We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Average facilities but good location” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Hotel California

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Save
You added The Hotel California to your Saves list
The Hotel California
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1670 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Price
10% OFF @ HotelCA.com
Ranked #10 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
Sydney
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Average facilities but good location”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

It was stinking hot in LA when i arrived and so was the room. No Air Con and the fan didn't do much.

Room is ok, nothing fancy but clean and presentable. Bed was comfortable.

The location is what makes this place, right near the beach and shopping areas on Santa Monica.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

595 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    226
    154
    88
    70
    57
See reviews for
140
176
48
55
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Stayed in LA for a couple of days with friends for a Las Vegas trip. We initially had booked a hostel near Venice Beach but were not happy and stumbled across the Hotel California. Booking was made at the desk which was all good, staff OK. The rate was very good, particularly after splitting three ways. The location is excellent, very close to main shops/bars etc. in Santa Monica and short walk to the beach/pier. The rooms were clean, well-presented guitar theme. Great value and I would stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hotel C, Front Office Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
Thank you for your review. I am very glad to hear you had a pleasant stay at The Hotel California. We hope to have you back soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Great location but sadly, our 3 year olds bedtime toy was taken when the cleaners changed the sheets after the first night! The toy never reappeared even after we returned to check if it had been found 2 weeks later. We were very dissappointed that there was not even an apology for this incident which any parent would know is distressing to a young child travelling abroad.
During our 7 night stay, our room was not cleaned for 3 days straight, including not emptying the trash which became smelly after a few days. Lastly, our bag of toys left at reception for my friend to collect, with a cell number and name on it "dissappeared", again no apology just that "the bag was there but don't know where it is". We can only assume a theif amongst the staff......
Two bedroom was not but in fact 1 bedroom with a pullout sofabed. Staff play "dumb"! Do not waste your money!!!!

Room Tip: confirm if beds are in the open plan kitchen as ours were making it impossible to prepare food once...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hotel C, Front Office Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
Thank you for your review. We make sure that every room is serviced on a daily basis. The only time the housekeepers do not service a room is if there is a "do not disturb" sign on the door. Housekeeping leaves at around 4p.m, so the rooms cannot be serviced after that time. We keep lost and found items for up to 7 days.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

I spent three nights there in early October 2012, with my wife, and my son who lives in Atlanta joined us. If you are going to stay at The Hotel California, read their website properly and then stop moaning about it!! It is not a 4* Hotel and does not pretend to be. Before you get there you know there are only 11 car parking spaces and it is expensive to park. So don't take a car! Breakfast is not too good - agreed. Reception staff even laughed about that when we arrived. But you know that before you go so don't expect it and complain. The rooms were clean and tidy - no bad smells. The slightly dated bathroom was part of the charm of the place. Junior Suite rooms did have doors on the rooms, and plenty of seating. Staff were exceptionally pleasant, humorous and helpful. When arrived about an hour before check-in time and they happily showed straight to our room. We heard no noise from neighbouring rooms though they were occupied. The people upstairs stomped around sometimes. Hotel California's fault? No!! And I have had this in many modern hotels. Expensive? Yes a bit, but this is Santa Monica. Proximity to the beach and the shopping areas cannot be beaten. Would I go back? Absolutely.

Room Tip: Just read the hotel web site and don't expect more or less than it says!! Oh, don't take a c...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 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
    • 5 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.
Orlando, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

Do not give your credit card number to this hotel!!! I placed a reservation online with them but needed to cancel it. I canceled three days prior, their policy is 48 hours, at the time of cancelation I received a confirmation number and a warning from the hotel operator. He said make sure you keep this confirmation number in case they still charge you. Well they did!!! Three days later they charged my card and when I called to ask them to remove the charge I was told I would have to email them so they could launch an investigation into the refund. They did not even care that I had followed their policies and had a confirmation number. They left me to be inconvenienced on my vacation for their error. This is not a refund this is correcting a fraudulent charge. I have reported them to my credit card company who is taking appropriate steps to correct the charge. My concern regarding this hotel is that is seems as if this occurs frequently, often enough that they have a policy to handle it. If I did not check my credit card statement carefully they might have been successful in charging me when I did not even use their services!

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hotel C, Front Office Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
I am sorry to hear about your inconvenience. There are a couple of reasons why your credit card could have been charged. It is important to go through the same parties you used to make the reservation, to cancel the reservation. Sometimes, guests will make a reservation through a third party, like Expedia, who does charge you in full when you make the reservation. In this case, even if the hotel cancels your reservation, the third party hasn't canceled it until you contact them. Another very rare instance could be if a guest accidentally books 2 rooms when they meant to book only 1, or when different names re used to reserve. In any case, please so let us know if your adjustment has been resolved. Otherwise we would be happy to help. Thanks for your posting.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012 via mobile

Totally overpriced for what it is: outdated, absurd breakfast set-up (read: do not bother), over-relaxed / uninterested staff at reception, except for the girl (manager?). We will never stay again or recommend to friends.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Top Contributor
219 reviews 219 reviews
96 hotel reviews
Reviews in 99 cities Reviews in 99 cities
342 helpful votes 342 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

I was very much looking forward to my stay at the Hotel California. FYI ... Though there is a clever bit of marketing in terms of the name of this hotel, it has nothing to do with the Eagles Song by the same name. This hotel is an older hotel that has had the bedroom areas updated. The bathrooms however, look like somewhere you would see a heroine addict shooting up in a divey hotel in a movie ... cracked 1950s sea green ceramic tiles, tiny unlit showers and those cheesy frosted glass windows. This hotel would be fine for $125 per night, maybe $150 tops ... but for the $200 - $220 for a standard room, it is a complete rip off.

I realize that everything is more expensive in Santa Monica when you get within walking distance of the beach because it is such a popular tourist destination. However, there are three things that would make me literally laugh out loud when it comes to the price of this hotel compared to the Holiday Inn right next door ...

1.) NO AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!!!
2.) Lots of street noise in the standard rooms
3.) 7 Parking Spaces!!!

First of all, it was 100 degrees in California when I stayed here. That meant the room was somewhere around 90 degrees at all times. Even when I had the ceiling fan going, all it did it push the hot air around the room. Seriously, I've been in some pretty divey hotels in third world South American countries that had air conditioning. Also, the 1950s era metal electric heater on the wall looked like something I would hate to have to use if it was cold. It was basically an incredibly uncomfortable night laying there tossing and turning because it was 90 degrees in my room. For this reason alone, I would never come back. It was so hot in the room even at night, it really was hard to relax.

The room I stayed in was one of the standard rooms. It was located next to the front parking lot and even though there were only 7 spaces in the parking lot, it seemed like people were slamming their doors and walking back to their rooms talking and laughing at all hours of the night. Of course the fact that cars were going by ALL NIGHT LONG right outside the door and sounded like they were inside the room it was so loud, if you are a light sleeper, I'd suggest walking across the street to Chez Jay and having 3 or 4 drinks to help you sleep because it gets loud in that room. Also, in the morning ... again with the slamming of car doors and people talking. Unless you pay for one of the bigger suites in the back, you will probably encounter this.

The parking situation is just as everyone else has said ... there are about 3 times as many rooms as there are spaces in the lot. Parking is $36 per night and there are around 7 spaces in the lot. They take 'inventory' a few times at night of the cars parked there supposedly, so you won't be charged for parking there if you are not one of the lucky ones who finds a spot. They recommend you park at the larger hotel within walking distance from the hotel, which is the same price. Or find a street spot, which can be a little scary in Santa Monica because they are very tow happy and you have to be out of the spot by 9 a.m. for street cleaning. It is also not the safest of cities to park a brand new rental car on the street due to the high level of homeless people around.

Once you get past these dealbreakers ... the rooms actually aren't too bad. Sure, the bathroom is so small you literally bump your elbows on the walls if you bend them to shave. And there is no light in the shower, so when you close the curtain it feels like you are in a closet showering. And the water takes 4 minutes to get hot. But ... the area where you sleep is actually pretty new and updated. The best part of the room are the two movie posters framed on the wall. Without these, everything would look pretty dated from the 90s with the dark wood trim. There is also a small refridgerator (fits a 6 pack of soda or beer anyways) which I am not sure was working. It was bearly cool inside, but that may be because the room was 90 degrees due to the lack of air conditioning. The bed was comfortable. There was also a green leather couch next to the bed, which I slid across the door at night because I was a little iffy about the door which was made of hollow wood which opened into the parking lot.

While the hotel advertises itself as being 'steps from the beach' ... I guess you can say you are steps from anything. I'm about 3 million steps from Las Vegas when I am at home. The hotel has houses behind it ... so no room will have an ocean view. If you walk down the path behind the hotel, you can see the beach. But, you have to walk down a path, then down about 15 steps, then out a gate, then across a block long street, then across a parking lot. And THEN you are at the beach. All in all, this really isn't that bad when you consider how close you are to the beach and the fact that you can walk there. From the hotel to the pier is not that far either. But I think saying this is 'steps to the beach' is a bit of a stretch.

The free breakfast ...oh boy. ha ha There was a plate that had about 7 pieces of American cheese and 7 pieces of folded up ham. There were about 5-6 pastries, 3 bagels and 3 muffins and orange juice and coffee. This was set up in the tiny lobby, so there were lots of people standing around waiting and bumping into each other while waiting for someone to make coffee who took up all the space near the breakfast desk. And if there was a group of 4 or 5 people in front of you ... chances are when you got to the breakfast area, there would be 1 or 2 choices for you until it was refilled 10 or 15 minutes later. Honestly, I waited a few minutes and skipped it and walked across the street to Chez Jay for a $10 proper breakfast.

Overall, if you are looking to be close to the action in Santa Monica and don't plan to spend much time in the room ... this should fit the bill. It is cheaper than some of the other choices (Holiday Inn, etc.) but overall for what you get ... it just isn't worth $200+ per night. Location, location, location is how so many hotels get away with offering such an inferior room in Santa Monica and the Hotel California is just as guilty of this as anywhere else. However, I can't recommend staying in a hotel with no air conditioning, loud rooms near highways/parking lots, and bearly any parking spaces. Also, there is no pool or fitness center. The staff was pretty adequate and I have no complaints other than the cobwebs that appeared on the walls.

Room Tip: The standard rooms (12 - 15 or so) are incredibly noisy due to street noise and parking lot noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to The Hotel California? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Hotel California

Address: 1670 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Monica
#8 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
#12 Romantic Hotel in Santa Monica
#16 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — The Hotel California 2*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located steps from the beach and from the famous Santa Monica Pier, this world-famous hotel offers complimentary continental breakfast, WiFi, laundry room, as well as a private beach pathway! Experience the laid back California lifestyle as it should be. Moments from the shopping and dining, Third Street Promenade, Venice and Muscle Beach. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Orbitz, Booking.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Despegar.com, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your The Hotel California reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
California Hotel Santa Monica
Hotel California Santa Monica
California Santa Monica

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The Hotel California, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.