My kids and I headed to Half Moon Bay for a couple days this winter and, after reading all the great reviews on Trip Advisor, decided to stay at The Beach House. I waited until the last minute to book because we weren’t staying Fri/Sat nights in high season and the online booking said there were plenty of rooms available, so I was hoping to catch a last minute deal/room rate discount but none came up, so I splurged and booked an Ocean View Room even though it was way over our budget, but we were celebrating a special occasion so I went for it. The traffic we encountered once we hit HMB was TERRIBLE and we were an extra hour just to get from the the outside of town to the Beach House. I was thrilled to finally arrive at the hotel and happily made my way inside to check-in and sadly got a lukewarm reception from Zac at the front desk. I have always said the reception a guest gets when checking in can really set the tone for your experience at a hotel and this was no exception. He clearly did not want to chit-chat with me and just wanted to get on with checking me in, which was fine, but a smile here and there would have been nice. He gave us a room on the 2nd floor and we brought our things up and spent...My kids and I headed to Half Moon Bay for a couple days this winter and, after reading all the great reviews on Trip Advisor, decided to stay at The Beach House. I waited until the last minute to book because we weren’t staying Fri/Sat nights in high season and the online booking said there were plenty of rooms available, so I was hoping to catch a last minute deal/room rate discount but none came up, so I splurged and booked an Ocean View Room even though it was way over our budget, but we were celebrating a special occasion so I went for it. The traffic we encountered once we hit HMB was TERRIBLE and we were an extra hour just to get from the the outside of town to the Beach House. I was thrilled to finally arrive at the hotel and happily made my way inside to check-in and sadly got a lukewarm reception from Zac at the front desk. I have always said the reception a guest gets when checking in can really set the tone for your experience at a hotel and this was no exception. He clearly did not want to chit-chat with me and just wanted to get on with checking me in, which was fine, but a smile here and there would have been nice. He gave us a room on the 2nd floor and we brought our things up and spent the first hour of our settling in calling and stopping by the front desk asking a series of questions that I should have been told when I checked in. What time is breakfast served? Where is breakfast served? Where is the log for our fireplace? Oh, there is a pool/jacuzzi I can see from my balcony, what time is it open until? Where do I get towels for the pool? BASIC information the front desk person should practically rattle off to you when you check in. OR, if they are tired to letting guests know all this mundane info (to them, not to you), they should at least ask if the guest has been there before. If you say “yes”, maybe you can remind them of the info, if not, it is necessary to let a new guest know this info, which is why they are paying $300 a night.
The most frustrating incident was when I went down (yet again) to the front desk to ask if they had any menus of restaurants that delivered food to the hotel. We have a favorite place that we love in HMB that delivered dinner to us last time we stayed at another hotel in town. When I asked Zac about it he said there was only three places in town that delivered food to hotels and he handed me the 3 menus. I was SO disappointed AND SURPRISED not to see our fav restaurant in the stack, so I asked him specifically if our fav place delivered he said “No, only those 3 places I just gave you”. Hmmmm….again, I was surprised. So, of course I went up to our room, called the restaurant we love, and they said “of course they deliver to the Beach House”. Now, what was that about? When I ask a hotel staff member if our favorite restaurant in town delivered to them, a competent, and pleasing customer service response would be “I’m not sure, let me phone them for you and find out”; The polite and still somewhat responsible response to my inquiry would have been “I’m not sure, you should call them and ask to make sure”; The I-don’t-care response would be “no”, and, of course, that’s the response I got.
Our room was nice, although oddly laid out with the step down living room having a fold out bed, but the view was lovely and we had plenty of room. The foghorn did go off every 10 seconds but it wasn't as loud as I thought it would be considering some of the comments I’ve seen written here on Trip Advisor, but it wasn’t a big deal for us. But I do have to say that the horn sound does seem louder during the night and I can see how some can find that annoying. I always bring a white noise machine to a hotel to help with noise from neighbors, traffic, and early morning housekeeping staff noise so it wasn’t an issue for us, and, of course, it is not the fault of the hotel. I must say that it would have been nice to keep the sliding glass door open (it has a screen) or window open in order to hear the ocean waves during the night but I didn’t feel really safe doing that. The second floor balconies are very close together, as many have mentioned in other reviews, and the roof is pretty flat so it would be quite easy for an uninvited guest to come in. We saw some kids walking around on the roof that afternoon. The hotel is also situated in a well traveled area, with the RV Park on one side and a popular restaurant on the other side and the beach pathway right in front. So we kept the windows and door closed and locked during the night.
It was really nice to have a separate shower and tub and I was looking forward to nice bath in the deep tub. The water pressure and hot water was excellent, plenty of it when we needed it. They also had Aveda products which was nice too! The kitchen was great and had a lot more than what the front desk person told me over the phone when I reserved the room. It had a fridge (no freezer), 2 burner stove, microwave, an old coffee maker, and a toaster! I wish I knew that ahead of time I would have brought some food to make our own breakfast so we didn’t have to head out hungry in the morning. Again the staff fell short with information.
These positive things could not out-weigh the not so good. For starters, believe it or not, they have 2 televisions sets in the room, one for the bedroom and one for the living room, yet they only give you one remote control. What? That is just crazy! I phoned down to the front desk and asked where the other TV remote was kept and the girl at the front desk sheepishly told me there was only one remote for both TVs, as if she couldn’t believe it either. So, really, no one can relax and enjoy watching TV at any time. My kids in one room, couldn’t click around to different channels and relax because I wanted to do the same thing in my side of the room, and I kept having to run over and get the remote from them! Really? They charge $250-$400 a night and they can’t afford another remote? Absolutely ridiculous. At times we had to hurl the remote across the room because we were so tired of getting up and handing it over to each other.
Also, as many have said in other reviews, the furniture does need some attention. There was a VERY nasty stain on the mattress of the sofabed I slept on. I took a photo. It really made me ill thinking I was sleeping on that. It looked, well, bloody. Again, at these room rates, can we not afford a new mattress? The furniture was worn and stained as mentioned by others but that wasn’t really an issue, for me at least, if this is supposed to be a “beach hotel”, and I think this is where this hotel goes wrong…it can’t decide whether it is a family-friendly, kitchen-in-the-room, long-stay hotel for beach vacationers, or a premiere 5 star, $300-$500 a night, high-end hotel competing with the Ritz-Carlton down the road.
If it wants to be high-end and keep charging these high prices, they will have to do quite a bit of work. A remodel is in order to upgrade their shabby, stained room furniture, and PLEASE get a remote control for each TV (I feel silly even having to mention this!), replace the coffee maker with a Kerig and offer decent coffee and tea, get rid of the phone next to the bathtub (yep, there is an old phone by the tub) and replace it with a little flat-screen TV like many of the beach hotels in SoCal. have next to their sunken tubs, and offer some nice, fresh breakfast foods rather than sad pastries, AND most of all, OFFER GOOD GUEST SERVICE! Please have the front desk staff be friendly, even if they have to fake it for the 5 minutes when they check me in. They should make every guest who checks in feel special and glad they chose The Beach House. That’s so important since we are handing over a big chunk of our hard earned money to stay here. They should tell guests all they need to know about the hotel when they check in, such as when and where breakfast is, where pool towels are, where to get a firelog for the fireplace, check out time, BASIC STUFF, and end by saying “Is there anything else I can do for you? Enjoy your stay”. It would take them less than 5 minutes. I always say, Customer Service and Housekeeping can make or break a hotel experience. Did I mention no one asked “How was your stay?” when I checked out?
The sofa bed option for an expensive suite was odd too. It really cuts down on time spent together around the fireplace listenting to the ocean waves (and foghorn) or watching TV together in the evening, because when the person who is sleeping on the sofa bed wants to go to bed, the others are banished to the bedroom. At least they get to take the remote with them. Unless you like to fall asleep with the TV on like I do, then having to jettison the remote control across the room back and forth continues on until the wee hours.
I think the Beach House thinks it is a premiere hotel with its very high room rates, Aveda products, and ocean front view rooms, but it’s shabby furniture, lack of simple amenities (remote…), RV Park view rooms, and complete lack of customer service tells another story.
In a way I hope they decide to go with a family friendly, casual beach hotel instead of trying to compete with the Ritz Carlton. They are halfway there already they just have to lower their prices to match what their hotel offers.
This hotel itself gets about 3-1/2 stars but the staff gets 1 star, so I’m giving it 2 stars to be on the cautious side and hope things get better. If the Beach House had a room deal for $150 for an ocean front room, I would come again, otherwise we will stay somewhere else next time.More
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking