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“Nice cozy hotel with friendly staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Ambrose Hotel

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The Ambrose Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1255 20th St, at Arizona & 20th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
GreenLeadersGold level
Toronto
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Nice cozy hotel with friendly staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

We stayed here for a couple of nights for a romantic getaway. The following are is my summary:

Pros:
- Nice decor
- Very helpful staff
- free continental breakfast had fresh items and a number of different selections
- Not to close or too far from all the attractions in Santa Monica ... just the right distance located in a quiet neighborhood, but you need a car to get around.
- Free parking
- Free Wifi
- Since it was my significant other's birthday, staff provided chocolates and bottle of wine for the occasion.

Cons:
- Dated electonics in the room ... for this price point, I would expect at least flat panel TVs in the rooms.
- Shower had very little pressure and the spray was very narrow. The shower curtain also did not cover up the entire opening of the shower allowing water to come out onto the bathroom floors.
- Parking entrance is a bit hidden and difficult to find. Parking spots are also a bit tight .. but then again, it's free parking in Santa Monica, that's pretty hard to come by.
- Not many restuarants for shopping within walking distance, need to take a car to your destination.

Overall, it was a decent hotel but I would probably only stay here again if the price of the rooms were a little less. For the prices, I expected slightly better amenities to offset the somewhat remote location of the place.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
General M, General Manager at The Ambrose Hotel, responded to this review, April 1, 2013
Thank you so much for your positive feedback about the Ambrose Hotel. We are under-going a complete makeover this year and sincerely appreciate our local community.

We work very hard to deliver excellent service through this period that is both warm and relaxed every day, for every guest, every stay. Your feedback makes it all worth it
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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817 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Uae
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

My husband and i stayed for four nights at the ambrose hotel Santa monica. It was a very unpleasant experience and we are not demanding guests.
To start with the positives:
- location was in a nice area but you need a car to reach nearby attractions such as the promenade and the pier
- the hotel offers free parking, apparently a rare thing in CA.
- room cleaning was very good.
- free wifi with good speed
- staff was welcoming but only at check in

Now things that went wrong:
- the hotel offers complimentary "breakfast" but food was scarce. There was yougart, one type of cheese, few bread, some blunt cakes, strawberries, coffee and two types of juice. The breakfast was held at the lobby with few uncomfortable chairs that some people had to stand up or take their food to the outside very cold garden. The fire place at the lobby was hot with no safety guard which was dangerous for my little girl who kept running towards it. Many guests were complaining about the lack of variety of food and the small inappropriate venue.
- furniture in our room was old but not ugly. The wardrob was so small it was difficult to fit our clothes in it.
- tv was so cheap we could hear echo
- staff could be arrogant. We asked for someone to help with luggage when we checked in, they reluctanty agreed to help. And we ended up doing it ourselves.
- the hotel is green. I get that but that is not an excuse to not provide tissues in the room or coffee machine.

In a nutshell, this is not a comfortable or luxorious hotel. At least not to us. It is not horrible but i would advise the hotel managers to be a little generous and not make guests feel deprived.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at The Ambrose Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
We are extremely sad to hear that your guest stay experience was less than perfect.

We strive to provide accommodations that exceed our guest expectations on every visit, every day for every guest.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gold coast
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

I chose this hotel following extensive review on TripAdvisor but wasn't sure about it as some of the reviews were very mixed. We stayed here last night and I was so impressed I felt it needed a review straight away to say those mixed reviews were not deserved!
My husband and 9 year old and I landed in LA and came to The Ambrose straight from the airport, jet lag and at all, arriving to the hotel at 8am. The reception staff were very friendly and happily changed our room so that we could check in early. The room was downgraded from our booking so we could check in and have a sleep straight away but it was really nice with a nice decor and very comfortable beds. After a short sleep we caught the free shuttle down to the pier - again very friendly staff and easily organised. We got a pickup from down at the Mall and then out again for dinner at a local restaurant that the hotel staff recommended and booked for us. Pickup in the shuttle was also easily organised - makes such a difference to getting around - a nice Lincoln with lots of room.
Parking is included in the room cost, as is a continental breakfast which is nicely presented in a lounge/library. Nice pastries and fresh fruit with some juice and coffee.
I haven't been to Santa Monica before but came away with a great impression based upon very friendly staff at The Ambrose who helped us get around. Really recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at The Ambrose Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
We couldn't have said it better...

Our first time guest's frequently find our hotel and instantly get to know our entire hotel, staff and accommodations like their own home. We strive to provide accommodations that exceed our guest expectations on every visit, every day for every guest.

Your positive feedback makes it all worth our efforts.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
120 hotel reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
629 helpful votes 629 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

I did a one night stay at the Ambrose Hotel recently when doing a job interview for a nearby tech company. I definitely can appreciate what this boutique hotel is trying to do, but I came away with a mixed impression of the place.

First off, getting here: If you're traveling from LAX to here, expect to pay around $55 for the cab ride. The exceedingly friendly folks at the front desk can call a local cab provider to take you back to LAX for a flat $35.

The surroundings: the property is in a relatively low key neighborhood, with a funeral home across the street that looks like it's straight out of a medieval English village, and a hospital/medical center behind. Wilshire Boulevard is within a block of the hotel, and that's where you'll find a number of local restaurants and a Walgreens drug store not he corner.

Now, about the room I stayed in: I asked for a room with a king bed but ended up getting a room with two queen beds. Ah well, there are only so many rooms in any hotel.

In the bathroom, I liked the Aveda amenities and their overall "we're a green & environmentally friendly hotel!" theme. Next to the toilet, you'll find the typical high class hotel phone (eek, who talks on this while in the bathroom?) and a non-working radio dial (I'm guessing this hotel has been extensively renovated straight out of the 80's). Out in the room, a cabinet hid a TV and a number of hangars, along with an extra blanket. Hidden behind a panel in the wall was the iron, ironing board and a room safe. There was also a zip-tie'd up mini-bar that could be unlocked with a key provided by the front desk.

I was very thankful to be able to turn on the room's AC/heater fan to make a little noise and circulate air while I was sleeping.

The overall "Zen" decor can indeed be soothing, although judging from the compressed size of the room I was in, I don't know if it would follow any official Feng Shui guidelines. There was also general wear & tear issues throughout my room and in the public areas (the carpet outside the elevator bay on the 2nd floor had mysterious stains, as well as the lampshade on the work table in my room; batteries dead in my room's cordless phone, etc.). A little bit of additional TLC to the property would go a long way.

I wish I could have a chance to make decent use out of the nicely equipped fitness ("Rec") room.

Breakfast, which goes from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or so on weekdays, was thorough (pastries, cereals, yogurt, sliced up fruit). There was nothing hot that I can remember. What I do remember is that the low-slung chairs and low tables in the living room where everyone sits to enjoy breakfast is really meant more for lounging and not comfortable whatsoever for enjoying a breakfast. You might find better tables/chairs outside.

There's also a handy computer available in that living room area. If you need to make printouts, a sign next to the computer says "25 cents per page" but the front desk never charged me for my boarding pass and a couple other small documents I printed (I'm guessing the cost is there to dissuade non-green-friendly guests from slaying reams of trees by printing out a massive document).

There's WiFi available throughout the building, although when I needed it the most, I discovered it can be crazy slow and not very good for urgent connections (such as VoIP back to the home office).

Would I stay here again? If it hadn't been for the business I needed to do a few blocks away, I would never have discovered this place. But if I had new things to do in Santa Monica, I'd most definitely stay here (the hotel shuttle is super handy, b.t.w.). The hotel is a member of a hotel marketing program I've never heard of, named "Genre Hotels", but you probably found them by shopping around on Expedia or here on TripAdvisor.

Hopefully this information helps you out. And if you did find useful information in my review, please let me know by clicking the "Helpful" link down below. Have a great stay!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at The Ambrose Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
Thank you MichaelInSF so much for your positive feedback about The Ambrose Hotel.

We are in the process of a multi-million dollar renovation this year... and appreciate your candid remarks.

We work very hard to deliver excellent service that is both warm and relaxed every day, for every guest, every stay. Your feedback makes it all worth it
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Astoria, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

So I had to go to LA-LA Land for an overnight business trip and the firm chose this place in Santa Monica. I know squat about LA so I was indifferent. I drove up to the hotel and liked what I saw! It outside is really peaceful and very Arts and Crafts, very Greene & Green, peaceful relaxing etc.

i walked in and the two ladies at the counter where wonderful! very friendly and funny! I checked in and had to go and did not come back until about 10:30, got my key and loved my room. peaceful, clean etc. The sound of the water feature helped me rest, the bed was sooo comfy the shower was great and it was just a great room. (Only one issue- the Iron sucked and just stained my shirt)

Woke up so refreshed and went done for "breakfast". it was really nice, good organic teas and coffee good croissants and yogurts etc. The lobby is really pretty, cute Asian and Arts & Crafts pieces are well layered out and the place has a wonderful peaceful feel to it.

I would def. stay there again

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at The Ambrose Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
Thank you so much for your positive feedback about the Ambrose Hotel.
We work very hard to deliver excellent service that is both warm and relaxed every day, for every guest, every stay. Your feedback makes it all worth it.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013 via mobile

I was recently hospitalized at Saint Johns which is across the street and wanted to recover before traveling back home.
The Ambrose is convenient to the hospital. It is not on the beach but the price is right. They even gave us a hospital discount!!!

The hotel is an architectural mix between frank Lloyd wright and Asian. It is very soothing.

All rooms are not created equal. The first room I had was a deluxe king. Although the room itself had charm I found it to be quite dark. No balcony the windows looked out towards someone else's windows. Hence you would keep the curtains drawn. It was in the back of the building.

The second room which had handicap access was brighter with a small balcony. It was in the front of the hotel and overlooked the garden area.

Both rooms were large. The first room had a flat screen TV. The second room had an old Zenith. It seemed it worked okay. There are limited television stations and no paid movie station. There was a DVD player.

I would agree that the hotel has charm. It does require some fixing up in the rooms which are showing major wear. The hall walls are dingy.

The free shuttle to local places was handy as we did not have a rental car. However they do discourage you from using it to get take out food. They have a great breakfast buffet and offer room service. However the evening room service is limited. And they did take us to get take out twice.

The really great thing about the hotel except location is the service!!! The staff, everyone of them, cannot do enough to make you happy.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
General M, General Manager at The Ambrose Hotel, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Thank you so much for your positive feedback about the Ambrose Hotel.
We work very hard to deliver excellent service that is both warm and relaxed every day, for every guest, every stay. Your feedback makes it all worth it
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, CA
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Our room was very comfortable (we had one king bed) and quiet. Breakfast was as advertised - very impressive and yummy. You are 20 blocks away from the Santa Monica Pier area, but they do have a "free" shuttle. Well, the shuttle is first come, first served, so leave enough time to get a cab as the shuttle driver wears many hats. The "shuttle" is a Lincoln Navigator, not the cute cabs that were advertised (a cab ride costs us $10 to the Santa Monica Pier area). The rooms do not have coffee pots, but there is a small fridge (mini bar) that you can use for your own drinks at no extra charge. The coffee/tea downstairs goes away after breakfast, and is replaced with fresh water and iced tea. The gym is nice with free weights and several different exercise machines (enough to get the job done). There is an iHop a couple of blocks away, and Fromans is a couple blocks away in the other direction. There is a Walgreens one block away (very handy). Overall, this property is very clean, has a nice little garden area in the front with koi pond and parking below the hotel. Staff was not as well informed as you would expect, but were attentive to our needs.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
General M, General Manager at The Ambrose Hotel, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Thank you so much for your positive feedback about the Ambrose Hotel.
We work very hard to deliver excellent service that is both warm and relaxed every day, for every guest, every stay. Your feedback makes it all worth it
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 The Ambrose Hotel

Address: 1255 20th St, at Arizona & 20th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Santa Monica
#9 Romantic Hotel in Santa Monica
#10 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
#13 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Ambrose Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ambrose Hotel. Unique . Influenced by design, yet also inhabits the sights, sounds and tastes of its surrounding neighborhood. Your Place. That warm feeling of being at home. In fact, the last thing we want to do is make you feel like a guest. Because truth is, we’re guest’s in your life… sharing space . Of something bigger. A memory. A stay experience. Luxury. With it comes authentic service and a feeling that you’re in a special place quite unlike anywhere else in Southern California, Santa Monica… or , the world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ambrose Hotel Santa Monica

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