So I wanted to be thrilled by this place and a lot of things were great, but there were a lot of little things that also added up and made me not so thrilled. A little background, this was the tail end of a CA-1 coastal road trip. I called the night before and booked the last available room last minute. I'll start with the pros.
LOCATION! Unless you are satying directly on the beach it doesn't get any better than this. Walk out the back and you are across the street from Muscle Beach. My hubby and I are into fitness and walked right out both mornings to do our workouts.
Cleanliness: The room was clean, but don't expect chain hotel design. This reminds me of staying in my friends' 1950s-era house in LA. There is no AC, original tile in the bathrooms, it has character, but also age. I am cool with this and I expected this. Some may see this as a CON, but it's a motel, not a Four Seasons. Coastal breezes made no AC just fine.
Here are the small things that got under my skin that just made it hard for me to love my experience.
1) The website says there is a last minute deal, call within 4 days of your stay and you get a deal. That's all it says. Then I call and I am told this deal only applies on Sundays or something. The point it, it is not transparent and it irked me. Just add it to the ad.
2) Parking is $36. Fine, it's SM, I get it and I understand parking is at a premium. However, they fail to mention over the phone there are like 7-8 spots for the entire hotel. When I arrived, there were no spots. The front desk lady says a couple of people are leaving within the hour and I could park them in and she would call me as soon as they get out. So we wait in our room and wait and wait. Finally, I walk over to the front and there is an empty spot! I am sitting inside on this beautiful sunny day and she never called! I go in and ask and she says, yeah, that's an available spot. Well thanks for the heads up! To top it off, just as I squeeze in, someone else pulls in. If I was just a couple of minutes late, I would have missed the spot and had to continue waiting.
3) Free internet my patootie- They advertise free internet, but it is so slow pages won't even load. Finally, when I get it to load, I am informed by a landing page that they provide ultra-slow internet (like 1mbps) and you have to pay for anything above that. It states that the free level should be enough to check email, etc. Bull honky. I couldn't even load a text page without it timing out multiple times. This was not my computer, this was the useless "free" internet. Again, just be transparent about it. I felt it was a bait and switch.
4) Front desk almost charged me 2 nights instead of one. I caught the mistake in time.
5) If there is no AC, windows should function. I had to hold one window open with a giant water bottle or else we would have asphyxiated (being dramatic, but still). Once it was open the room got cool fast, but come on, windows should stay open if that is your only source of cool air.
So I am not sure I would stay here again if I was in SM for more than a night or two. I would likely try something else similar in cost that could guarantee me a parking spot and internet. I wouldn't rule it out though. I am straight down the middle with this one.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located steps from the beach and from the famous Santa Monica Pier. 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:
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- Also Known As:
- California Hotel Santa Monica
- Hotel California Santa Monica
- California Santa Monica