Let me preface this review by telling you I have been staying here for many years and currently have ANOTHER reservation for this same location soon after this review will be published. I apologize in advance for the lengthy review, but so much is wrong with this last stay I feel it should be noted.
Let’s start off with the “Ugly” and move on to the Bad and Good.
THIS HOTEL IS UNDER MAJOR CONSTRUCTION! Yes, when I say major I mean a major feature of the hotel is not available and that is the beach access. You see, one of the nice things about this hotel was that it had (notice I said HAD) a gently sloping switchback (with no stairs) in the back of the hotel with direct access to Laguna Beach. This switchback allows anyone with small children or physically challenged people to gain access to the direct sand and ocean without have to climb any stairs (common for Laguna Beach). Although I could have lived with the construction for our stay, walk down the street to the public beach access, climb down the steep 50 or so stairs and been basically where I would been with the hotel access, I feel I paid for that access and was denied it.
The major problem (as seen and heard in the attached pictures and videos) is they have heavy duty equipment everywhere making jackhammer sounds, pounding noises and so forth all day long. My major complaint with this whole experience was that we were NEVER told (even when we checked in) that there was construction going on. Eventually, they posted a small sign at check-in saying that they are under construction. These kinds of thing should be fully disclosed BEFORE reservations can be made. Video can be seen at (http://s1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb335/k1124photo/Laguna%20Beach/?action=view¤t=IMG_0110.mp4).
Bottom-line, if you want a quiet, safe, relaxing Laguna Beach getaway, this hotel is NOT for you (at least until the construction is completed which I would say will be next year at best). Also, since most of Laguna is paid parking (by the minute), guess where the construction workers park? You guessed it, in the hotel parking forcing YOU to pay meter parking until they move out! Once again, I paid for something (in this case, parking) in my rate, yet it was taken over by construction workers.
As always, we made this reservation well in advance, although we have never stayed in Room 301 we felt from previous experiences at this hotel this room would not be a problem, how wrong I was. You see Room 301 has a roof top deck that is open to the public. That in itself is not an issue although reasonable hours should be enforced for that deck as basically you have 100’s of people walking (and dragging chairs, moving tables, etc) across your ceiling. It was very noisy and I can safely say I will never stay in Room 301 again at any price. A simple curfew of say 11PM on the roof top deck would correct this issue.
Something else that really brought this trip down a few points is that this is NOT a non-smoking hotel. Granted, you can’t smoke in the rooms, but you can spoke everywhere else. Unless you are in a ocean facing room (not surf), you run the risk that a smoker will be smoking in front of YOUR room. This happened to use by TWO different guests using room 201. Basically you can’t leave your window open and enjoy the fresh ocean air. My take, here should be smoking areas AWAY from the rooms, say towards the FRONT of the hotel.
One last thing, because of all the construction, my wife fell and was injured on the property due to dirt and debris on the grounds. When I went to the front desk to ask for first aid, I was offered a small bandage, so come prepared. Thankfully she was not injured to the extent she needed medical attention. The Ralphs across the street provided enough medical aid to us. The person at the front desk did not even ask why I wanted a first aid kit.
This hotel typically (although, not in this case) represents a good value for Laguna Beach. You have Free Parking, Free Wi-Fi and the rooms are overall well kept. Staff is typically responsive to your needs or concerns, although afterhours may be difficult to get anyone as the front desk is closed at night.
301 is very similar to 201 with basically the same view except for the fact you have to look over 201’s roof to see the ocean. Not really a show stopper in my opinion. What was a show stopper for 301 was the roof top deck directly above 301, but I have already mentioned that. All the rooms at this hotel vary as to features and amenities. Some may have fireplaces, some may have king beds, etc. It’s always best to review the features on their web site before purchasing as features do change. Overall a clean hotel, on the sand side of the Laguna Beach
Avoid Room 301, make sure you have first aid with you. Not all rooms have A/C. Not all Rooms have a...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for sharing your impressions of the hotel project, and let me take a few moments to clarify what is going on.
Report response as inappropriate
Yes after 7-1/2 years of design and city applications finally approval has been granted to repair the landslide suffered on the ocean side of the property.
This fact is highly visible on the front page of our website and has been all year, along with pictures that are updated regularly to offer a clear idea of the scope and location of the project. During this repair the pathway to the beach is closed and beach access is out the side of the property and down the public stairs. The side access is actually the shortest route to the beach but is not as scenic and does involve stairs, rather than a pathway with switchbacks. This is all a short term inconvenience to create a long term solution to a major issue. While we expected completion by June the circumstance of the local geology combined with a very complex build has unfortunately extended our deadline until after summer.
There is printed notice of the work and new beach access clearly and predominately posted on our website, at the check in desk, it is given when reservations are made, plus there is signage on the pathway and all of this has been in place since we began at the beginning of this year.
The construction is isolated to the slope and is not a property wide major project. With this said you may hear some of the equipment from time to time or an infrequent jack hammer if an unforeseen boulder is unearthed, but fortunately on the hotel side it looks like most of the digging is complete and we are now in the final stages. We will be back-filling dirt and gravel as the final block walls are stacked and the pathway is restored to its original location with new railings and lighting to improve safety.
I'm sorry to learn that neighboring guests gathering on the public deck disrupted your stay. And, should note that it cannot even accommodate 100's of people. It has two tables and in it's entirety is suitable for 15-20 max. However, in situations like this, we are more than happy to intervene and quiet things down so that everyone has a restful and enjoyable stay. Please call the office and we will take care of it.
With regards to the parking we have parking for every room. If one cannot locate parking just talk to the desk and you will be accommodated. If employees or contracted workers are taking any spaces they will be asked to move immediately as they are already not allowed to park onsite. If this still fails to produce a parking spot we will pay for your parking meter.
While I am sorry and concerned that this guest fell down I must assure all readers that there is no construction debris in any guest accessible area. It is all behind blockades or areas clearly marked "No Trespassing". The only impact that the construction has caused us is a light dust that floats up towards some of the directly ocean facing areas when we have an onshore breeze. This, housekeeping stays on top of and the work crew is constantly watering down the actual construction site to keep this light dust to a minimum.
I took a look at the nice video link with the great ocean view shared by this guest and you can hear a jackhammer at work. This activity was short lived to clear a boulder and is not something that is ongoing.
We know that such work can be disruptive and very clear information has been posted on our website all year offering complete disclosure for all to read. Please feel free to visit and see as things progress, and be notified when everything has been repaired, and the pathway returned to its original location and rebuilt to a safe standard that stabilizes not only the slope but the entire hotel.
Thank you for sharing your photos and I encourage everyone who is interested in seeing more to visit our website lagunariviera.com and monitor the weekly progress. In the meantime anyone interested in the current state of construction can feel free to contact me at the hotel or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.