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“I don't recommend staying on the second floor.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Tropicana

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Casa Tropicana
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610 Avenida Victoria, at the pier, San Clemente, CA 92672   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in San Clemente
Bay Area
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“I don't recommend staying on the second floor.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

I want to be fair, because I believe these owners and staff are trying, and some features are very nice. I booked this property, however, in large part because of the glowing reviews on this site, which did not at all reflect my experience there.

So, here's the good:

Location: Can't be beat. Views from the shared patio are excellent. Rooms nicely decorated, with nice amenities like flat screens and wall unit air conditioners. Free snacks in the room and fridge, free breakfast basket, fruit, and coffee, rose petals on the bed. The beds and sheets were exceptionally soft and comfortable. Beach chairs available to take to the beach, cozy blankets on the chairs on the patio. Dinner delivered from the restaurant was delicious. The train is charming.

BUT--we left after one night for a few reasons. Our room was essentially windowless. There was one tiny window, which opens half way, so there is no ocean breeze, or really any other fresh air for that matter. All the rooms on the second floor open to a "shared kitchen", which was swarming with flies. So if we had chosen to leave our door open for air, we would have been exposed to all the other guests on the 2nd floor, as well as the flies.

The photos of the shared patio appear larger than it really is--there is virtually no privacy if more than one couple/family is on the patio--and there are five rooms on that floor. Again, all the windows open into this shared space, so if you keep your windows open (if ours had had one!), you will be hearing anyone on the patio--possibly inches from your head in bed. We felt like we needed to whisper anytime we were outside of our room in order be considerate of the other guests who had their windows open. Other people on our floor who stayed in the front room, right on the patio, were kept up all night with loud thumping noise from the restaurant right below them. They said they got no sleep until it shut down for the night, and to beware of their room as well.

I do not consider $375/night a bargain--and didn't expect a bargain setup, which honestly is what it felt like. I believe the 3rd floor has only two rooms, so it is probably quieter and more private.

Pretty much immediately upon arriving, we decided to change hotels to something more conventional. I immediately let the staff know, as I wanted to be as considerate as possible to a small business--we had been there about 30 minutes. I was told by the staff, though, that I would need to pay for all of the nights I had booked--at a cost of about $1,400! Fortunately, I had only paid a partial deposit upon check-in, so I did not end up having to pay the whole thing.

Even though I requested it, I did not receive any refund of my deposit over my nightly rate. I was told by the manager that she would contact the owner, who was out of the country, but I never heard anything, so our unhappy night ended up costing us nearly $600. Given all of this, I cannot recommend this property.

Room Tip: Avoid the 2nd floor!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
casatrop, Director of Sales at Casa Tropicana, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you for letting us know how your experience was. I’m happy you weren’t completely dissatisfied with your stay. We appreciate the positive things you confirmed in your comments. Unfortunately it seems we were just not the right fit for your expectations. Here at the beach in the season, it does get really busy. Guests do enjoy the decks more, it gets dark around 8:30 and they love the great sunsets from the comforts of the common deck.

As you pointed out there are 5 rooms on the second floor and only two on the third. The fifth floor is a completely private penthouse deck with total seclusion. This may have been a better choice in your case. Our photos are exactly as they are in real life. It would be short sighted to try to deceive a guest with wide angle lenses or other deceptive measure’s to lure them here only find otherwise. Most guests enjoy the decks, and meeting other guests. I’m sorry you weren’t happy.

Our policy regarding refunds is very clear and you agreed with then when you made the reservation, and when you checked in. We were not obligated to refund any of your total amount as you acknowledged, but we did! You just paid for you stay. A very important neglected sign of our hospitality.

Living and working here at the Pacific Ocean has its unique sets of environmental issues from rusting wrought iron rails to kelp flies. Here at the beach, especially as close as we are, about 150 yards to the water, we often seem to be right on the beach.

Occasionally the tide brings up kelp from the ocean to the beach. As the kelp dries on the sand, little kelp flies begin to feed on the kelp. Sometimes they don’t know they shouldn’t be entering the buildings in close range and just hang around, as they sometimes do. This is what you experienced. The area you described as our out door kitchen is in fact a coffee station. As it is in the center of our building the kelp flies like to hang in the dead air and, well…just hang around circling in a tight mid-air area. They only are here until sunset and they depart and die.

It’s just living at the beach, nothing to do at all with sanitary conditions, cleanliness, or humanly. It’s just nature at the beach.

Rick Anderson
Owner
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171 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    117
    27
    11
    9
    7
See reviews for
13
120
5
11
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

We stumbled upon this quaint boutique and were pleasantly surprised with our stay!! The staff went above and beyond to make us feel at home! The views from the patio In the afternoon and morning were breathtaking.. The yummy snacks and morning breakfast basket were wonderful!! Marjorie was a delight and my chat with Sue during checkout was so nice!! Warm and inviting was our entire experience!! I would mot typically leave a review, but a night on a whim turned out to be amazing!! We will absolutely venture this way again at some point and spend another night or two :)

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Thank you for your great comments, especially about my wife Sue and our general manager Marjorie. They both work hard to make sure everyone’s stay is best as possible. I’m glad you got the chance to relax and enjoy the views and comfort of our ocean view decks. Please hurry back and stay with us again!

Rick Anderson
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghent, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

After leaving a horrible hotel down the street, we went walking to see what else was available.
Casa Tropicana said they had a couple of rooms for us to choose from. It is renovated and breakfast is included in the price. The staff were all very friendly and accommodating. It has a lovely view of the pier and the Pacific.
Only down side is the Amtrak train runs by from 5:00am until about 10:00pm. They give you ear plugs to try to make up for that!
We had a lovely stay, to what may have started as a very bad experience down the street. We highly recommend!

Room Tip: Rooms in the back with no view are quieter. Rooms in from have train noise.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
I am glad we had the chance to rescue your getaway! We enjoy being the only Boutique Inn in San Clemente or for that matter in South Orange County, plus being right at the beach! Unfortunately we do share our piece of paradise with the railroad. Currently our city and the railroad are working on agreements to make this area a Quiet Zone. We’re hoping this happens very soon. When it’s approved, the passing trains will no longer need to sound their horns! But I know that won’t keep you from coming back for now. See you again very soon.

Rick Anderson
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Modesto, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

My family and I just returned from spending 3 nights at the Casa Tropicana. This place is awesome in every sense of the word. My wife is generally very picky and considers herself an expert in the hotel industry since she has watch every episode of Hotel Impossible. Nevertheless, she loved this place as much as I did. We rented two rooms since my growed up children were with us. Both rooms were incredibly clean and comfortable. The treat baskets given to us each day were delightful. Liz, Patty, Marjorie, and team are all wonderful. They really pampered us and made us all feel welcome. I normally do not leave reviews but I feel compelled to brag for this group since they are all so committed. On top of everything, this hotel is located in the most perfect spot of San Clemente. The pier is directly across the street and the restaurants nearby are very good. Specifically, there is a place next door that specializes in crapes...delicious! We plan to come back to Casa Tropicana again someday. I highly recommend this place to all.

ROBERT

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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.
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Isn’t it great when you can spend more time here? Thanks for your great glowing reviews about our great team! We know we’re so much a part of your experience. Although Hotel Impossible is somewhere I never hope to show up, In this case I love the reference! Yes we do provide plenty of great snacks and breakfast treats, and it’s hard to beat enjoying them being ocean front from your view decks!
Sue and I can’t wait for your return. Don’t wait too long!

Rick Anderson
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

Stayed here recently. I'm not one to splurge on a hotel room, but thought I would this time as a treat to myself and girlfriend. We were both in bad need of a trip out of town. While the place is really nice, it's not worth the $340 a night. For that price, I was expecting a nice serene, trouble free stay. Given our experience, I'd hope to find better places to stay closer to the $200 price point. I know all about the trains, having lived that close to a crossing for years, so I was prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact that the hotel rooms are immediately above a bar/restaurant playing thumping-loud music into the late hours -- this was much worse than the occasional train! Sadly, I probably would not have minded if in fact the owner hadn't been so rude earlier in the night. See, unbeknownst to us at first, hotel guests are confined to the lower two floors of the building. When exploring the "shared deck", we went to see levels other than the first level our room was on. Unfortunately, we didn't see a sign on an open gate facing a wall which indicated the upper levels were for the owners and their guests only. She approached us and made me feel stupid that I missed a sign that no one could have read since the words on the sign were facing the wall! She really put a damper on the entire rest of our stay. Anyway, she was throwing some party upstairs, and later I had to play doorman for one of her guests that got locked out of the main gate and just stood at the door whining for someone to let her in. We even had guests coming down from above (the main stairway was right in front of our main window -- not much privacy if you wanted to enjoy the ocean view!) with plates of food saying they were having a party. Geez...

On behalf of the two staff members we encountered -- they could not have been nicer! :)

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
I apologize for the music at Sunsets Restaurant below. Although they do provide great room service to our guests, every now and then they do forget to keep the doors or windows closed, or the music can get too loud. They respond great if anyone lets them know. I also upon learning they are disturbing our guests can quiet them down with just a call. Our guests largely prefer the mellow entertainment below and not having to drive anywhere for a nice evening. I have shown their management your comments so they understand how they impact our guests. Thanks for the comments, they do help.

Sue and I do live on the property, on the 4th floor. Occasional we do entertain guests. The event you speak of was for my Rotary Club. It was a going away for 5 international business people who were hosted by a Global Study Exchange from the Netherlands here for the week departing on that Sunday evening. If you know Rotarian’s, they average about 65-70 years old. About 20 of them came around 6:30 and were gone before 9:00pm. I sincerely apologize for their miss behavior of disturbing you when they came up/down the stairs to our home. The gate should have been open. Thank you for being gracious enough to let them in for me. Had I known I would have opened the gate to relieve you of the door man duty.

I really don’t know how to respond to the accusation that my wife was rude to you. I regret you feel she/anyone made you feel stupid. It’s just not her character. Anything I could say would just be prejudiced as I am her husband and have seen her interact with guests for years. Additionally, I hope any guest of ours would not have been rude to you either. We will be more aware of it. Sorry to have offended you.

Rick Anderson
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santee, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

The service was excellent and the location was wonderful. It is right across the street from the Pier. The Inn has many amenities including quality coffee and a fabulous breakfast. The best room is 101, and has a spectacular view of the ocean. Don't miss Casa Romantica. Enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
I can’t, nor couldn’t say it any better than that! So all I’m going to say is, “Thank you for making us feel good!”

Rick Anderson
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Where to start? The rooms are so cozy, especially if you get a fire place. My second time here, the first time was with my wife about a year ago and we loved it. They set up the room special for us, had our favorite music playing when we walked in. I love the view of the ocean from the patio. You can make your own breakfast & yummy coffee, staff is very nice. I would stay here every time I pass through if I could afford it. Pricy, but well worth it.

Room Tip: Each room is uniquely designed, some have kitchens, fire places, jacuzzi's and etc. Your only to...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 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.
casatrop, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Sue and I are glad you keep coming back! However we’d like to stress you really don’t need to wait a whole year between visits. We’re here year round for you! And just to let you know, We have just lowered our prices a bit. I’d like to see more of everyone and thought this would be a great way to get it going. Hurry back,

Rick Anderson
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Tropicana

Address: 610 Avenida Victoria, at the pier, San Clemente, CA 92672
Location: United States > California > Orange County > San Clemente
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in San Clemente
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spanish-inspired architecture, ocean views, stylish comfortable decor and a relaxed atmosphere. We invite you to enjoy sunset from an ocean view deck Casa Tropicana Hotel in San Clemente is located steps from the beach and close to many local faves – Casa Romantica, San Juan Capistrano Mission and Disneyland. Your stay includes breakfast, snacks and wine. Offering complimentary amenities - beach bags and chairs, flat screen TVs, fireplaces, robes and Jacuzzi tubs. Great off season prices. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Tropicana Hotel San Clemente
Casa Tropicana San Clemente

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