The Hilton Costa Mesa is a good solid 4 star property within walking distance of South Coast Plaza. (a free shuttle bus also departs each 2 hours). The easy walk to the plaza is around 10 mins.
I have stayed at this hotel on 15+ occasions and what I can say is as such:
Not all rooms are the same - there are a whole heap of rooms on the lower floors (2 and 3) that have tiny windows of less than 2 foot in height, positioned at almost ceiling height - and that is it! These rooms are dark, damp, sometimes smell musty and are a horror to stay in.
At the ends of each floor are rooms with floor to ceiling windows - lots of natural light, bright and roomy - but no balcony. There are also a small number of rooms overlooking the central atrium in this format with little / no natural light.
The vast majority of rooms on floors 4 and above have large balconies that overlook the area. They are roomy, breezy and full of natural light.... These are the rooms you want!
In the above 3 categories, some rooms have been renovated (with textured furnishings and decorations in deep tones of chocolate brown & burnt umber) while others have not. It should be noted that the renovation is largely a cosmetic one - apart from a new (less comfortable) sitting chair. the basic room amenities remain unchanged.
The pool area is sunny, well maintained and a good place to spend a lazy afternoon.
The real winner at the Hilton Orange is the staff. From the reception team to the concierge team, they are a real asset to the hotel. Even the girls who work in the lobby Starbucks are constantly smiling and happy to serve. It is the impeccable service that the whole team provides that will keep me coming back time and time again.
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