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Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
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Reviews (2,544)
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Reviewed 7 January 2014

Great location. Cannot beat being right on Ocean in SM, a few blocks from the Promenade and Santa Monica's many great restaurants. We barely used our car as we explored SM with our teens. Biggest issue - the almost three hour wait for check in. Our email confirmation stated a 3pm check in. I even called to confirm that our room would be ready since we were coming from the truly terrific Langham Huntington in Pasadena (where it was ten degrees warmer) and did not want to wait around when we could be swimming there. The totally unhelpful woman at reception (mid length blonde hair, thin, bored) seemed confused that I didn't understand that they actually have a ROLLING check in and that I should be willing to wait since the guest previously in our room had not left until 1 freaking pm. Seriously? You provide a late check out when you know you have another guest coming? When it says check in is 3pm (no mention of "rolling") both in your email confirmation and on your website? Doubtful - go to the "accommodations" tab, check availability, select a room and you will see those very words "Check In 3pm" on the right side of the page. The free drinks/appetizers in the lobby bar (which was crowded with a dozen other guests with the same problem) did NOT make things better. My kids missed an afternoon at the pool because of this ridiculously long delay. I finally spoke with a manager who - miraculously - was able to get our room opened up immediately. How? I thought housekeeping was totally backed up, blah, blah, blah. Of course, the room did not have towels, or the roll away bed we had ordered.... but a call to housekeeping took care of that within minutes. So much for the big back up getting rooms ready. That evening a small bowl of fruit with a welcome note was delivered along with two tiny buckets with sand toys in them for the kids. I have teenagers...

The room itself was very clean. It was a King 1 bedroom Palisades Suite accessed by practically walking through the spa entrance - which is odd. From a security standpoint it was concerning that anyone can enter the door at the northeast corner of the building (on 2nd nearer to California) and be in the elevator lobby without being seen/stopped. The room was spacious - especially the bedroom, though the bedroom lacked a closet. The furnishings are 1980s vintage, with dated upholstered cornices over the windows, and lots of shiny fabrics on furniture. It's not worn in any way, but definitely in need of an update. It did not offer any view at all. The website says city views and ocean views. I suppose we had a city view. Nice to get that upgrade after the almost 3 hour wait.

One morning housekeeping knocked on the door to clean our room at 7:45 am. Seriously? The next day no one came until 4pm when we were getting ready to go out for the evening. Very unpredictable. One day we had three towels, the next day four towels (we needed four). The onsite restaurant, Fig, is very good for breakfast - expensive, but it's a hotel so no surprise there. Service was very good at Fig, especially at the hostess stand where our reservations were honored with no wait unlike the poor guests who hadn't thought to book meals at their hotel restaurant on Open Table (we had been warned by friends). There appears to be no food/bar service at the pool - I was there for two hours with my boys swimming and no one approached us once to offer a drink. The closest bar is in the lobby of the hotel. Walking in there directly from the pool would be uncomfortable. Valet parking is expensive, but very quick and friendly.

The "night club" at the hotel (Bungalow) is of the cheesy line up outside variety with loud thumping music (I see 80s rock is back - My Sharona appeared to be a staple all three nights). I was grateful to be in a room far, far away from it. Judging from the folks waiting out front it's a bit of the LA equivalent of B&T, though I'm sure it's a fun time. The people hanging out in the lobby bar seemed to be more sophisticated and also seemed to be having fun without the thumping music.

All in all - the location made the stay worthwhile. I probably would not stay here again given the check in policy and general lack of service.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the Tower. It appears to be in a much more secure part of the property. Or better yet, get a bungalow on the grounds. They're gorgeous and private.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank 1965Lana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

I stayed here for New Year's Eve and for four nights total. We were in the Palisades sweet which was quite lovely. There were some issues with the heat and a strange smell. I also found the mattresses to be uncomfortable and ask them to change a mattress for a new one which they did.

Get in spite of these issues, the hotel was excellent. The staff was friendly and the services were good and the food was better than good.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank swankyhotels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

We stayed at the Fairmont for 2 nights in a Palisades Suite which was quite spacious although the decor is a bit dated. The lighting in the room was terrible, no way to read anywhere at night, but the staff quickly responded to our complaints by bringing in additional standing lamps. We unfortunately heard a lot of street noise at night even though we were on the 6th floor. The hotel is well known in town for its signature Figs restaurant but we found breakfast there to be treated as an afterthought. Service was slow and many of the choices were not very good. We found the hotel's location to be its greatest asset: Just across the street from the beach, a short walk to good restaurants, the Santa Monica Pier and the Third Street promenade for shopping. Also, the concierge was incredibly helpful with suggestions and driving directions for trips around LA.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank DW123418
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

This hotel is very nice but what transforms this hotel into something special is the quality of service. The staff are just wonderful and during our stay nothing was too much trouble. On my daughter's birthday they delivered a cake to our room courtesy of the hotel and arranged regular transport to the beach. The only downside of this place is its distance to the beach.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank McMillanFamilynyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2014

Have stayed in more than 15+ Fairmont Hotels, and this one in Santa Monica was very disappointing.

The lobby and grounds were very nice, but the room size is equivalent to a New York type hotel. The Deluxe King is very small (275 Sq Ft), and the larger rooms in the Palisades Building are awful; very dated, more like a motel versus so-called luxury hotel.

Also, be careful, and watch your bill. We noticed numerous errors when we checked it on the TV prior to check-out. Almost $250 of over-charges between the room rate and food charges.

On a positive note, the location to the promenade is great.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank MichaelChristine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarlySkinner, Director of Rooms at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2014

Dear MichaelChristine –

I’m very sorry to read your review as it seems you were not properly introduced to our property and the variety of rooms we have to offer.

As a New Yorker, I understand what you mean about small rooms. However, unlike most New York City hotels, the room category you stayed in represents only a fraction of our total room inventory. We have much larger rooms ranging from our Palisades Suites starting at 500 square feet to our Bi-Level Bungalows measuring around 1000 square feet with outdoor seating for up to ten!

Regarding the Palisades rooms, we have spent considerable time and resources updating them since we recognize furniture from decades past is not as appealing as it once was. The next time you are in town, please allow me to personally show you one of our completely renovated Palisades rooms decorated by LA-based interior designer Lynda Murray. I can assure you they look nothing like what you would find at a motel.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly at any time (carly.skinner@fairmont.com) so we can figure out how to welcome you back and have you enjoy our property as it is meant to be enjoyed.

Kind Regards,

Carly Skinner
Director of Rooms

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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