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“Good clean stay for the money if you want beach or Santa Monica Pier access!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Hotel California

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The Hotel California
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1670 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401   |  
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Ranked #10 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
Temecula
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Good clean stay for the money if you want beach or Santa Monica Pier access!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

This hotel does not appear nice at all when you pull up, small tight lot with NO parking. If you come into the gate and see the rooms, looks like a cute courtyard with tables, chairs and stairs leading to the beach. Don't worry when you see there is no parking in front, you can unload and park for the same rate at Lowes next door. Very friendly and accomodating staff. I stayed at the high end JW Marriott a few hotels down and have to say if you are looking for beach access, you can stay here for a very reasonable price by comparison. My room was clean and you have a refrigerator and desk. It's just a room, nothing impressive about it, but great location. I met some people that had the larger room which is set up more like a suite and some even have a kitchen. Mine was two double beds, a desk and small bathroom. Breakfast was less than desirable from what I am used to, only coffee, danish and juice, apples. Maybe that is enough for some people!I would bring your own food or eat out. We ate dinner at the Ivy on the Shore within walking and it was the best meal, very expensive. If you have kids, you are right near the pier and beach. I will come back with my children next time. We were able to hang out at the Lowes hotel and swim, eat and enjoy the firepits on the balcony.

Room Tip: If you have kids, get the suite. If you are a business traveler or light sleeper, stay upstairs, the...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 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.
The Hotel C, Guest Relations Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, May 16, 2013
I'm surprised to hear that you did not like how our hotel appeared when you pulled up. We've designed the exterior with lush vines, red flowers and palm trees, that most guests seem to love. Often, tourists passing by the hotel are so impressed- they pose to take pictures in front of it. I would recommend to travelers considering our hotel that if you are expecting a brand hotel like this guest has described, to stay at a brand, for our unique hotel will with that expectation, be disappointing. We are not like any of the many brand hotels this guest has described to be so fond of- nor do we charge as much as they do. We take pride in our one of a kind hotel, truly a hidden gem, but only for those who can see the beauty in enjoying something you can't get anywhere else.

Alex
(Guest Services Manager)
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607 reviews from our community

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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 (110)
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English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

Great place for solo travelers! Its close to the beach, all of downtown Santa Monica and shops and restaurants. The room itself is very clean and nice perfect for my stay. I was there on business in January and it was my first time here. Couldn't have been happier, everyone at the desk was very friendly and helpful with directions. They also suggested great restaurants!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hotel C, Guest Relations Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
"Couldn't have been happier" - that's what we like to hear!
Thank you for staying with us and sharing your experience with other travelers.

Alex
(Guest Services Manager)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

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.

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.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
The Hotel C, Guest Relations Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
Regarding the last minute deal on our site: there is a block of rooms set aside to offer this special rate, as they are taken the rates go up (based on occupancy), as at all hotels. Parking is an ongoing issue in all of LA, as there are just too many cars here. I am sorry this was not properly expressed to you prior to your arrival. Our location offers our guests everything within walking distance (beach, pier, shopping, restaurants), giving our guests the opportunity to travel to Santa Monica and enjoy their vacation, without a car. This eliminates many costs and inconveniences of rental cars because of high gas prices, traffic, and parking costs. I always recommend saving the money and hassle of a car, so you can really take full advantage of our perfect location. If you are ever staying with us and something in your room is not functioning properly (as you mentioned the window), please call the front desk right away so we can fix it for you. We inspect our rooms daily but sometimes a window may not be noticed. Thank you for staying with us and for reviewing our hotel. We hope to see you again in the future.

Alex
(Guest Services Manager)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We stayed at this hotel and found the rooms and layout to be really cool an different from the cookie cutter chain hotels. Would recommend this hotel over other boutique hotels in area. YOU MUST GO TO SANTA MONICA PIER AND RISE THE FERRIS WHEEL BEFORE LEAVING !!!!!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
The Hotel C, Guest Relations Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
We are very happy to hear you enjoyed the unique, authentic California experience we've created for our guests. Be sure to come back and see us, the next time you find yourself in Santa Monica, riding the Ferris wheel over the Pacific Ocean!

Alex
(Guest Services Manager)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

We flew in to LA and really did not know where to go....Close to airport and Santa Monica Pier...great food and activities are very close and a nice place to stay...I have to admit...noisy at night with a few crazy folks yelling at 10 pm...but after the party died down...It was a very nice stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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.
The Hotel C, Guest Relations Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Thank you for reviewing our hotel. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed the convenience of our hotels location, it is truly the best! Please make sure for future stays you notify my front desk right away if any other guests are being loud and it's disturbing you, so we can ask them to keep it down. Your satisfaction is important to us.

Alex (Guest Services Manager)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centennial, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Stayed in casual, "cottage like" two bed suite. one bedroom, one bath, and one Q bed surrounded by heavy curtains in main room. Two large leather couches, table and chairs in spacious main room. Good space for entertaining on a cool evening! Hardwood floors and definite beach feel. CLEAN! Easy walking to beach, restaurants and shopping. Would stay again! Coffee and breakfast muffins/rolls a nice touch.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
The Hotel C, Guest Relations Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to share with us how your stay went at our hotel! We are happy to hear you enjoyed it! We look forward to seeing you again.

Alex
(Guest Services Manager)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

I was very excited when I got a booking for this hotel on my business trip to California as it lays just feet away from the Santa Monica Pier and... well everybody knows the song, right? I was not disappointed at all: the location is great and even though it was January and everyone was complaining about how "cold" it was, coming from a freezing Las Vegas it was actually a bless and I sure used my chance and had a nice walk on and around the Pier enjoying the sun! Worth to mention that, being true Los Angelinos, the owners cranked up the heat to the max in the room, which was a bit too much for me (used to German weather) but in the end it showed that they cared and that was nice.
The room was nice and clean, with a nice feel of Hollywood due to the paintings and posters on the wall and the Eagles' "Hotel California" lyrics quote painted above the window frame was a really nice touch, meeting my original expectations about the place.
Overall, a positive experience. "Hotel California" offers a great experience at an affordable rate but if you are looking for a posh place with sophisticated food you should probably keep looking. If you are looking for a true and friendly place to experience the best of Santa Monica, then I can definitely recommend it for you!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
The Hotel C, Guest Relations Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Thank you for writing this great feedback in regards to your stay at our hotel! We hope to see you again, perhaps you can come stay in the summer when the beach is perfect! You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave

Alex
(Guest Services 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 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
#6 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
#12 Romantic 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 coffee, tea, fruit, 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 
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Also Known As:
California Hotel Santa Monica
Hotel California Santa Monica
California Santa Monica

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