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“Good find, good value in LA Jolla”

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Empress Hotel - A Greystone Hotel
Ranked #3 of 24 Hotels in La Jolla
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed November 25, 2009

After researching several hotels in the La Jolla area and making a few phone calls, I decided to stay at the Empress Hotel with my wife and 2 1/2 year old daughter. I spoke to a very sweet gal on the phone who could not have been nicer or more accommodating, answering all of my questions with the utmost enthusiasm. When I told her I was coming down from L.A. to see my Eagles play the Chargers, she responded by asking if that was some sort of sporting event. Suffice it to say by the end of our conversation, I converted another football fan. :)

This is a cute boutique hotel located only a short walk from downtown shopping, galleries, & restaurants. Although I had to track down the valet upon arrival, once found he was very helpful in helping with our luggage and showing us to our room. I was surprised to learn at check in that we had been upgraded to a suite...and the only piano suite to boot. I hadn't played in years but this was a nice bonus and my daughter got a kick out playing for the first time. The 2 room suite located on the 2nd floor was quite spacious with a nice flat screen tv in the living room and bedroom. The suite also had a wet bar, fridge, jacuzzi tub (we didn't use) and plenty of closet space. The king size bed was comfortable with soft sheets and blanket/comforter.

The only downsides to the room is the small shower could use an upgrade. A new shower head & tiles would do the trick. I also don't understand why hotels in general can't figure out how to prevent their guest room doors from slamming shut as most visitors are not considerate enough to quietly close their doors. It makes it quite difficult for a light sleeper like myself to have any chance of sleeping in. I understand the theory of not wanting people to accidentally leave their doors open and welcome uninvited intruders, but if they can manage to close their own doors at home, then I don't see the problem of doing it when traveling. I'll get off my high horse now. :)

The restaurant at the hotel (Manhattan's) was a nice back east style Italian eatery. The food was quite good (my wife went as far as saying the best fettucine Alfredo she's ever had.) While the beverage server was very attentive and our elderly waiter was nice enough, we couldn't seem to find him most of the night. I had just hoped it wasn't anything he ate. :) It took us almost an hour to track him down just to pay our bill. Not sure where he was hiding but I wasn't going to let that spoil an otherwise lovely evening.

All in all, I would say good location, nice hotel, very good customer service, & a good value. Would we stay there again...sure!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Hugh7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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734 - 740 of 884 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2009

We discovered The Empress by accident last year when another hotel booking fell thru due to remodeling delays. The Empress accepted our previous reservation and rate, and things only got better from there.

The hotel is smallish, and reminds me of a boutique hotel in Europe. Staff are friendly, not fussy, casual yet professional. They are there when you need them, and they warmly greet you as you pass thru the lobby.

The location is excellent, within walking distance to a number of fine restaurants, cafes, shops, a grocery store, and the beach. It could not be more perfect, even if it is not ocean front.

The rooms are well sized, and the bathrooms very adequate. The linens and bedding are lovely, simple and newish.

A simple continental breakfast is included in the room rate, and the sunny outdoor aptio is the perfect place to enjoy a little coffee, pastry, cereal or hard boiled egg with fresh juice. What more does one need?

The Manhattan Restaurant provides the fare for room service. Try it, one way or the other for excellent old school Italian food. It's quite popular on weekends.

The Empress is our hotel of choice in La Jolla. We WILL be back, hopefully very soon!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SuburbanWife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2009

We stayed at the Empress for a weekend; we liked it a lot. The hotel is located on a side street about a block and a half from the main downtown area and two blocks from the cove, which made walking everywhere easy.

We splurged and stayed in a suite. The suite we stayed in is two rooms--a living room and a large bedroom with a king size bed. The living room has a couch, two side chairs, and a small sitting area with a wet bar and a small refrigerator and a table and four chairs. The only thing I thought odd is that the jacuzzi tub is in the corner of the bedroom, which made taking a bath a bit chilly since the bedroom is large. Toilet and shower are enclosed. Nice bed linens and towels--and plenty of towels, which I like.

They serve a continental breakfast, included in the room rate. The breakfast is nothing to write home about. Some other guests thought it was fine; I find the European continental breakfasts more satisfying.

We ate in the hotel restaurant, Manhattan, which is quite good. They serve Italian food and the veal dish I had was yummy. It's more of an old-fashioned restaurant, with booths and waiters in tuxes...no trendy high ceilings or waiters that wink at you. It was refreshing to be able to have a dinner time conversation without yelling. It is pricey, though. But then, what isn't pricey in La Jolla?

The staff is friendly and helpful. We'd return.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Revere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2009

Just completed a week visit to La Jolla and San Diego and was quite pleased with my stay at the Empress Hotel. While not the newest of facilities, this property is well maintained and left me wanting for nothing. Congrats to the hotel staff for jobs well done. The front desk staff was more than pleasant an accommodating to all of my needs. The room was always kept clean. You also cannot beat the location. One block from Prospect with all the great dining choices and two blocks from the ocean. While some complain about the $13.00 valet parking, this is much cheaper than surrounding hotels.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank JLMISC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2009

Stayed at the Empress for three days before heading to Hawaii and found it great. The hotel is part of the Pacifica chain and you might check that site for best info. We chose based on trip advisor reviews and they were right on. Rooms are huge and those facing back have a sliding window for fresh air. High housekeeping standards, comfortable bed, and great shower. Front desk and bell captain professional and helpful. Free continental breakfast served on a outdoor patio, second floor. Manhattan restaurnat for lunch and diner is excellent. Location is right on as Fay ave is two blocks from the Pacific ocean and the La Jolla shore. Take a morning stroll along the sea walk in La Jolla or visit Prospect street filled with great shops and restaurants. Free internet in room. Parking is tough due to 1 hour restrictions, $13 valet fee

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank jhasko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2009

This hotel is an excellent value and provides top flight amenities. It is conveniently located in La Jolla, a short walk from the fine restaurants and shops in the city. A brief (twenty five minute) drive from the San Diego airport and you are there! Friendly staff, courteous and complementary valet parking, free wifi and a well equipped business room, make for a very enjoyable visit.

JLF
Mountain Brook, AL, USA

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank jlf2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2009

Warmly greeted when I arrived and was shown to a lovely room with a view of the village street below. The room was well appointed , clean and welcoming as was the bath. The location couldn't have been more convenient to shopping and dining and only minutes from the beach and other attractions. I will definately stay here again when I get back to the area and what a beautiful part of our country it is!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled solo
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Thank Bamabelle4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Empress Hotel - A Greystone Hotel

Address: 7766 Fay Ave, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037 (Formerly Empress Hotel of La Jolla)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego > La Jolla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in La Jolla
#3 Green Hotel in La Jolla
#4 Romantic Hotel in La Jolla
#5 Family Hotel in La Jolla
Price Range: $220 - $344 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Empress Hotel - A Greystone Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 73
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience California comfort at our charming boutique hotel in the scenic village of La Jolla, California. Situated just steps from the San Diego Area's famous sandy beaches and downtown La Jolla, while also being only minutes from popular attractions like SeaWorld and Torrey Pines golf course, our hotel is the perfect location to embark on an unforgettable vacation or business trip. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Empress Hotel La Jolla
Empress La Jolla

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