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“It's got personality but...”

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The Hotel California
Ranked #20 of 36 Hotels in Santa Monica
Reviewed 24 February 2014

We stayed for a couple of nights and really appreciated it's sense of California style. Not traditional hotel rooms but more like mini-apartments with classic movie posters and a true sense of Los Angeles style. Walls are a bit thin and there was a "disturbance" in the room above us. However, the Manager seemed to get things under control. Both Aaron and James at the hotel were attentive, courteous and always trying to help. Location was great and laundry was free. Yes, it can be a little tired here and there but it has personality. Sometimes shiny and new also means sterile and soul-less.

Room Tip: Get the two-bedroom suite.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank drew333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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615 - 621 of 1,136 reviews

Reviewed 22 February 2014

The only good point is the location. Room small, shower room tiny and tatty, very temperamental shower, and getting the shower temperature right was quite a challenge, nearly got burnt. Walls are paper thin so we heard every move from the next room. No curtains just a cheap white plastic venetian blind which didnt keep out a scrap of light and there was a light on outside all night. Thank god we were only there one night. Couldnt quite believe the day we were leaving. Sat in the tiny lobby waiting for a pre booked taxi to the airport. Asked the lady in reception to check if our flight was on time which she did. Still waiting, started collecting our bags, happened to talk to husband about passports and same lady then tells us that the car that has been sitting out on the forecourt for quite a while is our taxi.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank lifebeginsat50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel Californi... S, Front Office Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2014

Thank you so much for your feedback. You are dead on about us having a great location, just "steps to the sand" as we like to say! We were disappointed to hear of some of the minor issues that you experienced while staying with us. While we do pride ourselves as being a small independent hotel, we are aware that there is always room for improvement. By our guests letting us know of their experiences, it allows us to consider improvements for the future. In just the past few months we have upgraded our beds to Beauty Rest premium mattresses, as well as many other continuing projects to make the experience better for our guests. Your feedback helps more than you know, and we take it to heart.

Next time you come to Santa Monica, I would hope that you would be willing to give us another chance, We would love to have you back and let you experience the great time that most of our guests have here at The Hotel California! Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to visit us again. I will personally make sure that you are taken care of, and more importantly enjoy every aspect of your Santa Monica visit!

- James Broome

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2014

Stayed here for 2 nights, lovely character. Office staff were always friendly and very helpful.
The bedrooms are quite good, nice tv, beds very comfy, bathrooms tiny, especially the shower, dodgy pressure in the shower. Quite clean however couldn't get a hello or a smile out of the maids.
Location is superb, short walk to the famous pier and beach and about 15 minute walk to some good food shops and restaurants. Small choice for breakfast offered in the foyer, just take your selection from the desk area and eat in your room. Free use of washing machine and dryer in the laundry.
However we were in a ground floor unit and OMG the noise from above was horrendous, sounded like tap dancing elephants, they quietened down at 1am and started up at 6:30am. We could hear every step, every cupboard opening and closing, and ever time they dropped something or dragged chairs from the table. They obviously didn't realize the lack of noise sound proofing or the noise level below. We even had earplugs which didn't really help much. T
A suggestion of carpeting or some other form of sound proofing.
Also was overcharged upon checkout by a few hundred dollars but hope to have it sorted asap.

Room Tip: Upstairs room is the go without a doubt.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank roseangel65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

Hotel California was as expected- it's an old style building but in a fabulous location. There is access straight down to the boardwalk and it is about a minute from the pier. It's so close to all of the shops and restaurants.

The room was ok, old fashioned but clean. The bathroom was small and old, the only problem I had was that the hot water in the shower was very sporadic and temperamental. The fan and main light for the room did not work, the fan wouldn't even turn on and the light flickered.

Overall it was ok, the room probably wasn't 100% up to scratch for the price but in that location we knew it may be the case.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Amelia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2014

The Hotel was in a great location with an easy walk to many restaurants and shops. Aaron in the evening at the front desk was very helpful with restaurant options and Katie in the morning had a great customer service spirit. The hotel has character and charm because it is an older property. We found it to be clean and fun to stay somewhere with outdoor seating, easy walks, and a small boutique hotel setting. We will return in the future

Room Tip: Ask for one of the rooms in the back. It is further from the busy street.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mark D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

Walking into the Hotel California takes you back to The Eagles classic, and it seems that the decor dates from the same age. If this place was somewhere in the Inland Empire it would have earned a POOR but given that you're just a short stroll from the Pacific Ocean and it is (for LA) reasonably priced makes it a great choice for the ocean lover on a budget! The staff is phenomenal and will make your stay an extremely pleasant one. Just don't expect a five star resort and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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Thank metaungulate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel Californi... S, Guest Relations Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this reviewResponded 19 February 2014

Boy are we glad we are located where we are and not in the Inland Empire. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know how you felt about your stay with us. We do play off the idea the hotel is built on a song, so our 'retro decor' is an extension of that. Most seem to really enjoy that feel, but we can also understand how it feels 'dated' to some. We are happy that you still had the chance to enjoy the ocean, we all need our fix for the ocean lover in us. You make a great point to not expect a 5 star resort, because you could be left a little disappointed. We are happy you felt like you still got a good deal, and enjoyed our staff. Customer service is a huge part of what we do here at The Hotel California, so hearing that makes us all feel great! We hope you'll come back sometime soon!

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Reviewed 14 February 2014

We spent a week at the hotel on a trip combining work and vacation, and our primary consideration was convenience of restaurants, coffee shops and the beach. When we found the Hotel California we knew that had to be the right answer--minutes from Santa Monica Pier and surrounded by cute restaurants with a wide variety of cuisine. Pictures of the hotel looked quaint, and how can you not stay in a place where "you can check out any time you like / but you can never leave?"
Quaint it is! Shortly after our arrival the toilet overflowed (the night manager blamed us!) and was wobbly. I never seemed to have enough space to move: two full size beds in a room designed for one. The shower was tiny. The mini-fridge didn't seem to work. The space heater worked occasionally. The electric sockets were so loose our plugs fell out.
But the bed was exceptionally comfortable and most of the staff were very cheery and accommodating people.
Our room fronted on Ocean Avenue, but other rooms--mini suites I believe sat along the alley leading to the beach. We never visited one, but I suspect that paying a bit more would allow one to avoid some of the "quaintness" that we experienced.

Room Tip: Ask about suites
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank johnmoncure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hotel California

Address: 1670 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401-3212
Region: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Monica
#15 Romantic Hotel in Santa Monica
#17 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
#17 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range: £145 - £287 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — The Hotel California 2*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located steps from the beach and from the famous Santa Monica Pier, this world-famous hotel offers complimentary coffee, tea, fruit, WiFi, as well as a private beach pathway! Experience the laid back California lifestyle as it should be. Moments from the shopping and dining, Third Street Promenade, Venice and Muscle Beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
California Hotel Santa Monica
Hotel California Santa Monica
California Santa Monica

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