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“Still my go to hotel in Santa Monica”

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Cal Mar Hotel Suites
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Santa Monica
Reviewed 19 June 2014

I travel to Santa Monica to visit my family several times during the year. The Cal Mar is my go to place for extended stay. Its a great location within walking distance to to the promenade, beach and the farmers market. I like getting up in the am and not having to go to a restaurant for breakfast. Yes the hotel is older but it is very servicable and the staff are exceptional, helpful and friendly. Holly at the desk is super and made sure we got everything we needed.
The cleaning staff was great. The maintenance man even got me a new lightbulb so I could shave in the am. Bathrooms are smaller, as most hotels had in the 60's but clean, no mold and fine and worked well, but only for one person at a time.
The appliances are older and the 80's tube Sony TVs are not flatscreens, but we dont go there to watch tv. (However, a flatscreen would save them a lot of electricity and maintenance, hint,,, hint)The heated pool was clean and great and I even used it this time. The couryard has nice flowers and you can even see the hummingbirds flitting about. Too bad their insurance made them fence in the pool, it was nicer on our prior visits. Maybe they can change that somehow in the future, as we really liked that retro ambiance.
The fridge was clean and the appliances all were in working order. Its nice to be able to grab a quick breakfast. I have stayed in most of the hotels in SM and yes you can get a more modern room, but its twice the price and no cooking.
The only drawbacks were that there is a central courtyard where sound echoes, so choose a room carefully. However, everyone was quiet most nights except for one night a rude cell phone user outside our room woke us up. The only issue is (and I agree with another reviewer), they need better blinds to filter out the hall lighting at night and the morning sun.
We opt for the junior suite which is very spacious and much bigger that some other hotels we have stayed at. I wish they had a monthly rate, since now that I am retired I could see myself staying there comfortably for an extended time. I don't need a marble bathroom and glass doors, so its a good value IMHO, especially for kids. I will be bringing my kids and grandkids back in September for sure,,,,,

Room Tip: Try to get a room on the 3rd floor with no one above you, with bedroom away from the courtyard. Avoi...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dinerdon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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135 - 141 of 463 reviews

Reviewed 7 June 2014 via mobile

Big Suites, Great Location and all at a reasonable price. A stroll away from the beach, pier and 3rd street promenade. Only negative is that the wifi was not complimentary and did not work when trying to purchase.

Swimming was clean and there was plenty of space. I think everyone was at the beach

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Deaquon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2014

I want to first start by saying that my score for this hotel would have been 5 had it not been for my first impression when I arrived on the night of check-in. We arrived to the hotel late at night after a long day of travel. On arrival was a woman named Diane at the check-in/"welcome" desk. She did anything but make us feel welcome. Diane gave us keys to room 318 and while handing us the keys stated that it was a "great room". We proceeded to that room and spent a few minutes struggling to open the door with the key we were given. Once the door opened and we started to walk in we noticed a musty odor, old dingy carpet on the floors and a few bugs-both dead and alive in the bathroom and kitchen sinks. We knew that the hotel had older furnishings and we did plenty of research prior to our trip as to whether or not the cost per night would be worth the older accommodations so that was not our issue. The pics on the internet had wood floors and the rooms appeared cleaner. We decided to return to the front desk to voice our concerns to Diane and let her know we would not be staying at Cal-Mar. She seemed annoyed/bothered but offered us another room-205. We went to look at that room and were amazed at what a difference it was-nice wood floors and very clean(of course, still had older furniture). We told Diane we would stay the night in 205 and leave to go to another hotel in the am. After putting our bags down, we decided to see if anything was open to grab a quick snack. Exhausted and frustrated we left our room and as we were passing the front/welcome desk to leave, we noticed Diane had gone and the man that was sitting around that area when we were complaining to Diane was now working. He(Mark) came from around the desk to talk to me and apologized for our experience. He asked if there was anything he could do to change our minds from leaving in the morning and continue our stay with Cal-Mar. At that point, I was so disgusted with my first experience with Diane and the room that I kindly told him no. He said if I changed my mind to feel free to let him know. We went to grab a quick bite and thought about how wonderful and genuine Mark was. We returned and told him we would give it a try(although we were apprehensive). NOW, let me tell you how the rest of the stay was. Housekeeping was awesome-very attentive to anything you need. Holly and the Filipino gentleman(sorry I didn't get his name) at the desk were so wonderful and always greeted you with a warm smile as you come and go from the hotel. The staff are right there to answer questions,call a taxi and assist in any way they can. Other guests at the hotel very pleasant and also say hello as you come or go. It was a very relaxing vacation. Yes, there is noise from the garbage trucks in the am, but honestly we used that as a bit of a wake-up call. We wanted to enjoy everyday of the beautiful weather. IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A FANCY HOTEL-Do not stay at Cal Mar! There are plenty of high priced hotels in the area that will suit your needs. However, If you want somewhere to stay that is ridiculously close to the Pier, shopping at 3rd street Promenade and basically easily accessible to EVERYWHERE ELSE(in or around Santa Monica) and reasonably priced for the location, then this is the place! The old furniture we covered with sheets and I always bring pillowcases to hotels so I didn't have a problem with these things. We really didn't use the kitchen much since we were always on the go but it is a good size, very clean and would have been great if I wanted to stock it with food items to prepare/make meals or snacks. Yes, the bathroom is small but it was clean and tub, shower, sink and toilet all operated just fine. The living/dining area was spacious and clean. We basically wanted somewhere to rest our heads at night as we were out sightseeing and doing other things during the day. I hope this helps anyone on the fence. I used this site to help me decide where we would stay for the needs we had during our trip and I found it useful. Happy travelling! :)

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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11  Thank VacationRN777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

You wont find a more centrally located hotel for this kind of money in Santa Monica. The property is old and in need of modernising but the rooms are clean and spacious. Parking is provided and we were happy to pay the nightly charge for the convenience. The staff are lovely and my only complaint is that the blinds are inadequate if you want to sleep past 5am once the dawn light floods the room.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank planb4ugoCork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 13 May 2014

Thank you for your comments.
This will help us give better service to our customers.We appreciate your business
We are currently looking in to new window treatments Hope to see you again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

This is a fantastic location but the hotel is so old fashioned that we did not enjoy our stay. The suite was large but the windows were ancient and offered no sound protection from the main road. The windows have old, flimsy blinds so we were woken very early every day by the sunlight. There is no air con, which is essential in Santa Monica ( we visited in May and it was just about bearable; it would be awful in the height of summer). The bathroom was very small and old, t.v's are old and there is an extra charge for wifi and $20 per night if you want to park a car (in a car port with no security). If you don't mind these things so much and sleep deeply ( it is noisy) then the location is great. The room was clean and the staff were pleasant.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the main roads. Top floor would be best to avoid noise from above when peop...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank JEAPGermany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you for your comments they are very important to us.The Cal Mar Hotel Suites is not a 5 star hotel and if that what you expected.This hotel has a 1960's flair just 2 blocks to the beach. Our pool is heated. Our suites are like a 1 or 2 bedroom apartments with a full kitchens set up for extended stay which is different from other hotels We are currently working on replacing the wifi equipment and room electronics. As of parking in this beach city and everyplace charges for parking.

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Reviewed 27 April 2014

At an abominable $10 per day for a simple and normally free Wifi service, you would certainly expect the best fast internet to get some sort of bang for your buck. After staring, drop-jawed at the ridiculously slow data - taking 5+ minutes to load a youtube video, I was also happily surprised at the 2 device limit, meaning you can't connect more than 2 devices at one time to the service, making family connection impossible (unless you wish to pay another abysmal $10 a day).

Other stuff was all mediocre, small beds, Philips CRT TV from the 80s, VCR for my ancestors. If you're getting around to kicking the bucket, this may be the place for you, but unless you enjoy a walk to Starbucks around the corner to check your emails, go somewhere else.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank G0rey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you for your comments.
This will help us give better service to our customers.
We are currently working on updating the equipment to correct the connection and speed issues. We appreciate your business

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

We had to come up to Santa Monica for a wedding, and needed a place to stay near the pier.I did not want to spend $400 and I didn`t want to stay in a toilet either.This is a great compromise .For under $200, The rooms are called suites but you basically get a one bedroom apartment and with plenty of room.The place is old but super clean and the staff were great.The pool was a nice 80 degrees also... A little gem close to 3rd st promenade ,the pier and all Santa Monica has to offer.

Room Tip: keep away from the vending machine
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank chesterdraws1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2014

Thank you for your comments.
This will help us give better service to our customers.We appreciate your business

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 Cal Mar Hotel Suites

Address: 220 California Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403-3606
Region: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#19 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range: £133 - £231 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cal Mar Hotel Suites 3*
Number of rooms: 36
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Also Known As:
Cal Mar Hotel Santa Monica
Cal Mar Santa Monica

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