TripAdvisor, you really need to add the capability to give half stars! This quaint little lodge really doesn't deserve to be lumped in as "average" because there really were quite a few "something special" touches to this hotel, but, in reality, I'd stop juuuust barely short of "very good" (although I'm rounding up by the extra half star so as not to bash them unfairly!).
The location is just terrific, being not only easy to find but within a very short walking distance to everything you might want to see in downtown Solvang. Plenty of parking in the lot and two luggage carts available made unloading a snap, although the cart was a bit of a tight squeeze for the older elevator once you add a couple of ahhh, Rubenesque ladies! Requested a downstairs room in our reservation, which, while this was not honored, they did see to it that our room was right next to the elevator--good enough! Room we ended up with overlooked the pool area, so can't complain too much.
It's clearly an older property but quite well-cared for and the rooms have many appointments that are lacking in rooms for which I've paid twice as much. Beds were not pillow-top but still quite comfy with wonderfully fluffy pillows and snow white-linens which were exceptionally clean (and the color scheme of the drapes/bedding/chairs in a raspberry/wine accent against white was very pleasing). In fact, the whole room was light, bright and cheerful with a demure floral wallpaper and, as our room was on the third floor, an angled ceiling. It was obvious the cleaning crew here take pride in their job; even the baseboards in the room were dust-free. The furniture was all older and somewhat unremarkable in style but has been kept in good repair, and the TV was a modern flatscreen.
The fireplace was a magnificent touch and kept the room cozy and warm during a cold night. We LOVED curling up in the twin recliners with a side table placed conveniently between them to read a book. Having a fridge, micro and coffeemaker come standard is always very much appreciated and all were clean and worked fine. The breakfast was very basic but the coffee was fresh and good, and the locally-baked danish pastries were delicious and added a lovely touch.
Hours are more generous than some with check in at 2pm and checkout at 11, which we got extended until noon but were denied a request for 1pm, and that extra hour would've really made a huge difference in our ability to relax, because it took all morning to warm up enough to use the pool area. As a result, I got to spend all of twenty minutes checking out the Jacuzzi (wonderful, strong, rolling jets, perhaps a tad on the hot side) in a tearing rush right before we had to leave. I didn't get the chance to read by the pool like I really, really wanted to (and the pool is NOT heated; I couldn't dip my toe all the way in!). Having to cut our pool time short was probably the biggest disappointment of our stay.
A close second was the absolutely unusable wi-fi and the lack of any kind of tech support associated therewith. I not only called but stopped by the office and the only concession I got was "well, we just restarted it so try again." I did, and it allowed me to connect but kept dumping me off literally every two minutes. My cell phone wouldn't work reliably anywhere on the grounds. I pretty much had to tell friends that I was "off the grid" and would get in touch later! Thank goodness I didn't have to work or I'd have had serious issues.
File this under a plus to some and a minus to others: all rooms are nonsmoking, but we were grateful that the property provides both a designated smoking area with cute little ice-cream parlor-style chairs and tables and even a couple of the seats in the pool area with ashtrays. Thank you, Svendsgaard's, for striking a happy medium that's increasingly hard to find, especially in California.
Front desk personnel were cordial and efficient if not terribly warm. No restaurant or bar onsite but plenty of options nearby.
All in all, I'm pretty impressed by the value for the price offered by this hotel ($75 + tax AAA rate on a holiday weekend) and would definitely stay here again if in the area. In driving by a few of the other local hotels, I didn't see but maybe one or two that looked like they would've been an improvement over ours, so I think we did it right on the first try for where to stay in Solvang.
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- Also Known As:
- Svendsgaard`s Lodge - Americas Best Value Hotel Solvang
- Holiday Inn Solvang
- Solvang Holiday Inn