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“Great convenient value in Pasadena”
Review of Saga Motor Hotel

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Saga Motor Hotel
Ranked #8 of 31 Hotels in Pasadena
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 21, 2012

I needed to travel to LA at the last minute for a funeral at Mt Sinai in Hollywood Hills. Being on a budget, this was the best value I found in the general area and with a very healthy rating among other hotels in Pasadena.

I was very pleasantly surprised when I pulled in. I did enjoy the retro feel and also the non-generic motel feel, too. The front desk (Lori and Roger) were very friendly when checking in, helpful when I asked traffic info on traveling to the service, and the next morning more than happy to make me a fresh cup of coffee at 12 p.m. after I woke up.

I was in Room 316 on the third floor. I requested a room away from the street and on the top floor, and was granted both. Just a double bed in the room, but it was just me and they were extra long, so even at 6-4, I fit. Bed was firm, yet comfortable.

It was a smaller room than I would usually expect in a cookie-cutter motel, but it was comfortable. Good water pressure in the shower, clean bed linens, flat screen TV, and a large fridge. I missed having a personal coffee maker in the room. I would highly recommend the owners add this inexpensive feature that most any traveler expects.

Excellent location! Very easy to find off the freeway. 20 minutes to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills and Mt. Sinai, Pasadena City College across the street, any number of fast food and other restaurants within easy walking distance, and Starbucks and Wells Fargo next door. Plenty of free parking, too.

To back up other reviewers, yes the elevator is old, but I took the stairs every time after I brought up the suitcase. I would highly recommend staying on the third floor, because the floors are creaky in select spots. Stingy on pillows (only two). I went downstairs for two more.

My biggest complaint? For some unknown reason, the maintenance staff thought it would be perfectly fine to begin pounding on the hallway floor outside my room at 8:30 a.m. after a very long and emotional day the day before. This work could have easily been done later in the day, and I was a little irritated when I saw aforementioned maintenance people standing by their truck when I checked out at noon. Their day was over, and mine started horribly.

But that was a one-time thing. I would highly recommend the Saga for those on a budget, needing a clean place to crash, convenient to freeway and eateries, and wanting to experience the feel of Pasadena when Colorado Blvd was Route 66.

Room Tip: Request third floor room to avoid hearing floor squeaks. If you face the back, it is the quietest (o...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Harry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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161 - 167 of 295 reviews

Reviewed December 10, 2012

This motel is not retro, it's old and tired. The hallways are dark with stained carpet and peeling wallpaper. I saw stuff lying around - a towel tossed behind the 3rd floor hallway trash can and trash under the stairway for two days. The elevator clunks and needs a facelift desparately. The internet is ok when it works, but then it goes completely down for awhile.

Light bulbs in the rooms are too dim to read. The shower head had half of the spray holes plugged, so no quick 5 minute showers - takes that long just to get your hair wet enough to shampoo. And, that deluxe breakfast, served in the small lobby; tiny grocery store bagels served in the plastic bag they came in, dry cereal, tiny unappealing danish, orange juice, tea & coffee - not deluxe anywhere, especially not Pasadena.

Close to Pasadena City College & Cal Tech. Starbucks & a few fast food places practically next door. Room windows open, refrigerator, iron, hair dryer & ok television (HBO doesn't work tho), and quiet.

Knowing what I know now, I would pass on this motel.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank khmetalworkdotcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here during CalTech commencement and had a great time. Nice pool, terrace with tables to eat outside, quiet clean rooms, trees and plants surround.
Rooms face the pool and still feel private

  • Stayed: June 2012
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1  Thank montrealdoula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

Just after this recent Thanksgiving, I flew to the LA area to buy a car and I stayed at the Saga Motor Hotel. It's been described as something like a delightful '50's retro motel. It's more than that. The grounds are beautiful. The cars are not parked in front of the doors. Everything in the rooms is in the right place - even the towel rack in the bathroom can be reached from inside the shower, a small design feature that's great but overlooked in most motels. The staff is friendly and helpful. There's no TV blaring in the lobby during the nice continental breakfast. A reading room is chock full of books that one can borrow and leave in the room. The location is pleasant, in very walkable Pasadena; there's a good Thai cafe within about 100 meters. Even while being located on busy (and convenient) Colorado Blvd., it's remarkably quiet. Finally, the price is right. This is the most pleasant motel I've been in in many years.

Room Tip: I stayed on the ground floor, close to the lobby. This was excellent.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank vince35nations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

Great mid-century place, but updated. Bed was good, love that the windows opened, great pool area. Big fridge & enough space for two for 3 nights. A/C was a bit noisy, but we just used it to cool off the room after being gone all day. Unseasonable warm Thanksgiving. Starbucks 1/2 short block away. Free breakfast was as much as you could expect for free. Elevator was creaky & slow, but better than lugging suitcases up & down stairs.We want to try a poolside room next time. Single level & doors on both sides for cross ventilation. Definitely will stay here again. We paid a bit more by booking w/ the front desk, but I am always wary of Internet rates & non-refundable bookings...

Room Tip: Top floor was a good choice. Love that the windows open.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank CaliforniaLynnie56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012

Hmmm...my husband and I did not get the 5-point stay at the Saga. We also did not get one smile here, and barely got a friendly greeting during our stay.
We arrived around 3 PM on a Sunday to be greeted with a slightly snarky attitude. I asked if it was possible to get a room on the upper floor in a quiet location. I was promptly told there was no way that was possible because of other guests staying during the time we were staying. (By the looks of the parking lot in the mornings, the place was not sold out.) I was then told we would be in a room on the second floor, facing the large busy street out front. I was also told that it would be quiet for us – as though it would be quiet just because the lady at the desk said so.
After having some paper work plopped in front of me, I was abruptly told “sign here” and “sign here” with a pointed finger. Then we were told how to get to our room. The attitude we got discouraged us from asking if we could move to a room facing the back when one became vacant.
I know what's quiet for me and what it not quiet for me...as does my husband. We both say: Not quiet. The street noise is quieter than fellow guests tromping around above us around 11 PM and then between 5:45-8 AM. Tromp, tromp, tromp, squeak, creak, tromp, tromp. The old wooden floors can't help but make noise.
There is an odd smell in the room - like an old urinal, or maybe wallpaper paste, or some odd plastic, or possibly some sort of cleaner? We bought some air freshener to try to cover up the smell. It seemed to fade after a few days (we didn’t get housekeeping service since we didn’t need it).
The room is outdated in many ways (no computer outlet plugs at the desk, no microwave, old fridge, old school key to unlock the door, stained carpets), but you can tell they make an effort to do some improvements. The new heater/AC unit works well. And the room is clean.
Kudos to the housekeeping staff! I hope they get the appreciation their hard work deserves.
The mattress was also quite good for a hotel mattress, with nice clean sheets and soft blankies on top. (Yay, no duvet!) Plastic mattress covers, however - no matter how nice and clean they are like the one on the mattress - are too hot for us. So we had to remake the bed to make it cooler.
The shower head is a little close to the wall, but it has good pressure. Water's not as warm in the evening as in the morning.
Breakfast lacks protein (except for cream cheese). It consists of the standard store-bought pastries, bagels, mini boxes of cold cereal, possibly some instant oatmeal packets and some fruit, along with OJ and coffee.
Wi-fi is hit and miss, seems to cycle in and out.
Not a bad deal for the price. Just be prepared for some noise overhead if you don’t get a room on the top floor. And if you’re on the top floor, your lower floor travelers will appreciate a light touch to your footsteps – especially at night and early morning.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank LisaLovesPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

We enjoyed our two night stay at the Saga Motor Hotel very much. We had everything we needed in our room which was very neat, clean, and comfortable. I especially loved being able to open the windows. The ambiance and location were just what we were looking for.

Room Tip: We liked the 3rd floor room overlooking the pool, palm trees, and Pasadena City College.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Robin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Saga Motor Hotel

Address: 1633 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106
Location: United States > California > Pasadena
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Pasadena
Price Range: $112 - $117 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Saga Motor Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built 1957, the Saga Motor Hotel has been located on E. Colorado Blvd. (aka Route 66). The Saga is a boutique hotel with 70 guest rooms built around a large, heated pool and sun deck area in a garden setting surrounded by Palm Trees. In addition, the Saga is also located on the Tournament of Roses Parade route. While the Saga lets you step back in time to a day when actual keys were used to open hotel room doors and personalized service was common, we have all the “today” amenities you’d expect, including free, high-speed wireless service and cable television. We even have a business center, free computer services and small meeting room (in an informal and comfortable library setting) for groups of up to 20. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saga Motor Pasadena
Hotel Saga Motor

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