I stayed here July 13-17 and had a pleasant stay, though check-in took a while because there seems to only ever be one person at the front desk. I had a floor level, garden-facing room (not beachfront), double beds. I was concerned because the entry door faces the street, but there is an inner door that separates the bathroom/kitchen area from the sleeping area, so at night, I didn't hear a thing. Only thing I didn't like was that I didn't actually have a private balcony, as boasted on the website. Instead, outside my sliding doors there were 2 patio chairs, sitting in the walkway. I did use them, but would have preferred more privacy than that because people were walking around me as I sat out there with my book, relaxing. Also, if I left my curtains open, anyone walking by could look in my room, which I didn't like. If you're on an upper floor you will have a private balcony, so if this matters to you, ask for it. The garden area has sitting areas and two ping pong tables, so there is traffic that goes through there regularly - and lots of kids running to the pool or beach.
There was a fridge and small coffeemaker, which came in handy. The hair dryer (sigh) was a small, foldable 1970's model. I have long hair so am always looking for a nice hair dryer. At any rate, it worked. The beds and pillows were comfortable, and the AC unit worked, though it was really loud and whoever sleeps in the bed next to it might freeze. The TV worked fine and my son hooked up his PS3 to the TV and everything worked well. The bathroom has ample space for all of your toiletries, as well as ample towels and robes, which were really comfortable. The room also has a safe, which is nice. The shampoo/conditioner smelled really nice.
The restaurant was expensive. I don't mind paying for a good meal, but the food was not all that, and too expensive for what you get. Ditto for the drinks. The "happy hour" drinks are $8, down from $12. That's not really a bargain, and no surprise that the bar was kind of empty when I went.
The hotel is conveniently located near local shops and restaurants, including a decent Mexican restaurant, and some surf shops where you can sign up for kayaking and/or surfing.
Lastly, this hotel is beachfront and if you look at the pictures on the website, it looks very romantic and secluded. In reality, the beach itself is very small, and gets VERY crowded fast with hotel guests, visitors from all around, and kayakers. The hotel staff will gladly set up chairs and umbrellas for you, but just know that you'll be crammed on the sand with 1,000 other tourists. It's just a small beach, no two ways about it. The park nearby was also very crowded. The hotel also has a pool and jacuzzi, but even though the jacuzzi had a sign that said "maximum capacity 5 persons," I never saw fewer than 12 people - adults and children - crammed in there, no way I was ever going to get in that (not joking - I counted).
All in all, it's a clean, safe, quiet bargain if you're looking for a beachfront hotel in So Cal. It's also near all the San Diego attractions if you're looking to get out and about, close to freeways and nearby is the beautiful Torrey Pines state park with gorgeous hikes that take you right down to the ocean.
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