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“I liked it” 4 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, CA 92007   |  
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esopus
1 review
“I liked it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2010

I had a nice room here. I especially loved the breakfast. Everything is tip-top and the staff were great.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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139 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
CALIFORNIA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2010

The service was great. The Staff was Friendly and Helpful. The rooms were nice and cleaned. The beds were very comfortable. The Location of the Hotel was good, Everything was accessable( walking or driving wise) So that was not a PROBLEM. The breakfast buffet was good (i will miss their scrabmled eggs). If we needed something, they were happy assist us.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2010

I would not recommend this hotel to anyone. The office staff was rude and not at all helpful. They had several office staff and none seemed to be friendly.
The beach was not as close as promised.

Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OKC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2010

I loved this hotel. It was clean, the staff was friendly, and the room was nice. I had no problems with anything at this hotel what-so-ever. It was the ideal place to stay. I would recommend staying here to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Northern California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

Upon arrival we were greeted by a very friendly front desk employee. We were offered a room upgrade at no extra charge that included a fridge and a couch instead of a chair. The hotel and rooms had recently been upgraded with granite, tile, carpet, bedding, furniture, you name it. It was very comfortable including the bed.

They offer a free hot breakfast that wasn't gourmet but met our needs. You could eat healthy or not, it's up to you. They also had cereal, juices, yogurt, fruit, muffins, etc.

One day the housekeepers forgot to leave the floor mat in the bathroom. I called the front desk and someone was there within minutes.

On another note they are doing their part for energy conservation by only have half the lights on in the hallways. They have timers on the bathroom light and the light on the desk so in case you forgot they turn off. CFL bulbs in all fixtures. Low flush toilets and heat on demand in the shower. The rooms are also very quite, never heard anybody the whole time.

There was not view to be had but we were gone all day anyway so it didn't matter to us. The location is good, close to beaches, Legoland, downtown and the north county.

The next time we are in San Diego we will definetly stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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tucson
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

I researched carefully the hotels available north of San Diego. Our requirements are a refrigerator in the room, 2 queen beds, a hot breakfast, pool, and laundry facilities. What fit our requirements was the HIE at Cardiff. The only thing they did not have was the on-site laundry. Luckily they said a laundromat was about a mile away. We did find the laundromat on the way to the beach in a small strip of shops - perfect! Anyway, we stayed for 4 nights and like the previous poster we drove for over 6 hours and arrived after the 3:00 p.m. checkin and we were told we had to wait as well. The reason given was housekeeping was behind. I stressed to the manager before we even left home that I wanted a fridge in the room and he said he would try his best. Anyway, they did have our room ready very soon and it did have a fridge! It was also on the ground floor at the back end of the building and it was very quiet. We had to go down to the lobby to get ice - no problem with that - we have teenagers who love to do stuff like that. The breakfast was very good every day and they always had the cinnamon rolls. My husband asked the gentleman who was in the kitchen where they came from and he said they were from a local bakery. The 5 days we ate breakfast there, they never ran out of anything. I will say though we always got down there early - before 8:00 usually. The only problem we had was with mgmt communicating with housekeeping that we needed 4 towels every day as there were 4 of us in the room. Housekeeping told mgmt our type of room came with 3 towels and I was told we would have to ask for another towel every day. Well, that is just silly as far as I am concerned. The next day I talked to the person working the front desk during the day shift and he got it taken care of - didn't even have to get upset about it! I asked if we were the first guests he had with four in a room and he said no, of course not. Back to the room, the drain in the shower/tub was very slow but we lived with it. Did not like at all the layout of the bathroom area being right next to the door - especially if you are getting ready and drying your hair, someone opens the door to go in or out of the rooom and you aren't completely dressed - well there you are on display to whoever is out in the hall! If we stay there again I would ask if all of their rooms have that same layout. Nice flat screen TV! We went in the pool and jacuzzi once and it was ok. We did make alot of use of the free computer in the lobby area as we were looking for restaurants in the area - that was always in working order. My son brought his PSP and used the free wifi when we were in the room with no problems. The lobby area is very nice and was always clean when we were there. We liked the easy access to the freeway and the beach was so close. Overall, we would stay there again. I would like to add I did not like at all the booking process with Holiday Inn. I constantly kept getting directed to a call center in the Philippines and when I asked for someone in the US they said I would have to keep calling back at the same number as they could not transfer me. I did try that, and never got anywhere and this process was very frustrating. However, I wanted that hotel because of the location and the amenities and it also got decent reviews. I found on the the Holiday Inn site a "customer care" number in Utah so I called them and made my reservation and they were very helpful. I did this because we get a corporate discount through my husband's employer but I also had other discounts through Entertainment, Costco, and Sam's club so I wanted the best price. The person who booked our reservation gave me the online price with our corporate discount. From now on I will book with customer care. I did voice my frustrations with their call center but was not given the impression they would do anything about it. I refuse to book online and give out my credit card info that way.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Yosemite, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2009

We carefully researched the area and booked this hotel (four nights) based upon its reviews and our own past experiences with HIExpresses. While there was nothing truly terrible about this hotel, the many smaller problems can be traced to bad management. We walked in (after a 7-hour drive) at 4:30 PM on a Sunday afternoon - to check in. We were told our room wasn't ready and that we'd be 'upgraded' from a King with sofa sleeper to a Two Queen room. I firmly refused: we had booked a King because we wanted a King - and NOT two queens. The patronization of this being considered an 'upgrade' was laughable at best. We were THEN told it would be a 1/2-hour wait. I refused them THAT option. We had not been driving for 7 hours for a wait - and had deliberately arrived well AFTER the check-in/check-out times to ensure our room would be waiting for US, not the other way around. When it was clear I was not to be toyed with, miraculously: our room became immediately available! Though I'm disabled (as I told them in advance when making the reservation two weeks earlier,) I did not mind the fact that the room was upstairs (there's an elevator) and despite a LONG walk UP a series of inclined interior hallways. The room itself was exactly what we had requested: quiet, away from the highway area. Limited cable TV; small in-room fridge. The room, bed, appointments were all fine but the bathroom configuration was ill-designed and poorly laid-out. Cramped, confined sink area with door to the toilet/shower area clumsily sited. There was an ice machine nearby on our floor but: out of order. A sign directed us to the only other ice machine - on the ground floor and WAAAAAY far away. But: upon arriving there with ice bucket in hand, my wife discovered: no ice. No sign. No explanation. But: again: no ice. Gave up.

Upon later returning to the lobby, I spoke briefly with another couple (it was now about 5:00) who were apparently being given the same story WE had been told: their room wasn't ready; while I chatted with them, ANOTHER man came in from the pool to ask if HIS room was ready YET. He had apparently been there quite a while. Not encouraging signs. When I inquired at the desk if it was a problem with Housekeeping, I was told by the somewhat-frazzled desk person it had been a terrible day - personnel/staff problems. Huge 'situation' to have walked into when reporting for work that day. Okay. Management - 101.

As noted, we were there for four days. During that time, the lobby floor was more often in need of vacuuming/sweeping than not; a little attention to details REALLY does pay off. The hotel appeared to have had a fairly recent remodeling and all furniture, fixtures, etc were in fine shape. The pool was small but fine; the outdoor sauna was extremely weak - barely any force to the jets.

Now: this is a small point but: if an establishment brags constantly (as HIExpress DOES) about its famous cinnamon rolls as being "warm" and "always ready and waiting" - well: you'd expect them to deliver on the promise. Especially as HIE even offers them for sale because they're so darned good. Well: guess again. They had a few on our first breakfast day. But for the remaining THREE days, no rolls. I asked the kitchen person and was told the famous rolls had run out and then he related to me that "I told her to order more." Whoever 'she' was. Other similar items ran out as well: the muffins, bagels, etc. Despite that, and despite hearing OTHER hotel guests inquire about the non-existent rolls, the (removable) stand-up sign on the empty roll-server declaring that the cinnamon rolls were being warmed and would be out in a minute NEVER was removed. The photographed rolls stared down from their pictures on the walls....perhaps THEY were warm and 'ready,' if inedible pictorial representations. Just for ironic fun, I asked the person behind the front desk on our final day about the rolls: he told me they had to come from Chicago and that this happened 'a couple times a year.' Well: again, Management 101: I don't care HOW often or infrequently you run out of a hallmark product: if there are none while I'm there, paying the same as any other guest at any other time: well: that's all that matters to me. And of course it's not a really big deal to me or my wife, but try explaining to your young son (who LOVES cinnamon rolls, by the way) why the hotel has pictures and table cards on ALL the tables to tempt but: can't deliver the goods.

Poor management. Really poor. Back to school for Management 101.

Though my review may sound a little petty, BOY: do first impressions leave one on notice. And so it was the case: we DID try to ignore the little things, but after that initial presentation when we first walked in, well: the bar had unfortunately been raised. We won't be back to this location - and sadly: our estimation of trust and excellent past history with HIExpresses all over this country has just been punctured.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.

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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Encinitas - Cardiff Beach Area

Address: 1661 Villa Cardiff Drive, Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > 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*
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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