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“What a difference a day makes”

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The Hotel California
Ranked #19 of 36 Hotels in Santa Monica
Oro Valley, Arizona
Level Contributor
41 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“What a difference a day makes”
Reviewed 17 July 2014

Spur of a moment trip to Santa Monica and I found this hotel on trip advisor. Got into Santa Monica around 5 but had trouble getting to the hotel because of traffic and construction so I called the hotel to get directions and the gentlemen at the front desk was not helpful in the scents that he did not care. Finally we got to the hotel and checked in which was OK, again not helpful when I asked any recommendations for dinner his response was "I don't live in the area but just walk up the street and you'll find alot" showed me where to park my car and that was the last time I saw him. Got up the next morning and decided that we would like to stay an extra night if possible, dreading the same front desk experience I was greeted by two rays of sunshine in the names of Katie and James. They were understanding and helpful in getting an extra day for us, they are top notch employees and people. Getting off my soapbox now and on to my review :
Pros :
The atmosphere was great with garden walkways and sitting areas.
Our room was small but not in a bad way with a queen size bed, a plush chair.
The bathroom had a tub and shower combo and a small sink.
Plenty of shelves for storage and a safe and fridge.
32 inch TV and a clock radio.
Ceiling fan for cooling because there is no AC(more on that later)
Katie and James +100,the maids and service staff.
5 min walk to Santa Monica Pier
Cons:
No ac, but during the evening it is fine. Why are you in your room during the day with the beach a few yards away.
Parking, there is a few spots but are taken early. Parked at the Lowe's hotel down the street for $40
Spotty wifi, there is City WiFi at the beach for those who can't get away.
This is not upscale but a vintage hotel to relax and recharge and I plan to recharge again at the Hotel California. Thanks again to Katie and James for making this part of our trip memorable. And be sure to get a hug from Katie, it will make your day start out right.

Room Tip: We had room #28 which is on the outside area which can be noisy but had easy access to the beach. As...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bzydad
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, 20 July 2014
Hey there Crawford family! We are so happy that you two came to stay with us for a couple of nights. I know that the stay started out a little rocky, but that just gave Katie and I the opportunity to get to know you guys even better! I had a little chat with that gentleman and I don't see any instances like that happening again.

Guests like you are what make our jobs worth while. You two couldn't have been any nicer, and we were so thankful that you chose our little hotel by the beach. Next time you guys are in the Santa Monica area you better come say hi! Or better yet, spend the week with us! I'll be sure to take care of a nice return-guest discount for you, of course. Try to keep the "California Cool" out there in Arizona and we hope to hear from you soon!

All the Best,

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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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (204)
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 July 2014

The most friendly and helpful staff I have had the pleasure to meet. Katie couldn't do enough for us. The Hotel had that much character it was almost alive.The most comfortable bed and great location Will definitely be back.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul L
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, 16 July 2014
Hi Paul! You hit it on the head - best beds at the best location! It was great to host you. Please visit us online at hotelca.com or 310.393.2363 for a great return rate! James Broome, Front Office Manager
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Laguna beach
1 review
Reviewed 13 July 2014

We were looking for an affordable place near the beach but realized that it's almost impossible to find one! We came across this place and it was amazing, much less stuffy than all of the big pricey hotels. James at the front desk was so nice and helpful! We will definitely go back!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SueTraveler56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel Californi... S, Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Sue - I'm PUMPED you enjoyed your STAY-cation at The Hotel California. We love locals! For a great return rate, please book direct with us at hotelca.com or 310-393-2363 - James Broome, Front Office Manager
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Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2014

Just completed a 3 night stay and the hotel was amazing!
I suggest that you read the other reviews and peruse the photos to get a sense of the quirkiness of the hotel (very unique and homey decor, amazing and personable staff) and an accurate sense of location (i.e. "steps to beach" is not the same as "beachfront", so why are other reviewers surprised???)

Above and beyond:
* complimentary beach towels - wasn't expected and wished I'd have known, so I could've saved suitcase space
* complimentary laundry (and free detergent!) - Santa Monica is the mid-point of a two week road trip from SanFran to San Diego; it was an unexpected surprise to have laundry facilities onsite! Even if it's only limited to 4:30-9:30pm
* free coffee at the front desk is available at all hours(!) and very good
* my kiddies made me mention the Poptarts as part of the complimentary breakfast snacks (let's not call this "continental breakfast", as there are no plates)


Not for you if:
* you like your room to be 61ºF at all hours - we stayed in mid-July and no A/C wasn't an issue! We weren't in the rooms during the day, so the day temp didn't matter! At night, we needed sweatshirs on the pier, so open windows and the fan got the room comfortable enough to sleep
* you need complete darkness and quiet - after hours spent jumping waves on the beach and then walking back & forth the 3rd St promenade to eat/shop, we were all too tired to notice the noise... that being said, it's a 1920's building, so you can hear your neighbors shower going and the open windows for circulation means you can hear any convo as people walk by. As for darkness, the blinds were more for privacy and with the added skylight for circulation, at 6am the rooms was as bright as any room with the overhead lights on (TIP: bring an eye mask if you want to sleep in)
* you are uptight about privacy - open doors/windows/blinds for circulation, means you are going to walk to your room, passing people lounging about their rooms. Call me an uptight Canadian, but I found it weird that our neighbors ALWAYS had their front door open, as they liked to cuddle in bed. (not really the hotel's fault)
* you need steady and reliable WiFi - if you need to work remotely, then the WiFi will drive you nutty! I had to constantly switch between the two WiFi networks (labelled front or back of hotel) and even then, the connection wasn't steady or consistent. If you don't need to be online for work, then PUT DOWN your cellphone/tablet/laptop and go to the damn beach!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RetroMusic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
70 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
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
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Level 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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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 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
#17 Business 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline, Odigeo, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Cancelon and Evoline ltd 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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