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“Before it is all gone” 4 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 #11 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
Boston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Before it is all gone”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Praise for this hotel should be built of words from the last century - I don't know, maybe groovy or funky. Most of the hotels along Ocean Avenue - a short walk from the beach are glittery, oversized elephants better suited for Las Vegas. Who wants to go to Santa Monica and sit in a lobby with a huge fireplace, heavy walnut furniture, and brocaded, formal furniture? Well, you have your choices. Yuck!! For a fun, relaxed, beach oriented hotel that captures a sense of the casual beach life of California before money ate it, this is your place. A short walk to the beach and the beach park, A short walk to the shopping and restaurant strips. Rooms are comfortable, roomy enough. Bathrooms can be a little less than most will expect for the price, but they work and, anyway, you're going to the beach. No restaurant but there must be a 1000 within a few blocks. No fitness center, but - do I have to keep reminding you? - you're going to the beach. Fans keep rooms cool. "Cool"! That's the word I was looking for.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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546 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013 via mobile

We had an excellent stay close to the pier and muscle beach, not to mention the center of town with lots of shopping and talented street artists. A really nice atmosphere with relaxed, entertaining staff. We would love to come back anytime!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

Perfect place to stay! Really close to everything, right in the middle of Santa Monica. Right near the pier and a short walk to the broad walk. Clean and comfortable rooms and great service from Mike at the front desk. Would definitely go back anytime.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Childress, TX
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Obviously, you can't please everyone! It seems some people checked into a two star hotel and expected 5 star rooms. Come on, people...really.

We were very pleased! It was just the unique and quirky vibe we were looking for to break up the monotony of the chain hotels we'd been staying in during this vacation!

Is it a little dated? Sure! Does it have air conditioning? Nope! Were we the least bit hot in the evening? No!

The room was great! The kids got an absolute thrill out of the surfboard headboards! The "extra" room between the bedroom area and bathroom was SO appreciated! It made for a wonderful changing area with two kids! :-) We walked in off the street and the manager was an total sweetheart. He gave my husband the last room and a discount! So...it may be a 2 star hotel, but it was FIVE STAR service!!

The location was perfect for us! It was a short walk to the beach (Brrrr!!!) and the pier!

We wouldn't hesitate to return if we're in Santa Monica again!

  • Stayed June 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
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Fort Worth, Texas
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

The hotel is very convenient to the beach, the room was large but our room did not have A/C. When we arrived, it was warmer than expected in Santa Monica. My husband has breathing issues so the hotel provided us a fan. Otherwise, we would have had to go to another hotel. The check-in, the staff and the groups of this property were great. Evidently, due to the theme of the hotel, there are a number of buses who seemed to stop by to take pictures. Breakfast was limited but very good. We sat outside in a patio area and enjoyed the moment. Convenient to the beach.

Room Tip: Try to stay off the "parking" lot.
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 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.
Honoulu
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

I am absolutely shocked that a beach front property would be so outdated and have such a horrible attitude about having ZERO air conditioner in a SWELTERING heat wave in JUNE.
The rest of the details are frankly beside the point when you pay the same if not more to stay at a prime location and are sweating in the discomfort of the entire ordeal. Real bummer.

Room Tip: stay somewhere that has modern amenities this is ridiculous
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael P, Guest Relations Manager at The Hotel California, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
We clearly state there is NO A/C at our hotel. This is due to our outdoor and open architecture that causes A/C units to corrode with sea salt air. The price for loving the outdoors I guess. We recognize that it does get hot especially during a "heat wave" but are attitude will always be helpful. If anyone feels as though they need an extra fan or two we have extra portable fans that are never refused to guests. Guests are encouraged to come to the front desk so we can try to make their stay as comfortable as possible. If the heat is unbearable for a guest we would help by finding them a hotel with A/C and other amenities you receive with a 4-5 star hotel (The Hotel CA is a 3) The guest would see that in this area those hotels are at least double our nightly rate or 20+ blocks from the beach.
If it is that important to any guest we hope they call and ask these questions before booking. This way we can inform them of our hotel, the wonderful things we do have, and the value of staying with us. We want more than anything for guests to make informed decisions about the accommodations that will make their personal stay the best for them. As you can see for many of our guests who have written summer reviews, it’s not a 4 star chain hotel, but for the price it’s an unbeatable experience!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

My granddaughter and I stayed here for 3 nights, would have booked 2 more nights but they were booked up. Alex, the manager, was such a sweetheart, so accommodating and personable as well as all the rest of the staff. We stayed in a room with a kitchenette and a bedroom. A queen bed in a separate room and a single trundle bed in the main room. There is no AC but we were comfortable at night. A bit warm in the day but then we rarely were in the room in the daytime. We booked at a special last minute rate which I thought was a good value for what we needed. You can spend a lot more for a place to sleep but in my view that's a waste of money. This is an older building but the bathrooms have been redone and were clean. I saw one bug in the tub the whole time I was there and I grew up on the beach in FL where silverfish are part of your home decor it seems no matter where you live. You will need to get up in the morning early to get some breakfast items if you want anything but we managed to get something as late as 9 am. This is no 5 star hotel but as I said ...if you want helpful staff and a safe, decent place to sleep at an affordable price, then by all means do give this place a shot. You can not beat the location. We rented bikes a three minute walk away, same walk from the pier...and a 7 min walk to the promenade. Bus stops right outside down on the corner near the pier. Truly a great location. We were sad to leave. We will definitely come back. Many thanks to all the staff!!

Cindy from AZ 8)

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 ( Wi-Fi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Monica
#9 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
#14 Romantic Hotel in Santa Monica
#15 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2 star — The Hotel California 2*
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 
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Also Known As:
California Hotel Santa Monica
Hotel California Santa Monica
California Santa Monica

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