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“THE WORST - NEVER STAY HERE!”

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Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica
Ranked #20 of 36 Hotels in Santa Monica
Los Angeles, CA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“THE WORST - NEVER STAY HERE!”
Reviewed 19 July 2010

Never stay here. Never host an event here. My husband and I live in the area and wanted to do a weekend getaway to the Shangri La, and also entertain some friends on 4th of July. I called in to book a one bedroom suite with a kitchen (as described on the hotel website). I spoke to Zack, who claimed to be the head of reservations. I explained to him that I lived locally, and wanted to host 15 people for Saturday afternoon in a one bedroom suite that faced the ocean. After speaking extensively with him about my plans for this small party, he literally said, "No problem. Bring whomever you want, whatever you want." He said he made notes in my reservation.

At this point, I believed I had found a great location to host our event. Zack promised us that he would make a special request for a full oceanfront view, and told us that no other suites had been booked whatsoever. This was FOUR days prior to our arrival. I anticipated there would be no problem in getting the best suite available that day.

Given that the head of reservations (i.e. Zack) had said our party plans were "no problem," we arrived at the hotel with food and alcohol to serve out guests. Upon our arrival, we were told that the alcohol would be taken away and stored in a locked area, and a large security guard followed us to our room as though we were criminals. He looked through our bags and removed our beverages. A huge invasion of privacy and handled very unprofessionally. I was almost in tears. Am I supposed to believe that hotel guests with kitchens are not allowed to have a glass of wine in their room? By the way, plenty of alcohol (wine, liquor, etc.) was available for purchase in the room at exorbitant prices.

Upon check in, we were ALSO told that it was hotel policy to have no more than 6 people in a room at once. WHAT? If anything, the head of reservations had been enthusiastic about our plans to host guests in our room. I was completely honest when making the reservation, and he even approved my guest count!!! Had I know about this so called policy, I would never have chosen to stay at the Shangri La. Most of our guests were to be lawyers, doctors, and other professionals, and the hotel treated us as though we were criminals.

We were then given a key to a room without a kitchen, no sitting room, and 2 bedrooms. Again, we were baffled by this, after having made a special request for a kitchen and notes regarding the party. By the way, if you check the hotel website, a kitchen is actually included in the room description for this particular room.

With only 10 minutes before our friends were supposed to arrive, my husband and I went back downstairs to the front desk to request the correct room, at which point we were told all the suites were booked (the same ones that had all been available 4 days prior). While the front desk clerk escorted us to a new room, another hotel guest greeted her by first name, and thanked her for upgrading him to a suite with an oceanfront view. He then told her he had a great cocktail party in his room the night before!!! It turns out the hotel had upgraded guests that had paid for standard rooms (not suites). Meanwhile, I had paid full price for a suite with a kitchen, and made a special request for a small party and an oceanfront view. None of our requests were noted, or given any regard whatsoever. After a stressful check in process and room changes, we ended up in a suite with a kitchen, at the end of a long hall. We had only a small, partial view of the ocean. Not at all what we had paid for or discussed with the hotel.

A few of our friends arrived, and it was extremely hard for my husband and I to relax and have fun. My husband went back downstairs to ask the hotel to consider allowing us a few bottles of wine to share with our friends (again, because we had relied on the information give at the time of booking). The reservation clerk told my husband that he should speak to the head of security, which was managed by an "independent company." My husband spoke to the security head, who promised he would try to procure our wine from the "locked closet," and would come to our room in a few minutes to let us know what could be done. Of course, no one ever came to our room that afternoon to check on us. Big surprise there!

I should also mention that the room had been remodeled, but they obviously cut corners, and it showed. The windows were old, and had bird poop on the exterior. There were only 4 towels in the entire room. The rugs were completely stained. The walls were chipped and scraped. The kitchen did not contain a single utensil, bowl, etc for guests. I seriously doubt most guests are bringing their own kitchen utensils, bowls, plates, etc while traveling! The furniture on the balcony was old, and dirty with bird droppings. Nothing like the photos depicted on the website!

In the end, we left the hotel without even staying the night. We were just too miserable to stay any longer. Upon checking out, we told the nighttime reservation clerk (there had been a shift change since we checked in) about our reasons for leaving early. I fully expected a discount on the room rate. However, he said he wasn't there during the day, as if he was not personally at fault. I told him that this was not personal, but it was his problem, since he was a representative of the hotel and the only person of the front desk at that time. That was his job! He said he would relay a message to the general manager, who never called us back.

Two days later, my husband took it upon himself to call the general manager about a rate reduction, given our terrible experience. The general manager said he must speak with the hotel owner, and would get back to us the next day. Guess what? It's been 2 weeks, and we have not received that call back!

This was supposed to be a nice local getaway for us, but it became disappointment after disappointment, beginning to end. The head of reservations obviously wanted to secure my booking, and lied to me about hotel policy. We were given the wrong room, and charged full price. No one followed up, or attempted to accommodate us, after promising they would. Our bags were searched and our property was confiscated. We were by no means treated as guests. We were not offered any type of room reduction and the general manager (head of the entire hotel) would not even return our calls!

Don't ever stay here, unless you want to be treated like a common criminal!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank JJCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephan M, Manager at Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica, responded to this review, 25 July 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Member,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel, we have been permanently improving since your last visit and would be glad to welcome you again in Santa Monica. As you can see with the latest feedback from other Tripadvisor Members, you will not be disappointed by our outstanding Guest services and all the amenities of our Shangri-La property, do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do for you.

We hope to welcome you very soon.

Sincerely,

Stephan M
Director of Operation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2010

i found it very unfortunate that ,while attending a poolside mixer for a Jewish organization, the owner was quite racist. This is not a joke. She told security to take down the banners and escort the Jewish guests away from the pool. At one point, she told security to not let any more people involved with the organization in. I cannot emphasize how serious this review is. The organization was not making any type of scene or causing any semblance of commotion. It was a very deliberate case of racism. Please exercise caution if you plan on visiting this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank petfriendly25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephan M, Manager at Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica, responded to this review, 25 July 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Member,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel, we have been permanently improving since your last visit and would be glad to welcome you again in Santa Monica. As you can see with the latest feedback from other Tripadvisor Members, you will not be disappointed by our outstanding Guest services and all the amenities of our Shangri-La property, do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do for you.

We hope to welcome you very soon.

Sincerely,

Stephan M
Director of Operation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2010

I came her with my wife for a weekend gateway and we booked the Shanrgi-la for the location. BIG MISTAKE. While trying to be hip and up-to-date, there is only so much you can do with this place, felt like a rehabilitated barrack or dorm. The linens in our room were no good. Definitely better places to enjoy Santa Monica. The food was sub par too. And the owner or manager scowls at the guest.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank LACA31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephan M, Manager at Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica, responded to this review, 25 July 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Member,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel, we have been permanently improving since your last visit and would be glad to welcome you again in Santa Monica. As you can see with the latest feedback from other Tripadvisor Members, you will not be disappointed by our outstanding Guest services and all the amenities of our Shangri-La property, do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do for you.

We hope to welcome you very soon.

Sincerely,

Stephan M
Director of Operation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tasmania
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 July 2010

This was our 2nd stop on our 3 week honeymoon. When we arrived the receptionist was lovely and we were also upgraded to a one bedroom suite (assuming this was because we were honeymooners?) which provided a lot more room for us. The hotel was quite old and the lift was very slow but the recent upgrade was nice. We didn't use the pool but we did visit the roof top bar and took advantage of the happy hour. We hired a car (concierge arranged this) but we did find the valet was expensive ($30 Au a night). The hotel was well positioned and a great place to stay if wanting to take day trips near by. The bed was very comfortable and liked how we had a fridge and a tv also in the bedroom. The room overall was quiet once the window blaokouts were closed. Overall a lovely place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chloe_buddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephan M, Manager at Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica, responded to this review, 25 July 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Member,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel, we have been permanently improving since your last visit and would be glad to welcome you again in Santa Monica. As you can see with the latest feedback from other Tripadvisor Members, you will not be disappointed by our outstanding Guest services and all the amenities of our Shangri-La property, do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do for you.

We hope to welcome you very soon.

Sincerely,

Stephan M
Director of Operation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2010

The problem with staying Santa Monica is that every hotel is overpriced, and many are nice/decent but none are worth the premium (even Shutters). So our strategy was to look for the best value proposition. Hence, we found a decent deal at the Shangri-La and liked some of the features such as the pool, ocean-view, etc. All in we found a rate of $150 per night plus tax and valet parking - just over $200.

Overall, I enjoyed our stay. However, I would have been disappointed paying normal rates. The rooms are ok, strangely appointed but we had a beautiful view of the ocean. Location is perfect, very easy to get down to the water and to get to restaurants, shopping etc. Highlights of staying there are everything around the hotel - running along the beach, brunch at Shutters one day, shopping, dinners, ease of getting to other parts of LA. I loved staying in Santa Monica, coming in from New York its just so nice to see the beautiful Pacific Ocean every morning.

- Front desk staff was a bit inconsistent. I thought they were rude to their own bellhop!
- Restaurant staff were wonderful - helpful with directions and advice
- Rooftop bar was ok - crowd was a bit cheesey - all tourists like me ;)
- Loved the pool - no one was there during the day (it was a weekday though)
- No issues with noise

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Elli2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephan M, Manager at Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica, responded to this review, 25 July 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Member,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel, we have been permanently improving since your last visit and would be glad to welcome you again in Santa Monica. As you can see with the latest feedback from other Tripadvisor Members, you will not be disappointed by our outstanding Guest services and all the amenities of our Shangri-La property, do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do for you.

We hope to welcome you very soon.

Sincerely,

Stephan M
Director of Operation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2010

I just returned home from the worst vacation experience I have ever had. A friend of mine recommended the Shangri La to me and I owe him a punch in the nose for this one.

WORST SERVICE I HAVE EVER HAD. From the moment I checked parked my car. Valet was nowhere to be seen, no doorman or bellman to help us in with our bags. A front desk clerk who was more interested in taking her lunch break than checking us in. Finally when we got to our room, it was nothing like they advertise. They must use a magnifying glass when placing the picture in the ads. The room is small and the bathroom is tiny and un-usable.

When we called down to get restaurant recommendations, there was no concierge on staff, and this was on a Thursday afternoon at 3pm. Are you kidding me???? The pool area looks nice, but don't expect any kind of service there either. there was no one to tell us where to sit and when we sat ourselves on a lounge chair, we waited 20 minutes for a waiter to come and take our order, When no one came by, we went to the bar, where the bartender was more interested in texting his friends, than taking our orders.

We were planning on staying for 4 nights, but checked out the second day we were there.

What a shame, Such a great location and cool look for a hotel, the place must be hurting because it was a ghost town. After being treated like that, I can understand why. There are many better places to stay in the area and I recommend you check out the Fairmont, Shutters or the Loews before you give a single dollar to this place. What a joke.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bgreen32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephan M, Manager at Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica, responded to this review, 25 July 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Member,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel, we have been permanently improving since your last visit and would be glad to welcome you again in Santa Monica. As you can see with the latest feedback from other Tripadvisor Members, you will not be disappointed by our outstanding Guest services and all the amenities of our Shangri-La property, do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do for you.

We hope to welcome you very soon.

Sincerely,

Stephan M
Director of Operation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2010

this was the worst hotel ever. upon check in the hotel was beautiful! Until they lead us to our room...on the first floor in the corner next to the kitchen, and utility closet. We had been promised a sofa bed and a rollaway. Our room had one bed, no sofa bed or rollaway. We called the desk and they said they didn't have one. Now we have one bed and 3 people (2 teenagers). It was time to go to bed and the desk said they had 2 matress. Mattress was not the word to use...they brought in the cushions from the pool. My two kids slept on pool cushions. The next day we decided to check out. The service was horrible and we wanted a refund. They gave us most of our money back, but one and one half days of our 3 day vacation was ruined. We didn't know where to go, so when rolled our luggage down the sidewalk to the fairmont hotel. we were able to get a room with three beds there. The fairmont was a wonderful hotel!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank hubbabubbamax31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephan M, Manager at Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica, responded to this review, 25 July 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Member,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel, we have been permanently improving since your last visit and would be glad to welcome you again in Santa Monica. As you can see with the latest feedback from other Tripadvisor Members, you will not be disappointed by our outstanding Guest services and all the amenities of our Shangri-La property, do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do for you.

We hope to welcome you very soon.

Sincerely,

Stephan M
Director of Operation.
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 Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica

Property: Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica
Address: 1301 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Region: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
#12 Luxury Hotel in Santa Monica
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Monica
#14 Romantic Hotel in Santa Monica
#16 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica 4*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the Pacific since 1939, Hotel Shangri-La is a dramatic beacon of Art Deco beauty, Hollywood allure, and Los Angeles history. Perched on a high bluff, mere steps from the beach, this timeless Santa Monica boutique hotel has undergone a meticulous $30 million redesign -- promising you an idyllic haven of rejuvenation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Shangri La Santa Monica

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