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“Great location - not so great accommodations”

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The Hotel California
Ranked #19 of 36 Hotels in Santa Monica
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great location - not so great accommodations”
Reviewed 13 July 2014

The location can't be beat - it is just a few steps to the beach. We booked a deluxe suite and there was nothing deluxe about it. We knew from reading reviews that there was no air conditioning, but also thought there would be ocean breezes to compensate. Even though all the windows were open, it was unbearably hot in the room. The bathroom was tiny and the towel rack was on the floor in pieces. Even though they advertised parking, we were told the lot was full and we had to pay $40/night to valet park at the hotel next door.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cynthia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (208)
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Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2014

I booked this hotel sight unseen (since we are East Coast dwellers) purely on the basis of Trip Advisor reviews, and they did not steer me wrong. It was just what we were looking for. Great location - 5-10 minutes walk one way, you are on Broadway near the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place (beautiful mall completely open air), and 5-10 minutes the other way you are on funky Main Street with coffee houses and consignments shops (well, at least one). Beach is behind the building, one tiny street separating the building and the beach (which is awesome, and the Pier is right there - you will not get a better hotel for beach location). The staff, as everyone here agrees, is super friendly. Our room had LA movie posters, a ceiling painting and surfboard headboards. The beds were extraordinarily comfortable - there are little brass plaques that say they have top of the line Beautyrest mattresses, and they are awesome.

We picked this hotel over others also based on the price, and indeed everything else in the area (that is not a dump) is much more expensive, so based on that, I thought it was a great value.

The only major negative is that there is no air conditioning (this was July, and we were on the top floor in the front - I have to believe the top floor rooms are hotter than the ground floor rooms). We would get back to our room before dinner and the room was pretty much like an oven. However, there was a ceiling fan and we just left the door open for a while and it cooled down enough to sleep comfortably. But if you are a person who really likes the feeling of air conditioning, this may not be the place for you in the summer- me personally, I'm not a big AC fan so it wasn't much of a problem.

Before booking, you should be aware that this is not a new building. The bathroom was tiny, clean but not particularly new - you are not getting the granite vanity tops and plush carpets of the Marriott. But it was great for us - I was vacationing with my teenage daughter and the eclectic feel was actually perfect and worth a tiny bathroom. Also, the free breakfast is very basic - good coffee and OJ, but then just some prepackaged muffins and poptarts. Again, just fine for my daughter and me - we just wanted to get out there to the beach or the shops - but not croissants with artisanal jams on china, if that is important to you.

Also be aware that the hotel is on main street and there are occasional motorcycles gunning it at night - it wasn't super noisy but it's not like you just heard crickets chirping. But we chose not to look into moving our room, because originally we were just supposed to have a queen bed for us to share, and they ended up putting us in a room with a queen and a twin which worked out much better for us. This may have been because a few days before we arrived I called the extremely helpful and friendly Aaron and explained the nature of our "girls vacation". Aaron also saved us a bunch of money by suggesting we not rent a car for the whole time we were there and by directing us to Midway car rental, walking distance from the hotel and we rented a car for a single day (to drive into downtown LA) - for $27! (Be aware that parking at the hotel is $36 per night, which we avoided entirely).. So thanks, Aaron! (but you really have to stop telling people that a cab from the airport is $27 with no traffic - with tip it's really more like $50.)

Highly recommended. Great place to vacation. Check it out!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Connie M
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, 8 July 2014
Connie! Thank you for posting such a glowing review! I'm pumped you and your daughter had a great stay with us at The Hotel California...You picked the hotel that doesn't pick your pocket! Please call me direct at the hotel 310.393.2363 for a great return rate! James Broome, Front Office Manager
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Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviewed 5 July 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Hotel California. Being fellow Canadians, we loved the fact that the owner is a retired RCMP Officer! The room had lot's of character, which I found quite charming. The staff were all kind and accommodating. And the location was amazing. Just a walk down the stairs and you're practically on the beach, right at the pier! The continental breakfast was a nice addition. I will definitely recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Santa Monica.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank brifoster
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, 8 July 2014
The hotel owner, THE DUDE, was born in Toronto and sends his best to you! Thanks for the glowing review! You picked the hotel with the best rates, best beds, and best location in Santa Monica! Call or book with us direct online at hotelca.com for a great return rate! James Broome, Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
226 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

First visit, for business with some pleasure by being on the beach. A very unique collection of rooms. Three of us, I chose this hotel, but each if my co-workers got two room suites, one with a view of the ocean. I got a room about the size of my bed that looked onto a courtyard that was quite noisy. So, if you make a reservation, pick a "specific" room that meets your expectations at the time you make the reservation.
For Santa Monica beach and pier, you just walk down some steps and you are there.
For Santa Monica restaurants and shopping, you walk out the front and you are there.
Great location, great prices, a most unique hotel experience.

Room Tip: Ask for what you want when you make your reservation.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BillParker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 2 July 2014 via mobile

My partner and I stayed here for three nights in June/July. Perfect location and the staff helped us with all the stuff we wanted to do it was perfect. No aircon wasn't real ya problem as we weren't in the room at all during the day but would have been nice at night, but if you are use to sleeping warm as we are it was no worries. Overall great stay and would recommend!

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Matt B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2014

We were greeted by a very friendly Aaron, who despite being somewhat harassed by a queue of guests and a continuously ringing phone, welcomed us to the hotel quickly and efficiently while handling the other customers with excellent wit and manners.

The hotel was ideally located and we were lucky enough to have parking onsite for both nights of our stay. The room was clean and brightly decorated which is as much as we could ask for the price tag.

The free breakfast didn't amount to much and is a takeaway option only, but there are plenty of great and affordable places nearby. It was useful to have free hot drinks to takeaway as we set off on explorations of the city.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Szn28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Quinta, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2014

Outstanding value and location in Santa Monica! We have stayed at The Hotel California many times and enjoy the convenience of being next to everything Santa Monica has to offer. They have also improved their service and provide free internet and breakfast. For a comfortable and unique place to stay, try The Hotel California.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Robert 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, 2 July 2014
Thank you, Robert, for taking the time to write such a great review! We appreciate your repeat stays with us! Next time please call me directly at the hotel for a fantastic return rate: 310.393.2363 James Broome, Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hotel California

Property: 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:
#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: 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Odigeo, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd, Cancelon and getaroom.com so you can book your The Hotel California reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
California Hotel Santa Monica
Hotel California Santa Monica
California Santa Monica

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