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“Huge rooms, best location, old school charm!” 4 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 #24 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Huge rooms, best location, old school charm!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at cal mar hotel suites for 4 nights and loved every moment of it. I researched accommodation options thoroughly beforehand. We're a couple with a baby and a toddler so we wanted space without compromising location but were happy to give up a bit of five star luxury. Cal mar was perfect - massive rooms, friendly staff and a charming leafy pool outlook. As others have said, it's quite dated but we loved the quirky 1930s feel. I'd really recommend a pool view room and 2nd flood is best as there's less pool noise and no on above you (we had no noise issues, very quiet). The location just around the corner from 3rd promenade really was the best. Walking distance to whole foods (delicious). Cons, the high cost of wifi and parking but we knew about these in advance and hotel was still reasonably priced compared with others in this locale, and they didn't have our room ready despite arriving at 4pm. All quickly rectified however. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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, October 17, 2012
Wow, AdventuresfromNZ, we are so delighted that we exceeded your expectations and that you enjoyed your stay at our property. We our honored that you chose the Cal Mar for your most recent visit. Our property is great for families as you are able to spread out and enjoy the large rooms with everything to make a family feel comfortable during their stay; it is great for children as well as they have their own space to relax and rewind after traveling. Thanks too for highlighting our close proximity to our local Whole Foods Market, we are one and one-half blocks from the Farmers Market which is offered Wednesday and Saturday morning with amazing fresh fruit and veggies. We are excited that you enjoyed the old world charm. We hope to see you on your next visit. Have an amazing day!!!
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322 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
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Brookhaven, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We had a very pleasant stay at the Cal Mar. Our comfortable suite had a bedroom, bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen and balcony! It was nice to be able to have so many rooms. The bedroom had a ceiling fan (needed for warm days) and we did need to use the fan in the living room. Though the decor was a little dated, the rooms were comfortable and quite clean. I loved being able to buy groceries at the nearby Whole Foods and stock the refrigerator with breakfast supplies, snacks and lunch. Having breakfast on our balcony was a treat each morning! The courtyard was lovely and well maintained - the perfect place to relax while doing the laundry! The staff was friendly and helpful. The Cal Mar is a few blocks from beautiful Palisades Park where we went for several runs and is close to shopping and restaurants. I would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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, October 5, 2012
Thank you so very much NY2togo for sharing your experience during your recent stay in Santa Monica. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and got to get a little bit of rest and relaxation during your time here. Our dedicated staff does the utmost to enhance our guests’ experience, we appreciate your mentioning them as well. Thank you for your excellent comments; we look forward to hosting you on your next visit to our area!
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Shakopee, MN
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
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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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
36 helpful votes 36 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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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 #24 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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