I haven't written a review on TA since 2005, but our stay here frustrated me so much so that I had to write something...
We stayed at this hotel for 4 nights in early November 2013. There are many positives for this hotel, but big negatives as well; having now finished our stay there, I have to say that the negatives (even though only a couple of points really) far outweigh the positives. But you can decide for yourself.
To start, both a positive and negative was the location. The hotel is on the south waterfront of Long Beach. Thus, it is located across a small bridge from the downtown area of Long Beach. Though it's on the side where the port (i.e., container ships and such) is located, it's along the side of the harbor away from that. It’s nice in that it’s probably quieter in some way from the "downtown" (though Long Beach downtown wasn’t exactly busy regardless). It is not a difficult walk across the bridge (which you can do nicely via stairs along each side of the bridge, and we did that and walked with a gaggle of young kids to the aquarium and lighthouse area just across the bridge). And, you could potentially have a nice view of the “downtown/harbor” area. However, because the way the hotel is physically situated (north-south, rather than east-west), only two rooms per floor (Rooms #17 and #18) have the “amazing” view that half the rooms could have had if the hotel was instead build east-west. In addition, the location makes getting to it more difficult, particularly the first time you drive there, as some GPS will lead you too far (in which case you literally go through the Queen Mary gates and have to turn around). Even the “correct” way of driving to the hotel requires an odd U-turn of sorts. However, once you’ve figured it out, it’s not the end of the world [TIP: the easiest way to come from 710South is to follow the left-hand exit into downtown and follow the signs to Queen Mary, which will take you across the bridge. Right after you cross the bridge, you take the right hand exit (which is literally next to the hotel), and then you follow that exit and stay to the right, which takes you to the U-Turn back towards the hotel).
-GENERAL: The hotel is fairly new (I believe about four years) and is in the style of the newer Residence Inns, with what I consider a fairly nice red-themed styling and updated kitchens and such. We stayed in a 2-bedroom unit and had really no complaints about the unit itself. I’d note that each floor has a single 2-bedroom unit, and those units are located on the southwestern corner of the building. Because they are in corners, they are relatively quiet (or, conversely, if you are loud, you probably won’t get as many complaints!). I won’t go on much about describing the rooms, as that information can be found elsewhere (I won’t even list as a negative the falling-apart armchairs, as apparently the hotel had a bad supplier and is in the process of replacing them all, and even had put out letters in each room apologizing for them.) There are 11 floors in total. We never had a problem with waiting for the elevators or such.
-BREAKFAST: The breakfast was your standard, nicer Residence Inn fare. They mixed it up so that it wasn’t the exact same thing each morning, but it was your typical hot choices with 2 wafflemakers, breads/bagels, muffins, etc. The nice thing was that, even though the immediate eating area for the breakfast was fairly small, you could take your breakfast anywhere in the lobby area, which was actually pretty large and spread out, so you didn’t have the usual stress about finding a seat in a crowded breakfast room. The breakfast staff was excellent and made sure food was constantly resupplied. No complaints here.
-POOL: The pool was actually pretty nice IMO. It is on the small side, but so is every other pool at a RI. But, it is different because it is essentially on the edge of the harbor side (there is a small walking path between the pool area and the water, but that’s it. So, the location is fairly nice. The pool is also this long, odd shape, but I thought it was nice in case someone actually wanted to do laps (as opposed to the typical RI pool which is often fairly small). There was a small hottub as well. The pool is heated year-round. When we were there, it was actually fairly cold, but the kids were able to have fun nonetheless and weren’t too cold. Part of the pool does get sun throughout the day, so having the sun helps also. Next to the pool is an outdoor BBQ area at which you could sit out if you so desired.
-FRONT DESK: By far the biggest negative was the front desk staff. First, during our entire stay there, the hotel only had one front desk staff at any time. So, there was often a long wait when you had to speak/ask them questions, since they were dealing with other guests. Not a huge deal, but given the size of the hotel, it seems like they'd have more than one staff at the front desk at any time. But, even when there were no other guests, you often were forced to wait because they didn’t really care that a guest was waiting to speak with them. One night, one FD staff spoke for about 5 minutes with what was clearly another employee on the phone (because they were talking about some petty cash issue), with barely any acknowledgement of the guest waiting. The same thing happened another instance as well. In addition, the front desk staff NEVER bothered to ever look up from their computer screen anytime we’d walk in and out of the hotel. It was so consistent that you felt odd about it. Of course, that sometimes can be expected, but it seemed like they had no interest in even saying hello/bye or smiling to their guests, and instead were more interested in avoiding them entirely. And, this attitude permeated all three front desk personnel during our stay there (i.e., during different shifts), so it wasn’t limited to any single front-desk employee. It was to such an extent that multiple members of our group (we actually had multiple rooms in our larger group) commented on the poor front desk staff.
-PARKING: Parking is $15/day. You essentially have to pay it because there is literally nowhere nearby you could potentially otherwise park (actually, I take that back, there may be a parking lot on the boat launch next door, but the location is otherwise isolated; there are no public garages or such nearby. It’s just you and the bridge/highways). You get a parking pass, which you have to insert in the entrance/exit each time. No big deal. The problem is that the hotel needs more parking spaces. On a busy weekend, there was not enough parking, so that cars end up parking in spaces where they shouldn’t (i.e., where there aren’t “real” spaces).
But, far worse, while we were there, it turns out that there was a special movie filming on the bridge. Management informed each guest that the bridge would be closed for certain hours and gave us alternate driving directions. Fair enough. What they didn’t bother to inform any of us was the fact that they decided to sell a large chunk of their parking lot to the film company. They probably took up 30+ spots. Thus, as we came back in the evening, there were literally NO spots at all. Now, as mentioned, the location isn’t one where you could simply find street parking a block away, or go to another garage or something. There is literally nowhere else to park. Thus, we had to go in and complain and have to deal with the front desk staff that could really care less, getting into arguments with them. We were told to park in spots where guests shouldn’t (such as loading/unloading areas, and lanes that I felt were probably illegal and fire hazards). They told us that “we do this all the time” and not to worry, and that nobody would be towed or ticketed. So, knowing already that the hotel had very limited parking and not enough spaces when busy, the management decided to make a quick buck at the severe inconvenience of its guests and rent a bunch of parking spots, thus making them unavailable for use by guests. Really big negative in my book, and to me shows how little regard the hotel management has in reality for its guests.
Rooms 17 and 18 (at least on the floor we were on) were the ones with by far the best view of the ha...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.