I will start by saying the good: The Charlie is a super cute group of little bungalows in a GREAT location on Sweetzer right between Santa Monica and Melrose. Lovely plants and such, AND free parking. Also a great deck off our room, called the "Sasha" I think.
Now, I am an experienced traveler and not too spoiled in my hotel choices. I like CLEAN, a good bathroom, decent service, and some convenience. I am used to NYC and Euro hotels, so an expansion in space is always a plus. I have paid a variety in prices for a variety in rooms many times, so I am not being too bias. However, there was just too much that went wrong to make THE CHARLIE worth the price tag (I got it at half off on living social, I would have been PISSED if I paid full price).
- Check in; make sure you are there early. This may be my fault, but I did not realize that after 5pm you are are your own. We arrived around 5:30pm and they were not happy that we were "late" I could tell. (Later I discovered an email and 2 messages also...)
- We were not told anything about the property or the room. We were given the key and gate opener. By the time I realized that the TV didn't work, (5 min later) she was GONE. No one to help. That sucked.
- Parking spaces are TINY (unfortunately we were given a BOAT for a rental so this may not apply to you!) and hard to get in/out of. You have to back all the way out of the gate and out into the street. Not easy. Actually discouraged me from leaving one night (I'm in my late 20's...a capable driver I might add). This could be a big problem for some.
- Front door lock didn't work. Yeah...no deadbolt. Again, NO ONE to contact after 5pm. This was terribly uncomfortable. HOW could they not know this? I don't believe that they did not know, pretty much impossible. I messed with it for a good 15 minutes.
- They have a great TV selection, if it works. The whole first day, night, and half of second day, we had nothing but a blue screen with a "no signal" flashing around. I'm sorry, but for the price this is unacceptable. I do not go on vacation to watch TV, but I like a little something in the background, and I deserve the option.
- We thought we might use the thoughtfully provided DVD player to watch a film since the TV didn't work. The DVD player didn't work either. We were on our honeymoon and used to live in LA. We were there for the romance....so this really sucked. AND, no one to contact.
- Next morning. We got up and got out early. Threw on the "DO NOT DISTURB" sign and took off. (Didn't want to pick up belongings...left out laptop, valuables, etc.) Well, housekeeping HAD TO HAVE SEEN THE SIGN! It's wooden and huge. They came in anyway. This is REALLY upsetting to me. I can't believe that NOTHING CAN GO RIGHT HERE!
- I finally fix the TV myself later, only to discover - NOW THIS IS REALLY INTERESTING - when you change the channel in the living room, it also changes the channel in the bedroom. I'm sorry, but this is no $400.night hotel. Not even close.
I know it sounds like I am a complainer, but I am truly not. I just want others to know exactly what to expect from THE CHARLIE. It is NOT a 5 star, regular high end hotel. The TV may not work, the front door may not lock (most important!), and housekeeping may not pay attention to your "DO NOT DISTURB" sign. There is NO HELP after 5pm. BUT, it is a beautiful little place in a great location. HOWEVER, I would NEVER consider this hotel against say, THE CHAMBERLAIN. I will stay there again next time, at half the cost. That is also a cozy little place tucked in a neighborhood, with a fireplace in the room and 24 hour help.
I love what THE CHARLIE is trying to do, but first and foremost - all doors MUST lock, and TVs must work if you want to charge the price you do. I only spend so much time in my hotel room, and that time should be comfortable. End of.