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“Great family resort...avoid Acura classic”

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Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Ranked #12 of 36 Hotels in Carlsbad
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 6, 2007

We recently had our first visit at the La Costa resort, and while our overall rating is average, there were many positives about the stay. There were a few issues that resulted in us lowering the rating to "average."

First the positives:

The resort, which was recently remodeled, is beautiful. We stayed in one of the spa rooms, which was large enough for our entire family of 4. There were 2 queen beds, we added a roll-away bed, there was a large, beautiful marble bathroom (with shower and tub), a table with 2 chairs, two other comfortable chairs, and a nice lanai with chaise and patio chairs. There was plenty of room in the closet and dresser for all of our clothes. In many hotels and resorts, we have to book two rooms, but this one large room worked well for us.

The new spa is beautiful and I had a great massage.

The grounds are beautiful, there are multiple pools, and for the kids, there are two waterslides, a walk-in pool with sand, and a water playground. There is a teen club with games and a kids club. It would have been nice if there were a teen dance and a teen spa night to occupy our 14 year-old son. He is spoiled by these programs at the Grand Wailea in Maui, and he was hoping this teen club would have some activities like this.

There are plenty of good restaurants within a short drive of the hotel, so we never ate at the hotel. Also, for some quick snacks or a light lunch, next to the resort is a shopping center with a grocery store, a Starbucks, a bagel and sandwich shop, a frozen yogurt shop, and a burrito place, as well as a good steak restaurant (Tommy V's).

Service was very good from most of the staff (the front desk, concierge, housekeeping, valets).

The fitness center is a full service gym, with complete weight and cardio equipment as well as fitness classes; yoga classes are also available twice per day for $15 each.

Our two issues were as follows:

The Acura Classic international women's tennis tournament was being held at La Costa during our stay, and as a result, parking was a nightmare. We self-parked, since self-parking is the best way to have quick and easy access to your car (there is self parking near most of the buildings that the hotel rooms are in. In fact, valet parking, which was $29 per day, would have entailed a 5-10 minute walk to the main lobby building and then a wait for our car.). Instead, we parked right by our room. However, since the hotel was also trying to provide parking for all of the people watching the tournament (for a fee), we had to talk our way past the traffic and parking monitors to be able to park by our room every day. This was a bit of a hassle.

When we booked the room, they should have told us about the tournament and that there would be parking issues and no tennis available for guests during that week. Our son, an avid tennis player, had planned to play tennis during most of our stay. However, with the tournament, he was out of luck.

The second issue was with the Supervisor of the fitness center. The fitness center does not allow anyone under 16 to work out. Our experience in other 5-star resorts is that our teenagers can workout on the cardio equipment with parental supervision. We like to work out daily with our teenagers, but they were not allowed in the fitness center. Our first day, the Supervisor kicked out children from three families (including ours) all at once, despite the fact that it was not prime time and the center was empty. We all pleaded with him, reminding him that this is a family resort, but he said he could only enforce the rules. Our teens work out at our home club with parental supervision and at hotel gyms around the world. This was the first time they were asked to leave.

I left a message with the General Manager of the Hotel about the gym situation. She attempted to return my call once. I then called her back, but she never returned my call back--poor service again from a 5-star hotel--especially when it comes from the top. Everyone else was great however.

The hotel is about 1 mile from the Four Seasons Aviara, which we have also stayed at, and if it weren't for the two issues we had, I would call it a toss-up between the Four Seasons and La Costa. In the future, we will probably return to the Four Seasons however, so our children can work out with us.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank saratoga4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,719 - 2,725 of 2,865 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2007

The Good...

Very kid friendly. Spa rooms were quite roomy (we could easily fit a crib, strollers, etc. without feeling crowded. Nice grounds, with a good regional feel (i.e., So-Cal w/ some Mexican/Latin American feel). VERY clean, most notably the pool areas where I've seen some other "4 star" resorts fall flat.

Nice overall resort amenities. Great fitness room. We didn't use the spa nor play golf (both of which are big draws for La Costa) so we can't comment.

My 5 year old son loved Kidtopia camp.

They had a very nice restaurant (Blue Fire) where we dined at for dinner twice.

The Bad...

May be getting too big for its own good. Some areas were overly crowded (e.g., valet) and the distance from our room to the pool required us to plan our days a bit better (rather than be spontaneous with our activities), especially given the fact that we have 2 young children.

Self parking was quite far. To make some extra revenue, I think La Costa signed a deal with local car dealers to store their new inventory in some of the La Costa lots. Not a big deal if they have the extra capacity, by why not use the "far" lots for that rather than the lots closer to the rooms? Not very thoughtful for the actual hotel guests.

There were many conventions and they actually closed the main pool area (family pool and water features) early on one of the days to accomodate one of the convention groups.

It is not as close and convenient to the beaches as their web site makes it appear.

The Ugly...

The valet service was terrible. They were very unorganized and kept many guests (not just us) waiting for unacceptably long periods. Either they don't even realize this shortcoming, or they are downright complacent about the matter, but we received not so much as a quick heartfelt appology for the terrible service. When we arrived, not one of the many valet attendants so much as greeted us nor told us what we should expect, where to go. After coming from the Four Seasons where their Valet is top notch, our stay at La Costa started off a bit bumpy. We switched to self parking.

To add insult to injury, even after I informed the valet of the switch twice, we were still charged the valet fee for each day of our stay! Again, this lack of focus on their guest made it impossible for me to do the express checkout. This error added another 30 minutes to my checkout.

To Summarize....

While the grounds are nice, they don't compare with the Four Seasons. If it weren't for the pool and kids play area, I would not consider staying at this hotel again. I would only recommend to friends and family who want a nice family style pool with water features, or to those who are going for golf and the spa. Don't expect world class service.

It's still a nice property, but for the price, you may want to look into the Four Seasons as well if you're bothered by some of the things I highlighted above.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank To'ere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2007

We live here locally in San Diego. We chose this resort for our summer vacation because we didn't want to have to fly with 2 young toddlers. We were thrilled to see all of the kid-friendly amenities this resort has to offer. We chose a 'spa' room which was gigantic with a huge bathroom. It was quite a distance from the main pool, but the grounds are beautiful and the walk was pleasant. Sometimes, we'd take the complimentary golf shuttle which was big hit with our boys! We had enough room in the bathroom to set up a crib for our baby, so he had his 'own' space. The staff was extrememly helpful.

The spa is world famous for a reason. My massage was heavenly and I spent all afternoon enjoying the relaxed atmosphere within the spa area.

The main kids pool was incredible and the kids spent so much time in the sand and going down the kiddie slide.

We had our lunches by the pool and never went to the main restaurant (Blue Fire), but we heard it was very good.

This is a resort, so be prepared for outrageous prices, but we were fully aware of that when we booked this trip. It was our only family vacation and I am so glad we splurged.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank 2beans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2007

My daughter and her friend, who are both 15 years old, and myself arrived at the Lacosta resort on June 23rd . When we arrived are room was ready. the bellman took our bags to our room right away. The room was very clean upon arrival. We had a resort room, 2 queen beds,very comfy I might add!A very nice bathroom! The tub was very deep, which I love! There was a seperate glass shower, robes for the 3 of us were hung in the closet also. We had plenty of towels, lotion, shampoo and conditioner. cottonballs and Q-tips were in the bathroom also. The TV was very nice, (flat screen). We did get room service a couple of times. the food was very good. The pools were nice. Not the best I have seen, but they were clean. Just on the small side for the amount of people at the resort. The health club was great. I was able to get in 4 workouts! There are 2 resturants at the resort. Good, but VERY expensive. Buffet breakfast is $25.00 per person. I did treat myself to a deep tissue massage. It was wonderful! Hope this helps!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank ReneeN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2007

My husband, 4 yr. old daughter and I stayed at La Costa for 4 nights and loved every minute of our stay. I was pretty nervous before we arrived because of some of the reviews I read, but we did not have any problems at all. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, every staff person we came in contact with was extremely nice and helpful.

After we checked in, we went to the Legends restaurant for dinner and were seated on the patio....what a view and the food was fantastic.

We sent our daughter to Kidtopia on Saturday while my husband played golf and I went to the spa. She had a blast, my husband loved the golf course and I had an extremely relaxing day at the spa.

I really can't say enough about how much we enjoyed our stay at La Costa and our trip to San Diego. We will definitely go back and will recommend it to all of our friends and family.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank gracesmom2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2007

I booked a room at the La Costa resort two months ago, even though we are locals in San Diego. My husband had a conference at the resort, so we thought we would treat ourselves to a night away. When i tried to check in at the front desk, the woman I was dealing with said the room would not be ready until 4pm. We went to the main pool, which is now like Disneyland with wall to wall kids. There were no chaise lounges left. We then walked to another pool by the villas and there were plenty of chaises but no shade. The third pool had both but no towels and no bathroom to change into our bathing suits. At 4pm we were brought to our room , which had two beds in it instead of the king size bed that i had reserved. When i called the front desk, they told me , quite rudely, that that was all they had. We told them that we were not going to stay and ended up leaving. The room was dark, musty smelling and looked like a run down holiday inn room. For $375. you expect more than that and i expect people to be polite, especially in a service industry. The only person who i came across who had any kind of customer service in all of la costa was the bellman, Jose, who couldnt be nicer. We returned to our very nice and serene pool vowing to never return to La Costa. Whoever is running this resort needs to pull their workers at the front desk aside and give them some training in customer relations....awful!!!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled on business
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3  Thank vickiSanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2007

La Costa is a beautiful property with nice rooms but a huge disappointment in service. There are three pools: one kid’s pool with sand bar, one adult/kid pool, and one adult pool at the spa. All three pools are very, very small but they are pretty. The whole entire property is jammed packed with people and they do not have the staff to handle the amount of people. We ate lunch at the spa and had to wait over an hour for our food and our champagne arrived after the meal. We did not even have a glass of water during our meal. Our room was dirty when we checked in and they were not pleasant about moving us to another room. It was a huge hassle. Then we went to dinner at the Blue Fire Grill and our food took two hours to come and when it did it was awful. The next day when we checked out we requested the valet to have our car ready. When we got there we had to wait one hour for our car and when my boyfriend went to ask how much longer he found our keys at the valet stand. The service is a huge disappointment and I would not recommend this property to anyone. Also, we spend over $700 for one night stay, dinner and two massages. It is not worth this much money.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank littlemissheidijo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Address: 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad, CA 92009-6823
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Carlsbad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Carlsbad
#4 Business Hotel in Carlsbad
#15 Romantic Hotel in Carlsbad
#21 Family Hotel in Carlsbad
Price Range: $229 - $696 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Omni La Costa Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 610
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is an iconic San Diego area resort destination, set in the coastal foothills of Carlsbad Calfornia. Our picturesque 400-acre garden retreat is California's Original Destination for Mind, Body + Sport. Here, you'll find fresh and inspired cuisine, world-class San Diego area golf and spa, stunning pools and exhilarating waterslides. You'll enjoy an innovative activities program that offers more than 168 things to do each week. And throughout your stay, you'll feel energized and refreshed.After a recent $50 million resort-wide renovation, Omni La Costa is better than ever, with renovated guestrooms and suites and a fresh, contemporary style. Current accolades include the Conde Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Award, the #1 Wellness Spa in the Nation from Spa Magazine, and GOLF Magazine's Gold Medal Resort ranking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Costa Hotel Carlsbad
La Costa Resort And Spa
La Costa Carlsbad

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