We were on a family trip up the central California coast and chose to spend a night at Pismo Beach to unwind. We love an unobstructed view of the ocean and the sound of the ocean waves breaking on the rocks; finding a quiet, private spot to enjoy the ocean horizon and sound of the sea was our goal. I found what looked like a good deal on the Internet (Expedia, prepaid rate) and booked a room that was advertised as having an ocean view. The sample room photo showed an unobstructed view of the ocean off the balcony, so I figured we were all set for peaceful bliss.
We arrived at the hotel in mid-afternoon, and promptly checked in. The front desk agent (manager?) welcomed us warmly, and gave me a key to a second-floor room in the tower. The hotel is configured as an ocean-front block (where the lobby is located) and a separate tower with three wings. Our assigned room was located near the center of the tower, with a view that was partially blocked by an adjoining wing of the tower and directly overlooking the busy pool. The ocean was visible from the balcony, but off in the distance past the pool. It was definitely not what we thought we had booked, and did not afford us the relaxing, quiet ocean experience we were expecting.
I promptly went back to the front desk and expressed my concerns. The agent (manager?) insisted that we had booked an "ocean view" room on Expedia, and that the Expedia room was not an "ocean front" room. I was aware that she had me over a barrel because the rate was prepaid, and the payment had already been made before we arrived. To her credit (and the hotel's), she offered me a different room with a slightly different bed configuration (2 queens vs. 1 king) in the "ocean front" block as a replacement, for the same price. After checking it out, we found that the new room was more like what we thought we had originally booked, and accepted it.
Once in the room, our experience was excellent. The room was recently renovated, clean, comfortable, well-decorated and generally quiet. We enjoyed the view and the sound of the waves, and even had a visit from a curious seagull. The beds were comfortable and offered a good night's sleep. We ordered dinner from a local Italian restaurant using the in-room delivery service, which we enjoyed on the balcony. All in all, it was a fabulous evening.
Some notes: The in-room wireless Internet was free and worked, but wasn't very fast-- about equal to a slower DSL line. It was able to accommodate all of my devices, including two phones and a tablet. There are vending machines with sodas in multiple locations, although they carry different products. For example, the vending machine at the pool end of the "ocean front" block has only Pepsi products, but the vending machine in the tower carries Coca-Cola products. If you book your room through a service like Expedia, pay careful attention to the type of room, as "ocean view" and "ocean front" apparently mean different things, and the difference is significant.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perched atop cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, Shore Cliff Hotel, formerly BEST WESTERN PLUS Shore Cliff Lodge, is a beautiful, newly renovated oceanfront hotel in the heart of Pismo Beach. Each guest room boats a private balcony or patio, offering sweeping views of the Central Coast landscape. During your stay, enjoy the largest oceanfront heated pool in Pismo Beach, spa services, complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking at our premier Pismo Beach location. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus Shore Cliff Hotel Pismo Beach
- Best Western Pismo Beach
- Pismo Beach Best Western