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“we are comfortable here” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sea Otter Inn

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Sea Otter Inn
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   6656 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, CA 93428   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 10 Hotels in Cambria
Prescott, Arizona
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“we are comfortable here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

we have been staying at the Sea Otter for many years. It is a very pretty little inn with nice, clean rooms. we always choose the south side because each room has a sweet little patio, completely private and two nice chairs to lounge in with morning coffee. and we can leave our back door open for all the fresh sea air we want because of it. the beds are comfy, the fireplace is warm and the room is clean and quiet. the people in the office, Don is our favorite, are friendly and helpful. Don helps us book deals on travelzoo or other sales. This motel is on Moonstone beach drive, among many pricier motels. We have stayed in some of them, but there is really no advantage over this modest place. I recommend this motel based on over 22 years of vacations in Cambria.

Room Tip: book on the south side to get the private patio.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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268 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
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English first
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We got a Travelzoo deal for $129/nt. for the king bed patio room at this small inn located just off PCH in Cambria. All in all, I would say it was a pretty good (though not phenomenal) value for the price. I generally won't pay over $100 for a room per night unless it has something special about it to persuade me to do so. This quaint little inn, right near the beach and lavishly landscaped in beautiful wildflowers, had enough going for it that I was willing to take a shot for a family weekend getaway.

Rooms were positively charming, homey and comfortable. The furniture was clearly older but clean and in reasonably good repair and the decor reflected a Victorian chintz and doily sensibility. This is not a five-star resort, but I don't get the impression that's how they bill themselves anyway. The inn is quite small but it's located just across the street from Moonstone Beach.

We loved the gas fireplace and the small but serviceable patio. They could do with some sturdier seating out there; the plastic Adirondack chairs they currently have feel a little unstable for anyone that weighs over 100 lbs.! Speaking of Adirondack chairs, I did notice that almost all the other resorts on Moonstone Beach Drive had tons and tons of them facing the ocean, evidently to facilitate the nightly ritual of watching the sunset, but Sea Otter only has two, so our group of six didn't really get to avail ourselves of them.

Every unit has a small fridge, microwave and coffeemaker conveniently located in one half of the closet. All of the kitchen appliances were clean and worked fine. I loved their eco-friendly presentation of soap, shampoo and conditioner, all of which you get from a refillable dispenser on the shower wall.

The pool is heated as advertised, and the Jacuzzi was a perfect 104 degrees. A previous reviewer said there was only one chaise lounge, but I counted at least four and it looked like they'd been there a while. The cushions weren't in the best shape ever and were made out of a rather impractical red cloth, but quite honestly, this seems more like the kind of pool into which you run and take a quick, refreshing dip, not one you'd expect to hang by in a chaise lounge all day reading your book. I didn't see any other guests use the pool or jacuzzi in the 24 hours we were there, so I guess to most people it's just an extra bonus to have rather than the prime motivator for choosing their hotel here.

There was a decent array of choices for the free breakfast, including hardboiled eggs, dry cereal with milk, instant oatmeal, muffins, pastries and bagels. Fine with me to take the food back to our room on a tray; I tend to feel a little awkward in those communal breakfast areas anyway.

About the only thing that marred our visit a little bit was that the front desk called us to register a noise complaint. It was 9:30pm on a Saturday night, and the gal from the front desk who called us wasn't downright rude but had enough attitude in her voice that it got on my nerves a bit. Our offense? Teaching two children, ages six and thirteen, to play a funny board game (Balderdash). Ironically, I'd been out on the back patio earlier and was VERY glad the kids weren't with me at that precise nonce, because our neighbors in the next unit--the very same ones that complained about us later that night--decided to get busy with their bathroom window open and you could hear, um, EVERYTHING. I was DYING to mention that to the desk clerk, but I didn't want to discuss it in front of the kids so I just Iet it go. Yes, we had gotten to laughing during the game, but it wasn't all that late and I didn't really appreciate the woman's tone (which bordered on accusatory) too much.

Two quick notes about Cambria generally:

We had to drive a little ways (and I do mean "little," just like six blocks) down Moonstone Beach Drive to find somewhere with a strip of sand wide enough to actually relax without worrying that high tide was going to come in and drown you. It also is not a beach area that is easily accessible for anyone with a disability, so if that describes you, I'd look elsewhere. It's not like a SoCal sugar sand beach; there are lots of sticks and rocks and rough terrain and the beaches are really only accessible if you can manage up and down stairs. The sunset, however, was a truly lovely experience.

Also, the town itself is charming but YE GODS what a tourist trap in terms of pricing! The bead store in town had very ordinary selections at about three to five times what you could get the same beads and findings for just about anywhere in California that isn't a resort town.

I am undecided whether I'd return to Sea Otter unless I got a wicked good deal (say $79/night). There are oodles of other properties in the same area that probably offer comparable amenities and I'm all about new experiences. However, we definitely enjoyed our one-night stay here enough for it to become a fond memory of a fun visit with family.

Room Tip: The patio adds a nice dimension if you can get one of the rooms that have one.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California City, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

Excellent location. Facing moonstone beach, we would just cross the street to get to it or boardwalk...we got the king suite and it had a living room with a fireplace, and there are 2 bathrooms! Pretty spacious! Great place to book if you have kids! Also, just a 15 min drive to Hearst Castle... Got a great deal thru Travelzoo!

Clean rooms, decor similar to B/B. Btw, there is even a litte backyard terrace!

Bring your own towels if you are particular about these type of things.... Towels are like the ones you get at gym....thin, scratcht, bristly from many washings.... The reason, I bring this up is because I have long hair, and usually use superthick plush absorbent towels...

Totally will stay here again...

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambria
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

We had a wonderful stay in a very charming suite. The surprise was a free upgrade for our special day! We've never treated ourselves to such wonderful accommodations! The breakfast worked out great. Filling a tray with our choice from an array of foods laid out in the office and bringing it back to our room worked out very well.
I especially loved the gorgeous gardens, so many flowers in great abundance.
Being able to walk the beach boardwalk at sunset before crossing the street to have dinner was so much nicer than having to get into our car to get to these destinations.
We will definitely return.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012 via mobile

If you are looking for a peaceful place where you can quiete your mind this is the right one. Smell the ocean, watch the sunset, enjoy the nature. Room is comfortable, service is attentive and friendly. There is the pool and coffee, and the weather never gets hot.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darlington, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

We stayed at the Sea Otter Inn during our road trip around California. It is located right on Moonstone beach drive with wonderful views of the ocean and the beach. The motel style rooms are very nice and comfortable. The bathroom was a bit on the small side but OK. The buffet style breakfast is set up in the reception lobby. You take your tray from the room and fill it with what you require from the buffet. There was a good choice of all breakfast items. You then eat your breakfast in your room. There is a circular table and two chairs near the window inside the room. The hotel is ideally located if you want to walk down the boardwalk or relax on the beach. There are a number of restaurants in close proximity but you still need to drive to the restaurants. We enjoyed our stay at the Sea Otter Inn and would return in the future.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

Recently stayed at this boutique property on Moonstone Beach and had a great time. We had a second story ocean front room so we had a beautiful view of the ocean and sunsets. This property is ideally located right across the beach where we walked twice a day on the wood planked walkway along the whole length of the beach. Very picturesque so bring your camera! The room was quiet, with a fireplace and a comfy bed. We would go back.......

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sea Otter Inn

Address: 6656 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, CA 93428
Location: United States > California > San Luis Obispo County > Cambria
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Cambria
#9 Romantic Hotel in Cambria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sea Otter Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sea Otter Inn is located on Cambria's famous Moonstone Beach Drive just across from the Moonstone Beach boardwalk. A family-owned property, this charming country-style inn features 25 cozy fireplace accommodations ranging from traditional hotel rooms to family suites and ocean-view spa tub rooms. A year-round outdoor heated pool and spa complete the getaway ambiance. All guests receive complimentary Wi-Fi, HBO, and continental breakfast. Minutes from Hearst Castle and local wineries, Sea Otter Inn is the perfect home base for exploring California's Central Coast. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sea Otter Hotel Cambria

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