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“Great staff, clean hotel, but too many annoyances that makes it average.”
Review of Hotel Erwin

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Hotel Erwin
Ranked #11 of 355 Hotels in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed September 28, 2009

I very recently returned from a week's stay at Hotel Erwin on Venice Beach. I'm so mixed about my stay there, as they had some great advantages, but too many annoyances to go along with it. I'll try listing the good stuff, then go into the bad.

For the entire week, the staff was fantastic. Front desk clerks were always super nice and helpful, maids in the hallways would always give a friendly "good morning" as you headed out for the day, and the front door was almost always opened for you if an attendant was standing there. I have absolutely no complaints about the staff as a whole.

The hotel was very clean as well. The carpet in the hallway on the 6th floor was a bit spotty, but nothing major in my eyes. The room was very clean when we first arrived, and it was touched up every couple days by the staff, which we were pleased with. Linens were spotless, sheets/blanket was spotless, everything was great.

The location of the hotel was nice, but ONLY if you want direct access to the beach and the Venice Boardwalk, otherwise, there is nothing else around that you can easily walk to (Santa Monica Pier is a 45 minute walk from the hotel). Directly behind the hotel are basketball courts, the bike path, the boardwalk, and the beach.

Here's where some of the annoyances come into play. We reserved a 6th floor "Ocean View King Bed", or as it states on the website, the "Premier Ocean View King". We got a room on the south-facing side of the building. The ocean view was fantastic from the 6th floor, as there were no other buildings as tall as Hotel Erwin (on that side of the building, anyway). You could see a decent stretch of ocean down the coast towards Marina Del Ray. We were happy with the view.

However, the bed we had in our room was NOT a king size bed, but queen size. I have a queen size bed at home, and have slept on king size beds in other hotels, and I'm confident that what we had was not king size. The bed itself was very comfortable though, I never had any trouble sleeping. Also, it was of my opinion that the room was rather small overall for what we paid. However, that is said by someone who stayed a week. If I were to only stay a couple of days, it would've been fine.

Also, on their website, our room was described as having a "private balcony", which is an absolute lie. Putting up 3 foot high glass panes to section off a building-long balcony does not make it private. If I wanted, I could've easily climbed over these short walls and entered someone's room if they didn't have their balcony door locked. If one were so inclined, they could make their way all the way down the building and back just on the balconies. We were saddened that we couldn't leave the door open at night for fear of someone coming into our room. A nice touch, however, were the lockable screen doors, but those wouldn't have held anyone back who wanted in. This was only on the sixth floor, however, I cannot speak for other floors.

Next, the "complimentary high-speed wireless internet" was basically non-existant. On my laptop, I could see the network, but the signal was so weak that it wouldn't connect (< 20% signal). If I stood in the door to the room, it would get a little better (< 40% signal) and let me connect (although still excruciatingly slow), but the fact that I was standing in the doorway (and for such a meager signal) made it pointless. Keep in mind that I stayed in the very middle of the sixth floor, next to the ice/soda machine, so it's not like I was staying on one extremity or the other. As soon as you walk into the room, the signal drops and your connection goes bye-bye. I contacted the front desk about it, and from what I gathered (without him saying it directly), the person I talked to knew this was already an issue, and handed me an ethernet cable and a phone number to call tech support so they could help me while I was in my room.

I initially tried the ethernet cable and plugged it into the jack next to the bed, and the ethernet port was dead. I called the number, a gentleman came about 5 minutes later, had a conversation with me in very broken english that I did not understand (he never came into the room, just stood in the door), and left (never saw or heard from him from again, but then again, I couldn't understand what he was saying to me, so I just nodded to everything until he left). The wireless was still non-usable later that night, and I stumbled upon another ethernet port behind the coffee-maker on the other side of the room, plugged in the cable, and I finally was able to get internet. Unfortunately, I then had an ethernet cable strung across the room for the entire rest of my stay there, but at least the internet was fast. My suggestion is to bring a cable with you if you stay at this hotel and want internet.

On to other things, we were pleased with the large 42" TV in the room. It was a plasma, if that matters to anyone. There were composite, s-video, and component hookups on the wall, but we didn't use them. It appears that certain channels were for those hookups. The selection of channels available was fine, around 30-35 in all, everything you'd want/need for a business/vacation trip.

Another annoyance was the overpriced parking (valet only, no self-parking). $25/night is a bit steep in my opinion. Also, the long waits for valet service were bad. One night was a particular mess, as I waited for 25 minutes in my car so I could even get into the very small driveway to the hotel. I literally was halfway into the street and barely giving enough room for people to walk on the sidewalk. Luckily there was enough room on the street for cars to easily get by, but waiting a full 25 minutes is insane (it was right at 25 minutes, I kept watching the clock as I was pulling my hair out). When I finally got my car in far enough to where I could leave it, there were a couple of people that were still waiting to get their cars, that had been standing there before I even arrived.

The in-house restaurant, "hash", was way too expensive in my opinion, so we never ate there nor did we order room service. It's almost like they know they are the only nice restaurant in that area, so they be sure to charge as such. We also didn't go to "high", the rooftop lounge, because beer was $7 and mixed drinks were $13+. Way too expensive for my tastes, especially when I think about how I can get a 12-pack of the same beer back home for $9. Prices are highly subjective, though, so maybe others won't find them as absurd as I did ($13 for a biscuit with jelly and some eggs or whatever it was is expensive to me).

Probably the most frustrating thing overall is the single elevator. It has a mind of its own, and during the evening when the rooftop lounge is open, you'll easily wait over 3 minutes for the elevator to finally make its way to your floor (3+ minutes is a LONG time when you're standing and staring at the floor indicator). And when you finally get on the elevator, it will most likely stop at every other floor where people simply got tired of waiting and took the stairs (something which we did often, even though we were on the top floor). During my stay, in the middle of the week, we noticed they taped a printed paper that strongly recommended people pay attention to the passenger/weight limits, probably due to the fact that the small lobby becomes crammed with people in the evenings during the multi-minute wait for the elevator.

I'll close my book now by listing the pros and cons:

Pros:
- Great location for beach goers if that's all you want to do.
- Very friendly staff.
- Very clean hotel throughout.
- Comfortable bed.
- Great ocean view on the south side with the premium package.
- Great entertainment options with video connections and the iPod dock/alarm clock.

Cons:
- Bad location if you want to do anything other than the beach (Santa Monica looked to be a MUCH better option for vacationers like myself).
- Wireless internet did not work, and they will do nothing to fix it.
- Bed didn't appear to be king size.
- Valet parking was expensive.
- Valet parking waits were often long.
- Single elevator will make you curse during the evenings.
- Expensive in-house eating options.
- Small room.
- No private balcony after being advertised as such.

I'm sure I missed out on other stuff, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible with my biggest gripes.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank peritusONE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin_Malmquist, General Manager at Hotel Erwin, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2009

Dear peritusONE,

Thank you for your positive comments about the great staff and cleanliness of the hotel. The newly constructed 6th floor rooms offer commanding ocean views with enhanced in-room entertainment options. Rest assured, our staff will continue to go above and beyond to make certain that you have a comfortable stay. We look forward to welcoming you back for your next visit to world famous Venice Beach.

At Joie de Vivre Hospitality, we pride ourselves in providing unique hospitality experiences and superior service. Thank you for your comments, we look forward to seeing you again.

Warm Regards,

Benjamin Malmquist
General Manager
Hotel Erwin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2009

My husband and 3 year old stayed at Hotel Erwin over Labor Day weekend. We had a king suite (just as pictured on their website) for about $180 a night. The room was very large and the location could not have been better. A very short walk to the beach and there's a great kids playground right on the beach just in front of the hotel. My son loved it. The beach itself is simply beautiful. Venice isn't for everyone I imagine but we like it's funky groovy vibe. We didn't get to make it up to the rooftop lounge but it looked like a cool place to hang out if you don't have a 3 year old in tow :) We ate at the restaurant for breakfast and dinner and the food was good and not super expensive for LA. My only complaint is that housekeeping was a little slow the first day. We were out of the room by 11 am and then came back to get ready for the evening around 4:30 pm and the room had not been cleaned. It did not get cleaned that day, but it was only our first night so it wasn't a really big deal. Also, the faucet in our kitchen was not working and we told the front desk but it did not get fixed before we left 3 days later. Not really a big deal. Anyway, if you're planning a trip out that way, I recommend it 100%.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
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Thank T-dre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin_Malmquist, General Manager at Hotel Erwin, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2009

Dear T-dre,

We agree that the Hotel Erwin is a great place for families looking for a unique, affordable experience. We are only 200 feet from the beach and all of the exciting, low-cost activities that come with the surf and sand. Our newly renovated suites offer two separate rooms and are perfect for families. There is pleanty of room to spread out and pamper yourself, while still traveling on a budget.

At Joie de Vivre Hospitality, we pride ourselves in providing unique hospitality experiences and superior service. Thank you for your comments, we look forward to seeing you again.

Warm Regards,

Benjamin Malmquist
General Manager
Hotel Erwin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2009

We booked our stay at "The Erwin" while staying in Las Vegas on summer vacation. Drove down on a Saturday morning and back on a Sunday night. Should mention we live in New York City. Never having been in L.A. before we had no expectations. The reservations agent was most helpful when I requested a suite with a view. He did mention it was ocean view, not ocean front. We were on the third floor, on the alley side, last room at the back. We did look onto the alleyway but could see some of he beach. While the view did not lend itself to sitting out on the balcony, it did have a certain Bohemian flavor. The room itself had a retro 70's feel with a comfortable living room and kitchen area, a separate bedroom with a nice king size bed, and a sink area outside the shower/toilet area. The colors were lively and the room had a certain charm to it. The hotel is two minutes from the Venice beachfront, which is a truly unique experience. Recalling we are from NYC, it all reminded us of Greenwich Village. While the quality of service and accomodations were above average, the whole Hotel Erwin/Venice Beach experience is a little quirky and should be approached with an open mind. We really enjoyed ourselves and wished we had a few more days. The valet was $27, but they were quick and helpful and it was very convenient. We highly recommend HASH for breakfast. The food was excellent ( oatmeal, great wheat toast, freshberries and a tasty corned beef hash) and the service friendly and helpful. We look forward to returning next summer and enjoying an ocean front room this time. Make sure you see the Snake Lady!!!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Quixotic59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin_Malmquist, General Manager at Hotel Erwin, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2009

Dear Quixotic59,

Thank you for your kind words about your recent visit with us. We are very happy to hear that you were pleased with the valet service and had a good experience dining at Hash. We are proud of our recent renovation and thank you for recognizing the "charm" of our suites as well.

At Joie de Vivre Hospitality, we pride ourselves in providing unique hospitality experiences and superior service. Thank you for your comments, we look forward to seeing you again.

Warm Regards,

Benjamin Malmquist
General Manager
Hotel Erwin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2009

Living in downtown Los Angeles, i was feeling the need to escape the heat and be near the ocean to celebrate my birthday with a few of my close girlfriends for the weekend. I couldn't have chosen a better place to do just this other than Hotel Erwin. Being familiar with the Joie De Vivre group, I knew that I would be pleased with my experience. We had a great room on the 6th floor (the very top) that opened up to a cozy balcony with a fantastic ocean view. Working in Hollywood 10 hours a day, everyday, I was well over due to for a relaxing ocean breeze, that was mine to be had only a short 20 miles away.
My girlfriends joined me at the hotel to have a glass of wine at HIGH and then we ventured off to Wasabi, probably one of the best sushi joints in the area (on Abbot Kinney). I didn't want to leave so I stayed a 2nd night and then enjoyed breakfast at HASH on my way back to downtown. I look forward to my next stay at Erwin & would highly recommend the 6th floor rooms with the balcony!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank hardcoverhighgloss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin_Malmquist, General Manager at Hotel Erwin, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2009

Dear hardcoverhighgloss,

Thank you for your positive comments about our renovation (which is complete). We agree that the Hotel Erwin is a great place for a "staycation" for folks looking to relax in their own back yard. With the additions of Hash (new restaurant), and High (rooftop lounge), we are a favorite among locals!

At Joie de Vivre Hospitality, we pride ourselves in providing unique hospitality experiences and superior service. Thank you for your comments, we look forward to seeing you again.

Warm Regards,

Benjamin Malmquist
General Manager
Hotel Erwin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2009

So I had a birthday party planned for my girlfriend and we choose the Erwin to have it because they just just opened their new rooftop lounge. We got a great rate on a room with a king bed. High , their rooftop bar, only has fire occupancy of 88 people so we had to get there early to get our place but the service was AWESOME. The sunset was brilliant and really made it an special event. Afterward we went back to our room and it was silent. Even thou we were in Venice Beach the room was silent (thanks to thick sliding glass doors)! They have a great breakfast place there called Hash that I recommend going to after a night at High. I had scrambled eggs with toast, she had the Angus Corned Beef hash. We strolled along the boardwalk the next day and it really was a special stay for us. I recommend this hotel for folks that like the Venice atmosphere.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Trvlbuggin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2009

The staff is great. Friendly from the front desk to the maintenance people. If you had a question they would answer it with more than just a passing interest. We booked the hotel and they talked us in to upgrading to a balcony room overlooking the ocean which was great. We loved sitting out on the balcony and drinking a beer and toasting the sunset. The down side is there is a rooftop bar which was right over our head and the music pounded until 1 or 2 in the morning. We were on the room closest to the Ocean on the 6th floor (top) and we talked with people more towards the back (same view pretty much) and they said that they could not hear the music. I will say that we did not ask to be moved after the first day (we just stayed two days). The music did not bother us too bad, we are both pretty heavy sleepers, but I can see how it could really bother some people. We ate breakfast at the hotel and it was great. We are probably more Santa Monica people than Venice, but the staff made the stay worth while and if Venice beach is what you want, this is the place for you. Our room was very nice remodeled, not too big, but nice. Good beds, a small refrigerator and a safe in your room. The balcony with chairs was the best part of all.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank rogerdavie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin_Malmquist, General Manager at Hotel Erwin, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2009

Dear rogerdavie,

As you know, our milti-million dollar renovation is now complete! Thank you for sharing your kind words with other travelers looking for the Hottest New Hotel in Los Angeles. I was very happy to hear how much you enjoyed the newly built Ocean View Premier rooms. I will share you kind words with the rest of the team.

At Joie de Vivre Hospitality, we pride ourselves in providing unique hospitality experiences and superior service. Thank you for your comments, we look forward to seeing you again.

Warm Regards,

Benjamin Malmquist
General Manager
Hotel Erwin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2009

This hotel is very close to the beach which is its only good point as far as I'm concerned.
Room rate 202 UD per night RO but upon check out noticed that the tax was charged at 14%. Views from balcony left a lot to be desired as did the unwashed glasses left in our room. Despite the web site stating that all rooms have flat screen TVs and ipod docks our room had neither.

Menus postioned in tiny lobby did not display prices.

No guest information in rooms and no information forthcoming from the guy at checkout who's only mission was to ask us to upgrade to a more expensive room.

Only one elevator which was very busy and meant that we had to carry three heavy suitcases down the stairs for our waiting taxi.

Despite filling in an online feedback form and e mailing the GM I have received no response.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Thank EssexUKChristine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benjamin_Malmquist, General Manager at Hotel Erwin, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2009

Dear EssexUKChristine,

I would like to extend my heartfelt apologies for the inconveniences that you experienced during you last visit with us. I am disappointed that we did not exceed your expectations. Please accept my apologies for the tax rate and I have also shared your concern with our housekeeping team about the glasses. We are pleased that you enjoyed our location and proximity to the beach.

At Joie de Vivre Hospitality, we pride ourselves in providing unique hospitality experiences and superior service. Again, I am sorry that we were not able to meet your expectations.

I would like to invite you back to be my guest at the Hotel Erwin so that you can experience our new facilities and service. Please contact me at your earliest convenience, should you choose to accept the offer of a complimentary evening at the hotel. We look forward to welcoming you back.

Warm Regards,

Benjamin Malmquist
General Manager
Hotel Erwin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Erwin

Address: 1697 Pacific Avenue, Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA 90291-3613
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Los Angeles > Venice , Westside
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Los Angeles
#6 Luxury Hotel in Los Angeles
#10 Business Hotel in Los Angeles
#12 Green Hotel in Los Angeles
#26 Romantic Hotel in Los Angeles
Price Range: $287 - $493 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Erwin 4*
Number of rooms: 119
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you are looking for an energized, personable, legendary guest experience and luxurious escape in an unbeatable location Hotel Erwin is your home away from home. Located in Venice Beach, California, Hotel Erwin overlooks the Pacific Ocean and endless expanses of sand and entertainment. While relaxing with us be sure to check out our breathtaking rooftop bar High and to take in a sunset that will last a lifetime. Our restaurant, Barlo, serves up breakfast and dinner and provides a stimulating alternative to the normal bland hotel dining experience. Close to Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Culver City, Beverly Hills and Marina del Rey, this Venice Beach luxurious hotel is your doorway to explore the beauty of Southern California. Nearby freeways and Los Angeles International airport give you easy access to come and go. A mere 200 feet from the sand and overlooking the famous boardwalk, Hotel Erwin is a pure Venice Beach experience with a level of customer service excellence that simply can't be beat! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Erwin Hotel Los Angeles
Best Western Los Angeles
Los Angeles Best Western

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