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“Shade is high on style but short on substance”
Review of Shade Hotel

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Shade Hotel
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Manhattan Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 24, 2013

There aren't a lot of great hotels in Manhattan Beach, and this may be the best. That doesn't make it a good hotel. We checked into a deluxe room around 2:45 PMon a Wednesday afternoon to this small, boutique hotel. My husband was on business and I was tagging along on vacation.

To start off the desk person did not warmly welcome us. She was brusque, had to check to see if our room was ready, and shoved a piece of paper at my husband to sign. The valets were lovely though.

We were given room 205 facing the MB police Station. The first thing you see in the room, and from what I saw in all the rooms, is the tub. The tub/sink area has moveable sliders that mimic the look of shoji screens but weigh a lot more. They are clever and stylish and can be moved around in to have the room completely closed off or completely open. They are left open after housekeeping.

The bathroom has something called color therapy, which means there is a string of lights around the tub that change color to energize you, cheer you up, calm you down or get you in the mood for romance. The toilet and unusual walk in shower are in a closed room with a sliding pocket door. I liked the design of the shower but thought the curtains a little hokey and hard to keep sanitary. The floor of the shower had two mats in it to prevent slipping, which definitely made me think about how clean the floor would be.

The shower head water pressure was very weak. In this room it took quite a while for the water to warm up. The bathroom vanity is well designed. But more light would still be helpful. The tub fixtures were peeling and a turn off.

The room was well sized with dark wood modular furniture: lighted closet, a bar (minibar with no price list, and when I called the desk I was told it wasn't missing there just wasn't a price list for the mini bar - it was on their computer) and a dresser/TV cabinet. There was good space for clothing. In the corner was a cyclone gas fireplace. There was a window with a balcony overlooking the street and police station. It was pretty quiet. The window was covered by sheers and almost impossible to open and close large-grommet curtains. They were so hard to use they were frayed by other people pulling on them.

On the end of the be there is a long console table I thought was the foot board. It was heavy and somewhat difficult to move. I realized this was meant to be the desk and it had a bench under it. There is an electrical outlet in the foot of the bed.

I found the room quite dark. I also thought the room smelled off, bathroomy with a cleaning solution coverup. The bathroom fan was loud. A gentleman came up and said he did not notice a smell but that the room fan was a legitimate complaint and someone came to fix the fan.

The complimentary breakfast is nice: great coffee, juices, breads, cereals and deviled eggs, lox, tomatoes and fruit. They provided Gluten Free bread on request. The bar serves nice cocktails and wine. I didn't have a chance to enjoy the menu.

The location is great and very central to anything interesting in Manhattan beach. The restaurant and bar are always packed and busy with stylish people. If there is a party in the central courtyard onto which all the room doors open the noise easily permeates the rooms.

I found the room - other than the bed and bathroom dark. The light switches were almost impossible to see: a panel on each side of the bed and by the door (see picture), the size of a light switch with 10 buttons on it. The type size was maybe 10 points. I could not read the labels unless I either leaned off the bed level with the labels or crouched down to light switch level at the door. There was, on the right side of the bed a large knob that controlled the color of the mood lighting in the bathroom.

There is a small pool (SMALL but lovely) and bar on the roof deck. You can call down for drinks but there is no menu.

This is a small property with a garage under it and an assortment of fun stores and popular restaurants on the same plaza. However, I was told storage problems are the reason there are always large racks of banquet tables and chairs in both directions of the hall from our room (see picture). I asked why and was told this was because there was no storage. I suggested they could build cabinets or put up a door so the unsightly view was covered. There are multiple meeting rooms not always in use where these tables and chairs could be stored or a storage area could be devised in the garage. When I complained I was nicely told they "understood why I felt that way." I felt as if I had been relegated to the attic.

Housekeeping was uneven with sand from the beach not removed from the table over the bed.

Room Tip: Do not get the room over the busy bar, and 205 and the rooms to its left have to contend with the in...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank steph1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaunna M, General Manager at Shade Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Dear Steph1,

We are sorry to hear that you found issues with our hotel. Thank you for providing us feedback as we are always looking to improve out hotel. Our front desk is usually applauded for their friendly manner, so we are very sorry to hear you were not able to experience that upon your arrival. We were also sorry to hear about the smell you experienced. Upon hearing about it we immediately investigated and remedied the situation. We host many events here at Shade throughout the week and are so sorry that you had to look at the tables and chairs at the end of your hall. We do all we can to keep Shade as orderly and clean as possible and thank you for notifying us.

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227 - 233 of 511 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2013

We stayed at Shade Hotel in August, for three nights. It is one of the coolest, most laid back hotels we've ever been to. It was fantastic. The staff were helpful, attentive and courteous. The room was funky with the option of open plan bathing and multicoloured LED lights in and around the bath. Chromatherapy, I'm told!
The self service breakfast was excellent quality and choice, you can have as much or as little as you please.
Whilst we were there, the temperature varied from hot to cool, which wasn't a problem as Shade put on the heaters on the patio when it cooled down and the lovely breeze helped out when it was hot.
They had a complimentary wine tasting on our second night, up at the Sky Bar. This was great, we met some interesting people and tried some excellent local wine.
The Sky Bar itself is fantastic, with deep cushioned loungers and a large (12 or so people) jacuzzi.
If you are lucky enough to spend a few days in Manhattan Beach, think about Shade Hotel, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Room Tip: It's a modern hotel, all of the rooms are built to a high standard
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank millmattuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaunna M, General Manager at Shade Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Thank you for your review!

We are beyond happy to hear that your experience with Shade was everything we strive for it to be! We know that your stay begins the moment you walk in our doors and we make it our mission to make you feel as welcomed and as happy as possible. There is always something fun going on at our hotel or in Manhattan Beach and we are pleased that you enjoyed our complimentary wine tasting night at our beautiful Skydeck.

We hope you will visit us again in the future so we can make your next stay as wonderful as your first!

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Reviewed September 4, 2013

We recently attended a wedding in downtown LA and booked this hotel so we could stay at the beach over the holiday weekend. The hotel is a small property located a few blocks from the beach. The rooms are cozy and we had a large Jacuzzi bathtub in our room. We had a large balcony we could sit on with a smallish view of the ocean. Overall fairly quite hotel as we strategically placed our room away from the main lobby where you may hear the bar patrons if too close. The lobby/bar/restaurant are chic with a very nice feel...a great place to get a drink before heading out on the town. The location is conveniently located to all the shopping, beaches and outdoor activities you could imagine. We were able to leave our room and run or roller skate miles along the sandy beaches. If flying into LAX and staying in Manhatten, you would not need a car. However, the car was handy to get to the gym which was about a 5 minute drive from the hotel but a beautiful facility. I highly recommend using the gym (Equinox) when you stay there if you can make it. My wife did Yoga at one of the local Yoga places and liked it a lot (The Green Yogi, or something like that on Highland). The beds were more than comfortable with plenty of pillows. When going to the beach, they offer beach chair back packs and an umbrella for no extra charge which was a bonus. The staff was awesome the whole time we were there...very helpful. Breakfast was included with the room and was set up on the bar but ended kind of early (10am) on Sat and Sunday. Trying to get workout and run in before breakfast required too early of a start. Nonetheless, the meal was good and included coffee, oatmeal, bagels, smoked salmon, etc. Eggs/omelets I think were extra charge. I highly recommend this hotel as it lies right in the heart of MB, walking distance to everything!!!!

Room Tip: Think about choosing a room away from the main lobby to avoid late night bar noise
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank feetmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaunna M, General Manager at Shade Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Dear feetmd,

It is wonderful to hear how happy you are about your stay with us!

We are thrilled to know our guests see all that Manhattan Beach and the surrounding areas have to offer! Equinox is one of the most popular gyms around and we are pleased to allow our guests free access to it. As you touched on, we are walking distance to just about everything you could need and want for a trip of business or pleasure!

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Reviewed August 20, 2013

As I've said in other reviews, I'm not a fan of big chain hotels. They bore me, and there's more to life than collecting big chain points. For this reason, when I had a recent business trip that required me to be in Manhattan Beach I decided to try Shade. As always, lets start with the positives: Friendly helpful staff; loved them, and if I return, it will be because of the staff. Location a few blocks from The Strand. Comfortable bed and pillows. Now the negatives: Dark rooms. Small rooms. Huge whirpool soaking tub in the middle of the room. Actually, the tub was both a plus and a minus. On the plus side, I took a nice hot bath and had room to stretch out. On the minus, it takes up almost 1/3 of the room space, and is a VERY SLOW drain. The worst part about this hotel (for me anyway) is the furniture (or lack thereof). There is no place to sit and work. No desk, no real chairs except one odd chair that I found useless. I would have liked to sit in my room for awhile this afternoon and get some work done. Not possible. As a business person, I found that totally unacceptable. After dinner with my daughter and her fiance, I invited them up for a visit. I had to stand because there was no place for me to sit. Really?!? I like quirky and I really wanted to like Shade and rave about it like others have. I just couldn't. In sum, great staff, quirky, dark, small, unworkable rooms.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
4  Thank Howard L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaunna M, General Manager at Shade Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Hello and thank you for your review. We are pleased to hear that you had such a pleasant experience with our staff. We are sorry to hear that you were unhappy with the size and lighting of our rooms. We are in the process of installing new lighting systems in all of the rooms. We have work surface benches on wheels at the foot of all of our beds. These can be used as desks or tables to eat and can even be pulled over the bed so you can enjoy your room all while sitting in your Tempur-Pedic California King bed! Our rooms all have oversized Sanijet Hydrotherapy tubs with color therapy and because of their size they do take some time to drain. We will fulfill any requests by our guests to bring more furniture to the rooms. We appreciate your feedback and do everything in our power to make our guests as happy as possible. When you visit us again please do not hesitate to ask—your wish is our command!

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Reviewed August 16, 2013

Great location a few blocks from the beach, great breakfast spread (and right next to le pain quotidian if you feel like French pastries), but oddly appointed rooms. Hot tub in the middle of the room, mood lighting, etc ... Not exactly what I expected from a so-called modern "boutique" hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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Thank qb20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaunna M, General Manager at Shade Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

We are sorry to hear our room setup was not what you had anticipated. We are a boutique hotel that opened in 2005 and we strive to keep rooms as up to date as possible with first class amenities such as Tempur-Pedic California King size beds, Lavazza Espresso Machines, Cyclone Fireplaces, and 32” TVs. Our oversized Sanijet Hydrotherapy tubs with color therapy are located in the bathrooms and are able to be closed in by glass doors. Our Chromatherapy lighting is a touch that adds to our modern hotel décor, as it is thought to enhance one’s mood. Shade is a modern hotel with amenities intended to make each guests stay as comfortable and welcoming as possible.

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Reviewed August 6, 2013

Really well equipped room, stylish surroundings and the Zinc Bar was very lively on the Friday night I stayed. Great location and a good base for a stay.

With the exception of the bar staff and the valet parking guy the other staff were average.

Asked about late check out when I checked in but was told decision was not theirs but housekeeping, ask again in morning, when paying $400+ per night I expect more. Normal check out is 11:00, at 10:30 with the DND sign on the door housekeeping ask when I'm leaving? A shame of an end to an otherwise pleasant stay.

This hotel has a lot going for it but structure, furnishings and location can all be undermined by a few front line staff who don't have the same high standards.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
Thank Keith_P57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaunna M, General Manager at Shade Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Thank you for your review of our hotel. We are sorry you were not happy with our entire staff. We pride ourselves on our relationships with our guests and apologize that you were not fully satisfied.

We do our best to accommodate late check out requests, however because we were at full occupancy during your stay we were unable to fulfill your request. As a 38-room property, we must be sure to have all rooms ready for check-in at 3 pm. We are happy to give guests late check-out when availability allows us to.

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Reviewed August 6, 2013

My husband and I stay at this hotel every 3-4 months for 3 or 4 days while we're visiting our son in the area.The service is amazing here, from the extremely friendly valet staff to the awesome front desk personnel to the bartenders and waiters and waitresses at the restaurant, you are treated very special and they are always accommodating. The front desk staff always goes above and beyond expectations.The location is perfect ,right outside your door are the wonderful Manhattan Beach shops and restaurants and the beach is at the bottom of the hill within walking distance.
The rooms are aways very clean and cool looking with colorful lighting and top notch bedding .
It's also within 15 minutes or so from LAX. This is definitely the place to stay if you're in the LA area!

Room Tip: Best rooms are on north and west side of hotel on 2nd floor.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Wendy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaunna M, General Manager at Shade Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Dear Wendy C.,

Shade thanks you so much for coming back again and again. Our high number of return guests is truly what makes Shade a special place to be.

All of our rooms have California King Tempur-Pedic beds, as well as mood enhancing Chromatherapy lighting. The modern style of our hotel along with comfortable amenities is just one of the reasons our guests come back time after time!

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Additional Information about Shade Hotel

Address: 1221 N Valley Dr, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266-4778
Location: United States > California > Manhattan Beach
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Manhattan Beach
#1 Family Hotel in Manhattan Beach
#1 Romantic Hotel in Manhattan Beach
Price Range: $314 - $705 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Shade Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Shade, Manhattan Beach's premiere luxury boutique hotel, located 5.6 miles south of LAX and two blocks from the beach. Shade is a cool retreat after a long day at the office or a hot day at the beach, its exquisite environment is designed to maximize comfort and inspire relaxation while capturing the essence of coastal living. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach
Shade Manhattan Beach

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