We had been to Cambria many years ago, staying at one of the numerous small inns/motels along Moonstone Beach Drive. I recall it being a pretty setting but we did not have an ocean view at that time. On our return trip, we decided to splurge and chose this property based on the stellar Tripadvisor reviews and gorgeous photos on the hotel's website.
We were not disappointed. This is a very classy inn with beautifully appointed furnishings, wide hallways and a very professional staff. We chose the Biscayne Bay room, one of the ones on the first floor, ocean front. These very special rooms have access via sliding glass doors to an expansive patio directly across from the ocean. During out two days/nights there, we spent a lot of time sitting on the patio chairs, enjoying the view and ocean air. Our room had a large bathroom with a large whirlpool tub and separate shower. There is no air conditioning in the room (Cambria never gets too warm) and for heat, there is a gas fireplace. There is no pool at this hotel. There is very convenient parking all around the hotel and in the back.
Included in your room rate is a breakfast box for each person, with items you choose the night before. These might include scones, hard boiled egg, danish pastries, parfait, juice, etc. You can make coffee in the room and/or walk to the lobby where there is always coffee/tea/water available. Although be no means gourmet, this was a nice touch for maximum privacy (no having to make small talk with strangers in a breakfast room when you're still half asleep). We enjoyed our breakfast in our robes, sitting on our patio.
Cambria is a beautiful little town and Moonstone Beach is its jewel. Moonstone Beach Drive is not a big street so even though all of the hotels are across the street from the ocean, this is not a major detriment. An easy, safe walk across the street leads you to a wooden boardwalk that seems to stretch for a mile north and south. From the boardwalk, you can reach lookout areas where you can see seals, pelicans and, if you're lucky, whales. Also, there are scores of squirrels and rabbits hanging around, begging for food. A lot of people were walking their dogs on the boardwalk as well.
The beach is not a swimming beach; too cold, a bit rocky. There are some tidepools as well. Some areas have sand but it is more dirt-like than sugary. We spent an enjoyable half hour searching for "moonstones," little rocks or pebbles with translucent chalcedony that are polished by the waves. Although the area does not feel built up at all, there are more than a dozen modest inns/motels along Moonstone Drive.
To be consistent with my other reviews (where I rarely award 5 stars), I would have to rate this hotel only 4 stars. It does look like the nicest place to stay on Moonstone Beach Drive but the price definitely reflects this. We went during peak season when it was hot in Los Angeles and perfect (about 75 degrees) in Cambria so the rates were undoubtedly at their peak as well. I award 5 stars for an exceptional experience and/or value. My gut tells me that you can find a different hotel on the Drive with an ocean view and balcony/patio, and perhaps a little more basic furnishings, for less. But if money is no object, this is a very nice place to stay.
I believe none of the rooms have balconies and the only rooms with patios are the four on the first...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.