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“Quiet and Calming ” 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 #22 of 35 Hotels in Carlsbad
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Quiet and Calming ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

We found the Surf Motel by luck. It's not fancy, but it's quiet and clean. Carlsbad is the classic SoCal beach town and there is no better location than the Surf Motel, especially for the price.

Front desk staffers Bob and his wife provided five star service and extraordinary kindness. This was not a pleasure trip; my husband's mom just went into a retirement home nearby and we just didn't know what to expect of the city and its people.

We lucked out. Great location, good sleeping and decent, kind hospitable people. We'll be back. Absolutely!

Stayed July 2014
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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, July 14, 2014
Thank you for this wonderful review! We are glad we were able to provide you with a home away from home, and yes, Bob and his team are some of the friendliest and most hospitable people you will ever meet. We wish you and your family all the best, and are looking forward to see you again soon.
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204 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    83
    81
    19
    9
    12
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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
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix, AZ
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

My family travels to Carlsbad almost every summer and I have always wanted to check out this motel. This year we wanted to save money so we decided to take a chance and try staying at the Surf Motel.

The rates can't be beat and neither can the location. It is across the street from the beach and a block from quaint Carlsbad village (including the train station). Check in was a breeze and although the parking lot is small, we had no problems with parking at any time during our stay.

We had a room on the ground floor (114) closer to the back with 2 Queen beds for a family of 4. Here we could park our car right in front of the door to our room (which is convenient for bags, but maybe not so much for privacy). We didn't have much problems with noise. Only one night we heard some stomping from above (luckily it didn't last long).

The room was very clean. Beds were comfortable, pillows were good, linens and towels fine. There was a microwave and refrigerator in a pink cabinet in the corner that has storage from dry food underneath. The placement of the fridge in the corner was a bit hard to access because of the dresser/armoire position. The door to the outside did need to be sealed better as we could see light all around the door. They use old school keys for the rooms (no electronic card key, but no biggie there). You can slide open the window to the room if you want fresh air.

The air conditioning unit worked well, which is a stickler for me. It ran smoothly with no knocks/rattling that some other motels units seem to have problems with. The white noise from it helped me sleep.

Yes, the bathroom is dated and very small. However, the tub/floor/counters were always very clean and the water pressure was good. Shower head is positioned very low, but that's a given in these older motels.

Small continental breakfast in the office consisted of some fruit, coffee, juice and danishes. The pool was small, but heated. I wouldn't want to stay in the rooms right off the pool though because of noise (they are just a few feet from edge of pool).

The room is tight. There is not very much storage for a family of 4. Space was a bit of an issue but that is probably due to our length of stay which was 5 nights. We just didn't seem to have a lot of room for clothing & our other stuff.

We'd stay again if it was for a shorter length of time or if we tried for a bigger room. I think they have a suite above the office and one near the back near the laundry room. This is a good place if you are budget minded.

Room Tip: There is a grassy backyard patio area at the back of the motel with tables and chairs and large tree...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rancho Mirage, CA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

The only reason to stay at the Surf Motel is for the value and the location. Do not expect much from this older motel. The rooms are spacious enough, but very basic.

The location is almost directly across from the beach and you can walk anywhere in the Carlsbad Village. Many restaurants and shops nearby. Make sure you eat at the Armenian Cafe next door, this was certainly the a highlight of the stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014 via mobile

My family and I have stayed here twice. We will continue to come back because of the awesome location, clean rooms and economical price. You cannot beat this location. I love the clean
rooms.They provide all beach toys, boards,towels, etc. NO parking fee! We enjoy eating our picnic lunch on their deck overlooking the ocean. A gem of a place.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, July 1, 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay and we are looking forward to welcome you back soon. Greetings, your team from the Surf Motel Carlsbad.
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Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

Sure, the place is old and run down; a little smelly with bad mattresses BUT you are in the heart of the city. You can walk to the beach and the motel offers beach-y things like chairs, buckets and even towels! We walked for coffee, dinner, even an ice cream shop. Tons of bars up the street, a stone throw to a 711 and a block or two to very cute shops.
No breakfast, the bathrooms are awful and the bedding is form the 70's. It's cheap(ish) and the location couldn't be more perfect. We stayed here while enjoying legoland and the lovely Carlsbad beach.
Stay here!

Stayed August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topeka, Kansas
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

The not so great: The decor is dated, the rooms initially musty-smelling, parking is cramped, and if your room's under the stairs, you'll hear footsteps above. The soaps and shampoo aren't the best.
The good: The office staff are polite, the "continental" breakfast enough to get you started, the beds are clean and comfortable, and the rooms have tv, wifi, kitchenette, bathroom with tub. The tiny pool looks clean, and there are onsite laundry facilities.
The best: For less than $100 a night, you're across the street from the beach, and a block or two from the pedestrian-friendly charms of Carlsbad Village's shops, restaurants and bars, Farmers' Market, Coaster (local train) and bus station. The place feels safe.
I've stayed at The Surf several times, and I'm sure I'll stay again in future.

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms will obviously have less "walking around" noise.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Ontario, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2014

We stayed May 5, 2014 - May 9,2014. We found the Surf Motel to be a clean, quaint, well located place to stay. The Manager was very accommodating, the attitude of the rest of the staff was very good. We loved the location as we walked to the beach everyday. There was adequate restaurants and shopping as well. The breakfast was just as promoted " continental ". It was fresh and well presented. We will be back next year and we will stay at The Surf. In conclusion, we found the room clean and convenient. The price was right.
George Pollard

Room Tip: Even by the pool, no noise problem.
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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