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“Charming little Monterey motel.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Franca Inn

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Villa Franca Inn
900 Munras Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940 (Formerly El Dorado Inn)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
A Breakfast To Remember
Ranked #10 of 53 Hotels in Monterey
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Charming little Monterey motel.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

We rolled in to the El Dorado Inn at 11pm after the office was closed. Sharon, the innkeeper, called, emailed and contacted booking.com to tell us how to get in when we arrived. Of course my phone had died on the road so I didn't receive any of those messages. She had also left a note on the door for me with her home phone number, so I could give her a call. I did, around 1115pm, and she couldn't have been nicer. Told me where our key was and gave me the wi-fi password and all of the details about the breakfast. When we entered our room, the crib and rollaway bed we'd requested was all set up. Not one other hotel we stayed in on our road trip took care of this request without being asked even though we'd made the request in advance online. The room was not fancy, but definitely nicely attended and very clean. It also had a microwave and fridge, which we appreciated because we were traveling with little kids. The next day we were treated to a breakfast of fresh baked muffins, steel cut oatmeal, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, toast and all the fixings. You could bring the breakfast to your room but we opted to eat it at one of the charming bistro tables situated around the motel. Now, the El Dorado is basically a motel, but it's painted sage green and has flower boxes and hanging baskets filled with geraniums all around the front. This embellishment paired with the caring and personal service makes it feel more like a bed and breakfast. The location was good, within very close driving distance to Cannery Row and the Aquarium as well as Dennis the Menace Park. I highly recommend.

Room Tip: A room on the ground floor seems easier for lugging bags. I did not see an elevator.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon C, Manager at Villa Franca Inn, responded to this review, August 12, 2014
Thank you for expressing so well, just what we are about...basically, we are built like a motel, but work very hard to give each guest a feeling of being at home away from home. It's really important to us to have clean, fresh rooms and a friendly, caring atmosphere. I've traveled quite a bit, and used those experiences to help decide what was needed here at our inn. Every morning, I make a homemade, healthy, tasty continental breakfast...the kind I would make for my family and friends.
As far as responding to your request for a roll away and a crib...when your traveling, the last thing you need to do is worry about all the details...especially after you've made a clear request. It's our pleasure to do what we can to make your stay with us a worry-free experience...take care, Sharon
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63 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
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English first
Kansas City, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

In early July 2014 we staying 2 nights at the El Dorado Inn, it was great. The owners were very friendly and helpful. The name is changing I wish I could remember what the new name is going to be. The free breakfast each morning was good, no meat on the menu that I recall. If the owners happen to read this and I'm pretty sure you will I like bacon or ham either would be a good addition to the menu. The homemade muffins were pretty good, but my 5 year old loved the oatmeal. I loaded his up with some brown sugar and a little butter. I loaded mine up with the same and dried cranberries or raisins not sure which now, but it was tasty. The hardboiled eggs and toast were tasty as well. The room was clean and recently updated it seemed, bed was great. It was the 4th of July and I believe Monterey didn't allow fireworks, but I had brought some poppers (throw snaps) for my 5 year old. I asked the owners if it was okay if he threw some and then cleaned up the little paper parts and they were very accommodating. The guy on the 2nd floor trying to sleep at 4PM in the afternoon was not as happy and we politely moved to the end of the building. I forget her name but the female owner was extremely helpful gave us some discount coupons for Chris's whale watching if I remember correctly and we had a great time. We saw several Humpback's and I believe a couple sharks. It was a little cloudy and cool so I was not thinking about sunblock, mistake. I burnt my face and neck pretty good. The Fisherman's wharf is a little bit of a hike from the Inn, but do-able. We did it the first day, the second day we drove and parked closer, the price for parking is kind of high. We went to the aquarium one evening it was very amazing, it is a little pricey in my opinion and I couldn't find any discount offers at all. We got there and it was only going to be open for 3 more hours or less. I asked the lady at the ticket counter if we could see everything before they closed and hinted was it worth the cost to the family. She replied yes and didn't charge us for our 5 year old, I love it when stuff like that happens, I try to remember kindness like that and extend it to others I come across down the road. I could have spent all day in the aquarium, but my 5 year bounced from place to place and we did see everything before they closed. They had a band playing in there for the last two hours and man they were loud, my 4.5 month old didn't care for that at all. I ended up taking her away from that section of the aquarium while my wife took my 5 year old to see the sea otters. If you don't bring a jacket with you to Monterey don't worry, just stop by Fisherman's wharf there are several shops that have some decent deals, a good place to pick up a vacation t-shirt or hoody too. Lots of places handing out free samples of clam chowder, gimmick to get you to eat there but hey good free clam chowder. My 5 year old loved watching the sea lions and harbor seals near Fisherman's wharf. There were no firework displays very close to Monterey for the 4th we ended up driving up to one in Scott's Valley about 1hr drive. If you happen to ever do the same leave with plenty of time it was packed, we felt it was worth the drive. Watching your 5 year old being amazed by a pretty good fireworks display, priceless. 4.5 month old wasn't sure what to think about it, but seem to handle it pretty well. The El Dorado Inn a nice place at a nice price in a really neat town.

Green Features: From what I could tell very environmentally friendly.
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Sharon C, Manager at Villa Franca Inn, responded to this review, August 12, 2014
I enjoyed reading your comments...our new name is in place now and it is Villa Franca Inn. That is the last name (Villafranca) of the family who has owned the inn for over 30 years. The name means, "honest, frank, direct and the country home of a middle class gentlemen". That's much more in alignment with how we choose to run our inn and represents our style better than El Dorado...
Thank you for your suggestion of adding some meat to the menu..we'll take that into consideration as we make changes to our breakfast. It's been a bit of a challenge to come up with choices that will be healthy, tasty, and something that guests from all over the world will enjoy...the muffin recipe is one I just made up...using my years of cooking for my family as my inspiration. I'm humbled by how well they have been received!
I too enjoyed watching your son as he popped his little fireworks! I'm a mom of three, grandmother of six and a great grandmother of six...enjoy your son...they grow so fast! Thanks again for taking the time to write a review...come again anytime...it was lovely to meet you and your family...
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Collierville, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

We had a wonderful stay for just one night in Monterey on out way down Highway 1. The hotel was cute, service was great thank s to Sharon! What a great host - let us check in early, good recommendations on things to do, restaurants, etc, even let us borrow a couple jackets as the evening weather turned a little nippy! Great breakfast, she makes awesome muffins and oatmeal with all the fixins! Would definitely go back should we be heading that way on our travels! Thanks Sharon for making our stay so wonderful!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Sharon C, Manager at Villa Franca Inn, responded to this review, August 11, 2014
I've only been managing Villa Franca Inn (formerly El Dorado Inn) since June 8, 2013...in that time, I've met some of the nicest folks from all over the world.! You have left a lovely memory of your visit in my heart...and am very grateful for opportunity to show you a bit of what America is like, not the glitzy part or the parts you see on the news...simply the average, good-hearted, hard-working segment of our countries people.. Some have commented that in all their travels in our country, this was the first homemade breakfast they had experienced..I'm sorry if that has been your experience and will continue to do my best to see that it doesn't happen here! Thank you for coming and staying with us...it was a pleasure to serve you!
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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

I found this hotel through Tripadvisor. I was looking for a reasonably priced hotel within the Monterey Penisula and was overwhelmed by the choices and the locations. Learning that Monterey is a good central point for seeing the area, I began to search Tripadvisor. I happened upon this inn and spoke with Sharon, the office manager, about the location, etc. Her confirmation email was hand typed - can you believe that and ended "it will be my pleasure to make you breakfast." I was a little disappointed that it was not a bed and breakfast but it was clean, our room was large and the location was walkable to the Pier. Because of its size, breakfast was on a table in the same small room as the reservation office. It was, non the less, fresh and tasty and the weather was warm enough to eat outside. I agree - it is not a 5 star hotel with tons of amenities but it is clean, well located and great value for the area. One would think that Sharon is the owner, the personal attention she gives, as if you were coming into her home.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Sharon C, Manager at Villa Franca Inn, responded to this review, August 23, 2014
Thank you for taking the time and effort to write a review about us...I happen to love TripAdvisor and the freedom it give all of us to compare and look for what we need. Monterey, (in my estimation) is more than just a spot to spend a night..it's a destination..and can be an event if you are able to garner the right information and a few insights. That's part of what we do here at Vill Franca Inn..we help you see our lovely town from a locals perspective...that way, your stay can become memorable and be part of your own personal story...Thank you also for considering us a gem..we might not be the traditional definition of a bed and breakfast...but we consider ourselves to be a working-class B & B...We can't serve you breakfast in bed or have a lovely dining room for you to eat your homemade muffins in...but we can still give your the best we have and do it with a smile that's sincere..Fortunately...you picked up on that and that blesses us too! Come anytime..We all work as if we 'own' this inn...That's what personal service is all about...Kindest regards, Sharon
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Santa Clarita, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

This is not a five star hotel with concierge, valet parking and a spa. But I didn't think it would be. It IS however, a super clean, well maintained and comfortable motel run by a very personable woman who clearly cares about her guests. My husband, daughter and I stayed for two nights over the 4th of July holiday and I was very impressed. The rooms have been recently updated, the beds are extremely comfortable and the bathrooms very nice. On top of that Sharon, the manager, provides a free breakfast that is better than average and that takes hard work on her part. She makes homemade muffins and oatmeal and puts out hard boiled eggs and other goodies. Its very homey thanks to her. Also when I first reserved the room she told me one price but then called me back to let me know that it was actually cheaper. Who does that? When we arrived she was in the process of figuring out how to get a phone back to a guest that had left it in a room. She was very concerned with the guest not having her property, which impressed me. Oh and they have free Wi-fi.

I would recommend this place highly and we plan on staying here again. Its a lovely motel with lovely staff!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon C, Manager at Villa Franca Inn, responded to this review, August 23, 2014
I'm so glad you didn't expect us to be a 5-star resort!. In a town our size with the ocean/coastline, great food and mild temperatures, of course you have a number of choices for lodgings. Villa Franca inn fills a specific need in this area..we are small by some standards (15 rooms), have only 4 employees, including me and is owned by a local family, who have been in business in this community for more than 50 years! We choose to treat guests the way we expect to be treated when we are traveling on our vacations...AND we give value for the price we charge..you might find a less expensive stay somewhere else...but it would be hard to get a better value! Thanks for sharing your experience with us...We really appreciate your stay with us and hope you come back again someday...Blessings, Sharon
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

Not worth more than $100/night and I have stayed at a lot of hotels of varying ratings over the years. We arrived to bikies in the driveway. The country cottage feeling of the exterior is met with very tired rooms. The minimal amount has been spent in 30 years and we could hear the pele n the room above walking. Thankfully they didn't stay up late or party. The rooms are clean but dated and cramped, the bathroom smelt mouldy. Sharon was very lovely and made a huge effort to be welcoming but the rooms are too worn thin for the price.

Room Tip: Not room 6 which is next to the road as we could hear the noise of the street through the windows
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Sharon C, Manager at Villa Franca Inn, responded to this review, July 4, 2014
In responding to your comments, I needed to go back and reevaluate room 6. I measured the room first of all. The main room has two queen beds (new as of 8 months ago), a dresser, night stands, flat-screen TV, new microwave and refrigerator. With all that, the room might seem small, but is actually measures 12’ x 16”, minus the entry to the bathroom and the closet. The bathroom has new shower, toilet, sink and fixtures, plus new plumbing and new window and measures 6’ x 8’. Everything has been replaced (except for the dressers and nightstands), in the past eight months. Our building was originally built in the early 50’s and upgrading without obvious ‘new’ vs ‘old’ styles has been important to us. We’ve painted each room, put in new doors, crown molding and baseboards, etc. I also had the odor in the bathroom checked out…no mold or mildew or inappropriate odor.
As for the street noise, it’s the normal sounds of daily life in a beach community. The trash is picked up at 5 am by the city twice a week, the street cleaners come by early once in awhile also. You can hear the sea lions barking in the bay and the seagulls are always around too. I do have complimentary earplugs sitting on the counter in my office for anyone who is sensitive to noise. The floor/ceiling in room 6 was soundproofed some time back, but doesn’t totally cancel out the sounds of someone walking overhead.
The guests, who had the Harley motorcycles, were from Germany. They were three gentlemen who were traveling the West Coast on vacation. We welcomed them, as we would any guest who is respectful of our Inn and our guests. If that appears to be a negative image for some, it’s not our intention, but neither will we be changing that policy. The fact that they felt comfortable leaving their motorcycles in our lot overnight, unguarded, indicates the relative safety of our area.
I’m sorry you were so displeased in your nights stay with us; we work hard to try and have the rooms clean, comfortable and pleasant. Best regards, Sharon-Innkeeper
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Alta Loma, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

My family would like to thank the El Dorado Inn for being so understanding. We booked a room to celebrate our Anniversary as we started up the coast to celebrate our two oldest grandsons graduations!. A week before we were to leave on vacation ( my husband is retired and I've been teaching 44 years) we got word my 89 year old mother was in the hospital. I quickly cancelled all reservations. For some reason our reservation for El Dorado Inn was pending? My beautiful mother passed away. We were charged for the night stay in Monterey. With a few phone calls the matter was resolved. Thank you so much for understanding our situation. I highly recommend this cute little hotel if you are ever in Monterey.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon C, Manager at Villa Franca Inn, responded to this review, July 16, 2014
Thank you! I've met so many really wonderful people this past year as the manager of the inn.
My vision for our little place, is that it will be clean, warm/friendly, and a good place to come and just relax. Though we aren't a full bed and breakfast, the homemade breakfast and casual, friendly atmosphere hopefully helps us meet that goal. We aren't a 5 star bed and breakfast, we're more a working-class oasis from all the hustle and bustle that comes with travel. Come again anytime...it was a real pleasure to meet you!
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Additional Information about Villa Franca Inn

Address: 900 Munras Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940 (Formerly El Dorado Inn)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Monterey Peninsula > Monterey
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 53 Hotels in Monterey
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are an independently owned, 15 room inn. We have microwaves and refrigerates, TV's, hair dryers in each room. Our WI-FI is a commercial grade quality. Free parking and a delicious homemade boutique breakfast is included Check in is from 2-10 pm and check out is 11 am. We're 4 blocks from downtown and 9 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf. We can order 2-dayAquarium tickets for you online with a valid credit card. For a bit of hominess, come stay with us!. ... more   less 
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