This is really an old-fashioned, family road trip motel, and I am really glad we stayed here. The beds, while firmer than I'm used to, were comfortable enough and clean. The bathroom, clean. The rest of the room, clean. The price? Low, low low. Pool was well-sized and clean, no overwhelming chlorine smell, with enough furniture for mom and dad to hang out while the kids splash. There were windows in every area of the room (even a small privacy window in the bath), so there was lots of natural light. AC unit was kind of loud, but on low all night, it helped make sure we weren't awakened by any of our neighbors (they seemed to be mostly small families and business travelers, but I'm very sensitive to sudden sounds, so the AC was a help to me). As with any motel, I recommend not being barefoot but wearing socks or sandals around the room, because, come on, people come right in off the street outside. Our room was nonsmoking and did not smell of smoke, but there was an ashtray outside. The staff were super nice, friendly, and helpful, explained everything and answered any questions we had. Surrounding neighborhood was working class, not "scary" like some people said on the travel sites. For eats, try the dinner just across the parking lot, Sal & Ceci's, or head across the street to the supermarket.
Yes, the Franciscan Inn is dated, but if you just consider it a "classic" from the '70s, you won't be disappointed. If you want a way to save money on an old-fashioned family road trip, close enough to the beaches, wine country, and all the rest of the exciting things SoCal has to offer, stay at the Franciscan (and have some delicious pie at Sal & Ceci's--it's to die for!).
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