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“Great location and staff”

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The Hotel California
Ranked #18 of 36 Hotels in Santa Monica
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great location and staff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

This hotel should be alot higher on Tripadvisor, the location is great and the excellent, friendly, helpful staff have insightful information on everything from local surfing through to places to have a good drink.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LFCAGB
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 review, 5 June 2014
Thank you very much for the awesome review! Simple formula: Best location + Best staff + BeautyRest mattresses...here's another helpful recommendation: When you're ready to plan your return to The Hotel California, please call me directly at the hotel at 310-393-2363 and I'll hook you up with a fantastic return rate! James Broome, Front Office Manager
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1,067 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (200)
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English first
Morrisville, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

Short TL;DR version: after an initial major issue with the room was remedied by the extremely responsive and friendly staff, I had an excellent four night stay in a junior suite at the Hotel California with two friends. Weather was highs of 75 and lows of 60; any warmer and it could have gotten a bit warm in the room during the day (I like it quite cool, especially at night).

Longer version: I knew that as someone who prefers a sleeping temperature of 70 or below and who needs a quiet environment for sleep that I was taking a risk by choosing a hotel without AC and with hardwood floors. I took the advice of other reviewers and asked for a room on the second floor (to eliminate noise from people stomping on hardwood floors above us) and toward the back of the property (to reduce road and sidewalk noise). All of the windows open, and there are sea breezes. The layout of the suite is a living room with a double bed that is in a three-walled alcove with a curtain, and a bedroom with a queen size bed. There is a fan in each room, but the bed in the living room is too far from that fan to feel anything. There is a mini-fridge/freezer. The bathroom is somewhat updated. It was hard to get the hot water to the right temperature, but it did work. One outlet did not work, and one set of living room blinds would not close (I was able to turn each slat manually); those were minor issues. With hardwood floors and old doors, if my roommates were walking around there was really no way to sleep through it; I am a light sleeper.

The major issue for me was that there was a skylight directly over the bed in the living room. Seriously! I was exceptionally tired the first night there after not getting to the hotel until 1:30am, but was woken up quite early by birds chirping outside the skylight and of course sunlight. As someone who needs a full 8 hours to feel good this was not going to work out for four nights. I was afraid I would have to change hotels or at least change rooms. I asked the front desk what they could do the next morning. Within an hour a maintenance person came and closed the skylight cover, fixing the noise, and then got on the roof and covered the skylight with a trash bag or something. It completely resolved the issue. I was quite relieved.

As other reviewers have said, the wifi was quite spotty. The grounds were clean. I closed all the windows at night to reduce noise. The location is amazing. Ask for a "hard" key so that you can use the gate closer to the beach. There are free muffins, bagels, and juice in the morning, and free coffee/tea and fruit all the time. The staff were very polite and friendly on the phone and in person.

The ambiance, kitsch, and character of the place are noteworthy. Lots of art and trinkets. That said, for me personally, the main reason I would stay at the Hotel California again is because of how cheap it is for the location and size of the room. Otherwise I'd prefer not to take the risk of high temperatures and noise. But if you are someone who can handle some noise, or can still sleep in a room that is 80 degrees and humid, or if you love unique hotels, I definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: Get a room on the top floor, away from the parking area and Ocean Ave. Be wary of skylights over be...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Patrick R
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 review, 4 June 2014
Hi Patrick! Thank you for your review! Yes, we are all about offering the best location at the best price on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. When you're ready to plan your future trip with us please call me directly at 310-393-2363. I'll be sure to take good care of you! James Broome, Front Office Manager
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2014

My husband and I came in town for a family event and were extremely pleased with the friendly atmosphere and beautiful location! Usually we have a hard time finding rooms that accommodate a wheelchair user but James made sure we were comfortable and well taken care of! He was so friendly and helpful and the rest of the staff was also! That's hard to find!! And even better, all for a very friendly price :)

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sailorette86
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 review, 4 June 2014
Hi there, Deena! Thanks for the fantastic feedback. The staff is so pleased you enjoyed your stay. Please call me when planning your return trip at 310-303-2363 and I'll be sure to take great of you! James Broome, Front Office Manager
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Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
43 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2014

My wife and I stayed at this hotel on our wedding night. The front desk was helpful and polite. The staff was great, but the room was so dated. I understand that's what they're going for, but it's just underwhelming when you walk in. The ceiling fan could not be ran on low or medium because of a knocking noise. Room 33 did have an ocean view, but over a rooftop. Not romantic or anything.
I would not stay here for a romantic setting. Try to spend more on another hotel.

Room Tip: Room 33 is one of the best rooms at this hotel. Maybe THE best. If you stay here, stay in this room.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DanielKeith0485
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 review, 1 June 2014
Daniel, thank you so much for choosing The Hotel California for your
wedding night and congratulations! The Hotel California loves to host
special occasions, as you can see by reviewing some of our previous reviews. We pride ourselves on our great service and believe that it sets us apart from the other "big box" style hotels in Santa Monica. We regret that you did not enjoy your time with us. Our rooms feature a very comfortable, laid back, California vibe to them and it embody the overall beach feeling. The ceiling fan mentioned was fixed
immediately, once we were notified. We take the time to ensure all of our
rooms are top of the line in every aspect, ceiling fans included!

Should you find yourself back in the Santa Monica area, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I will be sure to make your next stay as comfortable as possible. I'll even throw in a bottle of wine and a nice suite upgrade on the house!

- James Broome
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Oak Park, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2014

The hotel was old but very well maintained! The staff was so friendly, and the location could not have been better. The hotel was way better than I expected it to be for the price we paid. I would recommend it to anyone going to the Santa Monica area. The beach is literally a staircase away from you. The view and location there is better than those of the much more expensive hotels in the area. We were so pleased with everything, and I would stay here again in heartbeat!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DeenaMH
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 review, 26 May 2014
Thanks, Deena! I'm so happy to hear you got true VALUE during your stay. Between our complimentary breakfast, WiFi, coffee/tea, and pizza parties we always encourage our guests to pick The Hotel California because don't pick your pocket! Please contact me directly when planning your return trip. James Broome, Front Office Manager
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2014

Not knowing to much about the Santa Monica area apart from Santa Monica having a pier of some fame, we were unsure about were to book our short stay. After doing some research we came across The Hotel California.

Half knowing what to expect I wasn't taken back by what we booked into. This private hotel has a great atmosphere and friendly feel. The desk staff were always helpful Katie, Aaron and JP were all very welcoming and obliging to our needs. The Hotel is a stones throw from the beach and pier. The location of the hotel offers the stayer the option to go and have a short stroll on the beach and pier, and without any fuss go back to the room to freshen up or have a nap ready for the next part of the day. THC has maintained that beach and relaxed feel. THC is very well located to all amenities shops, eateries and the like.

For the unsuspecting visitor, be aware that THC has only ceiling fans (which we prefer) and no air conditioning, also be aware that it is a reasonably old hotel, so some of the amenities may be not what you would get in a modern hotel.

We had a front room located on Ocean Ave which can be quite noisy , there is double glazing to reduce the road noise, however we lived with the door open most of the time, so maybe ask for a rear room. The breakfast offered was quite adequate, consisting of the now stand fare in many hotels, bagels, muffins, yogurt, fruit etc. plus we found the 24 hour coffee a great plus, being coffee lovers.

Also ask about the private taxi service. We got the private taxi offered and travelled in luxury to LAX at a much cheaper rate than the standard taxi service.

When staying in SM do yourselves a favor and try and catch the tunes of Terry Prince ,who plays regularly on SM pier he will turn a good stay into a great stay in Santa Monica!

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the rear of the complex to avoid the road noise
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travellingpete72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2014

We have just returned from a 3 night stay at the Hotel California and had a great time. It is in a fantastic location in the centre of the action and just above the beach (with fabulous views) It is a boutique style hotel set in a courtyard, and is very clean and friendly. The beds were really comfortable and the staff are amazing (particularly James and Katie) and went out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as possible. There is always free coffee and juice, and also cakes, fruit and croissants for breakfast. It is easy walking distance to the many shops bars and restaurants of Santa Monica. We would definitely stay here again, and cannot recommend it highly enough. An absolute gem!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jackie880
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 review, 24 May 2014
An absolute gem - what a great description of our hotel! It's so nice to hear that you were able to take advantage of our prime location and walk everywhere in the area. Your review will be so helpful to all other travelers because it describes The Hotel California perfectly! Whenever you get back out to sunny Santa Monica be sure to give Katie or myself a call for a "welcome back" discount. We love having our guests come see us again!
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Additional Information about The Hotel California

Property: The Hotel California
Address: 1670 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401-3212
Phone Number:
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:
#11 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:2 star — The Hotel California 2*
Number of rooms: 36
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, laundry room, 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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