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“Overall fine, but some disappointments”

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Carlsbad by the Sea Resort
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Carlsbad
vallejo, CA
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Overall fine, but some disappointments”
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Stayed at this hotel for 3nts just after Christmas to visit Legoland with my 4yr old.

Pros:
- Location: 1-2 miles from Legoland & the beach, just across the street from lots of food choices at the Outlets
- Comfortable bed
- Good sized room, nice balcony, nice landscaping
- fridge, microwave, coffee maker
- Decent wireless
- Free parking close to the room
- Decent water pressure, lots of hot water

Cons:
- "hot" breakfast items were terrible - worse than fast food - "omelettes" with American cheese & sausage patties were inedible (and we're not a picky bunch) - the other items were fine: small yoplait yogurts (1-2 flavors), cereal, packet oatmeals, bread/bagels/english muffins, apples/oranges/bananas, juice, etc - but I really was hoping for a decent warm breakfast (could have gotten the other items with virtually any other chain hotel)
- Legoland shuttle - this was actually just a 6 passenger van that starts shuttle service at 9am for approx 2hrs, then a return service around 6pm for 2hrs (otherwise you need to call to schedule a pick-up, approx wait time 30min) - there were WAY too many families all leaving for Legoland in the morning, making the shuttle a bit ridiculous (we could have easily been waiting over an hour) - they provided walking directions which were simple, so we walked the 15min to Legoland (had I known we weren't going to take a shuttle I would have definitely brought our stroller)
- Maid service: first day there we were gone 6hrs (9-3) - no one came to clean the room, the following day we were gone 10hrs, they straightened up but didn't clean the mugs or cups or coffee maker
- the pool was only semi-heated, unfortunately too cold for my 4yr old, although lots of older kids seemed to enjoy it

Overall the real reasons I choose this hotel was for the hot breakfast and shuttle service - both of which were complete disappointments. We paid just over $107/nt (taxes not included). The location is great, the room was reasonably comfortable - for a cheaper room rate I might stay here again, but would probably look at other options in Carlsbad first.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gradtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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654 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 (179)
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English first
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
56 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2013

The hotel was right off the freeway and conveniently located across from the Carlsbad Premium Outlets. Plenty of places to eat and shop there! The Hotel staff was friendly & helpful, giving us directions and ideas for restaurants etc. It does have a pool and small hot tub, but I would recommend this as a good place to stay for families as their were many small children everywhere. The outside of the Hotel is dated but our king room was a good size and clean. It was however on the noisy side. Breakfast was included, which was ok, so For the price, I would recommend this stay.

Room Tip: Rooms w/patio & pool view are great
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sharon n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overland Park, Kansas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 25, 2013

Generally, we are satisfied. Room was clean and a good size for our 2-adult-2-children family (we got a non-smoking standard two beds). Breakfast was nice. My husband actually thought that this hotel is a little bit old, from the look of the exterior of the buildings, but because the interior looked just fine, they probably have tried to keep the maintenance. Location is convenient. I like the fact that it is close to the sea, park, beach, and a shopping mall. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset by the beach.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nicky H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 7, 2013

Let me start out by saying I'm really not one of those picky sorts and almost never complain about things like this but this has been a really poor experience. I stayed there for one night the evening before Thanksgiving and was freezing cold all night. I was moved once for the same problem earlier (heater blowing ice cold air) and the new room seemed to have a functioning heater until I awoke to a freezing room later that night (literally colder than it was outside, I could see my breath!) When I called for assistance I was told the only thing they could do, at that point, was to have security bring me several blankets.(no maintenance after 10 p.m.) The blankets were oddly thin and I finally gave up and tried to get a couple of hours sleep in my car. Yup, I essentially slept outside and paid for it!
When I checked out and asked to speak to a manager I was informed he would not be on site until the following week but could get a small discount. Huh? I think a refund is obviously in order but now home agin I cannot get a return phone call from the General Manger, Hector is his name on his voice mail and I have written two emails as well. It seems other than small claims court I am left with no recourse, let alone any communication. I'm almost thinking about suing just on principle. This does not speak well of Carlsbad and how they treat visitors at all! I will say the front desk, maintenance and security were all very kind and apologetic if not a bit embarrassed. Thanks to my night in the freezer my family holiday and trip were ruined and I now have a horrible cold. Is it even safe to have a "holiday weekend" with no Manager on Duty? I was told he doesn't like to work on holidays. Hm.. thinking he's in the wrong business.

Room Tip: I stayed in building C, maybe other building are better? I would never advise staying there though...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kerry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Carlsbad hotels

Henderson
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Outside is a little run down, the interior is nicer. We were missing a shower curtain but it was replaced quickly. the WiFi is useless. This was the consensus with our entire group of 25 people. I mentioned it to the staff and nothing was done.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Benjamin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakersfield, California
1 review
Reviewed November 30, 2013

We stayed here because it was close to LegoLand (6 mins or so by car). Had a nice pool and spa my kids enjoyed the night before. Offered a nice breakfast spread my wife and kids enjoyed as well. It was a good experience, fit our needs and price range and we'll likely stay there when we go again.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 24, 2013

This was such a great weekend. The rooms are really clean and we had the adjoining rooms which worked out great since they both had 2 queen beds in each room. I was surprised about the breakfast.... Eggs, sausage, cereal etc. I was only expecting toast and coffee. I can't wait to stay here again. FYI- it's walking distance to so many shops Nd restaurants. Sooo convenient.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Melinda A
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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