I chose The Varden because I am used to nice hotels, but I needed an affordable place to stay for a seven-day trip visiting a friend in Long Beach. I will return to the Varden for the modern European decor, comfortable rooms, over-the-top service, and the little extras that make a trip enjoyable. In fact, I will stay at The Varden no matter which city I visit in Southern California.
The Varden is in the downtown area of Long Beach and close to fun shops, a spa, the Aquarium, and restaurants. If you need to get to downtown L.A., a metro station is right outside the doors. You can use Gold's Gym across the street for $10 a day for your workouts. There is a grocery store right down the street.
The Varden has a lovely lobby and a nice, bright space where guests can mingle during the morning continental breakfast, the afternoon wine reception, or in any off hour. There is a flat screen television, coffee, a big fruit bowl, ice, and bottled water.
My room was very comfortable. The bed was heavenly. The hotel provides your choice of pillows and luxurious linens. When I asked for an extra blanket they provided me with a soft down duvet.
I was on the main floor, and I felt very safe because the areas outside my window were secured. I was able to open the windows without worrying about my safety or privacy. The air conditioner works perfectly by remote control as well.
I chose the smallest room. It was very small, but it was surprisingly easy to fit seven days worth of clothes, toiletries, and beach gear. I always over-pack for vacations.
There is a small spot to hang clothes. I thought I wouldn't be able to hang anything, but the tiny rack held sixteen hangers or more. I just asked for more hangers when I arrived. There is a big space for luggage and other items under the bed. Folded clothes fit in a small drawer built into the bed. I used the bedside cube for a book, glasses, jewelry, and other extras. From the pictures on the website, I couldn't see how the desk would work, but my laptop fit nicely and I was able to work there comfortably. The desk chair was very comfortable, but it was hard to move around on the carpet.
There is a big screen TV on the wall. I didn't ever watch it because I was too busy having fun.
In the bathroom, I hung toiletries in a valet on the wall. The small soap dish held two travel sized shampoos, conditioner, shaving cream, soap, and a razor. The hotel provides aromatic Gilchrist and Soames soaps, shampoo and lotion. They also provide comfortable towels and a blow dryer. An iron and ironing board are provided upon request. Again, I was surprised at having space to hang three large towels, three hand towels, and a floor mat. The bathroom was very clean, and the cleaning crew kept it spotless for all seven days.
The Little Extras
A continental breakfast is served in the mornings and a wine reception with snacks is served in the late afternoon. It was fun to meet other guests and visit with Larry and Charles, the owners. Larry and Charles treated me like an old friend and were full of ideas and information for activities and events throughout Southern California and the Long Beach area. Larry even offered to take me to a gallery stroll. The guest hosts, Jamie, Carla, and Mike, were also friendly, welcoming, and ready to assist with anything needed or wanted. They also felt like old friends.
During my stay I was very happy with the service. Every interaction with the staff, including the cleaning crews, was extra friendly, polite, and more than I would have expected. When I felt like being friendly they were there to interact with. When I wanted privacy they didn't bother me.
It didn't end there for me. At the end of my stay I had a pretty serious body boarding accident in Laguna Beach. When I got back from the emergency room, I was still very sick and needed help. Mike, the guest host during the nights, spent hours with me giving me food, making sure I was comfortable, looking up doctors, and finally calling an ambulance when I needed one. He stayed right by my side when the paramedics were there asking me all sorts of questions and getting me into the ambulance. All of this happened between midnight and 6 a.m. When I returned from my ordeal, Larry and Charles offered to get me anything I needed. I took them up on the offer and they were back in minutes with everything I asked for. Jamie and Carla checked up on me and also made sure I was comfortable.
Larry even sent me an e-mail from the staff when I returned checking to see how I was. They went so far out of their way that I felt like I was staying with family. It was amazing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Varden is downtown Long Beach's first European style boutique hotel. After an extensive renovation , The Varden's unique design evokes the casual elegance of an upscale, boutique hotel incorporating the blend of historic and contemporary details with all the modern conveniences anticipated by today's traveler, blending style and afordabilty. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Varden Hotel Long Beach
- Varden Long Beach
- Varden Hotel Long Beach