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“The Varden-A Boutique Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Varden Hotel

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The Varden Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   335 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802   |  
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Ranked #1 of 58 Hotels in Long Beach
Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
1 review
“The Varden-A Boutique Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Found a great alternative to the large impersonal hotel chains located right in Long Beach convention area. 10 min walk to the LB Convention Center. The Varden was a pleasant surprise, and easy on the expense budget. Staff was very friendly and helpful. The rooms were clean, with a modern minimalist style, but had the feeling of a bed and breakfast.

I highly recommend it to all types of travellers.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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689 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    505
    139
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    12
    5
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Shed the clutter and enjoy the simply elegant decor of this jewel tucked away in Long Beach. The feel is wonderfully European, with an eye for design and simplicity. From the moment you walk through the sliding glass doors, you fell the warmth of the hotel staff. This is a place for people who enjoy people. The rooms are small and cozy. (What more do you need?) And, the beds are incredible. I have not had such a peaceful rest while on travel in many years. There is plenty to do in Long Beach, so if you want to be a hermit and hide in your room, this may not be for you. But, if you enjoy great conversations about food and city life, the hotel staff is engaging and eager to share their local knowledge with you. I loved this place. I wouldn't stay in any other hotel in the LA area, footsteps away from great food on Pine Street, and a great coffee shop on W. 4th (The Birdcage).

One last thing... You know a place is truly remarkable when the hotel staff enjoy their job. Kudos to the owner.

-Ken

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marina del Rey, California
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I'm a Hilton diamond member but if you look at my reviews of their properties, I certainly don't give them all glowing reviews and only reserve 5 starts for the best of the best in their respective categories. I do, however, like to try out independent hotels from time to time. I have also stayed at many boutique hotels prior to actively writing on TripAdvisor, some with cutting edge designs. I have been on the road 100% for the last 12 years and the movie Up in the Air sums up my life, not very glamorous.

You will either love this hotel, or otherwise. I'm strictly evaluating from a practical business point of view and there are very specific things I look for. If I was a college student travelling solo I would have likely given a very different score, but most certainly not a 5 star.

The good:

1. Check-in. Simple, fast and friendly. Everything was explained well.
2. Staff. Friendly and down to earth. I like the added touch of taking the guest to the room. Don't get that too often on our shores and the last time it happened to me was in Tokyo a few weeks earlier.
3. Clean design. Almost Ikea-like and modern. Obviously the room fittings are custom and very slick.
4. Free internet. Good feature for an independent hotel.
5. Security. Nice that the front doors only allow for key access after hours.
6. It was built in the 1920's so a historical site.

The bad:

1. Desk. Too compact and no power outlets. Would prefer a more traditional chair ... there are some very cool modern designs available, this one just didn't do it for me.
2. Phone. For business purposes, should be on desk for long conference calls with speaker option. Yes, we all have cell phones and use them for conference calls but a solid land line is at times desirable.
3. Internet. Although free, the highest speed I clocked was 1 mbps download and 0.5 mbps upload. That's approximately 1/4 the speed of the best hotels, 1/2 the speed of an average hotel and although adequate for most of my tasks as I use Citrix/VPN to connect to multiple servers, not enough for anything requiring high bandwidth transmissions.
4. Bed. I'm 6'1'' and it was too small for me. The mattress one will either like or dislike. For me, it was too soft. Quality of sheets is very good though.
5. Bathroom. Way too compact. The toilet in my room was too close to the sink. Very uncomfortable. No issues with the shower though although I don't like curtains. All the boutique hotels I stayed at in the past had glass.
6. Smell. There is some type of stale smell that lingers in the room and throughout the property. If you have severe allergies, may want to keep this in mind.
7. Parking. At $10/night, not worth it for an unprotected lot. Would be better if it was averaged into the rate.
8. Lack of privacy. You hear your neighbors and they hear you. Not a good thing if you are having confidential business conversations ... especially in my field, medicine.
9. Room. As mentioned over and over, too small ... too sterile ... feels a bit too much like a hospital room and/or a student residence room.

I'm sure the service levels are high in terms of everything from booking a restaurant, to tours to getting help with anything else. The truth is, this is 2013 and sophisticated business travelers are self-dependent with apps and mobile services so there is very little need to depend on somebody else. Even boarding passes are digital now. Of course, we also pack light so I would never consider using luggage service ... the same goes for valet, although doesn't apply to this property.

Having said all of the above, this place has a unique niche of the hotel market and appears to have an edge on service over the larger properties. However, although important, this is not everything.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

We would stay here again in a heartbeat. This hotel is quiet, quaint, well maintained, and has excellent service. It was relaxing and peaceful. We walked to bars, restaurants, and shops within 10 minutes and had a great time every night. Aside from average hotel noise (doors, vacuums, etc.), we slept peacefully on the comfortable beds and pillows. Don't be shocked - the rooms are SMALL but they make efficient use of space. To compare, if you have been in a cruise ship cabin, this is about the same size. But if you are just needing a place for two people to sleep, shower, and unwind, this is perfect. The staff is extremely cordial and went out of their way to offer us anything we needed. Wine at night and a light breakfast in the morning was perfect. We were a little surprised by the parking lot which charges about $10/night, however that is not bad given the going rate in LB. If you are wanting a big, spacious room then don't book here. If you can function in a small, compact space then you will LOVE this hotel. We were SO glad we chose this property over a chain hotel - it was a fun experience and we enjoyed the serenity.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

This is a wonderful hotel. I stayed at the Varden during the BIL Conference, and many of my cohorts were guests as well. The easy accolades first: the staff is outstanding, the location is convenient, the price is right. The rooms are perfectly appointed and just the right size. Indeed the description "boutique hotel" is fitting and puts the Varden in the good company of many small European hotels, both in style and substance. Two of us shared a bright, sunny room and there was no problem with moving about. (Even so, we weren't in Long Beach to stay in our room.) The free WiFi was a bonus as well as the morning coffee and breakfast. Cinco de Mayo restaurant next door was cheap and tasty, as well. If you're looking for a place to feel comfortable and taken care of at the end of your day, the Varden is for you.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

I attend the TED conference every year, and discovered the Varden three years ago when all other hotels in Long Beach were fully-booked. I loved it so much I have stayed there ever since for TED week. I cannot recommend the Varden too highly. Exceptionally conveniently located, it has far more character and wonderfully friendly and personal service versus the other hotel choices in Long Beach. The rooms are small but perfectly formed :) I've occupied the same room, Room 35, for the past three years' stays; it's beautifully light with a nice view of sunset and sunrise, and a very comfortable bed. The breakfast and the wine happy hours served in the lounge downstairs are a great little inclusive bonus, and conveniently right next door is some of the best Mexican food I've tasted, at Cinco de Mayo. In fact, my only regret about TED leaving Long Beach for Vancouver, is that I will no longer be staying at the Varden. If I come back to Long Beach this is the only place to stay. I urge you to give it a whirl.

Room Tip: I recommend my room - Room 35. It's right at the back so very quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

I arrived late in Long Beach and used my phone to look up hotels in the area. At the time of this writing, this hotel had the best rating.

I set my gps to it and quickly got there and checked in.

First the good: The guys that run this place are great, helpful and they are the best part of this hotel.

The bad: The hotel itself has no elevators, many floors, amd when you enter the room you realize that it is very small.

There is no view, if you add a second bed to the room, you wouldn't be able to open the door, so it is really small.

No closets, just a space next to the door with about 5 hangers.

The bathroom: there is this large mirror in the room next to the bed, then you realize that it slides over like one of those built in closets. Well, once you slide it all the way over you can see the small bathroom is behind the mirror.

There's a toilet, a sink that has no room for your shaving stuff let alone a brush and a shower that basically is next to the toilet... And because it shares the same floor next to the toilet (except for a small raised border that outlines the shower area in the form of a square) the water tends to splash out and wet the bathroom floor. Its like having a mini bathroom in a closet.

Of course if you close the sliding mirror while you are in the bathroom, it doesn't seal, and anybody in the bedroom will clearly hear all your bathroom noises. Very sexy (yes a bit of sarcasm intended here).

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
335p, Owner at The Varden Hotel, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Dr. Life,

Thank you for your feedback on our property. We value all of our guests opinions. We are delighted that you found our front desk staff "great and helpful". Like many European Boutique Properties, The Varden is a historical building with 3 floors. The 'unique design and features' of our guest rooms are not typical of the traditional hotel room. Our guest hosts are available 24/7 to assist with luggage, dining options, airline assistance, tours and all other requests to guarantee a most enjoyable and comfortable stay.

We do apologize that we did not live up to your expectations.

Best Regards,

Larry
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Varden Hotel

Address: 335 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Long Beach
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Long Beach
#1 Romantic Hotel in Long Beach
#1 Business Hotel in Long Beach
#3 Best Value Hotel in Long Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Varden Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Varden is downtown Long Beach's first European style boutique hotel. After an extensive renovation , The Varden's unique design evokes the casual elegance of an upscale, boutique hotel incorporating the blend of historic and contemporary details with all the modern conveniences anticipated by today's traveler, blending style and afordabilty. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Varden Hotel Long Beach
Varden Long Beach
Varden Hotel Long Beach

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