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“Loved the hotel, but so-so service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

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Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   9700 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037   |  
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An Evening in Verona
Ranked #8 of 24 Hotels in La Jolla
Los Altos, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Loved the hotel, but so-so service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2006

The hotel is really nice, great rooms and grounds, but the service was so-so. There was a lot of confusion at checkin about what our room rate was supposed to be, which immediately vanished when I pulled out my AAA reservation confirmation. Same thing at check-out: first I was overcharged, and after 15 minutes of calm discussion, all disputed charges (and some not disputed ones) were removed. In the end, I paid less than expected, but wish I had not had the hassle. At least they reacted just as I would have wanted by removing all the disputed charges.

The kids loved the pool and hot tub area, and we loved the pool-side cabanas. Kids are also given a card with free food items they can get (smoothies, ice cream, snacks) from various places at the hotel. Our package included breakfast, which was tasty and had healthy choices as well as decadent ones. The service in the restaurant was also so-so. It seemed like all the wait staff was inexperienced.

Overall, I was satisfied, and would go back there again, with my reservation confirmation in hand!

  • Liked — Quiet location and rooms
  • Disliked — service at check-in and check-out
  • Tips/Secrets — take your reservation confirmation w/room rate with you
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estancia, General Manager at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, December 15, 2006
Thank you for your comments regarding your arrival and departure experience. We have trained our staff to accommodate guests in an efficient, polite and reliable manner. We apologize for the lack of efficiency you experienced at check-in and check-out, but can say in full confidence that this is an exception from the norm and our service standards. We hope that you will return again so that we may provide you with an incredibly pleasant arrival and departure experience, as well a most memorable experience in between.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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956 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (224)
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English first
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2006

My wife and I recently stayed at the Estancia. I must agree with most of the reviews, the hotel is very overrated. If you are looking for a high end luxury resort this is not the place, much better choices would be the Avaria 4 Seasons, the Ritz Carlton, or L'Auberge in Del Mar. We have stayed at all these hotels and they are the real deal. The hotel is across the street from UCSD and it seemed most of the guests were staying there because of that. The hotels constuction is cheap with thin walls and floors, you can easily hear guests in ajoining rooms. One of the bright spots in many reviews of the hotel was the check in experience where guests are given a glass of champagne.. they didn't do that for us and we were disappointed. The hotel is attractive with very nice landscaping, but that alone does not justify the price. The one big plus of the Estancia are the beds.. it was the most comfortable bed I have every slept on.. the pillows were high quality as well.

  • Liked — The Bed
  • Disliked — Overpriced
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay somewhere else
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Sandwich, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2006

We had two weeks here - asked for a garden view room with balcony and got a very pleasant room. Most comfortable - even managed to be able to leave the A/C off and the sliding door ajar so no overnight racket!! Staff pleasant, housekeeping and laundry most efficient in our experience.

Delightful landscaping, clean accommodations. Our only problem was not the quality of the food, just the temperature. Mustangs and Burros is outdoor restaurant with exterior fireplace - very pleasant (if not at all "green"!). However, there is only one kitchen and all the food for every venue at the hotel comes from there. As a consequence, don't expect your food to be hot! High quality dining in the main restaurant, an excellent chef and fine service from Mark, but again, inconsistent temperature of food.

Apart from that, highly recommended.

  • Liked — Comfortable rooms and lovely gardens
  • Disliked — Charge for parking. Lukewarm food.
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't want much breakfast? Buy fruit and eat it in your room!
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2006

Our stay in Estancia turned out to be far from our expectations. Don’t be full by their four star appeal. I’d like to quote one of the previous reviewers “ Problems will happen specially with new establishments but it is how they respond to those problems and situations that makes a difference.”
Management of this place is far from perfect.
The hotel had a wedding celebration the night we came in. I waked up in about 5:30 am the next day due to a noise from the courtyard. Some of the hotel employees were loading up tables and chairs after the event or setting something up for the next day. It continued for an hour. I was really upset because we came down to San Diego to escape from 105 degree hit in Los Angeles. I wanted to have a one night without AC and therefore I kept my windows open. At the check out I mentioned this problem to a reception manager. She said I was the only one complaining about the noise. She had no knowledge about any preparations that were scheduled for that early morning. Another traveler that was checking out next to me noted that he did hear this noise too. I am absolutely sure that many people were disturbed by this noise in the morning and complained to the administration prior to my check out. Meanwhile the manager kept straight face and continued to insist that nothing had happened. Since we were checking out in about 2pm.
I don’t even want to go into other little mishaps that took place but it was my last stay in this establishment and I would not recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2006

When I checked in, I had requested a room with 2 Queens only to find at check in that they were out of rooms with 2Q. They gladly put a rollaway in my room to accomodate my family and offered a food and beverage credit for my troubles.

Parking is just standard nowadays, so I did expect some charge for parking self. I decided to just splurge and went with the valet. I know the reviews believe that $17 a day to park is outrageous, but just be glad that self parking is even an option! I've been at other hotels where you can only valet and is more than $25.00 per day not including gratuity!

As for the Hospitality Services fee, I find it VERY helpful that it includes the wireless internet, the fitness center, the business center (unlimited copies and print outs), local phone calls/toll free calls, faxes, the coffee and the local paper. The front desk even offered to send me the NY Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal and the USA today at no additional cost daily in the morning for my entire stay. It also includes complimentary boarding pass print outs at the front desk. Those people who complain about this really haven't spent time in other hotels where they nickle and dime you for everything you have. The Hotel Del charges $22 a day for the same thing and charges an extra $25.00 for a rollaway! And both are four star hotels.

I had also booked my reservation through Expedia[--] and learned from the front desk that all hotels (including this one and Starwood Hotels & other hotel chains) do price matching and explained to me why. The hotel will price match any rate that is advertised for my stay and give me an additional %15 percent off. Starwood does the same and even gives you the option of just taking SPG points saving me even MORE money. She explained to me that out of the rate that I paid, the hotel only recieves 50-60% of that rate while the third party recieves the rest. That's great customer service!

They also have a little Ranchero check in for the children. It's so cute. While we were checking in the front desk checked in my children and gave them membership cards to the different outlets where they had recieved a free scoop of ice cream, a free smoothie and more snacks as the trip went along. They also got a cowboy hat/badge, a toy and a coloring book. WOW.

We adults had some of the sparkling wine @ check in which was lovely. The grounds were pristine. Full of families.

Katherine the concierge was VERY helpful. The Bellstaff & Valet were absolute gentlemen. Consistanly helpful.

The restaraunt food in the main restaraunt was so delicious. That was one of the best parts of our stay. Kudos to the Chef.

I believe that there were only a few negative experience was the spa. It was not well maintained and not fully staffed. I only could get the facial, but not the massage. When I inquired as to what was going on that the staff was so busy, they had told me that everyone had quit. There were cups and robes everywhere. The pool is VERY small. And lapswim time really doesn't happen. When I woke up to do some laps, there were families with children already at the pool. Also the "refreshment center" can hardly be called that. The selection is VERY minimal to even call in a mini bar. And $5.09 for a small bottle of disguisting house water?! That is outrageous. $7.63 for a tiny bottle of Evian?! Take my advice and stop by a gas station and stock up on water.

Service wise, the front desk and food and beverage need no change. The Spa does.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2006

Good part - beautiful hotel and grounds, pretty rooms, comfortable beds.

Bad part - everything else. The service and food are really bad. The spa had only one shower available which had lotion and hair all over the walls. I told the spa desk, and the lady shrugged her shoulders - didn't care. The food was OK, but definitely not worth the price.
The staff around the pool was more concerned with lounging and talking to each other than taking orders or serving the customers - even when I asked to place an order.

My bill was incorrect and I had to call three times to get it taken care of.

Left a message for the hotel manager about the problems and he never called back.

This place is very over priced for what you get. Stay at the 4 Seasons, or La Costa. About the same price as what I paid, but at least you get good service and you get your money's worth.

I would absolutely not recommend this place.

Stayed June 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2006

Although the website, rooms and gardens were beautiful and well maintained, that's not enough to make me want to return. It's all a facade!

The staff at the Adobe restuarant was extermely slow and unattentive. We didn't provide us with any bread while we waited for our food, we didn't get a refill on our ice tea, and $40 (includes tip) only got us 2 sandwiches. Quizno's would've offered us a better.

Self parking was $17 per day. There weren't even enough parking spaces for all the cars they let in but they parked illegally anyway.

The Spa never returned my call! I was not about to call them back, since not returning my call was a sure sign they did not want my business. And if the spa staff is anything like their restaurant staff I'm very happy I saved my money.

The Pool staff passed by us numerous times without once asking us if we wanted anything. When we got up to leave we saw 2 ladies in uniform just chit chatting. The screaming childern were poorly covered up by the Gypsy Kings CD that was on repeat all day long. To top off our pool visit, people were smoking, childern were throwing around a football and cannon ball jumping.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

Address: 9700 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego > La Jolla
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in La Jolla
#4 Spa Hotel in La Jolla
#6 Business Hotel in La Jolla
#6 Luxury Hotel in La Jolla
#10 Family Hotel in La Jolla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 210
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A California-coastal rancho setting on 10 acres conveniently located between the two quaint seaside villages of La Jolla and Del Mar and adjacent to world-class Torrey Pines Golf Course, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa offers a range of upscale accommodations from charming rancho style deluxe rooms to expansive suites with world-class facilities and exceptional service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Estancia La Jolla Hotel La Jolla
Estancia La Jolla Hotel And Spa

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