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“Best of the best in North County San Diego” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area

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Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1661 Villa Cardiff Drive, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, CA 92007   |  
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Tucson AZ
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Best of the best in North County San Diego”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

The Holiday Inn Express in Cardiff by the Sea (North of San Diego) is the best choice for lodging in Southern California. We are repeat customers because the greatest asset at this hotel is the staff which excels in every facet of customer service. The rooms are comfortable, clean and spacious. The breakfast are good. The location of the hotel is ideal being situated mid way between attractions as Sea World and Legoland. But the main reason to stay here is the hotel staff.

My wife and I had booked a two night stay to celebrate our grandson’s 12th birthday. However, due to my wife having a skateboard accident on day two of our trip, it became a two week stay with my wife spending a week in the hospital while I stayed at the hotel.

Prior to the accident upon initial registration, we were greeted with a great smile by Edilie, the Front Desk associate. She excelled in her amicable attitude which made us “feel at home.” This feeling was prevalent with all the front desk personnel: Holly, Jason and Marlon who always asked my wife’s condition when I returned to the hotel from the hospital.

The hotel General Manager, Andrew Nintzel, is an outstanding manager and individual. He inquired about my needs while my wife was in the hospital and daily followed up on her condition. Upon her discharge, Andrew moved us to a handicap room and furnished it to our needs. My wife convalesced for a week at the hotel before we were able to return to our home in Tucson.

If you want to find great customer service which is genuine, Holiday Inn Cardiff by the Sea, should be your hotel of choice while in the San Diego area.

Room Tip: I have stayed in many rooms at this hotel and have found them all to be very good. Personally, I tr...
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew N, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area, responded to this review, November 1, 2013
It's always such a pleasure to take of you and your wife when you come to visit your family in San Diego! However, this year's trip was quite eventful and disheartening, due to your wife's injury. We are so pleased as a staff that we could do everything in our power to make sure you got through a tough medical process. We hope your wife is back home recovering and feeling much better! We look forward to seeing you again on your next trip! Thanks for such an awesome review!!! Sincerely, Andrew Nintzel, GM
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160 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

Stayed here because it appeared to be in a convenient location. It was right off the highway and was definitely a good central location for our needs. The lobby area of the hotel was very nice, staff super friendly. The breakfast room is just off the lobby. Plenty of spots to eat and the breakfast was excellent. Cinnamon rolls and egg/cheese omelet were excellent. Our room was not great. We traveled with two other families and they said theirs was fine. In our bathroom there was mold all over the ceiling of the bathroom. GROSS! The corners of the room were not well clean. We thought about asking to switch rooms, but didn't want to cart our 10 pieces of luggage to another room once we actually saw the bathroom. We just dealt with it. The pool and hot tub were nice. Kids really enjoyed swimming in it a couple days. Would stay here again, but would ask to see a room first to be sure there isn't any mold.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Andrew N, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area, responded to this review, October 17, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your stay with us. I am happy the breakfast met your needs, and that you enjoyed the pool and jacuzzi. However, I am very sorry about the condition of the guest room. We take issues, such as mold, very seriously. After reading your feedback, we will be conducting a full inspection of all guest rooms, so that we can make sure this issue is resolved. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (760) 944-0427, so that we can discuss this issue further. Best, Andrew Nintzel, GM
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Des Moines, Iowa
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

One does not expect exceptional service in this price range, but this place has it, and I was pleasantly surprised.

The place is spacious, clean, comfortable, well located, the premises carefully tended, it has a great little pool and hot tub, a well cared for free breakfast that is noticeably above the usual breakfast I was used to in a hotel this type.

What stands out even more is the courtesy, eagerness to help, and attentiveness of the reception staff. It is at a level one is used to in luxury hotels. I was impressed by the dedication.

I booked a room through "a third party" (Starts with "T") for my daughter and me.

When I called for possible early check- in, they made it available to me.

Two of the front desk guys helped me with questions about the town, and helped me promptly when I called after check- out for something I left in the room.

It takes maybe 25-30 minutes to get to SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo- ideal for visiting families who want to stay outside of San Diego proper.

Close to a lovely Botanical center- next exit to the North.

A five minute drive to the ocean, with restaurants, and access to the ocean to look at the sunset with your feet in the Pacific, surrounded by the surfing dudes.

I liked the water- saving toilet feature - maybe this is only new to me, living in the Midwest.

What I would have liked: a safe in the room, and a low- level nightlight in the bathroom.

The hotel exceeded my expectations and I would happily use it again.

Room Tip: No room location recommendations.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew N, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
Wow, what a wonderfully written review of our hotel! Being comfortable while traveling is so important, and finding the right hotel near so many attractions is also a challenging task. With that said, we are so thankful for your business. Our staff will love hearing how impressed you were. Yes, saving water is very important, and we are pleased you noticed this feature in the bathroom. We most definitely look forward to seeing you again on your next trip to Encinitas! Best, Andrew Nintzel, GM
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Rancho Cordova, California
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
75 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

This is a nice, clean and friendly hotel. Check in is always easy. The rooms are nice. We had a king bed, a sofa, desk and tables. It is nice. Pool is nice. It is an outdoor pool. plenty of chairs and tables. Breakfast is good.
The only problem I had is at breakfast there were ants all around the coffee area. When I told the kitchen staff, she did nothing. I don't know if maybe she did not understand me, or was so busy getting herself food that she did not care, but she did nothing about the ants. Ants happen, I know that, but clean them up.
Still love this hotel!

Room Tip: This is nothing about the hotel... If you are on a floor with a room under you.. remember they can h...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew N, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area, responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Your feedback is very valuable for us and we thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am so pleased your check-in process was easy and your room was comfortable. However, I am very sorry about the issue with the ants in the breakfast room, and I assure you the room has been thoroughly deep cleaned and our extermination company has completed its work on the room. We look forward to seeing you again when you visit Encinitas! Sincerely, Andrew Nintzel, GM
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Pie Town, New Mexico
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

I stayed here a couple of nights while visiting friends in Encinitas. It was clean, accommodating, and the staff were very friendly. The only odd thing about the place is the site it's on: it's really crammed into a tight spot, surrounded by the freeway, the Valero gas station next door, and the hill in back. It seemed a bit unwelcoming but I asked for a room away from the freeway and my friends told me that the taco stand in the Valero station has some very good Mexican food, and even the pool was OK (though it's right next to the Valero car wash). Anyway, the location seems to be reflected in the price, because the places on the other side of the feeway, closer to the beach, cost more. All in all I had a pleasant stay and would stay there again.

Room Tip: Try to get a room away from the freeway. Try the food at the Valero station next door (seriously, t...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew N, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area, responded to this review, September 15, 2013
Thank you so much for such positive feedback. We are pleased you had a good time while visiting your friends in Encinitas and look forward to welcoming you back again soon! Best, AWN, GM
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Upland, ca
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

I have stayed here before and was really happy with the room and accommodations, but this last visit on Labor day weekend was disappointing. I was not happy with the room, it smelled musty and had large stains on the carpet. I felt the room was a lower quality than have had in past visits. The biggest problem of all was I used my American Express Card and had not used it anywhere before this stay since July 30 in New Orleans, and the next day Amex fraud alert called to say someone was trying to charge on my account and I needed to review the charges. I called the front desk immediately and told then that somehow my card was compromised by staying at this Holiday Inn or by Holiday Inn itself and asked that the manager return my call. Well it is a week later and the manager has never called me back. I have to ask why the manager or Holiday Inn has not called? Do they care that this may have happened there at their facility? Are some of their employees involved? Is their system secure? It would be nice if they cared enough to call and assure me that their system is secure!! I don't know how I can justify staying at another Holiday Inn unless they investigate this, or reassure people. Be very wary of this Holiday Inn and check out others before you decide to stay there.

Room Tip: Watch your credit card at this Holiday Inn, if you have to stay use Amex only and check your account...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Andrew N, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area, responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Dear coosbaygal, We take credit card security very seriously at our hotel, and I am so sorry for the issue that occurred. Thank you for allowing me to research the issue at hand and confirm your secure transaction. We have also inspected the guest room in question and repaired all issues. Once again, as a regular guest at our hotel, I promise your next stay will be memorable and without issues. Sincerely, Andrew Nintzel, GM
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Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Most of my review will be on the positive side, but at the end of this review, I will indicate my complaints.
I stayed here for two nights last week. Upon checking in, I was given 2 cold water bottles (equivalent to my 2 night stay). I've not had that happen ever at any other hotel. Upon going into my room, I noticed a mini refrigerator which obviously helped to keep the water cold. This is a great welcome to all travelers and very much appreciated.

At first, I could not figure out how to make the room comfortable but eventually I did. The room was fine for one person with a queen size bed, desk and side chair.

The free breakfast had a lot of choices and from what I chose was perfectly fine.

My two complaints are this: the location of my room overlooked part of the roof and as such - it was unsightly. There was also bird poop on the window so each time I looked out the window I had to see it.

The other complaint I have is the pools' location - in the parking lot. One is better off driving to the beach rather than use the pool if this location is a problem. The location of the pool is obviously not the management's problem, it's the original architect. Guess he/she did not like to swim otherwise they may have put the pool in a more attractive place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Andrew N, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Dear 447Judyc, Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent stay at our hotel. First off, I am very pleased you enjoyed your two-night stay with us! It's wonderful to hear about the ways our staff attempted to make your stay memorable. I will be sure to pass along your feedback regarding the pool location and the view from the room. We hope to see you again on your next trip to Encinitas! Best, Andrew Nintzel, GM
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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 Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area

Address: 1661 Villa Cardiff Drive, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, CA 92007
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Encinitas > Cardiff-by-the-Sea
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cardiff-by-the-Sea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area 2.5*
Number of rooms: 101
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you are looking for hotels near San Diego, make sure you check out our property located right off I-5 at exit 40. We are located less than a half-mile from the beach, and we provide our guests with the best in quality amenities, making us the smart choice. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area Hotel Cardiff By The Sea

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