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“All Form, little Substance” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Shore Hotel

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Shore Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1515 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)   |  
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Ranked #1 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
“All Form, little Substance”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2012

We booked this in November 2011 to get a good room at this intriguingly cool-looking hotel. The property looked awesome, especially the beach-view location. Unfortunately, the Shore Hotel fell very short of expectations. Teething problems? Maybe. I cannot recommend this place though. Read on for the details.

Pro's:
1. Location: WOW. This is it! While it is not ON the beach, the Shore is so close to it you can taste the ocean. In fact it is ideally located, right next to all sorts of amenities, including being right at the entrance to the kinda gaudy Santa Monica Pier. Better yet, there are lots of places behind the hotel (but for some reason the hotel exit to these is blocked off, so there is a walk around to get to them) for shopping eating, coffee, etc.

There is a great looking bike rental place right behind the hotel (across from the McDonalds) that has to be much better than the terrible one at the Loews Hotel on the beach.

But beware, one block away to the south and things get sketchy - empty buildings, vagrants. Night is probably fine if you stick to the few blocks right behind the hotel.

2. Architecture: This is quite a cool building. The lobby layout is open, spartan, beautiful (for modern architecture aficionados). The pool right outside the lobby looks beautiful - water was a bit cold, not enough heating going on).

3. Rooms: The finish in the room is very nice: great veneers and colours. Nice bathroom except there is nowhere to hang your towels. Decent beds, linens and pillows. Good TV although there are no movie options - it is like having TV at home. Also, shower has a glass wall into the room (fishbowl effect) with a motorized curtain for privacy from the bedroom - a cool effect if you want to do a shower show... ;) Most will probably just leave the curtain lowered while you are there. Also, be aware that the shower door (in our room anyways) leaks out into the bathroom. Finally, the double pane windows are of quite poor quality - they do little to keep outside noise out.

Cons:
1. Reservation Service: Most all service here is poor, deceptive and/or bordering on fraudulent. This is a deal-breaker for me that far overshadows any pros this property may have. We booked this place in November, via telephone. I spoke with Israel, the front-desk rep at the time and specified in clear terms a room with complete, unobstructed ocean views. There is not much to Santa Monica - the ocean is it, so when you come here that is what you want. Having not received a confirmation email, I called again a few weeks later, confirming my room, ocean view.

Well. Show up on Jan 1 and I am given a room in the ghetto, literally overlooking the back alley where the garbage trucks come to wake you up every morning between 5 and 7 AM. Room 350. You see, the hotel is in two parts: a front part and a back annexe. You don't want the annexe at all.

Worse yet, the room is dark because it is in a corner and has little window real estate. We were in a cave. Complaints to the front desk yielded nothing initially, but I never settle. After talking to the manager, Nichelle, I was offered a $100 per night discount, since there were no other rooms available. Fair outcome, but this was our only visit ever to Santa Monica, so saving $300 over 3 nights was not the point - an ocean view was. Very disappointing. Bait and switch?

2. Rooms: We arrived and the safe was locked. Had to get it unlocked. Then no pillows for the pullout bed. Got those after asking. Should these things not be on a cleaner's checklist? Do cleaning supervisors check the rooms?

When you leave, you can click on a "make my room" button, which turns on a green light outside your room. We did so at 10AM on Day 2, but upon our return 6 hours later, our room was not made. Another call to housekeeping. They came (upon our reminder) when we went out, but did not replenish all towels or soap.

3. Front Desk Knowledge: We've never been to Santa Monica. However, upon our arrival what was obvious was that S-M had been invaded by Rose Bowl fans. How cool is that?! We asked the front desk what is going on, what is there to check out? A blank look. "I don't know." Turns out that Oregon was having it's pep rally across the street on the beach - about 2000-3000 people - very cool. Front desk, not cool.

Next day I asked about bike rentals. We had seen one right behind the hotel but were steered by the front desk to the one at the Lowes Hotel on the beach. Apparently Shore had a promo discount brochure but "they were out of them" - I was told I just had to ask for the Shore Hotel rate. Went there. Wow how disappointing. The worst bikes imaginable! And, you guessed it, no discount since I had no brochure, despite my insistence (I tend to get my way).

The Shore Hotel place wants to be a "concierge-level" hotel, but it is pretty short on useful advice, in our experience.

4. WiFi: When it works it is ok. But one evening it broke down (seems from others' reviews that this is not infrequent). Another call to the front desk which routed me to a tech provider. After 15 minutes of extremely technical gyrations into the guts of my Mac, I got it working. I can safely say that the very techy approach by the helper would work if you are in the top 25th percentile of router and wifi knowledge. The tech told me this was a router problem on their end.

5. Parking: Usurious parking fees - $30 per day. Nice parkade though.

6. Billing: Upon checkout, I was asked whether we had consumed anything from the minibar. No, because there was never anything there or in the room. The checkout person insisted and said housekeeping had noted the consumption of three (nonexistent) bottles of water. Again I said no. The bill was adjusted accordingly. Apparently. Upon return home and checking my bill, I noticed an $18 charge. I called the hotel and had to be routed to a manager (Jim, Jeff?), who said everything was fine. Not convinced I called again and spoke to the front desk and then to the manager Nichelle. The bill was fixed. A lot of insistence on my part.

BEWARE of false billings and confirm everything when you get your visa bill.

Conclusion: Nice building, nice architecture, cool rooms. However, NO service: the staff are completely overwhelmed, incapable or both. 4 star prices, 5 star building, 2 star (or less) service (booking, housekeeping and front desk).

Room Tip: Ocean View or nothing. And do NOT stay in the back annexe!
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nichelle N, Assistant Front Office Manager at Shore Hotel, responded to this review, April 8, 2012
Canucdude, thank you for your review! We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed our amazing location. We take great pride in our LEED certification and our revolutionary rooms and bathrooms.

We are saddened to hear that you felt our level of service was not up to our rigorously high standards, as we strive for excellence in all areas of guest services. Our room types are generously coded to ensure guests are pleasantly surprised in comparison with most ocean views you will find in the city. The room type you reserved is one that is available in both of our buildings offering breathtaking ocean views. Should any guest have a location preference we are more than happy to accommodate any request. We can assure our potential guests reading your review you did indeed have an ocean view as you booked. We would never set up a guest for a disappointing start to their experience as this clearly would not be rewarding for either party. Please see the review titled “Modern, Beach, Great location” posted on same day for a more accurate description of our reservations team and processes.

I did speak with you on your arrival day and although we did not have a room in your category available in our front building, I did offer to move you, to another room that next morning; which you declined. Respecting your wishes not to move later, which I can understand, I did offer you compensation for your inconvenience as you mentioned above while offering the information about the Rose Bowl activities that were taking place, contrary to your review. I’m disappointed you did not feel our front desk staff was knowledgeable in your inquiries but I assure you that we make every effort to obtain information and have done so with every guest inquiry not just for Santa Monica, but surrounding areas and cities as well as many guests have alluded to in previous and later comments. We have team motto to cater to any and every guest request and I can assure you this team takes that commitment very seriously. Our amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi and parking options are very competitive in Santa Monica and consistently evaluated against hotels in the area. I am happy I was able to speak with you throughout your stay and even after to correct any errors that occurred on your bill. We are saddened you did not enjoy the Shore Experience and greatly hope we can have you back in the near future to provide an unforgettable guest experience we regret fell short during your stay.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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 (516)
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

I stayed at the Shore for 5 nights in November 2011. It had just opened in October so a few things were missing but I can imagine it will only get better. Perfect spot on Ocean Ave and the rooms are really nice and comfortable with lovely views of the peir. The small down side was the shower wasnt as hot as I would have liked. Coffee cups werent replaced at times and there wasnt a bottle opener in sight.. but other than that I loved it.

James (concierge) was fantastic, such a friendly happy person who made me smile each day.

The pool is just great and when they open a bar/restaurant it will be even better!

Room Tip: I'm sure all rooms have a view of Santa Monica pier and look out onto the pool.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nichelle N, Assistant Front Office Manager at Shore Hotel, responded to this review, February 10, 2012
Thank you for your review JacsMB! Shore Hotel is always striving for excellence and is always aiming to improve upon already great service so that we will continue to provide an experience that is second to none. We agree that "We will only get better" and with our restaurant on its way, we're sure that you will enjoy your time with us even more. My sincere apologies that you experienced some inconveniences during your stay. We have a team on call all day and night to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. We will be sure to share your praises with James as we are pleased to hear that he helped to keep a smile on your face each day! We hope that we can welcome you back in the very near future and thank you again.
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Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

Had a recent stay at the Shore Hotel. Location, Location, Location - I feel is its best selling point. I had reserved a king size bed and was given a room with 2 queens which was inconvenient for the 2 of us; room was pleasantly decorated but was crowded with the 2 beds and mediocre cabinetry. I don't quite understand the "open" concept of the shower and toilet being visible from the sleeping area of the room. There is a switch that drops a shade blocking the view of the bathroom but I see that as something that will eventually have mechanical issues - or will get ripped or dirty from wear. It didn't add anything to the room and in fact I saw it as a distraction having the shade fall between the bed and the glassed in bathroom. There was a "campfire" smell in the hallway & in our room that I had mentioned at the front desk but was shrugged off and not explained.

Would I go back? Uncertain; rec'd a grand opening discount to stay there but wouldn't pay full price.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DieterSchmitz, Director of Guest Services at Shore Hotel, responded to this review, February 1, 2012
ShirleyV,
We appreciate you sharing your experience with us. We are delighted to hear you enjoyed our amazing location in the heart of the Santa Monica coast. Our rain showers and electric shower curtain were intended to give our guests the ability to see the sunset from anywhere in their rooms while providing an open feel that bland walls would otherwise hinder. We can assure you the hotel and our entire property is held to the highest standards of cleanliness and smell and we hope to have you back in the near future as Shore Hotel continues to grow. Thank you once again for your review.
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Las Vegas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

OK, it’s across the street from the beach/Palisades. Its brand new, airy and modern, the sliding glass doors are virtually sound proof and nice touches abound. But the bar/restaurant is not up and running yet, the valet charges $30/day and the People’s Republic tacks on 14% in city tax to your $300/night stay. So is it worth it?

Well the beds are comfy, the staff pleasant and it is right next to the 3rd street promenade, so you be the judge. For $300 a night it seems a little on the pricey side, but who the hell am I to say?

Breathe in the ocean air and decide for yourself.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DieterSchmitz, Director of Guest Services at Shore Hotel, responded to this review, February 1, 2012
Dave_in_Vegas,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are pleased you noticed our sliding glass doors which were purchased to completely block out the noises of the Santa Monica coastline if desired. We are also pleased you enjoyed our amicable staff and our location. We hope to see you again in the near future as we continually grow and evolve.
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sonoma county
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

If you want a fun and wonderful view after the sun goes down and you can't see the ocean anymore, go to the Shore Hotel! You should get the Premier Ocean View Room! You'll see the colorful pier with all the changing lights on the Ferris Wheel and all the goings on of the Pier!!! You can stay on the balcony for hours watching life go by.Also, there are lots of great restaurants nearby.

The hotel is super clean and nice. I wouldn't have stayed anywhere else on the Beach. Also, Stevie, a sweetheart at the front desk, was wonderfully nice and helpful. She was a pleasure to deal with!

Room Tip: Stay in an premier oceanview room!!!!!
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim S, Front Office Supervisor at Shore Hotel, responded to this review, February 7, 2012
Imnolady Thank you so much for your great review on The Shore Hotel. Our ‘Ocean Premiere’ rooms have the most spectacular views and I’m glad you were able to experience it! I will pass along your praise to Stevie. We can’t wait to see you again.
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

Very frequent traveller for business and leisure. This was a combined trip - business for me, and leisure for my (lucky!) boyfriend. Beds were really comfortable, and we had a great view of the beach from our balcony. Rooms are more European sized; fine for a couple, but no space for a roll-away (for example).

With the balcony door closed, the traffic noise was faintly audible, but not disturbing. With the doors open, it can be noisy (but no way the hotel could mitigate). Thankfully the Santa Monica bus system uses "green" engines, so you don't get exhaust fumes. The empty fridge was a bonus for us - went to the nearby Whole Foods (on Lincoln, just south of the hotel) and got breakfast items. As we are not fans of room service/mini-bars, the absence of both was not an issue. Loads of restaurants in the immediate vicinity.

Hotel team was all very pleasant, and the reception team very helpful. Used the self-parking under the hotel. Did not see need for valet, but suppose some people expect it. Large shower was lovely design-wise, but the window-wall curtain had to be kept down to preserve modesty for anyone at the toilet. Softest, fluffiest bathrobes EVER... but they do produce lint like mad so beware of brushing the robes up against your black trousers.

Only suggestion would be that since it is a "green" hotel, and re-using towels is encouraged, that there should be towel hooks/rods so towels can be hung to dry. Ended up using door handles on the bathroom and closet in desperation.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim S, Front Office Supervisor at Shore Hotel, responded to this review, February 7, 2012
SW10UK On behalf of our entire team I would like to thank you for such a detailed review. Every guest’s happiness is of the utmost importance to us and I’m glad we have succeeded in making your trip enjoyable, even if it was business for you. Our ‘European Pillow Top’ mattresses are definitely extremely comfortable and along with our soft robes I’m glad you got a little relaxation! I will pass along your compliments to our team and also make note of your suggestions. We look forward to having you as a guest in the future!
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nuclear_rikku
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

We love Santa Monica and saw this hotel before it was open. Upon investigation, we love that it is a LEED hotel as well. The rooms were pricey and the rooms were a bit smaller than other hotels, but the bathroom and the view were uncompromising. The staff were all friendly and accomodating, the pool and the workout room just lovely. The grand opening rate was okay and when booked directly with the hotel, they also threw in some comps. The pier was super close and therefore so was the beach. The mall and promenade also a stone's throw away. Awesome location!

  • Stayed January 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim S, Guest Service Supervisor at Shore Hotel, responded to this review, February 4, 2012
nuclear_rikku I’m so glad you loved our hotel! Thank you for taking the time to share about your experience. The view and location are truly unbelievable and I’m glad you noticed. Thank you also for your kind regards to our friendly staff. Our team’s goal is to go above and beyond to make each guest feel welcome and I’m glad they did that with you. Hope to see you soon in the future.
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Additional Information about Shore Hotel

Address: 1515 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Shore Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 164
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The essence of legendary 5 star customer service and breath taking ocean views Shore Hotel celebrated our soft opening in early October of 2011 and are proud to be Santa Monica's first and only upscale boutique Gold LEED certified property. Shore Hotel is pleased to announce the recent opening of our poolside bar as well as the much anticipated opening of our restaurant, Blue Plate Taco on September 23rd, 2012. Shore Hotel is located on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, just steps from the Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade, and the city’s popular beaches and shopping districts. Shore Hotel is the newest addition to the coastline—a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified property that offers eco-friendly accommodations with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Gensler Architecture conceived the Shore Hotel’s California modern design, which features 164 stylishly appointed rooms dressed in beach shades of teal and orange and outfitted with custom-made Teak wood furniture. ... more   less 
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