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“Sweet Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cal Mar Hotel Suites

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Cal Mar Hotel Suites
220 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 34 hotels in Santa Monica
fargo, north dakota
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Sweet Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We recently spent 5 days at the Cal Mar Hotel while visiting the Santa Monica area. It is a very clean hotel with a beautifully heated pool and relaxing outside area. The rooms are big and have a full kitchen, equiped with all the things we needed to make breakfasts and lunches. The staff was especially friendly and accomodating. Only downside is that it can be a little loud at times due to the structure of the building but otherwise....a great stay and a great price for this area.

Room Tip: rooms away from the pool would be quieter
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Sweet Hotel,Thank you for your comments and how you rated us. This will help us give better service to our customers.We appreciate your business.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (46)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

These are old apartments that are now rented as hotel "suites", so you get a fully stocked kitchen, living/dining room (w/TV/DVD), bathroom, bedroom, closet, etc. The 5 of us stayed one night but it would be a great place to stay for a week or so - especially with kids as the pool is very clean and can be seen right from your hotel room. The tile in our unit was old, and the beds were doubles (not queens) but you can get a roll a way or even sleep on the couch. It's not fancy, but everything was in working order, and very clean. If you are taking a tour of Santa Monica, Universal Studios, Hollywood/LA area, this is a good location to use as a home base. Only 5 blocks from Santa Monica beach and pier, easy walking. Would stay here again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your comments and how you rated us.I'm glad you liked the kitchen and suite layout. Your comments will help us give better service to our customers.WThe Cal Mar staff appreciate your business.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013 via mobile

I read through the reviews here and saw the high ratings but I was terribly disappointed in the quality of this place. This area of Santa Monica is very expensive so I should have known better. On this same trip I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express and the Cal Mar is a couple of notches below that. Very old, small beds, shabby furnishings. Lucky I asked to see the room before I signed and gave my credit card and the front desk man was nice enough to let us cancel without charging. We ended up at the Wyndham on the pier for about $50 more per night. Probably more with parking. It's no palace but is higher quality with better, newer furnishings and normal sized beds.

Cal Mar might work for some but beware that the high ratings here could be deceiving.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your comments they are very important to us.The Cal Mar Hotel Suites is not a 5 star hotel and if that what you expected.This hotel has a 1960's flair just 2 blocks to the beach. Our pool is heated. Our suites are like a 1 or 2 bedroom apartments with a full kitchens set up for extended stay which is different from other hotels. I'm sorry you didn't give us a chance.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
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Riverside
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

Our family of 4 wanted to spend one day of our Spring Break away so we decided to pack up and go on a spur of the moment trip to Santa Monica. We called Cal Mar the day before and took a chance. It turned out well.

The hotel is (what I think) a former apartment complex set one or two short blocks from the beach. The view from the outside was not good. But as my 13 year old son said, "looks are deceiving."

We were able to check in at 12 PM, even though check in is not until 3. The lady at the desk was a great lady. We had requested by phone a room by the pool, but she gave us a corner room. It still had a cool view of the street from the huge windows, so we were ok with it.

Although it's not easy to spend $200 a night plus 15 parking, the room was very nice. It was totally retro. Our old house was built in 1949, and I swear there were some of the same tiles and fixtures in this place. But that was what was cool about it.

It is not new, or modern. But it is totally clean. Hard wood floors throughout. Clean kitchen, comfortable bed. A fold out for the boys (which is a fold out, so not so comfy).

The pool area is pretty, the pool warm. The staff was awesome.

Couple of notes:

WiFi in corner rooms. Don't work, so don't buy it unless you are happy with using it only by the pool.

And that alley. Try to stay away from it. Unless you want to wake up at 6 AM.

Room Tip: Stay away from the alley if you can.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your comments and how you rated us.We are currently working to resolve the WIFI connection issues. I hope you we see you again! We appreciate your business.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, Vic, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We are a couple 40's/50 and enjoy having a bit of extra space in a location that is easily accessible to the best of the attractions in the vicinity. The Cal Mar pool area is just like National Lampoons Vacation when Chevy Chase swims with Christie Brinkley!

Cal Mar Suites cannot be compared with the 15 story properties nearby which we considered (Huntley & Fairmont which both have nightclubs onsite and sharing elevators with guests). We certainly found what we were looking for and the property is exactly as stated on the web and thanks to a few other reviews, were prepared for the "thin towels"! Booked easily through the hotel website, we also sought Holly's assistance (via email) who pre-booked us a compact car from Enterprise who arrived Good Friday morning. As the car hire was closed Easter Sunday, Holly advised they would come and pick it up again Monday! Excellent. Also organised us a "half rate for a 4th night to keep the room until 8pm as a late flight out of LAX.

Yes it's a bit "daggy" as we say in Australia. Families were thoroughly enjoying it though with kids in the pool - 8am Easter sunday was not appreciated and the echo would have gone to every floor of the Huntley Hotel next door too. It's not the Cal Mar. Just sometimes a human tendency to not always respect that other's may be sleeping at 8am on Easter Sunday morning. The big sign by the pool saying it opens at "9am no exceptions" is plain to see but wasn't enforced by the pool attendant or reception.

Otherwise fine for what we needed and it was certainly as expected. We had just come from 8 nights in a suite at Affinia Manhattan NYC and preferred to spend the higher $$$'s in NYC.

So all in all, a dynamite location, walk to 3rd Street Promenade, a longer walk to Montana Ave, stroll to Ocean Boulevard & Pier and if you don't want to hire a car, google Big Blue Bus - Rapid 10 freeway express (bigbluebus.com) and for $2.00 a person, we jumped on at 3rd/Santa Monica Bvd & relaxed all the way to Union Station - Olvera Street - LA's Mexico in downtown LA. (other routes of course will go elsewhere). Favourite happy hour bar/restaurant - Locitera, 3rd Ave Promenade - from 3pm to 6pm (or until 7pm if bar seated) $4.50 cocktail margueritas! One last thing...an easy drive straight down California ave, down the incline and you are off on your way along the Pacific Coast Highway - makes it easy for those of us who drive on the other side. Easy to do when staying at Cal Mar.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you I appreciate your comments and how you rated us.I will address the pool issue with staff members. And again Thank you for your comments. We appreciate your business.Hope you will stay with us again!
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elora, Canada
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

I'll start with the good - Cal Mar has a great location. The rooms are large and clean. The staff are friendly and helpful. Now for the not so good....this hotel has seen better days I hope. The walls are paper thin - we could literally hear the conversation in the next room. The towels are thin and small and the bathrooms are small and outdated. The wifi was terrible! Don't bother getting wifi - it is an exercise in frustration. I was disgusted when my son opened the night table drawer to find condoms and penile desensitizing cream! Is this supplied to all rooms or were we the only ones? We won't be back.

Room Tip: There isn't one at this hotel.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your comments they are very important to us.The Cal Mar Hotel Suites is not a 5 star hotel and if that what you expected.The internet conection issues are being addressed.
I truly understand you being upset with the cleaness of the room. I just wish you would have brought this to the hotel staffs attention.Your comments they are very important to us.We appreciate your business and I hope you will stay with us again!
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ct
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

my wife and I just spent four nights and had a absolutly wonderful experiance at the cal mar suitesThe staff went above and beyond all or needs. The suite was clean and the grounds nicely keep. Holly at the front desk was fantastic and great with directions. Do not hesitate to stay here you will enjoy your stay. we will be back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your comments they are very important to us.We appreciate your business.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
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 Cal Mar Hotel Suites

Address: 220 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 34 hotels in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cal Mar Hotel Santa Monica
Cal Mar Santa Monica

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