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“Relax” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Beachcomber Motel

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Beachcomber Motel
533 Avenida Victoria, San Clemente, CA 92672   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 18 Hotels in San Clemente
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Relax”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

You know, if you cant tell what kind of "experience" you're going to have staying at this motel by just looking at it you dont deserve to share the small joys of life with the rest of us. We really dont want you around. Really? The train bothered you? Get over yourself and lighten up. The train is just a small part of what makes staying here enjoyable. I just WISH i would have run into the Innkeeper after having a couple...hopefully would have convinced him to have a couple more while listening to what I can only imagine would have been some of the most interesting stories heard in some time.

My wife and I stumbled upon this place while driving up the coast looking for a little hotel on the beach that didn't look like every other hotel in every other town. As soon as we saw it we knew it was the perfect place. We stopped and asked about vacancies and were told none til the following week,so, we went up to LA and came back down out of our way to finsh our vacation at this perfect little motel. Stayed five wonderful nights. Already talking about when we can go back. I want to know I'm in California when i visit...believe me, when you wake up here you know EXACTLY where you are. Sunsets, falling asleep and waking up to crashing waves, surfers, beach bonfires, fish tacos, 1930's beachfront motel...you know...California!!

My wife and i talked about how soft the train whistle was and how Amtrak must only let the laid back conductors have what has to be the most sought after and fought over route in the area! Can you imagine cruising that train up and down the coast all day for a JOB? Believe me, if it was your job you wouldnt risk it by blasting your damn whistle through a tourist area like this one! The next time we come we'll be flying to LAX, getting to the train station and taking it down to the BeachComber for a week stay of nothin but chilin.

Next time go stay at a Marriot on some golf course somewhere...like Omaha, and if they ever, EVER tear this hotel down i will blame the likes of you and your ilk, hang my head in shame, and walk slowly into the crashing waves, inhaling for my last breath the pure Pacific Ocean water deep into my lungs.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lakewood, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

We recently stayed at the beachcomber motel, what you are paying for is the view. The motel overlooks the pier and beach, so you get a great view from outside your room. The motel is very dated and in need of an upgrade, there are signs saying that renovations are taking place, but they look like they might have been there a while. There was a large flat screen TV in our room, but the rest of the furniture and décor is quite old.
There are 12 rooms, 1 through 6 back onto the street, 7 through 12 back onto an adjacent property, so 7 through 12 will be quieter. But that is relative, as mentioned in other reviews the train tracks run between the motel and beach. Trains seem to run quite often and as there is a crossing at the pier, blow their horns as a warning.
There are a few restaurants nearby and plenty if you don’t mind a 10 minute walk up the hill. We had a great lunch at The Fisherman’s on the pier, and nice but pricy Mexican dinner at South of Nicks. We had a drink at the other Nicks, but they had a 1 ½ hour wait for dinner, so we went to Café Mimosa and had a very tasty French style meal.

Room Tip: Rooms 1 through 6 back on to the street, 7 through 12 to the adjacent property.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
klgabay38, Manager at Beachcomber Motel, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
The Beachcomber Motel is a 1940 Vintage style motel.

The upgrades are being done as we speak.

Actually, the signs we put in the rooms were put up about a month or two before you got here and will continue to be there until after next winter when everything should be completed.

It’s not easy to work in the rooms during the summer, plus it just wouldn’t be right during the peak season.

Probably about 99% of our guests are good with the train. It adds to the ambiance of the pier bowl area. I think the conductor is pretty cool because when he toots his horn when I am lying back, he always seem to do it in the right way. It also is very convenient for our guests who take the train to come here. They can get off right at the pier, walk up to the motel, and not worry about having to drive around anywhere.

John & Karen Gabay
Managers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

Warning - there is a train that runs every 40 minutes all night with a blaring horn.
Warning - there is a train that runs every 40 minutes all night with a blaring horn.
Warning - there is a train that runs every 40 minutes all night with a blaring horn.

Beautiful location with a beautiful view but the long term owners / management have let the place fall into a state of aged disrepair with kludged fixes here and there. Not to blame them though it is a really old property that shows it's age. The only real remedy is to tear it down.

We could only force ourselves to stay one night but as it was so bad. One must pay in advance and so we choose to leave and forfeit one nights rate (170USD) and find somewhere else to stay - thank god for hotel points I had elsewhere.

One thing I didn't notice in the reviews was the fact that a train barrels by every 40 minutes all night blaring the horn. OMG - show stopper. So the view location views rock and then subtract the all night train whistles brings the overall location rating to negative -4529..... assuming you don't mind not sleeping.

Speaking of sleeping - umm be prepared to sleep in your clothes. Didn't dare try the shower.

Had a nice chat with the owner the only night we stayed as he stumbled by after a few too many with a stogie in his mouth ... need I say more.

Hard to rate service as there is none offered

Will definitely skip next time.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
klgabay38, Manager at Beachcomber Motel, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
As you could see when you were here, the motel was being worked on. It should have been obvious that there were many, many projects going on.

As for the train, 99% of the people that come here are fine with seeing the train come around the bend. I really feel that the conductor is considerate at night by usually just tooting his horn in a nice way. In the day, because of all the people at the pier around the crossing, it gets a little louder. I did talk to the conductor and he said that it is the law that they have to blow the horn at a certain point.

As far as the shower, I am proud of our showers. Like everything else we try hard to keep things in the original style, which is important to us. Among many other things, we just added shower doors which do enhance the showers.

Different people prefer different types of hotels or motels. Some would rather stay at a chain or a business class hotel, or something like the Ritz Carlton. This is a historical, 1940 Spanish style motel, and people who stay here realize that and love the way it is.

Yes, we probably did have a nice chat, as I do with many people. I live here and sometimes enjoy a glass of wine and a fine cigar. If you would have mentioned that you like that sort of thing, I probably would have shared with you during our conversation. At that time, we could have talked about all of your complaints, instead of letting me know on Trip Advisor. We take all complaints seriously, and try our best to keep our customers happy.

John & Karen Gabay
Managers
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Buhl, Idaho
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

My boyfriend and I love this place! The fantastic unobstructed ocean views from the huge picture window in the room, the beautifully mantained green grassy area with seating overlooking the beach, and the patio area with seating right outside the room are just three features making the Beachcomber such a special find. We also love the fully equipped vintage kitchen and the vintage tile in the shower which reminded me of my grandmothers place in 1960's LA. The location couldn't be any better as it's a nice walk to the beach, the pier, great restaurants and shopping. The sofa and chairs needed to be replaced, as well as the vanity in the bathroom, and parking is tight and limited; however, these negatives won't keep us from looking forward to a return trip!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

Almost 5 years after our first visit we returned for a 5 day stay in September 2011. Still the knock out view and we LOVE coming to SoCal from Chicago for R&R. Relatively quiet and peaceful location gave us time to recharge our batteries. But, sadly, nothing has been improved since our last visit. The rooms are very dated, bathroom was barely adequate (think KOA campground), furniture ready for the landfill. Overall, we were disappointed that the innkeepers haven't put anything into the property to keep it fresh and welcoming. It's not a cheap stay, either. Might still return in another 5 years but we can no longer give this little motel an enthusiastic thumbs up.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
klgabay38, Manager at Beachcomber Motel, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
We understand your concern totally and would like to say two things about this review (also it should cover other reviews as well).

As much as we wanted to, we couldn’t put hardly any money into the motel for 3 full years, and believe us, that bothered us more than you will ever know. It was out of our control.

Upgrades are being done now (but still keeping with the historical flavor of the motel), and we feel good about what we are doing. We think you would agree.

Come see.

John & Karen Gabay
Managers
Report response as inappropriate
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San Bernardino, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

We stayed here for our anniversary for 2 nights in January 2012. The reason I have waited so long to give a review is because I couldn't think of a good way to voice my opinions. This is a fabulous property and has so much potential, but I can't give a good rating just for the view. I love quaint and old, but there is a limit to what I consider livable. The views are fantastic, and the grounds are kept up nicely. I thought the rate was fine for off-season, but high season was higher than I would pay for this hotel. The rooms leave quite a bit to be desired. The carpets are very dirty, but the rest of the room is as clean as can be expected, though really worn. (The bedspread is extremely used and faded, the fan blades were actually worn down to the cardboard, which gave us a laugh! ) My husband had a problem sleeping on the mattress, I did not, but I can usually sleep anywhere. The kitchen was equipped with every utensil you could ask for to prepare any kind of meal. The front picture window was sparkling clean to give you an unobstructed view. There were no bad smells or bugs or plumbing problems. I think if they updated some, tore out the carpets, bought a few new pieces of furniture it would be acceptable, but unfortunately for me, my husband refuses to come back. This is walking distance to the town and the train did not bother us at all.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
klgabay38, Manager at Beachcomber Motel, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Just to let you know, unfortunately, you got here right before we started a restoration of the motel.

You are right that some things needed to be done. There were reasons beyond our control that prohibited us from completing the upgrades we wanted to for a period of time, but we started them in February of this year and are still doing them (except for during the summer so we don’t inconvenience our guests).

If you had come a year later, we are sure that your review would have been completely different.

John & Karen Gabay
Managers
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandy, Utah
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

The Beachcomber Motel is an older small motel but it sits on a cliff overlooking the Pacific and has the best view in San Clemente. They were in the process of doing upgrades on the rooms, while trying to keep the quaint integrity of the property. If you like ultra modern with all the bells and whistles, this is not your place. We spent only one day here, but sat in the lounges on the beautifully kept grounds and watched the surfers, dolphins playing just off shore and multitudes of various birds. They have a table on the lawn to play checkers (with colored sea shells), a gas grill if you want to cook something, and several areas of seating to view the sunset.

The staff were all very friendly and the room was clean, the kitchen well supplies with utensils. The bathroom was small and old fashioned in a cute way. Parking in San Clemente is a premium, so we left the car in the lot at the motel and walked to nearby restaurants. I will come back here for another relaxing stay.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Beachcomber Motel

Address: 533 Avenida Victoria, San Clemente, CA 92672
Location: United States > California > Orange County > San Clemente
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in San Clemente
#4 Romantic Hotel in San Clemente
#5 Family Hotel in San Clemente
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Beachcomber Hotel San Clemente

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