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“13 years and want MORE!!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Surf Motel

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Surf Motel
2.0 of 5 Motel   |   3136 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, CA 92008   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 35 Hotels in Carlsbad
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“13 years and want MORE!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

We have been staying at Surf Motel for over 13 years, and hope for many more!

Carlsbad has become our annual vacation spot. When deciding on where to stay – I always vote for “the Surf” - because one can get the needed “shut eye” at this motel. We have stayed at most of the “resorts” in the area, which might be closer to the beach, but those “beach resorts” are also LOUDER/NOISER and Brighter (which means LOUSY curtains (which really means no sleep during your vacation)).

We love seeing Bob and his beautiful wife – they have been nothing but gracious and kind to us, and they have always made us feel like we were home. In fact the entire staff is UBBER friendly and easygoing, I always feel like I am saying good-bye to my family, when I say good-bye to them.

We find that the breakfast and rooms are perfect for our needs. While the rooms have kitchenettes, who really wants to use it? Com’on – you’re on vacation!

Like I said, we love it and look forward to returning next year - I just hope I didn’t expose the best-kept secret and am forced to stay at one of those “resorts”.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SGilliom, Manager at Surf Motel, responded to this review, August 23, 2012
Haha, well, thank you for exposing our little secret ever so slightly with this great review! Our guests are like family to us as well, and yes, Bob is probably the most wonderful host you can find in Carlsbad, or anywhere. Thank you for staying with the Surf Motel, and we're looking forward to welcome you back again soon!
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204 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (56)
Date | Rating
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English first
Marion, Iowa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

We enjoyed our stay in Carlsbad in this nice little motel. It is located right near the ocean. Everything is within walking distance. The motel worked out great because we could just walk to the beach. It was clean and they are very accomodating. You do need to be careful when you shower, as the water does fluxuate in temperature, but in our particular room, we had minimal issues with this. It is a great place for those who want to save money and do a lot of sight seeing.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SGilliom, Manager at Surf Motel, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Thank you for this great review!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, UT
Top Contributor
387 reviews 387 reviews
74 hotel reviews
Reviews in 117 cities Reviews in 117 cities
374 helpful votes 374 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

This is not a new motel, but it is very well maintained. It is a family owned "mom & pop" place. The price is considerably less than all of the many motels up and down the coast that I checked on line. We booked the place based on Trip Advisor reviews and we were not disappointed. We were in room 111 which is above the pool about half way back. The main room was good sized and had a "kitchen area" with a counter, microwave and refrigerator (with a freezer). The bathroom was small but manageable. It had been tiled and made as nice as possible. The lack of counter space was the big problem. If the owners added a wall mirror in the kitchen area it would help a lot because the lighting there is very good and could serve as a make-up place instead of the bathroom. They offer a "continental breakfast". They always had sweet rolls, muffins, bagels, several kinds of fruit, and apple juice, coffee, and a "sunny delight" type orange beverage to drink. On the weekend they also had cereal. The parking is shared with the restaurant next door, but they always make sure there are enough spots for the motel patrons. They have beach towels, chairs, and umbrellas available to check out for 3 hour periods. We brought our own so didn't need them, but we thought that was a great feature for those guests that had flown in or didn't have those items. We really enjoyed our stay in Carlsbad and would seriously consider returning in future years. We would definitely stay here again. We thought it was nice and the location, almost across the street from the beach, can't be beat.

  • Stayed July 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SGilliom, Manager at Surf Motel, responded to this review, August 7, 2012
Thank you for this great review! I love the idea with the "make-up mirror", we will see if there is something we can do. We're looking forward to see you again next time you're in the area.
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San Diego, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

I've have been vacationing in Carlsbad for the last 15 years with my family (parents) across the street at the timeshare resort. Now that we have a family of our own we needed more space so we decided to get our own room. I didn't want to pay $250+ a night in July so we booked at room here. I was a little hesitant but thought we would give it a try. The rooms are older but very, very clean. I have a 11 month old daughter that was crawling and her clothes stayed clean. We had two queen beds and there was enough space to put our own pack-n-play in the room and still had enough room to move around. The microwave and mini fridge were a nice addition, as well as the free continental breakfast. We enjoyed some pastries and fresh fruit…nothing fancy, but it’s free!! It was the perfect amount to hold us over until we ate a later breakfast or lunch. The pool was on the smaller size but I did see some children swimming in it and seemed to be having a good time. Plus, you are near the ocean...you have the world's largest pool right there! There was a good mixture of people that stayed here from what I could see when I sat outside my room when my children were napping. There were some plastic chairs around and I was able to grab one and put it outside the door. It was relatively quiet at night. I did have an issue that our door wasn’t latching shut but we just made sure to check it before we left or make sure it was completely shut when we were in the room. The hotel staff were very friendly and I felt very comfortable. The location is perfect and there are a lot of restaurants around. Most everything is walking distance. It was nice to see families eating on the picnic tables around the complex. This is definitely a no frill hotel but you can’t beat it for the price. If you are looking for a “high scale” hotel then this isn’t the place for you but you will definitely not be getting something better for the price. I’m really surprised about the people that are complaining about the amenities or lack thereof. What do they expect for the price?! Of course there are things that could be updated but then again I doubt the rates would be so affordable. I’d rather have it as it was then pay much more money. We will definitely be booking our room again for next July. I rated it 4 stars for the price.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
SGilliom, Manager at Surf Motel, responded to this review, August 1, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We're looking forward to see you again next July!
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Fontana, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

I got burned at this low budget, no frills motel in more ways than one! Be very careful when taking a shower here. The water goes from normal warm, to burning hot (I got burned several times while in the shower) to super cold. I was afraid to stay in there! The "jacuzzi tub" doesn't work, and there is no jacuzzi on the property! The pool is super small, I didn't even bother going in it. This place uses actual keys, yes, the old school room keys. The deadbolt doesn't lock from the outside, only inside. Several times we left and found our door hadn't shut properly. There is a charge for Internet access, so I was able to hook up to the Wifi from the Armenian restaurant next door. The computer in the tiny lobby wasn't working either. There's a very small old TV in the room, a decent sized fridge and microwave, and coffee maker. For the "continental breakfast" they had Tang, yes, Tang instead of OJ! Also some gross honey bun and a small banana. We ended up eating breakfast down the street at a cafe. This place needs to be torn down and maybe the nicer Best Western next door can expand into this space. The only good thing about this place is the location-across from the beach.

Room Tip: Choose the Best Western!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SGilliom, Manager at Surf Motel, responded to this review, July 27, 2012
Thank you for your feedback, and I have to apologize for your recent experience at our motel. That is certainly not the great guest experience our loyal guests have come to expect, and I am once again sorry you did not enjoy your stay. Please know that our maintenance team immediately checked the water temperature when you informed us about the problem at check-out, and we will double-check and fix the issue with the tub as well. Again, thank you for your feedback.
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012 via mobile

This is our 2nd stay at The Surf Motel. The carpet has been replaced since our last visit and the room was very clean and comfortable. Can't beat the location as its just a short walk from the beach. The service from Bob was great. He was so good with my 12 year old special needs son. He went to the back to get more chocolate doughnuts for him and my son just loved that. Thank you Bob for another great visit.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SGilliom, Manager at Surf Motel, responded to this review, July 24, 2012
Thank you for this wonderful review! We are looking forward to welcome you and your family again in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

As usual, when you are going to the beach, you have two options: expensive but near the beach, or cheaper but you have to take the car....
We choosed the first one but I'm not quite sure it was the right choice.

To be clear for the price you will have the location (it's next to the Best western): Beach just across the street (but not the view) and many restaurants at walking distance.
Keep in mind: it's a motel and an old one.

Good:
- location
- clean

Bad:
- old
- expensive
- breakfast is a joke (just coffee and some pastries on a table and no place to seat)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Surf Motel

Address: 3136 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, CA 92008
Location: United States > California > Carlsbad
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Carlsbad
#24 Family Hotel in Carlsbad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Surf Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in a quaint seaside village, the Surf Motel Carlsbad features 28 newly-renovated guest rooms and suites, a complimentary continental breakfast and primo access to one of the best surfing beaches in Southern California. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Surf Motel Carlsbad
Surf Hotel Carlsbad

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