My family of three stayed here in mid-June for five days. We had a room with two double beds on the second floor. Overall, I have no major complaints. The beds were extremely comfortable, with nice sheets and pillows. The shower was updated and huge. The tv had a perfect picture and the fridge worked great. The courtyard was beautiful and we enjoyed the pool with its comfortable lounge chairs and gazebos. The main lobby always had Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, bottled water and hot water. It usually, but not always, had popcorn. There was a small desk right by the refreshments with a computer and printer. Across the side street, Cleo, was a very nice Ralph's grocery store where we stocked up on pop, snacks and a few souvenirs. The Orange Inn, across the PCH, had extremely tasty food but was very small so one of us had to stand up. There was also a Taco Bell across the PCH for our late night munchies. Access to Cleo beach is between these two. It's not an extremely wide beach but it has a nice balance of sand and large rocks. If you go in the mornings, those rocks are tidepools filled with mussels, anemones and the like. The sunsets are gorgeous, with the sun silhouetting the trees and coastline of Heisler Park up the coast on your right.
Issues I had: 1) Our room was small. We couldn't even open the door all the way; it hit the bed. We each had a carry-on suitcase and a backpack. There was no place to put them except under the open vanity/sink. 2) We stayed on the 2nd floor towards the back left corner of the courtyard. Midweek it was a peaceful and serene locale. By the weekend, it was noisy. A very inconsiderate family had moved into a room on the third level--which we hadn't even noticed--and let their kids run wild. Part of their room was over ours. It sounded like they were dropping bowling balls and moving furniture. They left their door open and let the kids run up and down the shared public walkway. It was bad enough for us but it would have been horrible to have been in the second floor rooms in the back, directly underneath all that third floor activity. The second floor rooms on the side of the courtyard do not have any rooms over them. 3) Parking is an issue. There don't seem to be quite enough spots. Maybe the problem is that the staff all drive and take spots that are technically allocated to the rooms. On the plus side, on the weekends, there was a security guard who makes sure that everyone parking there has the required Holiday Inn parking pass. 4) Cleo beach by the hotel, like almost all the Laguna beaches except Main beach, is full of KELP! It was washing up everywhere and there were huge piles of it everywhere I looked. It was hard to set down a towel without having a mountain of kelp less than two feet away. Main beach seemed better but to walk from there to the famous Heisler Park tidepools required navigated through an obstacle course of kelp in various stages of decay. And where there was decaying kelp, there were these tiny little flies. Now, it's probably an environmental thing that Laguna Beach likes to enforce and maybe they clean it up once the official summer season with all the festivals start but to find a wide, clean, kelpless beach, we drove 20 minutes north to Huntington Beach. 5) The staff, at least some of them, didn't seem to know what was close by. Our first night we were in the mood for hamburgers. We went down to the lobby and asked about fast food places or hamburger joints and the woman at the desk said she didn't know of any and directed us to an upscale grill in downtown Laguna. The next day while driving around we discovered a Jack-in-the-Box a couple of blocks south, a Ruby's diner about five minutes drive south and a Johnny Rockets right across from Main beach.
As I mentioned, overall I liked this hotel, its locale and its staff. I would stay there again, especially now that I know what to look for and look out for. Hopefully, this review will help you do that ahead of time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Holiday Inn Laguna Beach hotel is a beach resort located in the heart of Laguna Beach. It is nearby Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and South Coast Plaza and minutes away from the pageant of the masters art festival. A French country decor hotel with rooms facing the heated pool which is surrounded by lush tropical landscaping. Across the street from the beach and within walking distance to all shops, restaurants and the famous art festivals. We have just completed renovation on all guest rooms, pool, lobby and the courtyard. The Mare Restaurant & Lounge is the hotel's restaurant. Sun drenched patios, shaded back patio in tropical settings, amazing food and nightly entertainment. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Laguna Beach Hotel Laguna Beach
- Laguna Beach Holiday Inn