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Carlsbad by the Sea Resort
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All reviewsoutlet mallacross the streetfree shuttleyogurtfree breakfastshuttle service to legolandwalking distancebreakfast roomlego landpremium outletslegoland visitthe hotel offershot tubnice poolflower fieldscoffee makerpool area
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587 - 592 of 696 reviews
Reviewed July 12, 2010

I was a little worried about the hotel at first sight. It is an older hotel. Once inside, though, I had no worries!
Here's the good stuff:
1. Location: Right across the street from the outlet mall & plenty of places to eat. In addition to the fast-food places @ the outlet mall (including a Starbucks), there is a PF Chang's, King's Fish House, and other sit-down restaurants within walking distance. Across the freeway is McDonald's, In & Out Burger, a pizza place, etc.
Also a VERY short distance to Legoland. There is a shuttle available, but we didn't use it as we had our own car.
2. Rooms: Nice, clean, roomy. Ask for a 2nd floor room....all the rooms had a sliding glass door that lead to a balcony (on the 2nd floor) or a patio (on 1st floor). I'm always a little leary about 1st floor rooms w/sliding glass doors...a little creepy to me. Our room (#223) was very quiet - faced the outlet mall.
3. Free internet, free parking, free kids meals at Ruby's across the street. We only ate there for breakfast but it was good! Try the cinnamon roll french toast....yum!
4. Front desk staff was very helpful! Easily volunteered information regarding directions, etc.
5. Close to the beach! It's not really within walking distance,but the beach is very close. We didn't go to Carlbad beach.....we went about 4 miles south to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. It's a really nice clean family beach with firepits and playground area!
I have nothing bad to say about this hotel. We had a very positive experience there & would stay again.....

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank juliehoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2010

We are a family of 4 (2 adults & 2 kids, ages 9 & 3) visiting Legoland for 2 days. I'm very detail-oriented and the type who researches all the hotels/attractions/restaurants in the area, hunts for deals, looks for coupon codes, and reads as many reviews as humanly possible. Before booking my reservations I read the reviews and narrowed my choice to 2 hotels. I chose to book 2 nights at Holiday Inn and was very disappointed. A day before our arrival, I alerted the front desk of our very early check-in (arrival before noon). I did not expect our room to be ready and I was right. This was fine, but the front desk rep was very rude & abrupt and offered no options. I asked her about the free shuttle service for hotel guests to Legoland. She stated that we needed to make advance reservations for the shuttle. What?! Luckily, the shuttle (which was a mini-van) just pulled up just outside the front lobby and my husband called this to the rep's attention. The shuttle was available at that moment and we hopped in. Upon arriving at Legoland, our shuttle driver gave us a hotel business card and stated that we need to call the hotel 15 mins before we needed to be picked up. At the end of the day, I called the hotel before 5pm and asked for the shuttle to pick us up. The hotel rep stated that the shuttle would be there about 20 mins. After waiting for more than 30 mins, I called the hotel again and the hotel rep stated the shuttle had to drop off at another location and would pick us up in 15 mins. What?! The shuttle (mini-van w/ only 6 seats + 1 driver) finally arrived and 2 other families were also waiting for the same shuttle. Since we were there first (and waited the longest), we boarded the shuttle first with 2 other hotel guests. During the ride back to the hotel, I learned from the other hotel guest that she had to wait more than 1 hour for the shuttle the day before. My husband was so upset over the whole experience that he decided that we drive our own car to Legoland the next day. We also did not stay the second night and checked out early in the evening after visiting Legoland for the second day. Positives about this hotel: updated, clean, quiet rooms, close to Legoland, free daily breakfast buffet and free Ruby's Diner Kids'-Eat-Free coupons. Based on my experience with poor customer service with hotel staff and shuttle service, I do not recommend Holiday Inn.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank aeo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2010

We just got back from our stay at the Holiday Inn Carlsbad and I can't say enough things of how great it was. We went for our 6 year old sons birthday trip to Legoland along with my wife, mother and 2 year old son. The staff was all very friendly, from the front lobby staff to the shuttle drivers. Make sure you reserve a free shuttle to Legoland when you check in, saves you 12 dollars on parking, we did tip a few bucks.

The rooms have been renovated and are as nice as any 4 star hotel that I've stayed at. Plasma TV and very comfortable beds and very clean. The pool area is also very nice, however when we were there it was a bit cool so we didn't get to use it as much as we would have liked to.

The free hot breakfast was excellent, they had bacon, omlettes, sausage, pastries and much more. Another great benefit when you check in you get free children vouchers to eat free at Ruby's which is right across the street. There are tons of places to eat in walking distance and if you want to go to the beach you're only about a mile away. All in all we had a great experience and will stay here the next time we visit Legoland.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank brimallut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2010

The Holiday Inn Carlsbad is located right next to the 5 freeway and about 10 minutes drive to Legoland. It looks kind of old from the outside but the room that we stayed in was a 3 star standard type of room. It did have a small frig in the room. If you have a baby that needs milk it would. There is an outlet mall accross the street that has a Ruby's. When you check in, you get a slip for free dinner at Ruby's for the kids. You also get a full breakfest. All in all it is a great deal.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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Thank lanmanaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2010

we recently stayed at the holiday inn carlsbad by the sea and we really enjoyed our stay.the location was perfect for our porposes, which was to go to Legoland and the newly opened Legoland Water park. Free parking, free breakfast and free shuttle to the parks were very much appreciated. The swimming pool was really clean and welcoming. It was alot cooler than we had hoped, but the pool was plenty warm. i would recommend it for the value. the proximity to the outlet mall, as well as restaurants were also a bonus, we could walk to them.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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Thank nonnie03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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