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“Noisy, Noisy, Noisy”
Review of Surf & Sand Resort

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Surf & Sand Resort
Ranked #6 of 22 Hotels in Laguna Beach
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Noisy, Noisy, Noisy”
Reviewed July 10, 2006

I based my decision on staying at The Surf and Sand Resort on what I read on Tripadvisor. For this reason I am writing my own review so you will have additional information to base your decision on. My 22 year old daughter and myself stayed at this hotel from July 3 - July 9, 2006. When we arrived, our room was not ready, so we were given free drink coupons and sent down to the restaurant to have lunch. I would rate the food and service as average and the restaurant itself as okay. We did have dinner there one other evening and decided not to eat there again. In order to get to the public pool and public restrooms, people need to pass through the restaurant. Walkways are quite tight and the tables are very close. When we did finally check in and went up to our room, there was already another party staying in it. We went back down to the front desk and given room 273 on the 7th floor, where we stayed until we checked out on July 9 (staying on because of the hotels cancellation policy and lack of other hotel availability due to the holiday week). As it was July, it was quite warm so the room was hot. As there is NO A/C, you needed to keep you sliding door open in order to get air circulation. This was fine during the day, but at night, the ocean is so loud that it was difficult to sleep. Knowing this, the hotel does provide ear plugs for you to sleep in. You should take advantage of these ear plugs, because the noise in your room from the hallway and from the room next door (adjoining door in mine) was so great, that sleeping was limited. Our first night the people in the room next too us, were screaming, crying and fighting for about 2 hours before I finally called down to the front desk. The hotel responded and sent somebody up to talk to these individuals. Within 5 minutes, the screaming, crying and fighting was louder than ever. This went on for several more hours. The next day when I said something to the front desk, they explained that they also were having a difficult time with the guests in that room, coming down to the lobby and bothering them. The hotel finally did ask them too leave, which would explain why it was quiet after 4 a.m.. If the front desk was aware that of this rude party, why did they not stop up and check back to be sure that the guests had quieted down after initial visit, due to my phone call. On our fourth night there, I finally had a full nights sleep. However that was the last evening that would happen. You see room 273 is located adjacent to a meeting room, so when it's being used for meetings/banquets/weddings the hallway is quite noisy with people constantly arriving and leaving, both day and evening until midnight. On our final evening, I was again woken by the guests in the adjoining room as that room must have been the gathering place after a earlier party. Oh, let me not forget that you should probably not settle into your room too early in the evening as turn down service comes anythime between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., disregarding the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door. In all fairness, I felt the bell staff and car valet staff were excellent and couldn't have been more helpful. I would say the concierge staff was average. I could go on, but I think you understand my experience. I wish you a wonderful time in Laguna, it is a fun place to visit and I will go back. I will however never stay at the Surf and Sand Resort again, for my $529/night, plus taxes and parking ($600+ total), there are many other options.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 9, 2006

My wife and I stayed at the Surf and Sand Resort this weekend, and I was actually eager to write a great review of this place. We had a teriffic time, and this place is first rate in so many ways. Let me first say the the staff and service was suburb! From the front desk to the housekeeping staff, everyone (without exception) was friendly, professional, and eager to help. And the staff was plentiful and always there when we needed them.

I had booked this reservation online, and unfortunately did not have the opportunity to specify the room configuration. I should have called to request a King size bed configuration, but I forgot and as the resort was competely booked, had to settle for a room with two fulls. The front desk explained the situation, and promised that they would get us moved to a different room the next day at the first opportunity. And they did just that. While we were at the beach, they moved our bags to the new room with no inconvenience. We just stopped by the front desk and picked up our new keys. They handled this situation perfectly!

Truth told, both rooms were beautiful. All the rooms face the Ocean, and all were recently remodeled. They feature flat panel TV's, bedside clock radios that integrated with our iPods, nice beds with beautiful soft sheets...and those beautiful ocean views.

We started with a couples massage at the hotel spa. Smallish but well appointed facilities, and my masseuse was very skilled. An excellent start to a short but awesome vacation. We had breakfast and an afternoon snack in the hotel restaurant, and very impressed with the quality and creativity of the fare. Even the ice tea was unique and well crafted.

We had pre-paid for our rooms at about $450/night, a high-season rate that I felt was pretty premium, but after a weekend at this beautiful facility, pampered by this exceptional staff, I have to say, it was worh every penny.

My only compaint....and it is a relatively minor one....I felt that $27/night for valet parking was excessive for hotel guests. I wouldn't expect it to be complementary, but a reduced rate for guests would have been appreciated.

All in all, thanks for a great weekend. We'll be back!

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 29, 2006

We stayed in the Surf and Sand June 18-20. We won't be going back. We were hoping for a peaceful calm hotel. Although our room was peaceful and lovely, the public spaces were loud, frantic and smelly. The lobby is tiny with all hard surfaces. Very very loud; which does not set a good mood when you're checking into a hotel. Since our room wasn't ready, they kindly comped us for drinks at the bar. Through narrow hallways, into a tiny elevator, we got to the crowded narrow bar. All the public spaces are narrow which give a feel of being crowded. There were also some funky smells in several places at the hotel and the hallways looked dirty. As long as we didn't leave our room, we were fine. And the room was lovely and the view divine, so it made it passable. Still, I expected more for $500 a night. Next time, I'll pay a couple hundred more and check into the Montage which is a spacious lovely resort just down the street.

Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2006

My boyfriend and I flew into Vegas and drove the next day to Newport Beach and the next day Laguna Beach. We stayed on the top floor of the Surf and Sand in a newly renovated room and it was absolutely breathtaking! Yes, there was a younger staff but everyone was polite, there was a 5:00 pm cocktail hour, we even found out they had taped a function for Laguna Beach, on MTV, there the first season. Everyone was exceptionally nice, we ate dinner at Las Brisas, which was great and I would recommend the Surf and Sand to anyone wanting a beautiful place to stay on vacation! I Loved It!

Helpful?
6 Thank K_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2006

My family and I have been going to the Surf and Sand for over ten years. Although the service is famously subpar (the front desk staff seems to turn over completely every year or so, the concierge [is there a concierge?] is capable of fulfilling only the most rudimentary requests, and the wait, pool and beach staffs seem recruited from local high schools), the setting is so lovely that it could be overlooked.

That is, until our last visit over Christmas. Although the hotel was in the midst of a major renovation, its owners/management had elected to keep it open...and not to inform guests at the time they made their reservations or upon checking in. We thus had construction on the floors directly above and below our rooms; patio doors had to be kept shut from 8 am (when work began, except for Xmas day [what a gift!]) until dark; and construction crews were everywhere. Did management at any time take the initiative to try to alleviate - let alone make right - any of this? Nope.

With rates now in the $500 a night range, one should expect a lot more. At every level.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank TrutherReviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, Maine
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2006

Great Hotel, Great Location, Awesome Beach, Fantastic Restaurant, Really Great Gift Shop, Impeccable Professional Staff.
Relaxing, rejuvenating,refreshing.
Excellent location to everything.
You must go to Crystal Cove State Park/Beach in Newport Beach.
Wylands gallery is just down the street from this hotel.
I can't find one reason other then it is a little pricey to not stay here. I went there once in 2002 and went back 4 years later and they remembered me with a card and a bottle of wine & truffles upon check in.
They pay every attention to detail!
Don't hesitate book now!!!
Oh yea, the bar is right on the beach and the waves crash into the bar/wall (safely) at high tide and it is awesome!!!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lyonking37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CA
Level Contributor
78 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2006

The surf and sand is all about expectation. This was our 4th stay at the place. I like it but it is not for everyone. If you think of it as a coastal motel you will not be disappointed. Its major asset is location, location, location. As others have noted the service is poor. no kidding. There is mold. Absolutely. The hallways are dark and dumpy. Yes. The restaurant has fair-poor food and even worse service (but a killer view). Yes as well. The bathrooms are a joke, the showers just trickle, and there are funny smells everywhere. You only stay here if above and beyond all that you want to stay basically in the sea foam. If your legs were a few feet longer you could dangle them off the balcony and let your feet touch the water. By all means do not stay in a poolside room (what's the point?), spend the little extra and get a room in the tower. Okay, so who would like this motel? I think weekenders, romantics, people with a do-it-yourself attitude. You think for the price there should be services but there are few. The concierge is basically nonexistent. If you want the "resort" experience I would stick with the Ritz or the Hyatt both are at about the same price point. I would also hesitate to recommend this hotel (with an M) to out of town guests/family (older folks)who do not know their way around town. It really is a do-it-yourself kind of place. No one to direct you to the nearest coffee shop in the morning. My favorite fish taco place (Wahoo) was closed for repairs. I asked several people for another taco shop recommendation and they all shrugged "i don't know". We spent about 3 hours per day at the pool (small but nice) and no one asked me if I wanted a drink. Often, there are no towels at the pool. There are NO beach services at all. Amazing, for $400+ per night you'd think they would have chairs, umbrellas, beach towels and toys available during Spring Break week but no. But we are do-it-yourselfers and I love LB so we stay here when we go. Things to know: 1. There are 2 good liquer stores nearby. The mini-bar is stocked with lousy wine. One is 1/2 block north on pch, the other is 2 blocks south on the other side of the street. 2. Only eat at Splashes if you have to. Even if someone else is paying it is not worth the time. 2 Nice restaurants across the street and south on pch 2 blocks. Mozambique and Rumari. 3. Great coffee and cin. bun place 3 blocks north on pch called I think Heidelberg bistro. Cross the highway at Cress and then go one more block north on PCH. 4. Use the safe in the room if you have anything valuable. We always carry a roll of quarters when we travel to LB because all the meters give 15 minutes for a quarter. We left the roll on a dish in the room and went out. Someone (housekeeping or other?) helped themselves to it. Not a big deal but annoying. I did not report it because it is just not the kind of place that would respond.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank trvldoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Surf & Sand Resort

Property: Surf & Sand Resort
Address: 1555 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651-3299
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Laguna Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Laguna Beach
#4 Spa Hotel in Laguna Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Laguna Beach
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Laguna Beach
#8 Family Hotel in Laguna Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Surf & Sand Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 165
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surf & Sand Resort, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and holder of AAA’s Four-Diamond Award, lies on California's Laguna Beach shoreline where the waves of the Pacific meet 500 feet of pristine sand.All 151 guest rooms and 16 suites at Surf & Sand command spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The resort also houses Splashes Restaurant, featuring a Mediterranean-inspired coastal menu by Executive Chef David Fune; the intimate Aquaterra Spa; 10,000-square-feet of meeting space and wedding venues with stunning ocean views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Surf And Sand Hotel Laguna Beach
Surf And Sand Hotel
Surf Sand Hotel
Surf And Sand Resort

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