We decided to have a weekend in Ventura, CA, and decided that the Country Inn, a little way back from the beach, was a reasonable price. It was an easy walk to the beach, but after crossing a major freeway and a railway between the hotel and the beach! We paid for a sea-view, and could just about see it through the struts of the railroad bridge. And the noise of course was deafening.
Still the hotel was close to the town centre which made up for it somewhat...
The hotel itself was full. We got the impression the staff were rushed off their feet and tired, and it looked as if the cleaners could barely cope. We didn't help matters by lying in on Saturday morning, so they cleaned our room late. The bed was made and the towels changed but little else was tidied up, and the outside window was filthy and covered in bird-poo. The room as a whole had a tired feel and needed a good spring clean. There was no bottled water left in the room, even the stuff some hotels make you pay through the nose for.
Carlson are trying to emulate the very successful Hilton Homewood Suites model of complementary facilities including "free" breakfasts and a Happy Hour. But while the Hilton are generally relaxed about self service, Carlson are clearly worried about portion control. During Happy Hour a woman sat resolutely by the beer tap doling the precious substance out in small plastic glasses, and at breakfast another portion guardian doled out two transparent strips of bacon, two small greasy sausages and a couple of spoonfuls of scrambled egg. We thought about asking for more, but wondered whether we'd get the same reception Oliver Twist had in the orphanage "What, MORE?!?" Perhaps I'm being unfair to the hotel here, but the guardian was telling almost every hungry guest that it was NOT self-service. Additionally, there was a somewhat limited range of bread and fruit.
One last annoying thing. I have a painful back and find it hard to bend down. However, to plug in my computer I had to crawl under the desk and pull out the light socket. Sad, but the age of the rooms are probably pre-90s.
Good things to say? The bed was large and comfortable, the aircon worked well, and the shower was good. But I expect that as basic for the prices we paid.
Get away from the railroad and freeway. Don't pay for a sea view.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.