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“Exactly what I expected...but no more.”

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Carlsbad by the Sea Resort
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Carlsbad
Lester Prairie, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Exactly what I expected...but no more.”
Reviewed October 24, 2011

We stayed 5 nights in October, I couldn't find a very objective review, so I thought I would do my best to provide one.

The hotel was easy enough to find, though the directions from google tried to steer me wrong (it is accessed via paseo de Norte, not the I5 onramp). Another note about the location, the hotel name says "by the sea", and though more "by the sea" than my home in Minnesota,  a mile down a busy road does not exactly fit my definition of "by the sea". Check in with the easily distracted clerk was fairly uneventful, got a room on the first floor, enter on the outside, with a sliding glass door that opens out to the courtyard area and pool/hot tub area.  Our 2 queen room had microwave, fridge, little coffee maker, nice enough tv with few standard definition channels, and a desk with an office chair. Had free wifi with an "accept terms" push page and weak signal.

One of the kids was sleeping so we got food to go from the onsite tgi Friday's. We opted to walk down and order then walk down for pickup rather than pay the room service fees, and a direct phone call (not the room service #) resulted in a long on hold time with no one returning. There are several nearby dining options ranging from Carls jr and subway to seafood and fine dining.

Included breakfast in the "Lanai" area from 6-9:30, pre made omelets (alternating denver or cheese), sausages, yogurt, cereals, oatmeal, breads, hand held fruit, juice and some really kick @ss coffee. No pastries or make your own waffles.

The heated pool is 9 ft at it's deepest, the hot tub could seat about 10 (sign says 6) , it had a few broken jets, but it was hot and bubbly. The fenced in pool area had no towels when we got there, I told the front desk and they promptly had more delivered. There are also padded loungers with some side tables, and one table with chairs.

I am an easy to please traveller, my expectations are a clean room, and that listed amenities are provided. Overall the hotel is a bit shabby, but it worked fine for what I needed, the grounds were well maintained, the rooms were clean, the pool area was clean, there is an "exercise area" listed on the hotel map, but I could not locate it in multiple attempts.

The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to Legoland, upon seeing that the shuttle was a minivan my party of 6 opted to drive and pay parking rather than wait for the shuttle to make 3 more trips before our group would fit.

Overall I feel I got exactly what I paid for and it met, but did not exceed, my expectations.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MNLowroller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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659 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
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English first
Twin Falls, Idaho, USA
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2011

The inside of the hotel is updated and clean, the breakfast was great, the shuttle service was awesome, the pool was warm, the staff was friendly. Overall, this was a great hotel to stay at. I was a bit concerned because the outside looked a bit dated- but everything was clean and wonderful.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rach093
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2011

Our family stays mostly in four star hotels. Occasionally we stay in a three start hotel. When we stay in a three star hotel, we find there are two types. Those that are trying to be four star hotels and those that aren't. Carlsbad by the Sea Resort is definitely NOT trying to be a four star hotel. It is a glorified motel. It was clean, but dated. The breakfast included a few hot items (individual omelets and sausages - one day they had french toast sticks), cereal, bread (different types - including bagels), fruit, yogurt, juice (the cranberry was watery), and coffee. It was fine. There we re lots of families with small children who were going to legoland. That is probably the best client for this hotel. The grounds and the pool looked nice (although we did not use it). The day later we went to another three star hotel in the same price range and the difference was night and day.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank oregon_consumer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2011

This is a nice, clean motel with many rooms and a large complimentary breakfast room. Also, right next to the
motel is a TGIFridays. Across the street is a small mall with some interesting stores (even a cupcake store : )
I would definitely stay there again, a little pricey, but that comes with the area. A nice pool in the center for everyone's use was also available.

Room Tip: There are only two stories, so if you don't like stairs, ask for a bottom floor.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bahkate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Romford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2011

This resort is not over hyped it does exactly what it says on the tin,we stayed 11 nights and had a great room with a patio just by the pool area,from the moment we arrived from the UK all the members of staff from the front desk,maintenance(minor problem with a shower tap) and room services were fast,friendly and helpful,it's good to stay at a hotel where the members of staff take the time to talk to you and not view you as just another occupant of a room-absolutely no complaints about the breakfast fayre it offered everything we might have wanted and the paper plates are ideal for disposal if like us you like to eat it on your patio and please please remember the breakfast is complimetry!!! The resort is located less than a minutes walk from the designer outlet stores and some great places to eat(recommend Ruby's,TGIF's and especially Bellefleure) but the downside is that the wallet takes a bit of a hammering because it's TOO darn easy to shop for bargins,drop it back at your room and go back for more punishment.
The whole area is very laid relaxed,friendly and informal which all in all made for a great vacation destination and this was the ideal place for us to stay

Room Tip: Try to get a ground floor room by the pool area perfect for a quick dip,noise was never intrusive an...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank 289jumper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed October 3, 2011

Looks miserable on the outside but the rooms are quality. Reserving by phone is a mistake though. When I arrived they did not have the room the phone guy promised and there was an extra fifty dollar fee he'd neglected to tell meabout. Losng fifty dollars can ruin an evening.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank grdgffuyfdskifaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, CA
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2011

this hotel is the one with the windmill. It has an okay breakfast but it's nice to have breakfast. the room was updated recently and I'm sure it's much better than what it was. The whole feel of the place is like old 70's motels. It feels almost scary like the door had been previously been kicked in. It is across the street from the outlet mall which was convenient and we went to Ruby's for dinner. I love that place. I would still recommend this hotel because of the location if you can get a good deal. I wouldn't pay more than $125

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank keeks2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carlsbad by the Sea Resort

Property: Carlsbad by the Sea Resort
Address: 850 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011-4443 (Formerly Holiday Inn Carlsbad by the Sea)
Location: United States > California > Carlsbad
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Carlsbad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Carlsbad by the Sea Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 141
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy your best vacation - a vacation in Carlsbad California is like no other in the world. And choosing Carlsbad by the Sea Resort guarantees the perfect location for a fun-filled experience for the whole family. LEGOLAND(R) California Resort is located just a mile away and Carlsbad by the Sea Resort is a designated LEGOLAND "Preferred Hotel." We offer special packages that include hotel rooms, tickets to the theme park, and a shuttle ride to the entrance after you enjoy a full American breakfast. Carlsbad by the Sea is centrally located to everything the San Diego region has to offer. You are only 30 miles from the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park and SeaWorld. Pristine Carlsbad beaches or a game of golf are just minutes away. Spend time relaxing at the resort, walking on 22 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, and playing and exercising in our year-round outdoor heated pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center. And when it is time to dine, More than a dozen popular restaurant choices are within walking distance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carlsbad By The Sea Hotel Carlsbad
Holiday Inn Carlsbad
Carlsbad Holiday Inn

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