tropicana. This place is awesome in every sense of the word. My wife is generally very picky and considers herself an expert in the hotel industry since she has watch every episode of Hotel Impossible. Nevertheless, she loved this place as much as I did. We rented two rooms since my growed up children were with us. Both rooms were incredibly clean and comfortable. The treat baskets given to us each day were delightful. Liz, Patty, Marjorie, and team are all wonderful. They really pampered us and made us all feel welcome. I normally do not leave reviews but I feel compelled to brag for this group since they are all so committed. On top of everything, this hotel is located in the most perfect spot of San Clemente. The pier is directly across the street and the restaurants nearby are very good. Specifically, there is a place next door that specializes in crapes...delicious! We plan to come back to Casa Tropicana again someday. I highly recommend this place to all.

ROBERT

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Robert V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded 13 July 2013

Isn’t it great when you can spend more time here? Thanks for your great glowing reviews about our great team! We know we’re so much a part of your experience. Although Hotel Impossible is somewhere I never hope to show up, In this case I love the reference! Yes we do provide plenty of great snacks and breakfast treats, and it’s hard to beat enjoying them being ocean front from your view decks!
Sue and I can’t wait for your return. Don’t wait too long!

Rick Anderson
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Tropicana

Address: 610 Avenida Victoria At the Pier, San Clemente, CA 92672-5369
Region: United States > California > Orange County > San Clemente
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 18 Hotels in San Clemente
Price Range: £189 - £287 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casa Tropicana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spanish-inspired architecture, ocean views, stylish comfortable decor and a relaxed atmosphere. We invite you to enjoy sunset from an ocean view deck Casa Tropicana Hotel in San Clemente is located steps from the beach and close to many local faves – Casa Romantica, San Juan Capistrano Mission and Disneyland. Offering complimentary amenities - beach bags and chairs, flat screen TVs, fireplaces, robes, wifi, and Jacuzzi tubs. Great off season prices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Tropicana Hotel San Clemente
Casa Tropicana San Clemente

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