We stayed here for three nights after getting our room for a terrific deal on Priceline. The hotel is reasonably well located, within walking distance of a beach (but not the beach/shopping area that forms the central part of La Jolla). Our room had a nice view and was tastefully remodeled in a sort of minimalist/Asian style; it had a flat-screened TV with ample cable channels. The beds were comfortable, and although there is usually a charge for parking, a very nice hotel desk clerk let us park in the lot for free. (If you want to park for free, you can also just go down the road a couple of blocks and park in a safe residential area.)
The hotel did, however, have some significant negatives, the most important of which was a very strong smell in our room. It smelled like some kind of solvent, perhaps from the recent remodel, and after trying to air out the room to get rid of it and turning off the vents, we contacted the front desk to ask about it. We were told that the rooms had been remodeled some months ago but that we could be moved to another room. We were escorted to another room down the hall, but it had the same smell. There was another room available on a different floor, but it had been remodeled at the same time. If we hadn't bought our room on Priceline (nonrefundable), we would have left, despite all the hotel's good points. But since we couldn't get our money back, we stayed and just aired out the room each day as much as we could. Once we were in the room for a while, we (sort of) got used to the smell, but each time we entered it from outside, we were hit by the very strong smell.
Another problem was that several of the remodeling choices presented problems. Although they were relatively minor, we found them annoying. For example, the faucets were short, smooth vertical cylinders with a tiny (perhaps 1/8") bump on them for "grip." This was actually really irritating, because when your hands are wet or soapy, there's no way to turn the faucets--your skin just slips on them. So we were constantly gripping them with a washcloth just to turn them on and off.
The cutouts in the shower for holding shampoo were tilted downwards, which meant that we couldn't put our shampoo bottles there without them slipping and falling into the shower stall. A slight inconvenience, but annoying.
The bed frames jutted out, and all of us ran into them numerous times. Again, a minor problem, but irritating.
The shower stall was see-through glass from two sides, including from the main room. Although this might be nice if you're staying there by yourself and want to see through the room for the view, for most people it's probably a bit of a pain. The side leading to the main room had a screen that you could raise or lower (to prevent people from seeing you shower), which my son dubbed "the perv screen." The side facing the bathroom had no similar screen, so if you're taking a shower and someone else in the family has to use the bathroom, they'll see you in it.
We noticed that many small things in our room and the hotel itself hadn't been finished. For instance, there were supposed to be towel shelves in the bathroom--you could see where the supports were--but they hadn't been installed, so the towels were just neatly piled on top of each other. There was a hole around the sprinkler system in our room, and we saw several loose wires just sticking out of a wall. The hotel elevators were very odd, with some kind of plastic curtains around them inside and a very run-down feel.
Although we didn't mind that the hotel didn't have a business center, it would have been appreciated. At this point I think all hotels should at least have one computer with free internet access available for guests.
All in all, we wished we'd stayed somewhere else, though the smell (and its possible toxicity) was the biggest problem. If that were resolved, we'd probably stay there again, especially since it really was an excellent value.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Boutique hotel with upscale decor and high end bedding and amenities. All non-smoking rooms, glass balconies, small gym, heated pool, walking distance to beach and La Jolla Shores shops and restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel La Jolla Shores
- At The Shores La Jolla