As a prolonged layover on a trip to Hawaii we stayed two nights at the Arabella in Laguna Beach to visit with family from California. We were pleased to be upgraded to their cottage property for no extra charge.
The property was clean, cozy and pleasant. The location was phenomenal. Cross the street and walk for 2 minutes to be at a marvelous beach!
I wish that the property were managed more effectively though because it has such great potential. Interacting with the management was "mysterious". We made our reservations over the internet, but never got a confirmation e-mail (very unnerving when you make a credit card purchase!)- and had to call multiple times leaving requests on machines to finally confirm our reservation.
Signs on the property are virtually invisible, so you very easily wander around the neighborhood before finding the property - neighbors got perturbed that we might take their parking, this is apparently an issue.
The owners do not clearly communicate where to park - nor are you guaranteed to see them when you arrive. They literally leave the room/building "open" for you - and their is no "Welcome Letter" to at least affirm you are in the right place. It's weird to start your visit wondering if you have committed a 'Breaking and Entering" offense.
We noticed signs in the area indicating "for sale", so perhaps the owners are selling. I suspect that in the right hands of more active management this property would be a gold mine.
All this being said, after the weirdness of checking in without seeing anybody and bumbling around to figure out the mysteries of parking, we were very pleased with our stay and the remarkable neighborhood.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Reminiscent of days-gone-by, historic Arabella Laguna nestled under towering elms has all the comforts of home. Each cottage or suite has been refurbished in eclectic bungalow style. From its location on gallery row in North Laguna you are minutes to beach, town, shopping and as well as art galleries, museum and festivals. The four buildings surround a lush courtyard with barbecue for the guests' use. Each suite is appointed with fine linens, full kitchen, wireless connect and a TV with VCR. Perfect for a vacation getaway, small wedding, small corporate meetings, birthday parties and family reunions. Unique and enchanting. ... more less