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“Very comfortable hotel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cal Mar Hotel Suites

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Cal Mar Hotel Suites
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   220 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403 (Santa Monica)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
Shakopee, MN
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Very comfortable hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

The hotel is very retro but kept up nicely! The room is spacious but bathroom was small. Also had a kitchen. The staff was very friendly. Had a pool. We loved the location. Great area to walk to restaurants, shops, the beach, and the Santa Monica pier. I felt safe. No air conditioning. It was noisy in the a.m. because we had windows open. Much less expensive than some of the other hotels in the area. If you are watching your budget, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Thank you so very much Lovethesusnset857 for sharing your recent experience at our property. We are glad that you enjoyed our spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens. Thank you for mentioning our close proximity to all of the wonderful venues Santa Monica has to offer. We appreciate also you mentioning the value. We put our guests as our number one priority. Thanks for the opportunity to serve. Have an awesome day, we hope to see you soon!
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318 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 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 (54)
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Piscataway, NJ
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

Enjoyed our stay at the Cal Mar in Santa Monica. The room was spacious and clean and the pool was fabulous and clean! In fact, it was a little too warm for our taste maybe because we happened to be staying there when there was a heat wave. Air conditioning would have been welcome. Fans were available though to try to move the cooler night air into the rooms in the evening.
The hotel is very close to the Promenade on 3rd Street. A great place to spend an evening walking around.
Staff was exceptionally pleasant, helpful and friendly.
The beach is a few blocks away and down some steep steps. Since the beach in Santa Monica is so very wide, it is quite a trek to get to the water from the hotel.
Enjoyed our stay at Cal Mar and felt that the value was good for this resort town.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Thank you so very much cleomurray for sharing your recent experience. We are delighted that you enjoyed your visit and appreciate so very much you relating the spaciousness, cleanliness of our rooms, our awesome staff, and we are so happy you enjoyed our pool area. Thank you too for appreciating the value of our property. We hope to serve you in the future. Have an amazing day!
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Essex
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

We stayed here for a week at the end of our holiday in California. We loved Santa Monica and we loved this motel. Yes the rooms were a bit dated and the tv looked like it had been there for years. But it was spotlessly clean and the swimming pool was the best of the holiday. My husband refuses to swim in a pool unless it is heated and this was fantastic. Also the location was brilliant a short to the shops and the beach. The only complaint is that it was the only the only hotel all holiday that charged for wifi.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, September 19, 2012
Thank you Freddy05 for posting your wonderful comments regarding your recent stay at our property. We are delighted that you found our suites spotlessly clean and that you enjoyed our year round heated pool. Our team works hard to make sure our guests’ enjoy the “Cal Mar Experience” during their stay in our lovely Beach City. Our wifi is provided off-site and that is the reason for the charge. However, the City of Santa Monica offers free wireless in the Santa Monica Promenade and also at the beach area. Thanks again for your feedback! We look forward to seeing you in the future!
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Washington DC
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

Any hotel in Santa Monica is ridiculously expensive. The Cal Mar is no exception, at an average of $180-200 a night. But it's still a good $100 a night less than other hotels in the area. Granted, it is located 1.5 blocks from our son's apartment; that's a huge advantage right there for us. The nearest comps for location: the Fairmont starts at $350 a night and the boutique Huntley similar (I've stayed at the Huntley, which is fabulous; the Fairmont gets an edge for being right on the ocean).

Why the Cal-Mar? We were staying a week, and looking to economize on the room, where we would spend little time. It's an apartment garden-style complex around a courtyard pool turned into a motel, so each 'room' is actually a suite: a bedroom, bath, dining area, living room and kitchen. Lots of room. It's all dated -- or "retro" as management calls it. But it's spotless clean, and that counts a lot with me. We had access to a fridge, dishes, microwave and range. We bought food at Whole Foods 5 blocks away and at the world-renowned Santa Monica Farmers Market a few blocks away, and were glad to have the kitchen elementals to use. Restaurant meals are expensive here.

Drawbacks.
1) Like most ocean-side properties, there was no air-conditioning so if you run into a warm humid week like we did, a fan and open windows are essential. Which leads me to a complaint voiced by many others:
2) The walls are paper thin and when combined with open windows, means that all the party hounds interrupt your sleep. Til 2 am, 3 am, 4 am. No management attempt to shut them up. We awoke one morning at 7 to find drunk tattooed West Virginia men smoking cigarettes with whiskey bottles aloft in the pool (which didn't open til 9). Other nights we picked out German and French accents for the party crowd in the middle of the night. My husband wasn't shy about asking them to SHUT UP.
3) And yes, as others have written, the trash trucks come around EVERY DAY starting at 6:30 am. Doesn't matter which side of the hotel you stay on, the trucks appear like clockwork.
4) the Cal Mar has smoking rooms, so every European staying in Santa Monica is ecstatic. Half their rooms are smoking, so quiz the desk well about the best location to avoid the smoke. It's a little shocking to find such smoking leniency in a left-wing city like Santa Monica.

So if you don't mind a little sleeplessness and second-hand tobacco in exchange for a great location and some space, this is a good deal. My husband and I are still debating the pros/cons of the Fairmont vs the Cal Mar, ie cost savings vs perfection. We shall see what prevails in the future.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, September 18, 2012
Greetings Dakota56. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for posting your comments on Trip Advisor, we are delighted that you mentioned our ideal location, cleanliness and all the amenities that our suites offer. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay. We appreciate your comments regarding items that need to be improved, they are all valid and are in our future plans. Our number one desire is to ensure our guests’ comfort. Again, many thanks and we look forward to seeing you in the future!
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

The pool was great, the staff very warm and welcoming and the accommodation very clean and comfortable. The hotel was really well located. It did however seem very expensive (more than when we booked originally) given that there were no frills so I wouldn't say it was excellent value. It was by far the most expensive place we stayed in California. It was also the only place we stayed without free wifi.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
Greetings Jac_025_11, we appreciate so very much you taking the time to post your experience during your recent stay at our property. Thanks for acknowledging our great staff, clean and comfortable accommodations and our amazing location. Our rates are based on occupancy and truly they are lower than most properties in the area. We offer our guests the best value, lots of room to relax and enjoy their families and friend. We hope you will visit the next time you are in our area. Again, we thank you for your comments and look forward to seeing you again. Have an amazing day!
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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

Spent two week in Santa Monica at the Cal Mar. Couldn't have asked for a better place to stay. It is an older apartment motel, very cozy and in the best neighborhood in Los Angeles. It's an old place, the decor circa 1970's but it is very clean and well maintained. The apartments are large (we had one with a balcony on California Ave (a somewhat quiet street) and the bedroom window overlooking the magnificent pool are. The pool is very nice with warm and clean inviting waters. Housekeeping was very good and friendly (they even did the dishes every day). Full size fridge and stove in the kitchen. Bed very comfortable. Two televisions. Flowers on the dining room table. As I said, nice! There is no AC and no need to. Santa Monica cools down a lot after 4pm even in summer. Heat is not active all the time though so some nights may be quite chilly in the room during unexpected cold snaps. You can't beat the location within walking distance of 3rd street promenade (the best pedestrian area in L.A.), the pier, the beach and Palisades Park. It's very expensive (the most in fact in our entire vacation) but Santa Monica is a very expensive city and other hotels in this prime area command astronomical prices. I would go back without hesitation.

  • Stayed October 2011, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, August 30, 2012
Awesome Yimago! We are delighted that you took the opportunity to post your experience on Trip Advisor. Your review is amazing and highlights all the great assets the Cal Mar has to offer as well as our close proximity to all the great venues in the Santa Monica area. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking the time to share your experience with all Trip Advisor travelers. We hope to see you soon!
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Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We stayed 4 nights in September last year, we were so impressed with Santa Monica & this hotel especially that we decided to return this September. The room was spotless (not the most modern, but has a lovely older era charcter to it), and we felt it had as friendly a staff working there as we've come across on all our trips round the Western US. It is situated perfectly for access to the oceanfront and also very close to the main shopping area in Santa Monica. You also don't have to go far for food or drinks (guess what we do on holiday). It definitely suited us much better than any characterless 'chain ' hotels. Very much looking forward to returning. :o)

Room Tip: King Suite with pool view on top floor facing west - lovely sun in the late afternoon
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 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
    • 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.
susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, August 30, 2012
Amazing review Flocky, we very much appreciate your comments via your posting on Trip Advisor. We are delighted that we exceeded your expectations and we look forward to your visit in September. Again, our heartfelt thanks!!!
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Additional Information about Cal Mar Hotel Suites

Address: 220 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cal Mar Hotel Suites 3*
Number of rooms: 36
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Also Known As:
Cal Mar Hotel Santa Monica
Cal Mar Santa Monica

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