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“Beautiful setting, poor service”

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Topanga Canyon Inn Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 2 Topanga B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed July 7, 2013

My husband and I recently had the opportunity to stay at the Topanga Canyon Inn Bed & Breakfast. Prior to our arrival, we had some concerns regarding their willingness to accommodate a gluten-free breakfast. Their website has the following statement: “We will try our best to accommodate special dietary needs…. just ask." However, after I made a reservation in which I notified them of my gluten intolerance, they called me back and suggested that I should bring my own breakfast. Quite honestly, all it would take to make a gluten free breakfast is a couple of eggs and a bowl of fruit.

The road to the Inn is uphill, winding, and a little rough towards the end. However, the setting of the Inn is beautiful and the seclusion is worth the ride. When we arrived, we noticed that the Inn was comprised of two houses. We were greeted by the daughter of the owners. She immediately requested payment and then showed us the kitchen of one of the houses, explaining that the set-up was very similar in the other house. Having stayed in Bed & Breakfasts before, we did have some expectations. Their website also has the following statement: “Coffee, tea, cocoa, cookies, snacks, popcorn, etc. available” We arrived around 4:00 pm on a hot, dry, Fourth of July. We would have loved to be welcomed with a glass of ice tea, ice water, lemonade, or even a cup of coffee. However, none of these were offered or available. When we inquired, we were told we could make our own tea or coffee, and that there was a French Press in the kitchen. After rummaging around the kitchen for 10 minutes trying to find the French Press, I discovered it in the dishwasher. As far as cookies, snacks, popcorn, etc., there were a few Fig Newtons in a cookie jar and a package of microwave popcorn in the cabinet.

The Inn itself was very clean and nicely decorated with family artwork. We stayed in the Tracy and Hepburn room, which had a bathroom with key access only from the common room. This was slightly inconvenient. There were a few other deficiencies that could be easily remedied. The room had nice wood furniture, but no coasters to place our water glasses. Nor did the room have a garbage can, phone, alarm clock, or wake-up service. The Wi-Fi access did not work within either house. Finally, considering we were in CA, I was surprised that they did not have an alternate to dairy milk for breakfast.

At the time of check-in, we were given the option to have breakfast at 9:00 or 9:30 am. We chose 9:00. However, we were not invited to sit at the table until almost 9:10. Fried eggs, waffles, bacon, mango, OJ and coffee were served family style. The food was good, however, the entrees were quickly cleared after we helped ourselves to our first serving. One of the reasons we enjoy B&B’s is because it gives us the opportunity to relax and talk with other guests. Despite being in the middle of a conversation with two other couples, we were asked to leave the table because they needed to get it ready for the 9:30 breakfast. It was the most rushed breakfast I have had at a B&B.

We found the Topanga Canyon Inn to be in a beautiful, secluded setting with relatively easy access to scenic hiking trails. However, though our hostess was pleasant in nature, the overall service we received was poor.

Room Tip: Request a room that has a bathroom within your guest room.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Chris-Ann L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topanga_Canyon_Inn, Owner at Topanga Canyon Inn Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2013

These were very pleasant people and we enjoyed their stay, but I must clear up a couple of things. If they thought they would have to bring their own gluten-free food, then there was a big misunderstanding as you will note that they said their breakfast included eggs, bacon, mango, orange juice and coffee/tea. We also serve prunes to help our guests when they travel. The only thing not gluten-free that morning was Belgian waffles and we have since worked out a recipe for rice flour (gluten-free) waffles. It should be noted that perhaps .7% (about 1 out of 146) people are truly gluten allergic, but it is a big fad now and we don't question the motives of the people who declare themselves gluten-free. And we don't keep soy or almond milk on hand unless the guests warn us that they are lactose intolerant.
Both kitchens have refrigerators stocked with cold bottled water that is always available at no charge. One kitchen has a drip coffee maker and the other has two French press coffee makers, again no charge. In the kitchen with the French press pots there is always tea, hot chocolate, oatmeal, popcorn and cold cereal in the cabinets. No charge. Perhaps somebody scarfed up most of the fig newtons.
There are no phones in the rooms as this is the age of cell phones. There is a land-line phone in the Casa Blanca for free calls anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. If they couldn't get the wireless to connect then it was a problem with their device and they should have asked us for advice. We will call guests for a wake-up, if they ask, but most use their cell phone alarms and these people didn't ask.
We are sorry that these people felt rushed from the table, and we sometimes hold off the 9:30 breakfast to 9:45 to not rush guests. They can easily continue their conversations in the adjacent living room and can take their coffee with them. Sometimes the 2nd shift mingles with the 1st, if there's room. We try to keep it casual, warm, helpful and friendly. Most guests appreciate that we stay out of their hair, yet we encourage them to call us when they need something.

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115 - 121 of 179 reviews

Reviewed May 6, 2013

Just finished a week-end stay at TCI with the wife, in the Fred & Ginger Room.

A preface. Those reviewers who gave TCI less than three stars were likely confused about what a Bed & Breakfast is. A B&B is not a hotel, it's a place to sleep and a hot meal. You're expected to be social, and converse with the hosts and your fellow guests. Ignore any comments about inconsistent design (it was fine).

Breakfast conversations are generally interesting and harmless, and the food is at least passable. A 9 a.m. breakfast time also means you'll less likely be rushed to get to the table. The family running the Inn is nice, and our interactions were overwhelmingly positive.

The Inn itself is comprised of two houses, one white and one pink, with similar layouts and common areas. Both are perched near the hills, and you'll awaken to the sound of birds, who don't have to compete with the ambient noise of the city. The innkeeper's wife is a very talented painter, and her work is displayed prominently throughout the property. There really aren't a bunch of price tags underneath, and some commenters claim. You never ever feel pressured into buying anything, and the Inn is *not* just some excuse to exhibit artwork.

The road to the Inn is long and winding, and at some point gets a little rough. It's easy enough to find, though, and we had no trouble parking. A few restaurants will still deliver, although your best bet is to scavenge for something in town, or in nearby Woodland Hills.

Each room is named after a Classic Hollywood couple (Nick and Nora, Fred and Ginger, etc.), although any unique character corresponding to those rooms is more nominal than anything else. About half of the rooms have en suite bathrooms, and the others have private baths located adjacent (with your own key).

We were fortunate, in that we were the only guests on the second floor of Casa Blanca, so we effectively had a giant common area to ourselves, and I was able to relax, read, and play guitar without any issue. The mountain air was invigorating, and I was left undisturbed throughout.

There are a few misses. It would have been nice to have a refrigerator and television on each floor. Although it's not a big deal that the rooms themselves don't have TVs, we didn't really get the opportunity to watch some of the classic movies available, because we had to share the TV with another guest.

Topanga itself is a tricky location, because the food and entertainment options are poor. Look for yourself, and you'll be hard-pressed to find more than 1 or 2 restaurants with better than middling reviews without a steep price tag. You might find yourself driving into another town entirely to alleviate your boredom, although it wasn't a problem for us, visiting for only 2 nights. Read my restaurant reviews for more info.

I can't in good conscience give TCI 5 stars, having been to Jamul Haven near San Diego numerous times, which features so much more for less money. Nonetheless, Topanga Canyon Inn was a nice change of pace, and I would recommend it.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Adam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

My boys and I enjoyed a 6 night stay with delicious breakfasts to boot! The rooms were terrific and clean, the owners professional and very friendly, and the Topanga Canyon scenary cannot be beat! Thanks !!!

Room Tip: They have many rooms to suit your needs!
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Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
Thank Karen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

My boyfriend and I were on a road trip to LA from our home in San Francisco, and our sleeping arrangements for our first night in town fell though. This was the beginning of our lucky weekend!
We found Topanga Inn by the happiest of accidents.
The setting is absolutely stunning - we woke up the next morning nestled within blue-green mountains and an enormous sky.
The room, and the wing of the inn in which our room was located, was beautifully appointed with all amenities, and was quiet and comfortable.
Warren and Karina are shining examples of what hosting a family-run guest house should be.
Kind, conscientious, and forthcoming, one of the main reasons we stayed an extra night was because of the hospitality (and the delicious breakfast). Another reason was to have the chance to absorb more of the beauty of the place, and fully appreciate the uniqueness of the atmosphere at the Inn.
Abundant hiking/biking trails surround Topanga Canyon Inn. This is truly a gem!
We'll be back without question.

Thank you folks!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Eva L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

It's lovely to find a place like this, which is perfectly in tune with both its surroundings and its owners. Two wonderful Spanish style villas set high on a winding road into the canyons, big enough to feel spacious and small enough to be special. Warren, Elena and Corinna (Sorry if I haven't spelled any of these right!) are charming hosts, full of interesting conversation and excellent cooks too! We walked and cycled through fantastically beautiful scenery from the house - the clean cool air and lovely scents were wonderful after a long flight. Nice restaurants close by in Topanga, or they have a list of high quality delivery places which would have been delightful if we had more time. I recommend it highly!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Meleze74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

A Los Angeles Must: Although it's hard to think of a B&B when Los Angeles has a myriad of world class hotels all over the city and along the Southern California coast, I am elated to experience the gorgeous local topography graciously presented by talented and dedicated families. The Topanga Canyon Inn (TCI) setting is exquisite and so is the villa, pair of buildings with manicured... everything... Warren categorizes the authentic tiles imported from our southern neighbors by... well, perhaps you should ask Warren to tell his stories.

Our hosts prepared and joined us at breakfast, deliciously catered to my dense chicken/egg allergy. I can't say enough nice things without spoiling too much of what should be your personal discovery. Hike, surf, or sleep... just open your senses. Indulge your spirit with all that the local topography has to offer. Shrink your carbon footprint and stay local, or come out to TCI on your visit to our gigantic city. I enjoyed every second... if you don't take a camera, computer, or a phone with you, don't worry; your trip will be unforgettable. Seeing the world doesn't necessitate leaving your local treasures unseen as proven by the numerous global travelers with whom we crossed paths on this trip from Sherman Oaks to Topanga.

Room Tip: We had a perfect trip. Go on a quieter day.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank NKradjian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

My husband surprised me with an early Valentine weekend getaway at the Topanga Canyon Inn. We stayed in the Clark Cable themed room which had french doors leading out to a private patio, it was so peaceful and quite and the views from the balconies overlooking the canyon were awesome. Breakfast was exceptional as well as the staff.

If you're looking for a romantic getaway I would recommend this Inn.

Room Tip: Rooms on the second floor have the best views.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hartes62012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Topanga Canyon Inn Bed and Breakfast

Address: 20310 Callon Dr, Corner of Penny Road and Callon Drive, Topanga, CA 90290-3701
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Topanga
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Topanga
Price Range: $204 - $269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Topanga Canyon Inn Bed and Breakfast 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Topanga Canyon Inn is the Premier Bed and Breakfast in Topanga, California. Hiking, bird watching, geocaching and mountain biking in Topanga State Park starts right out the doors of our Inn. Shopping, dining and greater Los Angeles start 15 minutes away. Malibu and fabulous beaches with surfing are just down the hill. We have eight individually decorated bedrooms with varying views. All bathrooms are private, some en suite with a bathtub and some adjacent to the room, with shower only. Our direct-booked prices include taxes and all amenities such as parking and wi-fi and a hearty breakfast. Guests are invited to use four different living rooms with balconies, decks, fireplaces and two kitchens where they may make complimentary tea, coffee, popcorn, cereal and enjoy fruit and cookies at any time. Museum quality fine art and pottery are visible throughout our Inn and beautiful, antique Stickley Craftsman furniture is featured in all common areas and several guest rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Topanga Canyon Inn b&b
Topanga Canyon Hotel Topanga

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