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“Almost ruined wedding night due to Shady driver, great rooms though.”

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Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach / Hawthorne
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Hawthorne
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Almost ruined wedding night due to Shady driver, great rooms though.”
Reviewed October 1, 2009

This review is a bit delayed as we stayed here back in OCT. 2008 for our wedding night, since we had our wedding just down the street at Verandas. But I wanted to write a review in case any other couples wanted to stay here for their wedding... or simply use their "free" shuttle.

I had booked our stay here almost 8 months prior to lock in a group rate with the "Group" room director at the time. During the course of discussing the details of the deal with this director, she somehow was let go, and a new person took over about 1 month prior to our stay here. Some of the details of our stay there were repeated again to this new director to make sure she understand what we wanted for our wedding night....

1) We booked this hotel in particular because we had seen a flier which was given to our wedding coordinator at Verandas about Ayres for group rates + FREE Shuttle service.
2) Be able to check in early so that we can get ready before the wedding.
3) Main wedding party's rooms were to be on the same floor. We wanted to run a tight ship.

So we get to the hotel around noon. We had toured the place before booking it (Around Feb. 2009), and knew it was a wonderful hotel to stay at. The staff at this time answered all our questions, and allowed us to see a room to make sure it was what we wanted. Even though this hotel wasn't the closest to our wedding venue, we chose it based on the charm of the hotel. So I had a contract signed, locking the rate of the rooms, the details in emails which I've been writing back and forth with the previous director of groups, and the new director, etc etc.

Fast forward to the day of the wedding... and this is where things go wrong.

1) We arrived around noon, and the front lobby staff had no clue about early check in. Our wedding party (only 4 couples) were ready to check in, but they had no clue about it, and even messed up on the check-in date. Originally we had asked for 2 night stay... the night before and the wedding day. But things came up and I had to change it to only the wedding day. On the contract which I signed, it clearly stated for 1 night only for all rooms... I made it clear to the new director about this change, but guess nothing was done. Eventually they allowed us (the wedding couple) to check in early, but the others would have to wait until later... so we went to our room and got changed. (Another couple later told me that they got a room about 15 minutes after we left upstairs)

2) This part of the review is the clincher that almost ruined the wedding day. Wedding was getting late, and guests have been partying all night. My wife and I had driven ourselves to the venue so that we could store the gifts in the car, and transport them back. I asked our coordinator to contact Ayres about the shuttle to pick up the guests... and around 10:30pm a staff of Ayres arrived and was ready to take some people back. All of a sudden the driver told the guests that they would need to pay $20 for the ride back. This message was relayed to me, and I was surprised about this. I spoke to the driver about the "FREE" shuttle arranged... and he had no clue what I was talking about. To get things moving, one of my groomsmen talked to the driver some more and it seemed things were back in order, and guests were going back to the hotel. I even confirmed to our wedding cordinator that the flier said FREE shuttle.. and he said yes, that's part of the reason they were referring people over to Ayres (which once again, was a further hotel to stay out... but if guests are drinking, and they are offering free shuttle... it makes sense right?)

My wife and I drove back to the hotel, and this is where it gets worst. Driver comes up to me in the hotel lobby and demanded that someone pays HIM the $20. His exact words were.. "Hey man, who's going to pay ME for the ride?" I asked him what did he mean, it was suppose to be a free shuttle because we had already arranged for the entire deal. A small argument ensued... this in the hotel lobby, and the other staff there just looked dumbfounded. I asked to speak to the Group rate director immediately to get this sorted, but the driver told me she was away on vacation. I asked to speak to another manager, and he said it's late, they can't get in contact with them. Ok, fine, $20... I didn't want to prolong the night, I'll deal with this later. So I gave the driver behind the counter the $20... and he puts it in his pocket as he turns away from me, as I was slowly walking away myself. I thought that's strange... a staff of a hotel, not only spoke aggressively in the hotel lobby to a guests of theirs, then takes money from the guest and puts it in his own pocket. I've never been to any hotel where the employee was allowed to do this.

We have nothing negative to say about the hotel... it's wonderful. But this driver, the group director, and the hotel lobby staff that night (not the staff from the first time we checked this place out), were absolutely incompetent. They sent us a survey 2-3 days after we returned from our honeymoon, which I filled out, and in the survey included a section to comment about the staff... it seems like a form they send out to "wedding" stays since it mentioned it on the forms. I wrote back a letter similar to this one... about how lovely their hotel was, that the staff started off great, then it got worst..etc... a hand written letter. Perhaps they would understand the severity of this if I handwrite the letter. Months go by, and it's almost 1 year now for our anniversary.... still no response. Not sure if management got our handwritten letter, or perhaps they just didn't care, but nothing after that notice

To rub salt on the wound, several of our guests told us that they drove to the hotel themselves, or had to carpool with other couples back to the hotel since the driver had asked them for a monetary fee to drive them back.

Out of all the things that could have gone wrong, this was the ONLY thing for our wedding day that has left a negative memory for us. Good job Ayres for hiring people with poor communications skills, and drivers who are shady in their actions.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Buddynutnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2009

On the spur of the moment, my bf and I decided to go to Santa Barbara for my birthday weekend. All the good Santa Barbara hotels were sold out for Saturday night, so I needed an alternative for the first night. I decided we'd spend the first night at one of the LA beaches, then head up to SB the next morning. The Ayres Hotel, 4 miles from Manhattan Beach, received superb reviews on Trip Advisor so I decided to give it a try.

As we exited at Hawthorne, driving past tire dealers, Costco, Staples, and multiple fast-food stops, my bf started snickering. Although I'd prepaid for the room, he insisted that we'd better take a look around to see if we wanted to stay. Upon crossing the threshold, I could see that I'd made a great choice!

The hotel decor is gorgeous-- I was in the wine biz and have traveled extensively in Europe, and you could drop this hotel anywhere in the countryside of France, England, or Italy, and it would be perfectly at home. Stone floors, antique rugs and furnishings, and elegant touches everywhere you look. The restaurant is small but comfortable and stylish, with a handsome kalahari marble bar. Rooms are spacious and well appointed, with comfortable beds and linens. The bathroom was large enough for two to share comfortably, well lit, and stylish, with elegant tile work. Our balcony looked out on the lovely courtyard, which had a large mezzanine balcony, stone statuary, walled pool and hottub. It reminded me of some of the nicer wineries I've stayed at over the years.

Service was exceptional, from the friendly greeting and efficient service we received at the front desk, to the outstanding room service. Speaking of room service, I had the best steak OF MY LIFE from the hotel's Matisse restaurant-- a bone-in filet which was so tender, flavorful, and wonderfully textured, it blew away all the steaks I've had from top-drawer steakhouses in Washington, DC, New York, and Chicago. Absolutely stellar! The rest of the accompaniments on the plate were perfectly cooked, from the mushroom risotto to the tender-crisp broccolini, and wonder of wonders, none of the food was oversalted, my standard restaurant gripe. Even the bread was good. The chocolate-truffle cake, served with sweet-tangy strawberries and fresh whipped cream, was delectable. We'd go back just for the restaurant, but with rooms so reasonably priced, we'll stay the night-- why not?

Conveniently located near LAX and Manhattan Beach, the Ayres is a great option for visitors to the LA area, as well as those who'd rather drive 4 miles to the beach and stay in luxury for the same price as a fleabag hotel a couple blocks from the ocean.

Thanks to all who recommended the Ayres-- it was a fabulous find, and we've already recommended it to many other while in Santa Barbara! BTW, there are 16 hotels in this small family SoCal chain, so we're eagerly anticipating trying some of the other branches!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank anastasiab695
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highland, CA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2009

I rented 2 king suites; one for myself & one for a visiting cousin from Germany. The hotel is beautifully appointed in Old World European design. Howsumbutever, the #1 function of a hotel should be to provide a quiet & restful place for guests to sleep. The bedroom in my cousin's 4th floor suite had a window facing the 405 freeway. She got very little sleep due to traffic noise. My suite was also on the top (4th) floor. The bathroom exhaust fan is obviously located on the roof above the bathroom/bedroom wall, and it runs 24/7. The walls throughout my suite constantly rumbled from the vibrations of the exhaust fan and I could not sleep that night. I even pulled out the hide-a-bed from the living room couch and closed the bedroom door, but the exhaust fan also vibrated the walls in the living room and I only got short naps throughout the nightr due to exhaustion. As beautiful as this hotel has been furnished, I don't believe that I would recommend this hotel for an overnight stay.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
Helpful?
5 Thank Dale B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2009

There was a party of 18 with us during our stay. We loved the hotel as it had a little more character than the normal run of the mill travel lodges or Days Inn. It was only a short drive away to the beaches and there was a shuttle bus available.

Macdonalds is just across the road - as the kids loved that, adn the nail parlour is just around the courner - the lasies loved that too.

Breakfast was great adn a really good start to the day, we managed breakfast every day. The courtyard is absolutely beautiful for a lovely cool drink or coffee during the day.

The only negative I would say is the pool area is just too small for the kids so we had to venture to the beach - but in LA you dont want to spend the day by the pool anyway.

The bar closes at 10.00 pm each night - so be prepared and make sure you have bought some wine with you so you can have a few glasses on the balcony overlooking the courtyard - very pleasant in the evening.

I loved the grand stair case and this was a great spot for photographs.

The hotel is used fairly frequently by flight attendants and pilots - but the boys and girls in our group were pleased about that aspect !!

  • Stayed July 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ScotlandOzzies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
92 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2009

After a wild goose chase finding a hotel at the last minute where my wife wouldn't have an allergic reaction to the cleaning scent (see my review on the Sheraton Ontario airport), we ended up at this Ayres hotel on the last day of our recent trip to the LA area. Loved the decorations! Would definitely stay here again if it weren't for a few oddities that just bug me. We paid a walk up rate of two hundred including tax and got a suite which was of good size (not overly large) and layout, and clean. The alarm clock was very very basic and cheap looking (had trouble getting it to work and shut off which I'm usually pretty good at even if I say so myself) and so were the other amenities - this clashed in my opinion with the overall atmosphere. The bed was comfortable, the shower had good pressure. Even though the room was right next to the elevator, we didn't hear a thing all night. Free internet service worked like a charm (on a Mac).

Breakfast was included in the price - one kind of mini muffin, several kinds of toast for which the (basic) toaster was ill suited for, scrambled eggs and something that looked like mini sausages and bacon. My wife claimed the coffee was excellent, but I could handle only one sip. Service was good but too attentive almost (too much staff for a small breakfast area). Meeting rooms, areas to sit down and relax, and the hallways were all very elegantly furnished and inviting. Unfortunately, the checkout was as casual and noninterested as it could be. Ask for a detailed bill otherwise you just get a credit card slip to sign.

Overall, the Ayres brand is a very nice departure from the bland presentation of your average hotel in this price class, but we would have appreciated pushing the envelope just a tad more to make it more of a "yes, we'd definitely be back" rather than just a "maybe."

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Vincent V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Level Contributor
214 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2009

This hotel with a European flare to it is a gem. Well priced, beautiful rooms and excellent included breakfast all withinin 4 miles of LAX.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank smallface1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2009

I just stayed this last weekend at the hotel Jul 31 to Aug 2. I paid $100 per night for a room that was very large and comfortable. The decor was perfect for a boutique style hotel. They had the best of both worlds. The look of a boutique but the size, staff, and normal ammenities that a large hotel has. The full breakfast was good also. Be sure to let them know how many are in your party when booking as this will determine how many can eat at the complimentary full breakfast. If the price of the room goes up weigh your options since the breakfast is only 5 - 10 dollars per person over what you tell them at booking time. The only negatives the entire time was the couple minute wait to check in as the hotel was booked and everyone and there brother was trying to find a hotel that weekend. So no big deal. The other negative was the room did not have a sun blocking curtain. At least not that I found. This would have been nice for sleeping in. All in all wonderful hotel though and the negatives were minor.

Also the courtyard was beautiful. There was a wedding going on in it. There is an outside pull in the courtyard along with a jacuzi.

If asked to go to Manhattan Beach, Hermosa, or El Segundo I would try to book at this hotel again.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank synchro360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach / Hawthorne

Property: Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach / Hawthorne
Address: 14400 Hindry Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250-6740
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Hawthorne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Hawthorne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach / Hawthorne 4*
Number of rooms: 174
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The charm and elegance of a European-inspired boutique hotel await you at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach/LAX. Whether you’re here for a short business visit or a long, relaxing retreat, you’ll find all of the luxurious guest rooms at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach/LAX are impeccably appointed with a full suite of complimentary amenities including our signature, triple sheeted Ayres Dream Sleeper beds, flat screen TVs, refrigerators, coffeemakers,microwaves, well lit work desks and Wifi, iHomes, microwaves, and hairdryers. Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach welcomes travelers to all of the exciting business, recreational, and entertainment attractions Manhattan Beach, CA has to offer. Dine at the acclaimed Matisse Restaurant, located in the hotel, which offers American cuisine infused with rich European flavors while taking in the luxurious ambiance of the hotel, including an incredible split staircase. Go out and experience the beach life while riding the South Bay Bicycle Trail starting nearby at Manhattan Beach, trailing all along the coast to beach cities like Venice Beach and Santa Monica. And you'll be glad to know that Los Angeles International Airport is just a short drive away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ayres Hotel Hawthorne Manhattan Beach

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