OK, let's get real for a minute. The bad reviews on this site have missed two crucial points. 1. You have selected this property to SAVE money. When you save cash on the rent, you pay in other areas. 2. This is a beach community. Most of these areas in California are full of twenty something surfers that are looking to live near the beach.... cheaply. This area just happens to have a deeper "hippy" culture than most. The pan handling isn't policed as heavily as say Newport or Laguna beach.
The good news: The property has several small, but charming cottages. Ours was just a one room bachelor, but it had way more room than a standard hotel box. Full kitchen is great for making food at home as opposed to eating out every night. Very short drive or nice walk to full grocery store and restaurants. The liquor store mentioned in another review is closer (a block away), but doesn't have a large slection. The walls are thick enough to hold out most noise. There was a loud party across the alley and we could barely hear it. It is close to all major fun activities, 5 minutes to Sea world and Mission Bay, 10 minutes to downtown and Balboa Park. It's maybe a block and a half to the sand. On a quiet night you can hear the surf with the windows open.
The bad news: The mattress rather sucked, but I find most hotel beds do. The shower was weird. the water blasted right at the curtain. Got used to it though. No TV remote (Dang when did I get that lazy?). Parking rather stinks, but if you have lived anywhere near the beach you know that this is life. There are three or four spaces dedicated to the cottages. They are first come first served, but we had no problem getting one when returning for the evening. The Planes! This place is right under the flight path for San Diego airport, so at 7 or 8am it will be time for rise and shine. They don't fly by every ten seconds however. We found it got us up and going for the days events. If you are a late sleeper (like me) you may grumble a bit. Washers and dryers are old, outside, and under the stairs, but what are you going to wash on vacation besides your bathing suit or that shirt you spilled wine on last night?
Finally, if you were hoping to spend $90 to $150 a night and get a luxury condo on the sand, you are dreaming. If you want super deluxe, pay for it. For the money, this is nicer than any hotel I have ever stayed in for the same price. Without the loud screaming kids through the paper thin walls. Ever wanted to live in a beach community? rent this place and you will get a full immersion into the life. Having lived in Newport and Laguna Beach when I was a twenty something surf type, it brought back some great memories.
I think you can fully enjoy this place as much as I did if you just remember that a day at the beach includes fun, sun, surf, good times, sunburn, and sand in your underwear. :)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.