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“Lovely, well-appointed hotel in perfect location”

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Grande Colonial La Jolla
Ranked #4 of 24 Hotels in La Jolla
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We (husband and two young children) stayed for 6 nights just recently in one of the suites (Little Hotel By the Sea) and we loved it. The room is good sized and having a mini kitchen is just wonderful - we could have some tea and coffee whenever we like and even heat up leftover food in the microwave. The hotel itself is beautiful and the location is just perfect - minutes away from the gorgeous beaches and seals as well as restaurants and shops. The restaurant at the hotel (Nine-Ten) is very good too.

The pool is on the small side and there is no jacuzzi, which is a little disappointing. But all in all, the hotel is excellent.

Room Tip: Try brunch at Cody's! It's 5 minutes of walk from the hotel!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank GangnumToo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 22, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the "Little Hotel" for two nights recently. The little hotel is a separate building on the property and is billed as an extended stay venue, with kitchenette. The reservation was made online through an upgrade promotion at $199/ni. We had high expectations for an overall experience, but were left disappointed in the service - the room itself and 9-10 Restaurant were the highlights.

I had read TripAdvisor reviews prior to booking and also learned of amenities on the hotel webiste. Checkin was pretty basic with the only question being "when would you like room service?". We elected after 10a. The website also said a turndown service was included, but no mention of that at checkin.

Bags were transported to the room via bellman. Upon arrival to room the bellman dropped off the bags, but volunteered little information. Had we not asked about access to the rooftop terrace (an amenity touted on the website for the "Little Hotel") we would not have known. Also, the shower controls are complex with body sprayers and we never really did get it dialed in - I would have expected that to be part of the room orientation.

The Rooftop Terrace is really cool, with a feeling of it being your own private terrace - at 5pm we had a glass of wine and the terrace all to ourselves, it even had a portable gas heater that was relatively easy to operate and was welcome as the sun went down. Views were amazing looking out at La Jolla Cove (though, the little hotel is surrounded by senior/convalescent facilities that will make up the rest of the view).

We ate dinner at the onsite 9-10 restaurant with service and food meeting expectations. After dinner, we thought we'd return to the terrace for the rest of the wine. But, found the portable heater gone. When I called down to front desk, they said it was not dedicated and hard to say when and where the heaters will be at any given time. No big deal, just inconsistent communication on amenities.

Also, that night we realized that we had not had turn down service.

The next day we set out around 9:30a and got back to room around 1:30 or 2p, expecting the room to have been serviced. It was not. I called down to front desk letting them know that the room hadn't been serviced and they said they could try to get it serviced pretty quick (no apology from desk attendant), but we needed to get cleaned up and didn't have time for service, so they said they would do it at turndown. I said that would be nice (a bit sarcastically) and said that we hadn't had turndown the night before. So, we ended up using the same towels from the morning.

My wife drinks hot tea in the mornings and we had noticed that it lacked tea bags (for the melitta coffee maker), a pretty standard offering in any hotel these days. I called back down to let them know it was missing.

I then called back to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager. I was told that there was an assistant manager on duty and she (Kim Avant) promptly called me back. I explained our experience with service to that point and she apologized.

Later that evening, upon returning to room, we found a cheese/fruit tray along with a bottle of wine as well as an apologetic note. It was certainly a nice touch and the cheese was very good. However, there was only one glass on the tray (yet they new it was a couple staying there) and the bottle of wine was more of a bargain bin variety that you'd get at Trader Joe's (not that we are wine snobs, but it wasn't quite the caliber you'd expect with the quality of cheese). We further noticed that they had brought some tea for the melitta machine and there was also a bath mat in the bathroom that hadn't been there before.

My general opinion is that no one incident was terrible, but cumulatively it did not meet expecation and represents a lack of training and etiquette that you'd expect at this level of hotel and at this price (even if discounted). This usually stems from management instilling and insisting on a high level of training and customer service - the attention to detail and proper attitude were missing. It may be that the hotel is going through a management transition and this is just temporary. However, I doubt our experience was isolated or that we are any more discerning than any other guest.

As a point of reference, we've stayed at several hotels in La Jolla and our favorite has been the Pan Tai Inn of late. It is is in same price point but is much more boutique in size, but much higher on quality of service. With this experience, I have no desire to go back to the Grande Colonial and will stick with the Pan Tai for future visits.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jcm6510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for one evening , and were very happy with our choice. The staff were very friendly and professional. We stayed in a junior garden suite, and it was beautiful. Lovely linens, bathrobes and towels...and the most comfortable bed on our trip. The location can't be beat. we walked along the beach and then we walked all over this beautiful little town. Would definitely stay here again and would highly recommend it to our friends. Olearys from Calgary

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank abdott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

Location wonderful as you can walk everywhere. Breakfasts are very good, but try Cody's too, as they are superb. Suite with ocean view OK, but very small bathroom, and only one chair to lounge in. Biggest problem is air blower which makes a racket all night. Housekeeping must be reminded to clean even when notified at start of stay. Ice bucket never filled. No refrigerator. No information about TV channels, and no pay per view movies. No gym on site. No Bellhop to assist with bags. Best room is right off elevator on the fifth floor - #510, (I think).

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank freshfields
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

I've never gotten around to writing this review, although I did write a letter to the SD Union Tribune about the experience, which they never published, so I'll write this now; better late than never. The recent events with Sandy in New York brought this back to mind. In 2007 when firestorms swept across San Diego, we were forced to evacuate our home with our pets and whatever we could cram into two cars. By the time we got the notice, there were virtually no hotel rooms left in the city, and we were concerned about some price gouging that was happening. We were incredibly lucky just to have found a room. What followed next was remarkable. When we arrived at the Grande Colonial, we found the hotel filled with a rag-tag bunch of evacuees like ourselves (all the guests wisely having fled the city.) We were helped with what we were able to grab from our house to our beautiful room with an ocean view. The hotel then provided free buffet meals for all the guests throughout our three day stay. When we went to check out, relieved that our home was still standing and happy to find out that the manager's home was safe as well, we expected to pay a hefty bill. Instead we were charged for only two days of parking. The manager, whom I hope is still there, said he was happy to have provided a safe refuge for his guests in time of need. I have recommended this hotel to all of my out of town guests not just because of its beauty or location (which indeed is divine) but because of its heart. If the same manager is not still there, please follow in the path past management provided. It is a model that should be the standard in the hospitality industry. Thank you again, Grande Colonial.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank boardscore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Our company recently hosted the winners of an incentive trip at the Grande Colonial. They absolutely loved the rooms. they were in the Inn by the Sea, and the setup was perfect for a small group. They loved being able to walk to so many things.

As the organizer, I loved working with the staff at the hotel. They are all very friendley, helpful, and flexible. We had a small reception/banquet through Nine-Ten Restaurant, the service was impeccable, and the food was delicious.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Michelle731
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

This is one of my favorite hotels in the world. Here's why:

Pros:
Great location right in the center of dowtown La Jolla. There are so many beautiful beaches to walk to from the premises

Staff is very friendly and will make eye-contact and say hello to you everytime you pass them. After being there for a week they will get to know you and be casual with you as if you've made friends with them. I'd say that the staff is one of the best things about this hotel.

NineTen is a great restaurant, prob one of the best in town next to Azul, Georges, and Eddie V.

The rooms are large, and have great bathrooms that are well appointed.

The hotel is quiet and guests are very upscale.

Lobby is very nice.


Cons:
Make sure that you plan to pay up to 15% extra for hotel fees and CalTax

Parking is not available and they charge $25 for valet service per day. Receiving your car is a slow process that can take up to 15 mins.

The hotel is not on the water like other options in Orange County (Ritz Carlton, Monarch, Montage, Laguna Inn), but you are also not paying $500-$750 per night.

The shower head has to be raised above head high, no one will care that is is above the accent rail on the wall.

Room Tip: Every room is good. If you are not getting an ocean view room, try getting one that faces the pool o...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Erik J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grande Colonial La Jolla

Address: 910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-4198
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego > La Jolla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in La Jolla
#2 Luxury Hotel in La Jolla
#3 Business Hotel in La Jolla
#3 Family Hotel in La Jolla
Price Range: $221 - $314 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grande Colonial La Jolla 4*
Number of rooms: 93
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the seaside Village of La Jolla, just 15 minutes north of downtown San Diego, the Four Diamond Grande Colonial offers classic European styling in the intimate setting of a boutique hotel. For more than a century, the Grande Colonial has been one of the most esteemed hotels in San Diego. But beyond the turn of the century architecture, our true hallmark is our warm, friendly staff and gracious service. We take pride in preserving the heritage laid down by our founders more than 100 years ago by providing the finest experience in first class accommodations. And just as those founders envisioned in 1913, the Grande Colonial remains today a classic hotel that rivals anything in the West. Commanding views of the California coastline, the Grande Colonial overlooks the shores of the Pacific Ocean and is ideally located just steps away from miles of beautiful beaches renowned to Southern California. Within walking distance are world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment and within a short drive are an abundance of golf, recreation and visitor attractions.The hotel features 93 air-conditioned, non-smoking guest rooms and suites (some with fully-equipped kitchens and fireplaces). With its ideal location, gracious service and environment of extraordinary comfort, the Grande Colonial hotel provides the ideal destination for travelers to La Jolla. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Grande Colonial La Jolla Hotel La Jolla
Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

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