Always wanted to stay here, finally checked it off my list!
The restaurants: We had a buffet style meal for a large party we were with in the Venetian room downstairs. Nice enough ambience. Felt like we were at a wedding. Food was fair, Sort of typical of any other generic wedding style buffet. Certainly not worth what we paid for it (55/person not including alcohol). Servers were scarce (could not get a cup of coffee to save my life) and the bartender didn't know how to make basic drinks very well.
The regular restaurant is over the top cool - you've seen the pictures! We didn't eat in there though. There was a band playing bad 80's music in the good sized bar. Large dance floor and people were making use of it. This place is a little bit mazelike with the bar, restaurant, private party areas, and a few shops all in one multi level building.
The coffee shop was good. I might actually give the food 4 stars in there but the service was sort of bad which annoyed me for the price. They were understaffed. Love the crazy decor though. Cost us 60 bucks for a very basic breakfast for two adults and two kids, no drinks other than coffee. There is an Ihop down the street for the cost conscious visitor, just sayin'.
The grounds: the hotel is located in a beautiful area. Right at the foot of some hills. Nice area to walk around. They have horseback riding too and there was anice rink when we were there. There is a pool, we didn't check it out but the woman at the desk said they heat it to 85 degrees F which is nice. I also noticed tennis courts. In general, there are lots of day trips you can make using this place as a base (wine tasting, hiking, shopping, beaches, etc.) so you can either find things to do at the hotel or get in the car and explore a little. The was ample parking and you could probably park a trailer in their overflow lot if you needed to.
The room: Ok, so this is why people stay at this place. You've never been in a hotel room like some of these, seriously! We stayed in the Old Mill room. Two big beds, a water feature (mill thing that runs, but you can switch it off), big room, kid friendly. My kids especially enjoyed the bidet feature on the toilet, you don't see that much in the US! His n hers sinks plus another sink which we used as a wet bar! No view. Glitter wallpaper. Desk made of rock. In general, old, but clean and kept up. Looked like it had probably been redone relatively recently.
It's really hard to compare it to any normal hotel because it's just not a normal hotel. We also looked at a couple of other rooms--all along the same lines as ours: old, clean, lots of personality. Really fastidious types might find it little dated for their taste. I know my mom wouldn't like it, it would seem weird and old to her. But if you find funky stuff cool, you'll like it.
I didn't notice ambient noise from other rooms, seemed quiet. If you go, it's worth the splurge to get one of the cooler rooms-they are all very well documented on their website. Note that if climbing stairs is a problem for you, you need to talk to the hotel as a lot of the rooms appear to be stair access only.
Overall, a fun and unique place to go either as a trip in itself or a stop on a trip up or down the a California coast.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.