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“GREAT LOCATION, DIFFICULT ACCESS” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel

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BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
Big Bear Lake, California
Level Contributor
162 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“GREAT LOCATION, DIFFICULT ACCESS”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

We stayed at Marina Shores in connection with a recent visit by my sister-in-law. The hotel is long and narrow, which produces some odd inconveniences, not to mention parking difficulties. For example, the entrance is at the western end of the building, necessitating a long walk with luggage (they provide carts) if your room is at the other end. After you're in the room, however, you can park near the entrance at the eastern end and reduce the length of the walk. That is, if you can find a parking space on that side. If you can't, then you must negotiate a hairpin turn and proceed up the side nearest the Pacific Coast Highway, where there are usually parking spaces. Then, you must either retrace your steps to the eastern entrance or walk westerly and go through the lobby, again resulting in a looooong walk to your room. Oh, did I mention that you pay for the parking? As a 42-year resident of California, I am used to paying exorbitant rates for parking at public venues, but at a hotel (really a motel)? That's over-reaching in my book, even at $10 a day. The breakfast room is so small you have to go outside to change your mind. Better dine early. Typical motel food for a "free" breakfast. Lastly, the rooms have what I think is a heat exchanger, which I never quite learned how to adjust properly due to confusing controls. A disappointing hotel that's able to get away with a lot due to their location.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near the lobby, unless you want to schlep your luggage (and yourself) and country mil...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Stan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter C, General Manager at BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel, responded to this review, September 12, 2013
I'm sorry you found the sprawling layout of the hotel such an inconvenience. I admit there can be a bit of a hike depending on where your room is and where you have to park, but if you look at all the development along the Pacific Coast Highway here and the fact that we are pretty much built into the side of a hill, there really isn't much they could have done differently.

You'll be happy to know that we've taken steps to relieve the congestion in our breakfast area - on weekends or any other day that the hotel is exceptionally busy, we have opened up our meeting room as a second location for our guests to eat.

Thanks for your comments.
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546 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
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Vista
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

It is always a challenge for s to find hotels that are pet friendly. This hotel takes pet friendly to a whole new level. It's been our experience with other hotels that they dedicate certain rooms for pets. The rooms that are tucked away in a back corner someplace. This hotel gave us a 3 floor suite without segregating us. The staff was went out of their way to welcome us and our little dog. Te facility and room must have been either recently remodeled or just built because everything was immaculate. The price was the same as some of the less desirable places in the area.

Room Tip: Most of the suites overlook the Pacific Coast Hwy. We liked the 3rd floor.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 399CraigB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter C, General Manager at BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Glad you enjoyed your stay and yes, we recognize that a pet is family too. There is a great old joke in our industry ...

A man calls a hotel to make reservations and tells the manager, " I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?" The manager smiles and says, "Sir, I've been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I've never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, televisions or pictures off the walls. I've never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly and I've never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel ... and, if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay here, too."

Hope that added an extra smile to your day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, CA
Level Contributor
34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2013

Location: 4.5 - Staff/Service: 3.5 - Amenities: 3
I love the location of this hotel - close to the 5 freeway and 2 blocks from a beautiful state beach. The hotel itself is nice enough - lobby is beautiful. Parking was $10/day and space was very limited. Breakfast area gets crowded quickly and food is really generic...but the kids were happy, plus McDonald's is across the street and Denny's is next door. Lots of dining options in walking distance up the street. My balcony had a partial view of ocean; I loved that they put a little furniture out there to sit and enjoy, but it's right on PCH and you hear more of the traffic than the waves. The beds were nice sized, reasonably comfortable, and I heard no complaints from my kids about the sofabed. The kids enjoyed the pool, I was sad there was no jacuzzi, but there were jacuzzi jets in the bathtub. For business travelers: the computers are out in the open in the lobby and print to behind the desk, but rooms have free WiFi.

My colleague stayed at the Doubletree down the street; there are plusses and minuses to both. Rooms looked comparable, the lobby is more attractive and spacious with more seating, they charge extra for an ocean view, make you valet park for $$$, their pool is small and right in front of the hotel, and they are doing noisy construction/repairs (at least the week of 3/25), but the breakfast there is much better.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shani K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter C, General Manager at BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
While our goal is to always be a "solid great" it was still nice that you noticed the little touches we add to make our guests' stays nicer - like the furniture out on the balconies and the jetted tubs in the guest rooms. We appreciate the constructive suggestions too as we are always looking for ways to improve our product and services.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis
Level Contributor
54 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2013

We received this booking through Hotwire as a hotel chosen for us in our category (3 star). The hotel was recently renovated and the rooms are comfortable and fairly quiet, despite our room fronting Pacific Coast Highway. The beds are WONDERFUL, by the way.

When we checked in, the front desk clerk told us that we should have called the hotel to book adn we would have received a better rate. WHAT? I don't know if he was punishing us :), but we found out that night that our A/C didn't work at all. I called the desk and was told that maintenance had gone home. So, we had a less-than-restful night's sleep in a stuffy room with a window we couldn't leave open, due to easy access from the outside. Had it not been for the poor maintenance on a recent renovation leaving us with a stuffy room, I would have given this hotel a "4" rating.

The complementary breakfast was about the best I've had in a hotel with a free breakfast. Eggs seemed to be made from eggs, rather than reconstituted; there's a pancake machine; the bacon was good as well.

The location is adjacent to the harbor, but behind a small hill -- so it's not terribly convenient to the harbor, but close. There's also a Jack in the Box, Del Taco, adn McDonalds directly across the street for a quick bite.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter C, General Manager at BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Please accept my apologies for the confusion when you checked in. It's not our habit to steer people away from the online booking sites. They save guests a lot of shopping around for rates, but for detailed information on a particular hotel, it's always a good idea to check with the hotel directly, just to make sure of the accommodations.

I was also very sorry to hear about your troubles with the a/c. We should have at least offered to move you to another room if maintenance was gone for the night. Most of the units here are less than three years old and we service them routinely, so I can at least assure you that this is not a regular occurrence.

I'm glad you enjoyed the rest of your stay and hope you will be back for a visit that's 100% perfect!
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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

I was wandering around California in search of adventure, weirdness, employment, the meaning of life, and a new surf board. Infinity Surf is right up the street from this Best Western, so I decided to stay here.

Called as I was driving around, found the room rate of $112 for the night to be spot on, and they had a vacancy. I was a happy camper.

Checked in without hassle. Parking is a little tight, so if you drive something bigger than my FJ, you might be SOL for parking here. However, my little red beach wagon fit right into one of the spots by the door, so I was able to unload my new board and my bag without hassle.

Got up to my room, very happy with what it was. Great jacuzzi tub in this place, so if you're sore after a day of driving like was, you can just jump right in and soak your woes away.

Room was clean, beds were clean, TV was big and well set up. Ordered a pizza, watched some pointless drivel on the TV, and was happily off to dream land. Best of all it had two queen beds in the room, so my new board had a bed of its very own.

If I ever end up in Dana Point again, I will absolutely be staying here again.

Room Tip: Stay on the non-road side if you're sensitive to noise!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ibtattooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter C, General Manager at BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Thank you for the great review and we're happy that we made you and your new surfboard so comfortable. Hang loose!
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San Marcos, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

This hotel uses to be a Holiday Inn Express and is now a Best Western PLUS.
It is a very Nice & Clean hotel and we enjoyed a King Suite with Balcony facing the ocean.
Beautiful view! The only issue I had with this hotel was their Breakfast. I hated the fact that they used such cheap plastic eating utensils. It very much dismisses the fact that they are even offering you a breakfast.
Recommendations:
If you are going to eat Breakfast somewhere other than the hotel, then this would be a very nice place to stay.
If Breakfast at a hotel is important to you, find another hotel because this breakfast is very disappointing.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MRPHIL3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter C, General Manager at BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
I'm very glad you enjoyed the accommodations here at the Marina Shores hotel and please accept my apologies for the plasticware in the breakfast room. We had actually upgraded it about two months ago and then had an order that was late so we had to bring out the old stock we had leftover. It just goes to show how important items like these are to our guests. We now have the new utensils back in place, so please don't feel you need to stay or eat elsewhere the next time you're in Dana Point.
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Baker City, Oregon
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

We truly enjoyed our three restful nights at this hotel. We were just coming off of a five day Disneyland adventure and we were able to recharge and enjoy Dana Point from this very centralized location. Here, you are just around the corner from Doeheny Beach and the marina. The kids had a great time beachcombing and surfing (rental shop right there). The free breakfast is typical for a nice hotel and the pancake machine looked like fun. (Wish they offered sugar-free syrup and I may have tried them). The view from our patio was awesome...could see the ocean peeking from behind giant palm trees. Even though we were on the Pacific Coast Highway, the noise was not noticeable from our room at all. Housekeeping did a fantastic job and the beds were awesome. We even enjoyed the warm pool when it was only 60 degrees out...we just had to hurry back to our room when we got out of the water. The value at this hotel is great and I would definitely stay here again...and hope to soon!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bkrcitytravlr22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter C, General Manager at BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Thank you so much for the great comments and we are happy that you enjoyed your stay - not only with us, but in beautiful Dana Point. We will certainly look into the possibility of a sugar free syrup for our pancakes at breakfast. Great Idea!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel

Property: BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel
Address: 34280 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629-2824
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Dana Point
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Dana Point
#1 Best Value Hotel in Dana Point
#2 Family Hotel in Dana Point
#4 Romantic Hotel in Dana Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — BEST WESTERN PLUS Marina Shores Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Best Western Plus Marina Shores Hotel - Dana Point Harbor - Doheny State Beach. Conveniently located on Pacific Coast Highway and minutes from Laguna Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Camp Pendleton, the Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, and the Montage Resort and Spa. Our AAA rated hotel features 34 comfortable two-room suites with partial ocean views from their balcony and 8 spacious king suites with whirlpool tubs for two. All rooms (with the exception of ADA Rooms) have jetted tubs with showers. All rooms have two phones with voice mail; one with speaker. We are conveniently located 1 block from Dana Point Harbor and Doheny State Beach. Our area is known for its fine beaches, recreational activities, specialty shops, restaurants and fine art galleries. Whale watching excursions are offered in Dana Point Harbor during the California Gray Whale migration. The hotel is located just two miles from both San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, four miles from Laguna Beach. Weekly rates available based on a 7 night stay. Contact the hotel directly for details and rates. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Dana Point Harbor - Doheny Beach Hotel Dana Point
Holiday Inn Dana Point
Dana Point Holiday Inn

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