First of all: I had read all previous reviews and thought I knew what I was getting into. Yes, there is a train that runs right past the motel. Yes, the motel is a bit run down. I realized all that when I made my reservations and paid almost $300 per night. I realized I was paying to be on the beach, and on the beach we were! Thats the "pro" of this place..... no we didn't have a "beachside" room but it was literally 20 steps from our room door to the sand, and only about another 20 steps to the water. The beach is fabulous, elite and clean. I grew up on Long Island, now live in California, and I know beaches. This is my new favorite beach and I plan on visiting again. HOWEVER... the cons:
First of all, the room was gross. As in barely cleaned. Yes, when you first walk in it seems clean (although old and run down) but if you look just a little beyond the basics you can see that it is barely clean. I looked behind the bed for a plug and was disgusted ... clearly the housekeeping staff vaccums only what can be seen, so behind the bed and in the bed rails are massive amounts of dust and debris. Yes, debris. Meaning NOBODY EVER cleans back there... ya know ... move the beds away from the walls and CLEAN. The tops of the light switch plates were laden with dust. There was dust ALL OVER the coils of the (totally beaten to death and should have been put out of its misery years ago) refrigerator. The front of the microwave was filthy (and if it was "stained" then it should have been replaced long ago). You get the picture. When I mentioned the filth to the desk staff upon checkout I was assured that this was "not acceptable." Agreed. However, I mentioned that the dust is an accumulation of years, not just a week, and she totally denied it. Well, deny all you want but I took pictures ... it's fairly obvious that this is an ongoing problem.
Further, although again, it IS on the beach, one would think that the place could do minor maintenance so that everything doesn't look so old and decreprit. For instance ... the toilet roll holder is some sort of metal, all rusted and covered with lime. Normal for the beach, I imagine, but then, REPLACE it! Also, the toilet fixtures (strangely, not a regular flush-handle toilet but one of those commercial-like toilets that you have to use your foot to flush) were completely rusted. I know rust and dirt aren't the same thing, but it still looks gross and is totally unwarranted at $300 per night! The rusty refrigerator, the completely torn-up and broken ironing board and the aforementioned microwave all completed the feel of decriptness.
I found the staff to be fairly helpful but a little bit in denial. I called prior to confirm that they have beach toys, boogie boards, umbrellas and chairs for the guests as their website claims. I was told that they do indeed provide that convenience so that guests don't have to worry about lugging that stuff around on their trip. I was also advised that it was "first come first serve" which made sense to me. Great. HOWEVER, what I was NOT told was that the motel had a total of 4 chairs for their guests to take to the beach. FOUR! Keep in mind, there are 40 rooms .... so FOUR chairs? Had they told me that when I called (instead of patting themselves on the back) I would have simply made sure I brought my own chairs. Instead, my family spent our first day on the beach chairless and we kept waking up and checking the clock the next morning to make sure that we wouldn't miss their opening up the office doors at 8am so that we could grab 3 of the 4 chairs. Funny thing was, I immediately recognized the chairs as some that were set up on the beach the day before with nobody sitting in them most of the day! Lesson learned: I will definitely bring my own chairs!
The internet connectivity was ridiculous. I connected for about 2 minutes at a time ... I had a little more luck if I stood outside. Luckily I wasn't there to be online but it would have been nice to have SOME access to internet, espec when I was trying to get directions to local San Diego sights. I mentioned the lack of connectivity to the evening staff and she immediately denied any problems. She then gave me the password for the restaurant next door (whose wi-fi I was picking up) which apparantly was the incorrect password because I never was able to connect on their wifi either.
And since I'm on a roll I might as well mention the towels.... they are the most scratchiest hard cheap towels which really stinks when you have a sunburn. Lesson learned: bring our own bath towels!!!
The area around the motel was quite loud and there is not much of a chance of sleeping late. Not the motel's fault, really, but worth noting. It didn't help that some extremely self-centered person felt it necessary to fill up his entire cooler with ice at 7 am in the morning .... we were two doors down from the ice machine and boy, whatta racket! We faced the parking lot toward the restaurant and they have early-morning deliveries, early morning trash pickup, and god knows what else.... between those disturbances and the train there was really NO sleeping after 6 am. But really, we slept quite a bit on the beach.
Having said all of the above I do think that I will vacation here again, with different expectations. We'll bring our own towels, chairs and boogie boards. I'll check the cleanliness BEFORE I settle in and have it dealt with immediately. I'll have maps, etc. with me, so I won't HAVE to access the internet. The beach is amazing and the motel's proximity to the beach is amazing. This is not a place to stay with expectations of being coddled in your lovely room. The room is not lovely and there is no coddling happening here. There is just beach beach beach and thats what you're paying for. Don't stay here and then spend the day at Seaworld. The only reason to come here is beach!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.