I wanted so badly for this property to Wow me, not because my ego needs the boost but because as a Professional Travel Advisor and a member of Virtuoso I expected it to be outstanding and in many ways it came close but it just missed the mark for me.
One thing I'll never understand with high end hotels and resorts is when the front desk staff will check you in, give you your room key, wish you a pleasant stay and then send you on your way, when with just that little extra effort you could completely wow a guest and make their stay so much better.
All it takes is asking a guest 'have you stayed with us before' and if not then 'can I take a couple of minutes to explain the hotel facilities', but instead this hotel like so many just let guests linger and hope they discover all the available amenities which they often don't (it was only as I was checking out I discovered the hotel had bikes available).
As the saying goes, it takes so little to be above average, but unfortunately the check in staff were too busy balancing that almighty chip on their shoulder to bother going the extra mile.
While we're on the topic of the staff, unfortunately most that I encountered had forgotten they were there to serve and instead were full of attitude (with the exception of one indian front door attendant who was brilliant), such a shame as I don't need to be looked down on by hotel staff, especially when I'm the one paying their wages.
The property itself was lovely, it was a shame that we weren't shown to our room as it's a bit of a maze and there were no lights on in our room so we were left in the dark scouring for light switches which wasn't the welcome I'd expect at a property of this calibre, but the decor was homely and felt more like you were staying at a family beach house, overall aside from the sticky residue the housekeeper hadn't wiped off the bedside table from the last guest it was lovely.
It was nice to find a bathroom of decent proportions, especially after the rabbit warren of a bathroom I experienced at Fairmont Miramar several months earlier.
The location of the room was terrible, I have no doubt I was given the worst room in the entire property, with an outlook over the side lane and zero privacy when the blinds were open due to our street level location.
Location wise you can't complain, right on the beach, its great, although equally great is their sister property Casa Del Mar (where I'll be staying next time) and to a lesser extent Loews.
Would I stay here again, I don't know to be honest but I would say unless you're staying in an Ocean View room you're completely wasting your time and money at this hotel, you may as well stay off the beach if you're not going to take advantage of the views as the attitude from staff and the poor views from non-Ocean View Rooms really isn't worth it.