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“Old & tired” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Saga Motor Hotel

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Saga Motor Hotel
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1633 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Pasadena
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Carlsbad, California
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Old & tired”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

This motel is not retro, it's old and tired. The hallways are dark with stained carpet and peeling wallpaper. I saw stuff lying around - a towel tossed behind the 3rd floor hallway trash can and trash under the stairway for two days. The elevator clunks and needs a facelift desparately. The internet is ok when it works, but then it goes completely down for awhile.

Light bulbs in the rooms are too dim to read. The shower head had half of the spray holes plugged, so no quick 5 minute showers - takes that long just to get your hair wet enough to shampoo. And, that deluxe breakfast, served in the small lobby; tiny grocery store bagels served in the plastic bag they came in, dry cereal, tiny unappealing danish, orange juice, tea & coffee - not deluxe anywhere, especially not Pasadena.

Close to Pasadena City College & Cal Tech. Starbucks & a few fast food places practically next door. Room windows open, refrigerator, iron, hair dryer & ok television (HBO doesn't work tho), and quiet.

Knowing what I know now, I would pass on this motel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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212 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here during CalTech commencement and had a great time. Nice pool, terrace with tables to eat outside, quiet clean rooms, trees and plants surround.
Rooms face the pool and still feel private

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Las Cruces, NM, USA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Just after this recent Thanksgiving, I flew to the LA area to buy a car and I stayed at the Saga Motor Hotel. It's been described as something like a delightful '50's retro motel. It's more than that. The grounds are beautiful. The cars are not parked in front of the doors. Everything in the rooms is in the right place - even the towel rack in the bathroom can be reached from inside the shower, a small design feature that's great but overlooked in most motels. The staff is friendly and helpful. There's no TV blaring in the lobby during the nice continental breakfast. A reading room is chock full of books that one can borrow and leave in the room. The location is pleasant, in very walkable Pasadena; there's a good Thai cafe within about 100 meters. Even while being located on busy (and convenient) Colorado Blvd., it's remarkably quiet. Finally, the price is right. This is the most pleasant motel I've been in in many years.

Room Tip: I stayed on the ground floor, close to the lobby. This was excellent.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Great mid-century place, but updated. Bed was good, love that the windows opened, great pool area. Big fridge & enough space for two for 3 nights. A/C was a bit noisy, but we just used it to cool off the room after being gone all day. Unseasonable warm Thanksgiving. Starbucks 1/2 short block away. Free breakfast was as much as you could expect for free. Elevator was creaky & slow, but better than lugging suitcases up & down stairs.We want to try a poolside room next time. Single level & doors on both sides for cross ventilation. Definitely will stay here again. We paid a bit more by booking w/ the front desk, but I am always wary of Internet rates & non-refundable bookings...

Room Tip: Top floor was a good choice. Love that the windows open.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Luis Obispo, CA
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Hmmm...my husband and I did not get the 5-point stay at the Saga. We also did not get one smile here, and barely got a friendly greeting during our stay.
We arrived around 3 PM on a Sunday to be greeted with a slightly snarky attitude. I asked if it was possible to get a room on the upper floor in a quiet location. I was promptly told there was no way that was possible because of other guests staying during the time we were staying. (By the looks of the parking lot in the mornings, the place was not sold out.) I was then told we would be in a room on the second floor, facing the large busy street out front. I was also told that it would be quiet for us – as though it would be quiet just because the lady at the desk said so.
After having some paper work plopped in front of me, I was abruptly told “sign here” and “sign here” with a pointed finger. Then we were told how to get to our room. The attitude we got discouraged us from asking if we could move to a room facing the back when one became vacant.
I know what's quiet for me and what it not quiet for me...as does my husband. We both say: Not quiet. The street noise is quieter than fellow guests tromping around above us around 11 PM and then between 5:45-8 AM. Tromp, tromp, tromp, squeak, creak, tromp, tromp. The old wooden floors can't help but make noise.
There is an odd smell in the room - like an old urinal, or maybe wallpaper paste, or some odd plastic, or possibly some sort of cleaner? We bought some air freshener to try to cover up the smell. It seemed to fade after a few days (we didn’t get housekeeping service since we didn’t need it).
The room is outdated in many ways (no computer outlet plugs at the desk, no microwave, old fridge, old school key to unlock the door, stained carpets), but you can tell they make an effort to do some improvements. The new heater/AC unit works well. And the room is clean.
Kudos to the housekeeping staff! I hope they get the appreciation their hard work deserves.
The mattress was also quite good for a hotel mattress, with nice clean sheets and soft blankies on top. (Yay, no duvet!) Plastic mattress covers, however - no matter how nice and clean they are like the one on the mattress - are too hot for us. So we had to remake the bed to make it cooler.
The shower head is a little close to the wall, but it has good pressure. Water's not as warm in the evening as in the morning.
Breakfast lacks protein (except for cream cheese). It consists of the standard store-bought pastries, bagels, mini boxes of cold cereal, possibly some instant oatmeal packets and some fruit, along with OJ and coffee.
Wi-fi is hit and miss, seems to cycle in and out.
Not a bad deal for the price. Just be prepared for some noise overhead if you don’t get a room on the top floor. And if you’re on the top floor, your lower floor travelers will appreciate a light touch to your footsteps – especially at night and early morning.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We enjoyed our two night stay at the Saga Motor Hotel very much. We had everything we needed in our room which was very neat, clean, and comfortable. I especially loved being able to open the windows. The ambiance and location were just what we were looking for.

Room Tip: We liked the 3rd floor room overlooking the pool, palm trees, and Pasadena City College.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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McLean, Virginia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

The Saga is a charming traditional-style motel whose layout and exterior is straight out of the 1950's, but whose interior is fairly modern, well-appointed, very clean and comfortable. My wife and son had stayed there last April on a visit to nearby Caltech and raved about it. So when I went out to visit my son at the end of October I also chose to stay there. I was not disappointed. It is very reasonably priced and has a really nice pool and pool area. I mean really nice. The front desk staff was also very helpful. I had to cut my trip short by a day to get back home before Superstorm Sandy hit and they were very understanding and helpful. They also serve a passable continental breakfast although there are plenty of other options in the neighborhood if you want something more substantial. I would recommend this hotel if you have business (or pleasure) in the Pasadena area and are looking for excellent value for your money. It is bound to be our go-to place on future visits to Caltech.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Saga Motor Hotel

Address: 1633 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106
Location: United States > California > Pasadena
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Pasadena
#3 Romantic Hotel in Pasadena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Saga Motor Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in the 1950's, the historic Saga Motor Hotel is known as the timeless jewel of Pasadena California. The Saga Features spacious rooms with a country feel, lovely courtyard pool area Located on the world famous Tournament of Roses Parade route, the Saga a is a premier destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saga Motor Pasadena
Hotel Saga Motor

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